South Africa is in the middle of a transition and the scenario in that country roughly resembles that prevailed in India prior to its last general election: The reflection of a strong anti-incumbency mood transcending the boundaries of Parliament.
Hazare, Kejriwal & Modi had benefited from anti-incumbency
In India, it was Narendra Modi and his BJP who ended up as the ultimate beneficiary of the revolutionary zeal against the establishment of the day led by a hapless Manmohan Singh even though one cannot ignore the contribution of people like Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal in instigating the intense feelings.
In SA, President Zuma resembles Manmohan Singh
Similarly in South Africa, the regime of President Jacob Zuma is facing a similar backlash and though there is still some time before the African National Congress government completes its current tenure, the 35-year-old Opposition leader, Mmusi Maimane, could reap the benefit the most.
The bigger problem in SA
But the story in SA is not just a disapproval of the Zuma regime at a political level. People have resorted to massive protests against the president (a huge protest march for jobs was held in Johannesburg on January 27, resembling the five-kilometre-long protest march against corruption in India in 2011 which was inspired by Anna Hazare's hunger strike) but these grievances over jobs, economic state, unsatisfactory leadership are just the symptoms of a bigger problem that lies at the depth of the Rainbow Nation.
A merciless fresh wave of democracy
This problem speaks about a fresh and more intense wave of democracy flowing across the world. While the unfolding of the story of this fresh zeal has been more harsh in West Asia where democracy is not strong, they have been more peaceful but yet effective in practising democracies.
The 2014 general election in India was no less a revolution in the guise of radical ballots which saw the grand-old party, the Indian National Congress, being reduced to its lowest-ever size in Parliament.
Earlier this month, we saw a traditional force like KMT overthrown from power in Taiwan, thanks to a more assertive democratic zeal that seeks to outdo the Chinese influence. And now in South Africa, we see a resurgence of the black sentiments, over two decades after the country's first democratic elections.
SA's ‘born-free' generation wants more
The ‘born-free' generation of South Africa is more conscious and demanding more radical changes than the SA of the iconic Nelson Mandela had worked for in terms of forgiveness and reconciliation.
This generation is cynical and view their country not as a Rainbow but Cappuccino (a majority of black at the bottom with some white cream at the top) Nation where the white enjoys more wealth than in the past.
It is an irony that the new educated and young black middle-class is being able to express its complaints freely because of Mandela's hard work but that doesn't convince it anymore.
The ambitious representatives of this class want better living standards (economic and social) and the hard-earned democracy in the mid-1990s is a lethal a weapon in their hands today to achieve their goal.
Will Opposition ultimately take the benefit of this social anger in SA?
The cumulative impact of the young generation's aggressive pursue of ambition and dream is also cultivated wisely by the opponents of the ruling party of the day and the government finds it immensely difficult to cope with the pressure.
In India, the Congress had tumbled in 2014 because Modi succeeded in capturing the massive energy which was unleased in the form of the grievance of the young and educated middle class. For Zuma, the factor of racism could be an added concern in the next election.