Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman sprang a surprise when he arrested hundreds of princes, businessmen, and industrialists in a crackdown. All the arrested were accused of money laundering and corruption, which has been the bane of the Kingdom since its inception. Like the proverbial English sword which is double-edged, Salman in the crackdown also got rid of some important personages, who could be a threat to his rule in Saudi Arabia. The more influential ones were locked up in a five-star resort and the hotel was converted into a jail. has reported this.

Economy and Expenditure

Saudi Arabia is beset by economic worries as revenue from oil alone is unable to sustain the economy. Salman has ordered a cutback in expenditure, but this is a catch-22 situation, as nearly 50% of the Saudi population was being given a subsidy under a number of clauses. This curtailment of expenditure is hurting a large percentage of the population, who cannot be enamoured of the austerity measures of the crown prince.

Another point that needs amplification is the steps towards modernization set in motion by the crown prince. Apart from allowing women to drive Salman has outlined his vision of setting up sea resorts with the most modern amenities and even doing away with the ban on alcohol like in the UAE and Dubai.

He has studied the Dubai model, which despite having no oil, is a world financial and entertainment centre. However, the hardliners will not like this and as Saudi is a closed society, the rumblings against the monarch are not heard. But to dismiss them out of hand would be a fallacy. The prince may be moving closer to the jaws of death

Change and Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has resisted change for 4 decades and now the crown prince with his vision of a modern and secular Arabia is setting new goals.

But his opponents, many of whom are languishing under arrest and a vast number of the population hurt at the withdrawal of subsidies, are not happy. Salman has started a confrontation with Qatar and a battle in Yemen and promise to face Iran. Despite all the weaponry even after 2 years, the war is not won in Yemen and that is a pointer to the efficacy of the army.

Civil war?

The ISIS is also on the heels of the Saudi monarchy. Recent happenings that show a closer relationship and coordination with Israel are not going to please the hardliners.In addition, as reported by Reuters, Prince Salman has dangled the carrot of freedom in return for fines amounting to billions of dollars.The crown prince will have to tighten his grip and many feel that a Civil War could be on the horizon. Crown prince Salman will require all his ingenuity to stay on in power.