Democracy and Dictatorship
I agree with your April cover story that most often it is dictatorship that is disguised as democracy in South Asia. Pakistan is the biggest example of this political bigotry, with other smaller South Asian nations in tow. So what is it that makes democracy so difficult to achieve? I believe it is the extremely low levels of literacy in the region, where although countries like India and Sri Lanka seem to be progressing well, the educational system in Pakistan and Bangladesh is almost at the verge of collapse. There is no denying the fact that political awareness stems from a literate public which unfortunately is not the case in this region. This results in exploitation of our masses by our political leaders and the military, who seem to be more interested in catering to their own interests rather than those of the public.
(2) Dictatorship under the garb of democracy is not a new phenomenon, neither is authoritative rule across the globe. Even the most developed nations today have undergone the tyrannies of unjust and overpowering authoritarian regimes in the past. I agree with your writers that our past has been smeared with political upheavals and injustices, where often the political system has come under siege of the military and monarchs. However, the speed with which democracy has flourished in this region over the past few years indicates positive signs of development. With this new breather of political development, it seems there is no looking back for the once monarchic and/ or dictatorial region that South Asia previously was. Be it the new governments in Bhutan and Maldives or the struggle in Nepal, the transitory nature of Afghan politics or the stable parliament in India, democracy in South Asia undoubtedly provides an interesting mix. I would say it will be another interesting experience to witness this journey from the bumpy road of political developments to the smooth freeways of true democracy. Good luck South Asia!