Democ­racy and Dic­ta­tor­ship

Southasia - - Editor's mail - Rao Zu­beri, Karachi, Pak­istan Tarun Sethi, Mum­bai, In­dia

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!

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