Un­demo­cratic people

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL -

I ad­mire your mag­a­zine’s cov­er­age of elec­tions in all South Asian coun­tries. I find both the pre and post-elec­tion analy­ses pub­lished by SouthAsia quite thor­ough. And it is af­ter read­ing many such analy­ses that I have reached the sad con­clu­sion that per­haps democ­racy does not suit most South Asian na­tions. It re­ally pains me to see all the blood­shed and vi­o­lence that has be­come the hall­mark of elec­tions in South Asian coun­tries. Take Bangladesh’s case.. More than 50 people died there in elec­tion­re­lated vi­o­lence in one month alone. The sit­u­a­tion in Nepal was not much dif­fer­ent where the elec­toral ex­er­cise there was marred by boy­cotts, spo­radic vi­o­lence and clashes be­tween ri­val par­ties. The same was the case in Pak­istan and the Mal­dives and I’m afraid we are go­ing to see more of the same in In­dia and Afghanistan too.

This makes me won­der why South Asian coun­tries can­not have a smooth and peace­ful tran­si­tion of power. We don’t see vi­o­lent in­ci­dents in western democ­ra­cies where elec­tion cam­paigns are per­haps run more rig­or­ously but sans much vi­o­lence. Is it the lack of ed­u­ca­tion in our part of the world or is it that we are not wor­thy of democ­racy?

Pushpa Val­labh

Kath­mandu, Nepal

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