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A long view of the South Asian Drama

A long view of the South Asian Drama politics is characterized by uncertainty, with political, economic, and security crises.

Why in News?

South Asian politics is characterized by uncertainty, with political, economic, and security crises.

From Pakistan’s implosion, a bleak political scenario in Nepal, and an enfeebled opposition in Bangladesh, to the Maldives’ democratic shift and Sri Lanka’s economic meltdown, South Asia has become an area of political turbulence.

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What is transpiring in the South Asian region?

Except for India, every country in the region is facing hardships either due to bad policies or shoddy politics. 

Pakistan is standing on the verge of implosion economically and internal conflicts between political rivals.

There have been back-to-back elections, and floor tests in Nepal, and as a result, there have been frequently hung Parliaments.

 In Bangladesh, the opposition is planning country-wide agitation, and in Maldives, one election has the potential to take the country into authoritarianism.

 Sri Lanka is slowly coming out of an unprecedented economic meltdown with the help of India and the IMF bailout package.

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Unique Indian values

Shared Civilizational Area:

The South Asian region constituted an integrated civilisational area bound together by shared religions, languages, cultural traditions and blood ties and, in respect of the three largest countries — India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – shared historical memories as well.

Difference in value system:

The values underlying the Indian state stood out in contrast to those espoused by several of its neighbors.

These values — secularism, democracy, federalism, and linguistic autonomy — were not matters of choice for India. They were compulsions if Indian unity and integrity were to be preserved.

Absorption and Internalization:

India pursued these values because they were not just imported Western values but because they were absorbed and internalized during India’s century-long freedom struggle.

India had endured because of its enormous capacity to absorb, internalize, modify and transform, and yet retain its personality.

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Adoption of Values:

In the 19th century, as democratic values emerged in Western Europe, they were accepted on an eclectic basis in India.

This resulted in the adoption of local government, free press, trade union rights, liberal democratic multiparty competitive politics, adult suffrage, secular outlook, and acceptance of the state as a vehicle of development, which became planks in the freedom struggle.

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The representational system of government in India was the envy of most of the developing world, as was the totally apolitical functioning of the Indian armed forces and the critical role of the Indian press.


South Asian politics is in a state of uncertainty but a long-term view of shared historical memories and values can help maintain unity.

India’s foundational values have played a crucial role in preserving its integrity.

India must continue to develop economically and technologically while being prepared to respond to its neighbors.

Peaceful coexistence will depend on embracing modernization while maintaining cultural identities.

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A long view of the South Asian Drama,A long view of the South Asian Drama

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