Special ReportsPublished on Dec 31, 2016 PDF Download
ballistic missiles,Defense,Doctrine,North Korea,Nuclear,PLA,SLBM,Submarines

South Asia Annual Assessment

Concerns over democracy and democratic concerns in South Asia

‘Modern democracy’, as the western colonial rulers had practised and left behind, is still an issue in South Asia – including nations like Bhutan and Nepal, which used to be ruled by the royalty, and also the Indian Ocean archipelago, Maldives. Afghanistan, ruled by tribal war-lords for long, has been getting a modicum of democracy, but not to levels required – it would seem. In the past years, these nations had taken to multi-party democracy as fish to water, but issues remains not just in these nations but also in others, where democracy had been around for a longer period.

There are democracy issues in other nations of the region, as well – some finding solutions of themselves, and others facing them, instead. Sri Lanka, where ‘democracy’ was considered as facing problems with the Rajapaksa regime, went to the polls in 2015. The elections saw Rajapaksa being replaced by his ministerial and political aide, Maithripala Sirisena, as the candidate of a ‘combined Opposition’ alliance. This was followed by the parliamentary polls eight months later, when the ‘National Unity Government’ swept back to power.

Present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan on South Asia’s north-western frontier since time immemorial have had their own taste of democracy, not all of it successful, or at times useful, too. Terrorism remained, so did the US-led troops in Afghanistan in particular. In Bangladesh, on South Asia’s eastern sea-front, it was a celebration year after a smooth and successful conclusion of land-border transfer with India. It was marred however by unending political violence from the previous year, attributed to the parliament elections of 2014.

Read the full report here

The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.