The meaning ofdemocracy is “rule of people” but in south Asia it is everything then itsdefinition. Let see what Democracy has done to South Asia and what south Asiahas done to democracy.
As I would not be a slave, so I wouldnot be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. – Abraham Lincoln
The democracy is one of themost popular findings of Age of Enlightment. It is just like a medicine whichcan cure you or a drug which can make you addicted of it. After 300 years ofbirth of democracy on world stage it got the spotlight again after the peoplemovement in Middle East, South East and South Asia and Africa. A lot of peoplediscussed the future of democracy in Middle -east and Africa and no coverageand thought had been given recently to Democracy and South Asia.
The definition of Democracy issimplest definition of the world- “Rule of People”. With the increase in wealthand industrial revolution a lot of Europeans started asking questions againstKing and Church, 2 dictating power of their day-to-day life and after therevolution they established the rule of people and most of the countries removedkings from governance and all removed church from governance. The biggest contributionof Europeans to democracy was separation of religion from administration.
In the middle of 20thcentury several nations got independence or birth and south Asian countries wereone of them. Some of those newly freed countries becomes democratic and startedthe process of welfare of their people others tried and then got converted indictatorship, some other has gone for communism but the south Asian Countriesdone something unique. These 7 countries had tried all the form of governanceexcluding formal kingship in the name of democracy.
The south Asian countries arethe single ones who shown the democratic way of gaining independence. Mr.Gandhi, Nehru, Zinna, Patel and others were the prominent name of one of the biggestpeaceful revolution to gain independence. This was the single example where theruler and people whom he ruled all were happy on the independence. Such revolutionbecomes a light house for other nations to gain independence with peacefulmeans but the picture of Independence and democracy was not all golden. With thegaining independence from British rule with such patience and democracy Indiagot divided and this becomes the most bloodthirsty division of any country withmillions died and displaced.
We had seen the politicalleaders like Nehru- Sastri in India, Bhutto in Pakistan, Sheikh Mujibur Rahmanin Bangladesh, king Tribhuvan in Nepal, Aung San Suu Kyi of Mayanmar, and Bandarnaikein Shrilanka who started and supported political system of their country and become the harbringer of Democracy in Region.We also seen the dictatorship of Indira Gandhi, Ayub khan, Yahiya Khan, ZiaurRahman, General Ne win, marshal law of Sri Lanka for decades and Taliban. The ironywas we were dictated for saving the democracy. Now the question is how adictator can save Democracy, isn’t both are opposite to each other.
Still we are not over with ourromance with democracy. I am not against democracy but I am against the romancewith it, because it is a tool to use for collective welfare of people. To increaseharmony among them, to give them chance to prosper and to reduce ethnic differencesbetween them, but because of the romance with the Idea of democracy given usall the opposite results. South Asian is still ethnically diversified peoplewho struggle on day-to-day basis for their needs, who are illiterate, lesscivil and unethical. We have so-much patience for the wrong deeds of powerfulpeople and completely intolerable to urgency of fellow citizen.
South Asian had contributed to everything theworld they had converted each thing according to us either American music, Chinesefood, Italian Pizza or the international language English. Same goes with thedemocracy. Democracy is an Idea woven in the thinking of people of south Asianjust as common sense but its full implementation is as rare as use of commonsense.
The position of democracy is:-
- There are wish for democracybut lack of will to sacrifice individual freedom for it.
- South Asian Democracy providedspace to fight towards equality and justice but there is still not room enoughto create and implement rules for it.
- The promises of constitutionfor democracy, freedom, and welfare are still promises and it will take verymuch time to convert it into a reality.
- The region is most diversifiedregion and governments of countries had tried to manage this diversificationbut due to the lack of political will this diversity had created more problemsor complicated them.
- The successors of foundingleaders are incapable and corrupt which were unable to solve the day-to-dayproblems of people and unable to provide the atmosphere for growth of peopleand democracy.
- There were several social movementhave emerged and tried to change the way of system and people but not a singleone is big enough to make some permanent change is society.
The South Asia shows that democracy canbe built in societies that have not attained high rates of economic growth. Italso indicates that democracies can evade addressing the issues of poverty,destitution and inequality even when the poor constitute a majority. Thecultures, practices and institutions of democracy have transformed the peopleof South Asia to citizens and bearers of rights and dignity. This gives rise toexpectations that most governments in the region have failed to meet. But beforebeing a completely democratic region which has the welfare of its citizen itsneed to be democratic which means their ability to choose a government which insure their welfare first and reducethe political and regional problems to make region grow and achieve a highlevel of economic growth where poor too can get profit of democracy and not bea tool to seizing the power in the hand of few for the dream of better life.South Asia will be a complete democratic nation when the people of south Asiawill decide that this is enough and now they want the rule of people andwelfare of people with a atmosphere where everybody have chance to grow.
In a democracy the poor will have morepower than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of themajority is supreme. – Aristotle
- Bellamy on Constitutional Democracy (lsolum.typepad.com)
- ‘No substitute for people’s collective wisdom’ (dawn.com)
- Op-Ed: On “Tel Aviv Meets Bombay” And Mutual Respect (stanforddaily.com)
- Burmese police stand by as Buddhists attack Muslims (guardian.co.uk)