12 Class Political Science Chapter 5 Contemporary South Asia Notes
|Contemporary South Asia
Class 12th Political Science Chapter 5 Contemporary South Asia Notes here we will be learn about Conflicts and efforts for Peace Democratization in South Asia: South Asia region includes Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Maldives. Various kinds of conflicts in this region are evident like border disputes, water-sharing disputes between the states of the region. Some other kinds of conflicts include insurgency, ethnic strife and resource sharing issues, etc.
❇️ South Asia : –
🔹 South Asia is referred to as a group of seven countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka which stand for diversity in every sense and constitutes geo-political space. The Himalayas in North and the vast Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal in South, West and East respectively provide a natural insularity (separation) to the region.
❇️ Geo-politics : –
🔹 Geo-politics It refers to the association of countries who are bound with each other geographically and their interests are also interlinked with each other politically and economically.
❇️ Republic : –
🔹 Republic It refers where the head of state is an elected person not a hereditary position.
❇️ Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) : –
🔹 Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) It was sent by India in Sri Lanka to support the demand of Tamils to be recognised.
❇️ Seven Party Alliance : –
🔹 Seven Party Alliance It is an alliance of seven parties in Nepal which also demanded an and to monarch.
❇️ LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eclam (LTTE) : –
🔹 LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eclam (LTTE) was a militant organisation which fought for the establishment of separate state for Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
❇️ Bilateral Talks : –
🔹 Bilateral Talks It means he talks involving the two countries without any other mediation.
❇️ Fact about South Asia : –
- This region is largely responsible for the linguistic, social and cultural distinctiveness of the sub-continent.
- Afghanistan and Myanmar are often considered as the part of this region.
- China is not considered as the part of this region but it plays an important role.
❇️ Issues of South Asian Countries : –
🔹 Issues of South Asian Countries Countries which are part of South Asia consist of different kinds of political avatams. A democratic independence in India and Sri Lanka. On the other hand, Pakistan and Bangladesh have experienced as both civilian and military rulers, in which Bangladesh maintained democracy since the post-Cold War period.
❇️ Political System of Pakistan : –
🔹 Since the Post-Cold War period, Pakistan began with democratic governments under Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Although it also suffered from a military coup in 1999 and later it was run by the civilian government since 2008.
❇️ Political System of Nepal : –
🔹 Nepal was under the constitutional monarchy till 2006. Later in 2008, monarchy was abolished and democracy was established. Thus, we can say that democracy is becoming an accepted norm within South Asian region.
❇️ Political System of Bhutan and Maldives : –
🔹 The two smallest country of the region i.e. Bhutan and Maldives are facing similar issues. Bhutan became a constitutional monarchy in 2008. A multi-party democracy emerged under the leadership of the King.
🔹 Maldives on the other hand was a Sultanate till 1968 when it was changed into a republic with a Presidential form of government. A multi-party system was introduced in 2005 after the Parliament voting. The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) dominates the political affairs of the island, MDP won the 2018 elections.
❇️ Democratisation in South Asia : –
🔹 Despite the differing democratic experiences, the people of South Asian countries have a desire for democracy, ordinary citizen, rich and poor, of various religions, embrace the concept of democracy and support representative democracy’s institutions.
🔹 They prefer democracy to any other type of administration and believe that democracy is the most appropriate form of government for their country. These are significant findings, for it was earlier believed that democracy could flourish and find support only in prosperous countries of the world.
❇️ The Military and Democracy in Pakistan : –
🔹 After the framing of the Constitution of Pakistan, General Ayub Khan took over the administration and soon got himself elected. He renounced his office after the dissatisfaction from his rule and the military took over under General Yahya Khan. During Yahya Khan rule, Pakistan faced the Bangladesh crisis and a war with India in 1971. Bangladesh (East Pakistan) emerged as an independent country.
🔹 After 1971, an elected government was formed under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan from 1971-1977. The Bhutoo government was removed by General Zia-ul-Haq in 1977. Again in 1982, a pro-democracy protest was faced by Pakistan. A democratic government was established in 1988 under the leadership of Benazir Bhutto. She had to face competition between her party, Pakistan People’s Party and the Muslim League.
🔹 Later on the history repeated and General Pervez Musharraf took the command in 1999 and removed PM Nawaz Sharif. General Pervez Musharraf got himself elected as the President in 2001. Pakistan continued to be ruled by the army, though the army rulers have held some elections to give their rule a democartic image. Since 2008, democratically elected leaders have been ruling Pakistan.
❇️ Factors Affecting Unstable Democracy in Pakistan : –
🔸 Several factors that led to Pakistan’s failure in building a stable democracy. These were :
🔹 The social dominance of military, clergy and landowning aristocracy were responsible for the frequent overthrow of elected government and establishment of military governments.
🔹 Pro-millitary groups have often said that political parties and democracy in Pakistan is imperfect, that Pakistani’s security would be harmed by selfish-minded parties and disordered democracy and that the army’s rule is therefore, justified.
🔹 There has been a strong sense of pro-democracy sentiment in the country.
🔹 Absence of genuine international support for democratic rule has further encouraged the dominance of military. Like for example, USA and other Western countries have encouraged the military’s authoritarian rule for their own reasons.
The military administration in Pakistan has been considered as the protector of Western interests in West Asia and South Asia, given their concern of what they call global Islamic terrorism and the danger that Pakistan’s nuclear program could fall into the hands of these terrorist groups.
❇️ What is Indus River Water Treaty? : –
India and Pakistan signed Indus River Water Treaty by the mediation of World Bank in 1960 over the issue of sharing rivers of the Indus basin.
❇️ Democracy in Bangladesh : –
🔹 Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan from 1947 to 1971, which comprises of the partitioned areas of Bengal and Assam from British India. Western Pakistan domination such as in the form of imposition of Urdu was resented by the common people of Bangladesh.
🔹 Protests were evident in the country since the partition against the unfair treatment towards the Bengali culture and language. A demand for fair representation and a fair share in political power was also demanded.
❇️ Emergence of Bangladesh : –
🔹 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a leader who led the popular struggle against the domination of West Pakistan and demanded independence for Eastern region.
🔹 During the 1970’s elections, the Awami League under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won all the seats in East Pakistan and secured a majority in the Constituent Assembly for the whole Pakistan.
🔹 But the government under West Pakistan leadership refused to call up the assembly. After this, Sheikh Mujib was arrested.
🔹 Under the rule of Yahya Khan, thousands of people were killed to suppress the mass movements. Problems like large scale migration towards India emerged and it created a refugee problem for India.
🔹 The people of East Pakistan were supported financially and militarily by the Indian Government for their independence.
❇️ Internal Conflicts in Bangladesh : –
🔹The Constitution of Bangladesh was drafted with the faith in secularism, democracy and socialism. In 1975, the Constitution was amended to shift from the parliamentary to presidential form of government by Sheikh Mujib. Through this he abolished all the political parties except his own Awami League, which further led to conflicts and tensions in the country.
🔹 Sheikh Mujib was assassinated in a military uprising in 1975 and Ziaur Rahman, formed his own Bangladesh National Party. He won the elections of 1979 and was also assassinated. Then, the military took over under Lt. General HM Ershad. The people of Bangladesh stood up for the demand of democracy. Some political activity on a limited scale was allowed by Ershad and in 1990 mass public protests led his government to step down. Since the elections in 1991, representative democracy has been working in Bangladesh.
❇️ Nepal : –
🔹 Nepal was a Hindu Kingdom and became a constitutional monarchy in modern period. People of Nepal and the political parties wanted a more open and responsive system of government. The King of Nepal retained control over the government and restricted expansion of democracy with the help of army. The political parties demanded more transparent and accountable government time to time.
❇️ Monarchy and Democracy in Nepal : –
🔹 Due to strong pro-democracy movements, the King accepted the demand for new democratic constitution in 1990. However, democratic government had a short and troubled career.
🔹 The Maoists of Nepal were successful in spreading their influence during 90’s in many parts of Nepal.
🔹 They believed in armed revolts against the monarch and the ruling elite. This resulted in violent conflicts between the Maoist guerrillas and the armed forces of the King and sometimes a triangular conflict, among the monarchist forces, the democrats and the Maoists.
🔹 The King dismissed the government and abolished the Parliament in 2002, thus it ended even limited democracy that existed in Nepal.
🔹 A massive country wide pro-democracy protest was witnessed in April 2006. The pro-democracy forces achieved their first victory by compelling the King to restore the House of Representatives which was dissolved in April, 2002.
🔹 A non-violent movement was initiated by the Seven Party Alliance (SPA), the Maoists and social activists.
❇️ Conflict between Monarchy and Democracy in Nepal : –
🔹 Constitutent Assembly to draft the country’s constitution.
🔹 Some Nepalese believed that a nominal monarchy was required for Nepal to maintain its historical past. The maoist organisations agreed to put their armed struggle on hold. They desired that the constitution include significant social and economic transformation programmes.
🔹 This programme was opposed by all the SPA’s parties. The Indian Government and its role in Nepals future were also viewed with suspicion by the maoists and other political organisations.
🔹 In the year 2008, Nepal became a democratic republic after abolishing the Monarchy. A new Constitution was adopted by Nepal in 2015.
❇️ Sri Lanka : –
🔹 Sri Lanka got its independence in 1948 and since then it has retained its democracy. But it faced a serious challenge, not from the military or monarchy but rather from ethnic conflict leading to the demand for secession by one of the regions.
❇️ Ethnic Conflict and Democracy in Sri Lanka : –
🔹 After its independence, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon and it was dominated by forces that represented the interest of the majority Sinhala community.
🔹 Sinhalese people were the largest ethnic group of Sri Lanka and after the independence this group dominated the politics of the state.
🔹 Tamils were the people who had migrated from India to Sri Lanka and settled there. According to Sinhala nationalists, Sri Lanka should not give concessions to Tamils as this state belongs only to Sinhala’s.
🔹 The neglect of Tamils concerns and interests resulted in militant Tamil nationalism. The militant organisation Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was working since 1983 onwards with the army of Sri Lanka for a separate country belongs to Tamil people. The North-Eastern parts of Sri Lanka were controlled by LTTE.
❇️ Action taken by Indian goverment to Sri Lanka : –
🔹 Indian Government has from time-to-time tried to negotiate with the Sri Lankan Government to protect interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Further, in 1987 an accord was signed between both the countries to stabilise relations between Sri Lankan Government and Tamils.
🔹 Eventually, the Indian Army got involved into fight with LTTE. This incident was felt by the Sri Lankans as an attempt by India to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.
🔹 In 1989, Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was pulled out of Sri Lanka without attaining its objective. Although, the Sri Lankan crisis remained violent in nature.
❇️ Development in Sri Lanka : –
🔹 Sri Lanka has gained considerable economic growth and recorded high levels of human development despite of the on-going conflict situations.
🔹 Sri Lanka’s achievement has been remarkable in the South Asian region. It is one of the first developing countries to successfully control the population growth and liberalise its economy.
🔹 It has the highest per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for many years.
❇️ Maldives : –
🔹 Maldives, an island country attained full political independence from the British in 1965 and in 1968 a new republic was inaugrated and the Sultanate abolished.
🔹 Ibrahim Nasr the country’s first President was succeeded in 1978 by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was re-elected to his sixth consecutive term in 2003. Maldives became a member of the Commonwealth in 1982.
🔹 In the first years of the 21st century, Gayoom’s government embarked on a long term plan to modernise and democratise the Maldives, particularly its economy and political system.
🔹 Begining in 2003, wide-ranging reforms were instituted to improve human rights and the system of governance.
🔹 In 2008 a new constitution was adopted that established greater governmental checks and balances strengthened the powers of the legislature and judiciary and allowed women to run for presidency.
🔹 In October 2008, former political prisoner Mohamed Nasheed was elected President, thus ending Gayoom’s 30 years in office.
❇️ Conflicts and Efforts for Peace in South-Asia : –
🔹 Let us now focus our attention away from domestic politics and towards some of the areas of conflict in this regions international ties. Conflicts and tensions in this region have not diminished in the post Cold War cra. Conflicts over internal
❇️ India-Pakistan Conflicts : –
🔹 Both these countries represent very crucial conflicts of an international nature which are discussed below :
🔸 Kashmir issue : – A Conflict over Kashmir is the major issue between both the countries. Pakistan Government always claimed Kashmir to be its part and same goes with Indian Government. Wars took place over this issue between India and Pakistan in 1947-48 and 1965 failed to settle the dispute. The 1947-48 war led to the division of the province into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir divided by the Line of Control. In 1971, India won decisive war against Pakistan but the Kashmir issue remained unsettled.
🔸 Arm race between both countries : – Strategic issues conflicts are also evident among these countries like the control of the Siachen Glacier and over acquisition of arms. Arm race between both countries want to acquire more nuclear weapons and missiles against each other in the 1990’s. In 1998 India conducted its nuclear explosion in Pokharan. Within few days Pakistan responded by carrying out nuclear tests in the Chagai Hills. Since then India and Pakistan seem to have built a military relationship in which the possibility of a direct and full-scale war has declined.
🔸 Terrorist issue : – Suspicious nature of both the governments led to border disruptions especially in the Kashmir region. Like Indian Government blames the Pakistan Government for nurturing violence and helping Kashmiri militants with arms, training, money and protection to carry out terrorist activities against India. The Indian Government also believes that Pakistan had aided the pro-Khalistani militants with arms and ammunitions during the period 1985-1995.
🔸 Indus river waters problem : – Both countries also have problems related to sharing of Indus river waters. With the help of World Bank in 1960, both countries negotiated over this issue. There are still some minor differences about the interpretation of the Indus Waters Treaty and the use of the river waters, which has survived to this day in spite of various military conflicts in which both countries were involved. There are still some minar differences about the interpretation of the Indus Waters Treaty and use of the river waters.
❇️ Efforts Towards Peace and Cooperation : –
🔸 India and Pakistan are holding negotiations over many issues. Some of the efforts towards peace between both the countries are discussed below :-
- Confidence building measures has been signed between both the countries to minimise the tensions in terms of security.
- Social activities and prominent personalities collaborated to develop friendly atmosphere.
- Number of bus routes has been opened up between the countries.
- Samjhauta Express, was started in July 1976 to improve people-to-people connect between the two countries after the Shimla Agreement.
- Trade between two parts of Punjab have increased substantially and visas are provided more easily.
- Finalising of Kartarpur corridor has shown a narrow ray of hope for starting of talks between India and Pakistan after the 2019 Pulwama terror attack.
❇️ India and Bangladesh relationship : –
🔹 There are few differences prevailing between the Governments of India and Bangladesh over sharing the waters of Ganga and Brahmaputra. Further, the Governments of India has been unhappy with Bangladesh due to the following reasons :
- Illegal immigration of Bangladeshi people.
- Bangladesh’s support for anti-India Islamic fundamentalist groups.
- Bangladesh’s refusal to allow Indian troops to move through its territory to North-Eastern India.
- Its decision not to export natural gas to India or allow Myanmar to do so through Bangladeshi territory.
- Bangladeshi Governments have felt that the Indian Government behaves like a regional bully over the sharing river waters, encouraging rebellion in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, trying to extract its natural gas and being unfair in trade.
- The two countries could not resolve their boundary dispute for a long while.
❇️ Efforts Towards Peace and Cooperation : –
🔹 Both the countries do cooperate on many issues despite their differences like the improving economic relation considerably.
🔹 Bangladesh is a part of India’s Look East Policy that wants to link up with South-East Asia through Myanmar.
🔹 In December 2020, India and Bangladesh signed seven agreements and also inaugurated four projects to deepen their partnership. It includes
- cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector
- agriculture and textiles
- high impact community development projects to be carried out by India
- trans-border elephant conservation.
❇️ India and Nepalrelationship : –
🔹 India and Nepal has developed a cordial and special relationship. The treaty between the countries allows the citizens of the two countries to travel and work in other country without visas and passports.
🔹 Despite this special relationship, the government of the both countries had trade-related disputes in the past.
🔹 The Indian Government expressed displeasure at the relationship between China and at the Nepal Government’s for not taking action against anti-Indian elements.
🔹 Indian security agencies have shown deep concerns over the Maoist movement in Nepal which however give rise to Naxalism in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.
🔹 The Nepal Government and its citizens are in the notion that the Indian Government interferes in the internal affairs of Nepal and has designs on its river waters and hydro-electricity and prevents the landlocked country from getting access to the sea through Indian territory.
❇️ Efforts towards Peace and Cooperation India and Nepalrelationship : –
🔹 Despite differences, trade, scientific, cooperation, common natural resources, electricity generation and interlocking water management grids hold the two countries together. India and Nepal relations are fairly stable and peaceful.
🔹 South Asia’s first cross-border petroleum products pipeline, constructed and funded by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., connecting Motihari in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal was remotely inaugurated by the two Prime Ministers on 10th September, 2019.
❇️ India and Sri Lanka: –
🔹 The Government of India and Sri Lanka are mostly indulged in dispute over ethnic conflict in the island nation. The Indian leaders find it difficult to remain neutral when the Tamils are politically unhappy and are being killed.
❇️ Efforts towards Peace and Cooperation India and Sri Lanka: –
🔹 There are steps and policies which have further strengthened ties between the two countries like the Free Trade Agreement and post-tsunami reconstruction in Sri Lanka.
🔹 Sri Lanka is one of India’s largest trading partners among the SAARC countries. India in turn is Sri Lanka’s largest trade partner globally.
🔹 Political relations between India and Sri Lanka have been marked by high-level exchanges of visits at regular intervals. In June 2019, the first overseas visit of Indian Prime Minister to Sri Lanka, in his second term, is an important symbolic gesture reflective of the special relationship between the countries.
🔹 In April 2019, India and Sri Lanka also concluded agreement on countering Drug and Human Trafficking.
❇️ India and Bhutan: –
🔹 India and Bhutan enjoy a special relationship despite of major conflict. The effort of the Bhutanese Government to weed out the guerrillas and militants from North-East India has proved to be helpful to India.
🔹 For internal security perspective, illicit development of camps by militants in the dense-jungles of South-East Bhutan is a cause of concern for both the nations.
🔹 Bhutan’s concern regarding profitability of its Hydropower projects in the wake of India’s shift to renewable sources of energy like wind, solar, etc. India is involved in big hydroelectric projects in Bhutan and remains its biggest source of development aid.
❇️ India and Maldives: –
🔹 India has a cordial relationship with the island nation of Maldives. India supported Maldives on its request, when some Tamil Sri Lankan soldiers attacked Maldives, the Indian Air Force and Navy quickly reacted against the invasion. India also contributed towards the island’s economic development, tourism and fisheries.
❇️ Efforts Towards Peace and Cooperation India and Maldives: –
🔹 A Comprehensive Action Plan for Defence was also signed in April 2016 to consolidate defence partnership between India and Maldives.
🔹 $800 million Line of Credit Agreement in March 2019 was signed between India and Maldives, for assisting Maldives to achieve sustainable social and economic development.
🔹 India has various problems with its neighbours and given the size and power of India, they are bound to be suspicious of India’s intention.