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Democratic Reality in South Asia (Ameer Javed)

Photo | Indian Express

Many time by many persons, a question is being raised about prevailing situation and grim scenario of democracy in South Asian countries, a phenomenon which this person called “democratic deterioration”.

Every now and then, it is pointed that there is nowhere ‘democratic deterioration’ in South Asian countries in general and ‘India’ in particular. Citing the example of recent election in one of the Union Territories of India i.e. Delhi, implicitly an obsession is expressed that victory of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi is self-evocative that democracy still lives on!!! Let me take in to consideration some of the points on that score:


Victory of AAP in Delhi, though commendable, is not a microcosm of what exists pan India. Moreover, Delhi is a Union Territory and not a full-fledged state which shows that a strong ‘centralizing tendency’ exist in Union Territories (UTs) in Indian federation which ultimately curb democratic nature of States in a federation. All administrative chores are at the behest of the union executive represented by the Lt. Governor and ultimately by the President of India. (see Article 239AA- Special Provisions with respect to Delhi)

Moreover, this should be mentioned that ‘democracy’ as a socio-political phenomenon is being subdued and undermined in South Asian countries. Here are some discourses on the issue:


System of government is not democratic in real terms in Bangladesh.

Power rotates among two parties namely Awami League (AL) of Shaikh Hasina and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) headed by Khalida Zia.

The two cohorts are truly pro-nepotism since Independence of Bangladesh.
After Shaikh Hasina, her son Sajeeb is to occupy the throne. Similarly, Khalida Zia is to be succeeded by her two sons.
There is an absolute family-hegemony since last four decades in Bangladesh.

Moreover, BNP dances on the tune of extremist groups who are greatest destroyer of Minority rights in Bangladesh. About 150 temples have been demolished in one year, thereby lending democracy in peril.


Providence paved the way for realizing true democracy in Nepal on June 01, 2001 when whole family of Raja Virendra was killed.

In the wake of this bloodshed, however, democracy didn’t find itself relieved from the shackle of ‘elitism’ and ‘nepotism’.

Corridors of power are still occupied by Koirala family.


Situation here is more pathetic.

There is a long list of family rulers in Maldives namely, Abdul Gayoom Ibraheem, Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Mamoon Abdul Gayoom etc.

Mr. Abdul Gayoom Ibraheem, the grand protagonist of this nepotism oriented democracy, had 8 wives and 25 children, most of them have long political aspirations to rule at the cost of ‘true democracy’.


Here democracy means two alternatives, Bhutto family and Shareef Family.

Sometimes, military rule strongly crushes the democracy!!!


See the political history of Sri Lanka since 1948. D.S. Senanayak, SWRD Bhandarnayak, S. Bhandarnayak, JR Jaiwardhne, Chandrika Kumartunga and now Mahindra Rajpakshe are some of the pro-nepotism icons in Sri Lanka.


Suu Kyi is very obscured and hidden name in its politics. The family is, itself, elite and wish to recover its position in name of so called fight for democracy.

This is all about that indicates that democracy lives in annals only!!!

*Ameer Javed is a student of Masters in Public Administration (Final). He lives in Mohsinul Mulk Hall.
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