Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Saturday of Contrasts for South Asia

Saturday the 16th of May was a historic day for South Asia. The Congress Party in India was swept back to power with the country’s highest margin of victory since 1984. The two-decade long ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka came to a military conclusion. But in Pakistan, Taliban militants exploded yet another car bomb in the North Western city of Peshawar, highlighting the country’s uncontrollable tailspin into the bottomless abyss of Islamic militancy. (For Maldives too it could have been a significant day if the Elections Commission had gone on with its original plan to announce the results of the Majlis election.)

These events signify the tragic contrasts between the three South Asian countries born from the remnants of the British Empire in the aftermath of World War II. In Sri Lanka, its seemingly intractable ethnic militancy is coming to end, while the Islamic militancy in Pakistan is beginning to go out of control.

In India, the Congress won a general election, where the main issue at stake was development. As Rahul Gandhi said after the victory, this signals that Indians have rejected caste and religion based politics. This contrasts sharply with the General elections in Pakistan last year, where the main issues were religion and sharia law.

One wonders if the reality of Pakistan today is what its founding father Mohamed Ali Jinnah and its poet laureate Sir Mohamed Iqbal had dreamt.


Anonymous said...

The ground reality in pakistan is very different from that the founders of this Nation have ever dreamt of.They in their wildest dreams would not have thought that a Nation which they built and brought into a reality with unbelievable sacrifices will one day get into a nightmare of bombings, murder , corruption and self destruction of unimaginable proportions.It is a pity that the professional Pakistani armed forces have to fight an internal enemy that is bend on destroying what Pakistan stands for.
The events unfolding in Sri Lanka gives a lot of lessons.The murderer of Rajiv Gandhi is cornered with his band of thugs while Rajiv Gandhis widow have just pulled off one of the most impressive election victories in India in the recent times.
Whoever perpetrates terror and hatred should remember that one day they will be in the receiving end even if it is election fraud like that of Thimarafushi in the just concluded elections for Majlis in the Maldives.

Anonymous said...

Luck is like that. Some are doomed to self destruction; others to prosper.

Anonymous said...

The failure of Pakistan as a nation threatens the stability of the whole region, INCLUDING Maldives

Anonymous said...

Read this weeks TIME magazine for what happened to Pakistan.

Pakistan has class issues and ethnic issues that do not want to talk about. Instead they ALWAYS find a scape goat. It used to be India but India is prospering and does not see Pakistan as a threat. So Pakistan have made Taliban the new scape goat.

Taliban is a problem but real issue is the reluctance of Pakistan to look at themselves and come to grips with their moral cowardice.

In a way Maldives is going through the same thing.