SAARC’s Inglorious Death?

SAARC’s Inglorious Death?
  • 3

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), an intergovernmental organization , founded in 1985, comprised of many states of South Asia, including its core constituents, India and Pakistan was, in theory , formed for South Asia’s economic development and regional integration. But, despite thee laudable ideals and goals, the SAARC never lived up to its potential and perhaps never will. The SAARC, albeit a theoretical ideal, had and has one structural flaw that will always be an impediment: that is, it is an entity formed by states. For a Union to be real and effective, states has to cede, in the least, some of their sovereignty but, in the real world, states actually never do but, au contraire, they guard it rather jealously and even zealously(. The European Union, an exception to the norm, also is finding it extremely difficult to stay as a political union). Closer home, the effectiveness or even nominal functioning of the SAARC, is hampered structurally by the review of the post colonial state in South Asia( and even elsewhere) where the ostensibly and albeit notional fidelity to secular foundational philosophies of many of these states is being replaced by muscular, majoritarian nationalism. This is in the nature of a trend which has a resonance and traction even in the societies of the West, where civic nationalism is being sought to be replaced by strident, populist nationalism and nativism. The confluence of these developments and trends mean and imply the death of intergovernmentalism, generally speaking, for as far as the eye can see, so to speak. Muscular nationalist majoritarianism also means the return and potency of sovereigntism which adds another layer to the primacy of the state and state interests of thereof. All this means that organizations like the SAARC which, in reality, never took off will be rendered more impotent and infructuous with the passage of time. The SAARC may even regress further even from its notional and nominal perch. There is nothing gleeful about this because while the promise of SAARC floundered on the rocks of reality, it constituted potentially , one body that could accord some sort of closure to South Asia’s conflicts, issues and related themes. But, alas, the organization is a dead letter whose future will be determined by the ebbs and flows of the gale of hypernationalisms bedeviling South Asia and perhaps even the world, at large.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.