Fluid South Asia

Fluid South Asia
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It goes without saying that the world, its politics and economics, is in the midst of great churn and fluidity contemporarily. Be it Donald Trump’s attempts to upend the rules based world order, the trade wars initiated by him, the gale of populism and insalubrious politics thereof in many parts of the world, and the concomitant and cumulative effects of these on the global economy, all point out to a world in flux and fluidity. In this schemata or more accurately scenario, South Asia is no different. The region’s politics, economics and even culture lies also in the domain of flux and churn. The latest in the saga has been the electoral success of Imran Khan in Pakistan and the very distinct possibility of the ace sports star turned politician to become the Prime Minister of the country. Broadly speaking, it appears that Pakistan is in consolidation mode and phase with Khan’s election suggestive of this. Khan, an outlier to Pakistan’s politics, has now assumed centre stage. In terms of South Asia and the constituents of this unit, India goes to polls soon. With Pakistan and India constituting the core South Asia, it is but natural that the policies and politics of these would determine the nature and thrust of the region’s politics , economics and thereby the comprehensive welfare of its people. Again, it goes without saying that the region’s immense potential and promise has been held back by the multiple conflicts and the politics of hostility thereof that have held the region in its thrall. While most parts of the world, excluding Sub Saharan Africa and some other conflict ones, surged ahead, post colonial South Asia’s potential remained rather unfulfilled. The reasons for this hold back are mostly self inflicted. But, this does not and should not mean that South Asia’s promise and promise should be prisoner to the past or of a politics that lend to this condition. The region can reach efflorescence and fulfill its natural potential if statesmanship is elevated to such a pedestal that it overwhelms and overcrowds politics and politicking. Generally speaking, the world is adrift. This global condition, however, constitutes an opportunity for South Asia to insert itself into the sinews of history and historical progress, whose nature redounds to the benefit and welfare of the peoples constituting its firmament. For this to happen, the core constituents of South Asia must rise to the occasion , imbibe prudent statecraft into their calculus , and help South Asia become a beacon of peace and prosperity, that cuts across regions and generations.

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