4 state analysis, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, book,

4 South Asians smouldering and fraying

Book Name:
Internal Conflicts: A Four State Analysis ( India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar )
V.R. Raghavan

The four South Asian states, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar have a collective population of 1690 million.  India shares its borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar while the Sri Lankan peninsula is separated by the Palk Strait from India and does not directly share a land border with India or any other country in the region. The four countries are facing internal political unrest and armed conflicts for a long time. 

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4 South Asians smouldering and fraying

1. The first chapter is about Kashmir which has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan since their independence.  The late renowned Indian journalist, B. G Verghese, describes the issue of Kashmir mainly from the Indian perspective. 

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2. Rekha Chowdhray’s multiple identity politics in the state of Jammu and Kashmir elaborate on the point that the 1980s armed militancy in the Kashmir valley was an inner reaction to the changing Indian politics of that age which are mainly nationalistic forcing and claiming more space for them in the then Indian political spectrum.

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4 South Asians smouldering and fraying

3. The eight northeast Indian states have been constantly at war with New Delhi since the 1950s. Mainly these states were demanding tribal, ethnic, economic and political safeguards for themselves through armed insurgencies but later many of them signed peace and ceasefire agreements with the Indian government and now turning more towards local politics, economic uplift and problem resolutions.

4. The post-pacification period of these northeast Indian states and pledges solemnized by both sides have been discussed in the fifth chapter. 

5. Nepal has always been an idyllic Hindu monarchy revered by the Indian Hindus. With a major Hindu population, other Nepali minorities are now turning more towards their identity politics. Since the 1990s Janajatis, Dalits, Madhesis and Nepali women have been asserting their presence in the political scene of the country.  Hence, changing and replacing the rigid socio-political landscape of Nepal. 

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6. The Democracy in Nepal has three phases of its evolution and development. The short-lived multiparty democratic system of 1951, the transitory period of democracy in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s when there was a worldwide clamour for democracy and democratic setups, the new fledgling and nascent phase of Nepali democracy after the civil war and peace agreement.

7.  Tamil majority areas in Sri Lanka are still heavily guarded and lookout by the government and military even though the civil war officially ended in 2009.  There is no love lost between the majority Buddhist Sinhalese and the minority Hindu Tamils. Tamils are still viewed with suspicion and mistrust for this 26-year civil war. 

8. The routing out of LTTE by the Sri Lankan army physically and militarily finished it but the danger of another more deadly war is not fully routed out. The phenomenon of an independent Tamil homeland may still be a glorified ideal for the Tamil population of both Sri Lanka and India and also for the Tamil diaspora.

In this situation, the only solution to the Sri Lankan case lies with the full, sincere, and all-inclusive co-option of the Tamils by the government in the political, economic and social spheres of life.

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4 South Asians smouldering and fraying

9. Myanmar or Burma has been at war internally since its independence from Britain in 1948. It is reported that at least 10 Burmese states or regions are in the armed conflicts and insurgencies against the government at capital, Nay Py Taw.

284-page book edited by Lt-Gen (R) V. R. Raghavan with expert essays from the field is a good read-through to know South Asia and its internal conflicts from an Indian viewpoint. 

4 South Asians smouldering and fraying

I am,

Murtaza Kaleem an educator, freelance writer, movie-watcher, melodious music listener and an avid reader about International Relations and World Politics with a decade long experience of education and teaching to students of different sociological and economic backgrounds. My social links are;


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