Kerala Plus Two Political Science Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 5 Contemporary South Asia
The term ‘South Asia’ indicates seven countries. Some of them are given below. Identify the other countries.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka
At present “Ban Ki Moon” is the UN Secretary General. Who was the first UN Secretary General ?
Try to fill the following table by identifying the leader associated with the state.
Hints : Mahendra Rajapakse, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Zia-Uf-Haq, Fakir Uddin Ali Ahammed, Koirala.
a. Fakrudin Ali Ahmed
c. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman
d. Mahindra Rajapakse
The following are connected with South Asia. Try to expand the abbreviations.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation South Asian Free Trade Agreement
Identify the Country.
a) The struggle among pro-monarchy, pro-democracy groups and extremists created an atmosphere of political instability.
b) A landlocked country with multi party competitions.
c) The first country to liberalize its economy to the South Asian region.
d) In the conflict between the military and pro-democracy groups, the military has prevailed over democracy.
e) Centrally located and shares borders with most of the South Asian Countries.
f) Earlier the Island had the Sultan as the head of state. Now, it is a republic.
g) Small savings and credit co-operatives in the rural areas have helped in reducing poverty.
h) A landlocked country with a monarch.
c. Sri Lanka
The South Asian Region has natural boundaries. Identify the four boundaries of South Asian region.
a) North –
b) South –
c) West –
d) East –
Hints: Bay of Bengal, Himalayas, India Ocean and Arabian Sea.
b. Indian Ocean
c. Arabian Sea
d. Bay of Bengal
Which among the following statements about South Asia is wrong?
a)All the countries in South Asia are democratic.
b)Bangladesh and India have signed an agreement on river water sharing.
c) SAFTA was signed at the 12th SAARC summit in . Islamabad.
d) The US and China play an influential role in South Asian politics.
a) All the countries in South Asia are democratic.
Nepal, the closest neighbour of India, is undergoing democratic transition. Identify three challenges to democracy in Nepal.
The three important challenges:
- The monarchy (kingship) there.
- Armed attacks by Maoists.
- Party Disputes – Should there be a Republic or Monarchy with limited powers? The dispute between Maoists and some parties of the SPA which is a 7- party coalition. Their main dispute is: What kind of constitution should Nepal have?
Observe the following statements
1) It was believed that democracy could flourish and find support only in prosperous countries of the world.
2) The people of South Asia prefer democracy over any other form of govt, and think that democracy is suitable for their country.
Evaluate carefully the two statements and express your opinion about the development of democracy in South Asia.
South Asian countries are very different in many things. They do not have the same kind of political system. If we look at the wishes of the people, democracy has extensive support. Even with so many problems, India and Sri Lanka have always followed democracy. India is the largest democracy in the world.In the case of Pakistan and Bangladesh, they have experienced both democracy and military governments. Bangladesh is now a democratic country. After the WW II, there was democracy in
Pakistan under Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sheriff. Then until 1998, Pakistan had military rule. Recently it has come back to democracy under the leadership of Mohammed Gilani. Until 2006, Nepal had monarchy. Through the interference of the people there in 2006 the powers of the king were reduced arid democracy won. Now it has democracy.
In Bhutan and Maldives, changes often happen. Although Bhutan has a king, he has agreed to move into democracy. Until 1968, Maldives was ruled by Sultans. Then there was Presidential rule. In June 2005, multiparty democracy came. After the 2005 election, democracy became strong and opposition parties were legalized.People in all these countries want democracy. A survey was recently conducted in 5 countries of this region and they all opted for democracy. The masses, the poor and even the rich want democracy.
Bangladesh and Pakistan are two South Asian countries having similarities and differences with respect to their democratic experiences. Evaluate the democratic experiences in these countries.
Until 1971, Pakistan and Bangladesh were one country and their experiences were the same. When Pakistan made its first constitution, General Ayub Khan assumed power and through election he became the President. As the people were unhappy, he had to leave office. Again there was military rule under Yahya Khan. It was during his rule that Pakistan faced the Bangladesh crisis. In 1971, after Pakistan’s war with India, Bangladesh was separated and it became an independent country. After the independence of Bangladesh, democracy was restored in Pakistan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became the PM. Democracy continued until 1977 when Bhutto was overthrown by Zia-ul-Haq.
In 1988, under Benazir Bhutto democracy came back. Until 1999, democracy existed in Pakistan under the Pakistan People’s Party. Then there was Muslim league rule under Nawaz Sheriff. Again the military under General Musharaf removed Sheriff and Musharaf became the President. He continued until 2008. In 2008, Sheriff and Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan. During an election rally, Benazir Bhutto
Contemporary World Politics was killed by an extremist. Then a Ministry was formed by a coalition of the Muslim League and PPP. Yusuf Raza Gilani was the PM. Soon they elected Asif Ali Zardari as the President. Now Pakistan has a democratic government.
It is because of the following reasons that Pakistan does not have a stable democracy:
- Interference by the army, priests and landlords in the administration.
- Because of the dispute between India and Pakistan, the Pakistani army acquired great power.
- Lack of international support for the democratic governments often helped the military to come to power.
- America and some other Western countries prefer a military government in Pakistan. They are afraid that democracy there would make Muslim extremism grow and the extremists might get control over the nuclear weapons in the possession of Pakistan. They think military rule is better for the safety of the Western and Southern Asian regions.
Experience of Bangladesh in Democracy:
Until 1971, it was part of Pakistan. During the British rule, Bangladesh was part of Bengal and Assam. Because of the following reasons, they were dissatisfied with West Pakistan:
- Supremacy of West Pakistan and imposing Urdu on them.
- Neglect of Bengali culture and looking at it as inferior. East Pakistan was not given
- proper representation in the administration and politics.
All these things caused Sheikh Mujibur Rehman to lead a protest against Pakistan. His Party was the Awami League. It won all the seats in East Pakistan. It won majority in the whole of Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly, but West Pakistan was not willing to approve it. Mujibur Rehman was arrested. West Pakistan sowed fear in the minds of East Pakistanis. But in 1971, with the help of India, Bangladesh was freed.
Bangladesh accepted a secular, democratic, socialist constitution. In 1975, Mujibur Rehrrian brought Presidential rule. He banned all political parties except the Awami League. This caused many disputes and tensions. As a result the army gained power and Mujibur Rehman was assassinated. Under the new army commander Zia-ur-Rehman a national party was formed, in 1979 that party won the election. But Zia-ur-Rehman was killed. Then military rule came under Lt. General H.M. Ershad. Because of students’ protest, he had to allow some politics. Then he was elected as the President for 5 years. In 1990, because of the opposition of the people, Ershad had to quit office. In 1991, there was election. From then democracy is continuing there in a multi-party system.
Maoists are posing challenges to the functioning of Indian democracy. In Nepal Maoists are trying to dislodge the Monarch and establish democracy. Can you briefly evaluate the democratic development in Nepal?
Earlier, Nepal was a Hindu nation. Later it became a monarchy with a constitution. There people wanted a more independent government. But the King tried to prevent the spread of democracy.In 1990, the King agreed to accept the democratic demands of the people. But the democratic government proved to be short and full of problems. In the 1990s, the Maoists had influence in many parts of the country. They protested against the rule by the king. It ended in clashes between Maoist army and the King’s army.
Then it developed into a triangular fight – King’s soldiers, Maoist soldiers and fighters for democracy. In 2002, the King dismissed the Parliament. Thus even controlled democracy ended there.In 2006, the democratic protest became very strong, in the protest there was the 7-party coalition, Maoists and social workers. The King was forced to recall the Parliament which he had dismissed in 2002. Recently the democratic protests against monarchy proved fruitful. Now Nepal is a secular Country. Democracy is getting strong there. Maoists have stopped their armed struggle.
India and Pakistan are considered as traditional enemies since 1947 itself. There are so many areas of conflict between the two countries. Identify the major areas of conflicts between India and Pakistan
The following are the major areas of conflict:
- Following the division, the first dispute was regarding Kashmir. Pakistan claimed Kashmir to be theirs. Even with the 1947-48 and 1965 wars, this problem could not be solved.
- Another problem is about the control of the Siachin sector and about the armament race. Since 1990, both the countries have stockpiled nuclear weapons and missiles.
- India accuses Pakistan of aiding Kashmiri extremists by giving them weapons. They also give money, training, and security to these terrorists. The Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) makes anti-Indian propaganda in the North Eastern regions of India. They also make anti-Indian propaganda secretly through Bangladesh and Nepal. Pakistan accuses India of giving help to the insurgents in Sindh and Baluchistan.
- Until 1960, there were also disputes between India and Pakistan regarding the sharing of river waters. In 1960 with the help of the World Bank both countries signed the Indus Waters Treaty. It is in force even now.
- There is one more thing about which the two countries have not reached an agreement – Sir Creak in the Rann of Kutch.
The South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation. Through multilateral means the SAARC members signed the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), which promised the formation of a free trade zone for the whole South Asia. But this was not a success. Identify the difficulties in implementing SAFTA.
The idea of SAFTA was that peace and cooperation will flourish if there are cross-the-border trade and commerce. Although the Agreement was signed in 2004, it came into force only in 2006. SAFTA tried to reduce the commercial tax rate up to 20% in 2007. Bur many neighbouring countries thought that through SAFTA India was trying to penetrate their markets and spread its influence into their politics and social life. But India thinks SAFTA will benefit all economically and they also will get cooperation in all the political issues.
During May 2009 Srilankan govt, succeeded in controlling the ethnic crisis that threatened their country by assassinating Veluppilla Prabhakaran. Examine how farthe ethnic problems affected the democratic functioning in Srilanka.
The civil war that was going on in Sri Lanka ended with the killing of Veluppilla Prabhakaran and some other LTTE leaders. All this time democracy was functioning there. After independence, it was the Sinhala community that had the upper hand in Sri Lanka. They were not sympathetic towards the Tamils who actually migrated from India long ago. The Sinhala nationalists were against giving any concessions to the Tamils there. In their view Sri Lanka is the motherland only for them.
It was this enmity that forced the Tamils to rise in revolt against the Sinhalese. The Tamils organised the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eazham). From 1983, the LTTE began armed struggle against the Sinhalese. This racial problem became a headache to India as well. The Tamil people of India exerted great pressure on the Central Government to help the Tamils in Sri Lanka. In 1987 India signed an agreement with Sri Lanka. According to that there should be cordial relations between the Tamils and the Sri Lankan government. But the Indian government had to fight against LTTE. Sri Lanka thought India was interfering in its internal affairs. In 1989, the Indian Peace Keeping Force had to come back to India without achieving any result.
Sri Lankan problem became very violent. Scandinavian countries like Norway and Iceland tried to bring peace, but they failed. In May 2009, the Sri Lankan army attacked the LTTE army and killed Veluppilla Prabhakaran and his associates. In spite of all these internal problems, Sri Lanka was making economic progress. It reduced its population and brought economic liberalization. Their per capita income increased. Afterthe CivilWar, the Sri Lankan . Government announced that they would protect their Tamil population. The world hopes that democracy will further strengthen in Sri Lanka.
Analyse briefly about the formation and objectives of ‘ SAARC.
SAARC officially came into existence in December 1985. 7 countries of South Asia are its members.
They are Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Maldives;.Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This organization was formed with the intention of ensuring cooperation in the spheres of agriculture, rural development, science and technology, culture, health and population control. .
Main Objectives Of Saarc:
- Ensuring the well-being of the South Asians.
- Quicken the economic, social and cultural growth
- Make collective efforts to make the regions selfsufficient.
- Mutual help in various areas.
- Mutual cooperation.
- Work in collaboration with international and regional organizations.
In which year India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests. .
Mention two areas each of co-operation and disagreement between India and Bangladesh.
A. In two areas there is cooperation between India and Bangladesh.
- On 19 June 1999, to strengthen bilateral relations,
bus service from Calcutta to Dhaka was started. This helped to improve relations.
- On 12 December 1996, an agreement was reached between the two countries regarding the sharing of river waters.
B.. There are two areas where disputes exist between India and Bangladesh.
- The dispute over the sharing of the Ganga Brahmaputra river waters has not yet been solved:
- A major dispute between India and Pakistan was about the Teen Bigha Corridor. This problem has remained even after Bangladesh became independent from Pakistan.
List three challenges to democracy in Nepal.
- The King and the army
- Maoists try to sabotage the democratic process.
- Nepal has not been able to form a constitution,