By Ayesha Jalal
Tough the view shared colonial legacy resulted in contrasting styles of political improvement in South Asia--democracy in India and authoritarianism in Pakistan and Bangladesh--Ayesha Jalal argues that, regardless of ameliorations in shape, imperative political authority in every one nation has faced related threats from ethnic and nearby hobbies. by way of evaluating country constructions and political techniques, the writer evaluates and redefines democracy, citizenship, sovereignty and the kingdom kingdom, arguing for extra decentralized executive.
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Additional resources for Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia: A Comparative and Historical Perspective (Contemporary South Asia)
It would require considerable administrative and political effort before the freshly demarcated frontiers could be made to reflect two wholly independent sovereignties in the subcontinent. Before that could happen a way had to be found to dismantle some key features of the colonial administrative structure, in particular those which had served to integrate the rest of India with the north-western and north-eastern extremities of the subcontinent. The administrative legacy In the closing months of the British raj in India, the twin dialectics of centralism and regionalism, and nationalism and communalism converged in complex ways, tearing apart the unity but retaining the substance of the very centralized administrative structure which had extended the colonial state's hold over Indian society.
The need for a new election to the constituent assembly was summarily dispensed with on pragmatic grounds. The central assembly elected in 1945-6 on an indirect basis served as the constitution-making body. Partition increased the share of Congress's seats in the assembly from a formidable 69 per cent to an overpowering 82 per cent. Yet it was not simply the Congress's commanding majority which determined the pace and the direction of constitution-making. Congress's inheritance of the centralized state apparatus of the raj facilitated its task of shaping independent India's constitution.
A definition of the Indian nation fashioned on ideas of territoriality found in ancient Hindu texts and popular mythology was not seen to compromise Congress's secularism. Presaging Gandhi's political philosophy in the twentieth century, Bipin Chandra Pal by no means the most strident proponent of a religiously or racially based nationalism - had nevertheless argued forcefully along with many others that Hinduism was not simply a religion but an all-encompassing social system subsuming the diverse peoples and cultures inhabiting the geographical space that was India.
Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia: A Comparative and Historical Perspective (Contemporary South Asia) by Ayesha Jalal