In a prolonged crisis, extra ordinary effort is required to get past the troubles. It is in the nature of such crisis that no sooner it appears that things are getting better, there is a relapse into chaos; a sort of breakdown. Here comes a relief , the dangers seem to move away, and suddenly things slip into the same abyss of hopelessness.
Long standing conflicts world over have exhibited this feature, till the time some formidable leadership, with a radical shift in thinking and policy, saved the people caught in that conflict warp. South Asia, unfortunately, is this time facing a serious deficit of leadership and absence of ideas on this count.
There are layered conflicts that smudge the otherwise beautiful face of this land. But there is hardly any willingness in the political and cultural leaders to get past this situation by cultivating some new ideas, and working with a renewed wisdom. Border tensions, communal polarisation, disputed claims of sovereignty, historical battles, and much more.
The worst part of it is that these differences are getting, one way or the other, mixed up with the larger contest for power in the international politics. The rise of new powers, the reemergence of the weakened powers, and the refusal of the long existing superpower to yield – all this is making South Asia a dangerous place to live. The only, and the most scary, question that hits each conscientious soul in such a situation is: what is the future holding for us.
The answers are not very encouraging. There is a reason to feel depressed. In all the countries in this region the politics is nosediving into crisis. Different, and dangerous, assertions in the realm of culture, history and geography are badly affecting the contours of domestic politics, and foreign policy.
In this situation the existing relationships between the peoples of South Asia are coming under strain and this doesn’t augur well for us. What can save us in such a situation is a leadership that has the capacity to rise above the narrow confines of a parochial politics.
Another equally important, if not more, is the production of fresh ideas. The right thinking people of this region are under an obligation to apply minds and come up with relevant ideas that can pave way for resolving the existing problems in this region.