Author: Ross Mallick
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170366828
South Asia is today facing seemingly intractable problems of uneven development, ethnic conflict and human rights violations. This book focuses specifically on the problem of security minority rights in societies which are characterized by in egalitarian cultural values and highly skewed economic distribution.
The diverse pressures from impoverished and marginalized groups on South Asian states has frequently led to a resort to coercion where human rights are routinely violated. As a result, South Asian governments are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a semblance of democracy while preserving the integrity of their respective nations. It is this dilemma-of achieving equitable development in a climate of ethnic conflict and repression-which this book addresses.
Ross Mallick focuses specifically on the problems of securing minority rights in societies which are characterized by inegalitarian cultural values and highly skewed economic distribution. The affirmation of human rights for subordinate ethnic groups is illustrated through selected case studies. These include scheduled Castes and tribes in India, minorities in Bangladesh, and ethnic conflicts in Sri Lank and Pakistan. Discriminatory government policies in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lank against minorities are contrasted with the problems of affirmative action in India which have exacerbated tensions while failing to prevent the marginalization of subordinate groups. In this context, the issues of rural decentralization, desegregation and human rights violations by the state are specifically examined.
The author maintains that the violation of human rights in the region can be largely attributed to the dominance of Westernized elites who control the state apparatus. Indeed, he argues that there is a tacit collusion between national elites (including scholars), NGOs and international agencies in neglecting human rights issues on the subcontinent. Ross Mallick concludes that the very survival of democracy in south Asia will depend on how the dominant elite groups accommodate the needs and aspirations of the deprived and marginalized groups.
Dealing with contemporary issues affecting South Asia and challenging the dominant discourse, this book will provoke a lively debate. It will be of interest to those involved with ethnic issues, human rights, and development, as also with the politics and sociology of South Asia.
List of Tables
Culture and Development
The State Development Impasse
Decentralization and Rural Development
Foreign Aid for Conflict Development in Sri Lank
Pakistan: Bound to Fail?
Minorities in Bangladesh
Human Rights in South Asian Scholarship
Imagining South Asia
The New World Order
About the Author