Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | March 6, 2009

South Asia – at the moment

South Asia was never world’s most peaceful and in turn world’s most favourite place. Recent times have made South Asia vulnerable like never before. Governments in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are under immense pressure to ensure a secure life to its people and this does not auger well. People are virtually living in a warzone where nobody knows when death will strike them. It is by no mean ideal when people are expected to be brave in dealing with problems of such magnitude. If one finds his home is safe then he has to worry about his friends and families home which are more susceptible to danger! India for one is such a spread out country where most of our near ones are spread across the length and breadth of the country. I don’t know how Governments would hope to salvage this living under perpetual scare. The looming elections in India can only make matters more concerning. I see myself facing questions from worried people from foreign nations who have visited and enjoyed there or who intend to visit India about India’s sustainability. I feel bad when admirers of our nation cancel their future trips. Having said that, when on one hand I know life would not come to a standstill but I also feel their fear is justified. India’s problems are not just violence from external elements but also internal belligerence on gender, religion and region. I have met some people who have seen either themselves or their families suffer during Holocausts, East European wars, disintegration of their home countries. They don’t tell their stories to show how courageous they were but they tell those stories with extreme grief, as scars are too deep to heal. Situations of insecurity can change human attitude towards life completely. Most of us have read Baghdad Burning, haven’t we?

While we understand that men would someday end up destroying themselves but nobody likes to see it happening in the most unfair way. Erosion of countries and violence are mostly nurtured by corruption and lack of integrity of the people who possess power. Sadly, South Asian regions have enough of that which affects daily lives of people staying there.

I just wish honesty prevails while countries deal with its people. I have faith in India’s democracy but I cannot trust what politicians say especially when I see politicians fighting over a song as they prepare for elections! Our part of the world is surely unique.

PS: This following article on Lalu Prasad Yadav is very interesting to read. In some ways it is very funny actually. The Indian Railway King



  1. I was not aware of Baghdad Burning till I read your post. I was overwhelmed by reading some of it. I will try to procure the book.
    Our family hails from a village called Damodardi in the district of Faridpur in East Bengal, now Bangladesh. This village was lost for us, particularly our parents, for ever with the Partition in 1947, which affected millions of lives in Bengal and Punjab. We were fortunate on two counts : firstly, our family did not have to face violence in the area they lived (that included me too !)and secondly our father was a Doctor in Govt. medical service and could opt for a transfer to Basirhat. We did not have to live on the streets, or railway platforms or in jabar-dakhal ( forcibly occupied) colonies, fighting poverty,hooligans and the police for sheer survival. We were refugees, Bangals, but luckier than most and didnot have to face the insecurites that many had to live with.
    We grew up listening to the stories of our land,our Desh, its rivers, paddy fields and monsoon rains along with stories of its abundance. And of course of Ilish Macch ( Hilsha fish ).Our parents tried to give us the best of education knowing that was the only thing that could get us anywhere in this world, since we had no ‘ connections ‘.
    A comment is becoming a post, so I will rather stop here. But it is the story of a generation, one cannot but reminisce. I love rivers, in fact any water bodies and today I like to think that this love connects me to the ‘desh’ that we, particulary our parents, lost.

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