Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia: A Comparative by Ayesha Jalal

By Ayesha Jalal

Tough the view shared colonial legacy ended 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, valuable political authority in every one kingdom has faced comparable threats from ethnic and local routine. through evaluating nation buildings and political tactics, the writer evaluates and redefines democracy, citizenship, sovereignty and the kingdom kingdom, arguing for extra decentralized govt.

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Extra resources for Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia: A Comparative and Historical Perspective (Contemporary South Asia)

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Pakistan's north-western provinces, where officials often tended to exercise larger discretionary powers than their counterparts in many British Indian provinces, provided an even more attractive canvas than princely India. With a centrally appointed official combining revenue, executive and magisterial and judicial functions in the districts, there was considerable scope for bureaucratic control and administrative centralization in West Pakistan. So although both states went through a greater measure of administrative centralization than undivided India, the absence of a central state apparatus gave added impetus to that process in Pakistan.

Once the princes had acceded on this basis to the union it was time for the switch: the instruments of accession were gradually amended to give the union centre increasing sway over the states. Adjusting the constitutional relationship between the centre and the princely rulers was relatively simple compared with the problems of coordinating the affairs of state administrations at vastly different levels of development. Under the watchful eye of the states' ministry, whose powers were greatly extended for the purpose, an elaborate process of administrative integration was carried out within a short period of time.

Informal promises and gentle arm twisting by the central high command ensured that provincial bosses accepted a strong union centre capable of stamping out the disorders accompanying partition and undertaking a range of social and economic reforms. As Patel emphatically stated: 'the first requirement of any progressive country is internal and external security... ' 2 Giving short shrift to Gandhian ideas of self-governing village republics, other than a purely cosmetic gesture to panchayati raj, the constitution-makers opted for a strong central government of the parliamentary form.

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