P48. Politics of South Asia

Session: Session 7, 3:45-5:15 pm, Saturday 9/30

Category: Individual Papers

Location: Excellence

Chair: Hasina Fnu (Quaid -i- Azam University, Islamabad)

Paper Presenters: Anindita Ghosh, Jayabrata Sarkar (Deshbandhu College, New Delhi), Md Abdur Razzak (United International University)

Plebiscites and the Princely States of South Asia

Speaker: Anindita Ghosh
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: University of Ilinois Chicago
Abstract: Between 1947 and 1955, more than 500 princely states of South Asia merged into India and Pakistan. Most of them were promised a plebiscite- a choice to be an independent political unit or a state/ union territory of one of the two newly formed nations in South Asia.  However, most of them did not undergo a plebiscite. They were merged into India under the supervision of the Princely State Reorganization Committee that suspended the right to plebiscites on many occasions. The absence of plebiscites in many former princely states are sites of various unrest and people’s movement against the nation.  As an extension of my doctoral project that looks at the absorption of the eastern princely states of South Asia into India and Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) I will focus on the absorption of the princely state of Cooch Behar into India in 1950 for the purposes of this paper. While the population of the princely state of Cooch Behar was promised a plebiscite to determine the popular will to join (East) Pakistan or India, the Princely State Reorganization Committee declared Cooch Behar as a part of India on 12th January 1950. Through a study of the history of Cooch Behar’s absorption, my paper will explore the demand and dismissal of plebiscites in the princely states as they became a part of India or Pakistan. I will also establish connections with the consequent insurgencies and people’s movement in these regions contributing and the history of absent plebiscites.

Aam Aadmi Party: Debating Public Outcomes and Empowerment Politics

Speaker: Jayabrata Sarkar
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: Deshbandhu College, New Delhi, India
Abstract: The political roots of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lie in the ‘India Against Corruption’ (IAC) movement which mobilized street protests against the scam-ridden Congress Party led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition regime in Delhi NCT. Between April and November 2011 the movement spread from its political center in Delhi to major Indian cities. Under the leadership of noted social activist Anna Hazare, a group of civil society protestors spearheaded by Arvind Kejriwal built political pressure on the UPA government to adopt a ‘Peoples Ombudsman Bill’ drafted by the IAC. However, by early 2012 the IAC lost momentum, frustrated by the efforts of political parties to stall the passage of the bill in parliament. In November 2012 Kejriwal formed the AAP.  Abstract Based on an ambiguous notion of people’s sovereignty, this paper seeks to explore the inverse relationship between AAP’s efforts to develop a non-structural cleavage civic-electoral politics centered on the issue of corruption and traditional party mainstreamism that advocate identity politics reflected in ethnic (structural) cleavages that aggravate antagonistic polarizing ideologies and bitter political conflicts. A set of questions will further probe, one, whether AAP’s predicament of prioritizing service delivery of basic goods over construction of democratic culture in the public sphere has divested the party of a political engagement with transformational politics. Two, to explore the possible advocacy of ideology-democracy linkage that could evaluate vantage positions of the party, identify long-term socio-political goals and question the current predicament in society and how may they be normatively resolved.

ChIndia’s DeveCracy and World order 2030

Speaker: Md Abdur Razzak
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: United International University (UIU)
Abstract: China and India are the two credible giant fish in Asia. Velocity of tremendous economic development called them Chindia  (China and India together) (Paul & Mas, 2016). Chinese rapid economic development and Indian stable democracy are the iconic example to the globe from the last decade. As a result global scholars predicted that the joint orchestra of Chinese “Development” foot step and Indian “Democracy” rhythm jointly as a new phenomena “DeveCracy” (Chinese Development and Indian Democracy together) is vital to change the global order after 2030. Considering content analysis and a survey (n-300) of think tanks, policy makers and relevant political specialists, the study will investigates about the joint Chinese and Indian effort specifically the arena of development and democracy to reshape the global superpower factor. The study will also establish how India and China could rules the globe by selling their great image of development and democracy world wide.