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December 20th, 2017

2017 in review: Top articles on politics

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Editor

December 20th, 2017

2017 in review: Top articles on politics

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

As always, this year too witnessed some dramatic political developments in South Asia. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned, Nepal held historic local elections, India witnessed divisive sectarian politics as well as an increase in hate crimes against muslims, and there was renewed interest in Afghanistan after US announced its South Asia policy. Here’s what was best on politics on South Asia @ LSE.

Sri Lanka has made progress but faces formidable challenges in 2017

0775d16Chandra R. de Silva reviews the achievements of Sri Lanka’s new regime led by President Maitripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2016. He also assesses the challenges that lie ahead in 2017, as political divisions are likely to intensify over local and regional government elections, and foreign loans and inefficient state enterprises could disrupt the country’s positive economic outlook.

Breaking the silence: Returning to local elections in Nepal 

It has been 20 years since local elections were held in Nepal, and as a result a whole generation of young people have been deprived of their right to exercise their citizenship in this context. In this article, Thaneshwar Bhusal welcomes the government’s recent announcement that local elections will be held in May, while also outlining key challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Local government and Pakistan’s reluctant political elite 

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan made provisions for substantial devolution of power to provincial and local government. However, Asmat Kakar writes that provinces have been slow to establish local institutions, dragging their heels on holding elections and on handing over the necessary funds and power for the new bodies to function effectively. He makes suggestions as to the steps which need to be taken to strengthen democracy in Pakistan.

Lingayat agitation is stirring up a hornet’s nest of religious fundamentalism 

The Lingayats have demanded that they be recognised as an independent religion and a minority.  Manu V. Devadevan traces the the history of the Lingayats and concludes that engaging in such parochial politics, involving the mobilisation and radicalisation of a sixth of the Karnataka’s population, is dangerous.

A murder is a murder, whatever the context

The death of Junaid Khan at the hands of a mob sparked rallies, followed by widespread criticism of the protesters. Maitreesh Ghatak writes that the danger of dismissing reactions against mob violence is that it  perpetuates the view that everything is partisan political fight and references to human rights are just ruses to gain an advantage. He argues that while it is useful to question and understand the context of any incident, we should separate that from the issue of justice and recognise that no violent act is justified.

Afghanistan: Will we ever find peace?

On August 21st, US President Donald Trump outlined his long awaited strategy for ending conflict in Afghanistan. Sayed Jalal Shajjan questions the civilian cost of this approach, and whether Afghanistan will ever find peace.

 

 

You can catch up with South Asia @ LSE’s Politics articles via the archives here.

Cover image credit: Matthew CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Note: This article gives the views of the authors, and not the position of the South Asia @ LSE blog, nor of the London School of Economics. Please read our comments policy before posting.

 

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