Discussants in the People’s SAARC seminar today laid emphasis on
increasing democratization of state to invigorate the development of a secularism at all levels to combat the growth of religious extremism in the society.
They also laid emphasis on creating a SAARC parliamentarian forum to bring the legislators all countries together to envision a common future of the region.
They said the situation in the South Asian countries are only deteriorating with
large number of people joining hands to violence and extremism from being devastated in socio-political life run by the national elite.
Income inequality, control of economic resources by the rich and the rise of corporate interest dominating the state institutions are only adding new tensions destabilizing the nations. Greedy politicians are only exploiting the situation to perpetuate
It explains why there is war in Afghanistan and Pakistan which is now taking the form
of Balkanization to sweep over the entire region and even Indian may not be spared from its devastating impacts at the end.
Former Indian Naval Chief M Ramdas said the world saw the trading of US$ 1200 billions worth of armament last year and 30 percent of it went to India followed by 14-15 percent purchase made by Pakistan.
So the region must try to keep out of external influence to allow destabilization taking place from outside sources. But it should try at the same time to keep the domestic forces keeping the balancing role to bring prosperity and growth to the door step of the poor and marginalized people.
Discussants also laid emphasis on remodeling the education system to induce the spirit of democracy and secularism in school test books so that the madrasa education and its impacts on younger mindset can be marginalized.
New Age editor Nurul Kabir said secularism along with an equitable distribution of wealth and income in the society can provide the basis of a sustainable state. The time for nation based is over, he said pointing out democratic tolerance and pluralism can only satisfy the need of the nation state. It may also provide the basis of a South Asian union,
Some discussants underscored that tribal people’s rights in the state should have the constitutional guarantee so that majority in a society can not exploit their situation to force them taking extremist stands.
They said state should become people centric to support all its citizen and this can
only safeguard peace and stability in all SAARC countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and others, they said.
Kamal Chenoy, Hsasil Bejonjo, Bishunu Shrestha
Mohd Latheef, Lalitha Ramdas, Keramat Ali and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Netra Timsina, Najma Sadeq, among others spoke on the occasion.
The discussions today were centered on conflicts, ethnic diversity and climate change issues.
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