ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ethnic Conflict in South Asia

Asghar Ali Engineer State, Nation and Ethnicity in South Asia by Ishtiaq Ahmed; Pinter, London and New York, 1996; pp 326, price not stated. THE whole of south Asia is facing the acute challenge of ethnic trouble, be it Sri Lanka, India. Pakistan, Bangladesh or Bhutan. The process of nation-building is proving to be a most challenging one. Specially so as the former colonial masters had drawn arbitrary boundaries and building cohesive nations within them is no easy task. From hindsight it can be said that it was perhaps easier to get freedom from western imperialism and much more difficult to build nations out of what it left behind. When we were fighting against the British we were united but differences cropped up once they left and the process of nation-building started. Of course communal differences had cropped up before independence itself resulting in the vivisection of the country, but ethnic differences emerged only later.

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