South Asia needs economic growth with a humanitarian approach to development
The book is divided into several sections like; social and economic development, governance and human rights, media and literature, gender and development
“Development, Governance, and Gender in South Asia – Perspectives, Issues, and Challenges” is a new book on the shelf that may be of interest to those wishing to understand the contemporary realities of the South Asian region.
It is edited by Professor Anisur Rahman, Director, UGC-Human Resource Development Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and Niharika Tiwari, Assistant Professor Department of Political Science, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Government PG College Saidabad, Uttar Pradesh.
The book offers a novel, multidisciplinary and holistic approach to understanding trends and issues in governance, human development and regional cooperation in South Asia.
The book attempts to identify the factors and patterns underlying the region’s persistent poor performance in good governance and human development indicators. It also provides country-specific and intra-country variations within the region with explanations and interpretations.
This book embroiders some of the underlying debates, related to governance, human rights, human development, human security, regional cooperation, media literature and gender.
There is a series of research papers in the book on topics that have been analyzed by policy makers and civil society movements. Some topics deal with problems of narrative conveyed by political decision-makers and state authorities contrary to the realities on the ground.
The deconstructive and post-modernist approach is used in this book to analyze the socio-political and economic development of South Asia. This is treated with an objective analysis of concepts such as development and its impact on gender, ethnicity and religion.
The first part of the book deals with the conceptual and theoretical perspective for understanding the trajectories of social and economic development in South Asia. The second part deals with the dynamics and the balance between governance and human rights. The third emphasizes the importance of media literacy and its changing dynamics in the South Asian region. The fourth part deals with gender and its changing scenario in the South Asian context.
The book is divided into several sections like; social and economic development, governance and human rights, media and literature, gender and development. Each section has a number of chapters under its title. The section on social and economic development includes chapters such as “Analyzing the State of Human Development in South Asia”, “Repositioning South Asian States: Strengthening Human Development”, “Debt, Deficit and Economic Growth in South Asia: A Comparative Analysis”, “Promoting South Asian Migration to the Gulf Region: Reducing Poverty and Inequality as a Strategy”, “Skills for Employability and Development in South Asia: A Comparative Analysis “.
The section on governance and human rights includes chapters on ‘Governance and Capacity – Contemporary Issues for Citizens and Governments’, ‘Shrinking Minority Space in South Asia: A Comparative Study of India and Pakistan”, “Good Governance and Human Rights: A South Asian Perspective”, “Nuclear Weapons and Regional Cooperation in South Asia”, “Corporate Governance in South Asian Countries : an overview “.
The section on media and literature contains chapters on “The Role of Media in Conflict Management: A Case Study of the 2016 Unrest in Kashmir”, “Narratives of Development in South Asia: A Case Study on the written press”. In this literature section, there are chapters on “Urdu historiography – a field of Urdu literature in South Asia”, “the contribution of Nepalese literature to the construction of the ‘New Nepal'” and “the representation of literature through the media: a comparative study of the work of Bapsi Sidhwa”. “Ice Candy Man” and “Earth” by Deepa Mehta. ‘
In the Gender and Development section, there are chapters like “Gender Demonology: Women as Witches,” “Masculinization” of Women: Strategic De/Reconstruction of Gender in Fiction by South Asian Women Writers, “The ‘Third space” from Feminist Sensitivity in South Asian Diaspora Literature”, “Sharing Destiny: Political Representation of Women in India from the South Asian Perspective”.
The editors have assembled an excellent group of writers on various themes. The Social and Economic Development section has contributions from Niharika Tiwari, DK Giri, Md Nizamuddin, Anisur Rahman, Aarti Srivastava and Anjali Taneja.
The Governance and Human Rights section has contributions from RFI Smith, Abdulrahim P. Vijapur, Qazi Mohammed Usman, BL Meena and Syeda Sumaya Mehdi.
The section on media and literature has contributions from Syeda Afshana and Heeba Din, Vijay Kumar Soni and Sadananda Sahoo, Alain Désoulières, Ramji Timalsina and Sadaf Fareed.
The gender and development section has contributions from Farhat Nasreen, Afrinul Haque Khan, Shabina Nishat Omar and Nabila Sadiq.
The chapters of this book extensively cover almost all relevant issues in South Asia. The state, civil society, social movements, various forms of media and their role in shaping, as well as deconstructing the structure of power, are discussed in this book. The book provides unique perspectives, economic growth trajectories, and ongoing socio-political changes in the South Asian region.
Overall, the book is an attempt to explore the South Asian region with all its vicissitudes. The academic narrative that emerges quite clearly from this book is the need for regional cooperation which is essential for the growth and development of the region.
The message that emerges from this book is to focus on two things; the first is economic growth and the second is development with a humanitarian approach. The book’s prescription is that both are only possible when the region is able to develop people-centred institutions of governance.
[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist and scholar. He has taken Ph.D. from South Asia Division SIS/ JNU. He has a book entitled; ‘Soundings n South Asia’ (2005) by Sterling publisher, New Delhi. He can be contacted at [email protected]]
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