You are here

States in Conflict with Their Minorities

States in Conflict with Their Minorities
Challenges to Minority Rights in South Asia

First Edition
Edited by:
  • Rita Manchanda - Research Director, South Asia Forum for Human Rights, Delhi

June 2010 | 336 pages | SAGE India

Going beyond the mere mapping of the minority situation in South Asia, the essays in this volume explore the modern minority problematique in a democracy as integral to modern state-making processes, recognizing Nation and State as majoritarian concepts. Focusing on the South Asian context, they emphasize minority as a political category. Further, they move away from isolated national frames and explore the minority question as a foreign policy question.

These second generation studies by authors who have defined the scholarly discourse on minority rights in the region invite comparative analyses and point towards the necessity of addressing the minority question regionally. The book reveals the limits of the strategy of political liberalism in delivering equality and justice to minority groups. But it also points to a positive shift in the politics of some of the minority communities—a moving away from the politics of difference towards a politics centered on egalitarian claims, and common issues of democratic governance. Some essays examine specific trends of minorities' rights in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, while others take a more general account of the intellectual trends of minority constitution, the development of the minority discourse and the accommodation of social, political, economic and legal aspects of this section of the population. The book encompasses issues such as stereotyping of minorities, state induced politics of polarization, development of an economy of collusion and co-operation, institutions enabling greater inclusion, etc.

The book will be extremely valuable to policy-makers, NGOs, human rights activists and students of political science, sociology and international relations.

Rita Manchanda
Violence, Cultural Diversities and the Fantasies of a Monolithic Nation-State

Ashis Nandy
A Long- Term View of Contemporary Muslim Situation in India

Javeed Alam
Media, Modernity and Minorities

Sukumar Muralidharan
Hindus in a Polarised Political Environment: Bangladesh's minority

Afsan Chowdhury
Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh: Justice denied

Amena Mohsin
Discrimination in Pakistan against Religious Minorities: Constitutional aspects

Shahla Zia
Religious Minorities in Pakistan: Mapping Sind & Baluchistan

Ishtiaq Hussain
Strangers in the House: Minorities in Pakistani textbooks

Rubina Saigol
Sri Lanka: Recent shifts in the minority rights debate

Jayadeva Uyangoda
Muslims in Sri Lanka: Political choices of a minority

Farzana Haniffa
Inclusion and Accountability in a 'New' Democratic Nepal

Mahendra Lawoti

The book describes South Asia as a land of minorities, indicating towards a peculiar observation that the majority in one country happens to be the minority in the other. It points to the fact that pluralism has been the intrinsic characteristic of all South Asia states…The book goes beyond just a mapping of minority situation in South Asia, and identifies the modern minority problematique in processes of state formation, nation building and practice of liberal democracy… The book is definitely a positive addition to the existing knowledge and scholarship…It develops a cross-country perspective to minority rights, and constructs the minority in contradistinction to the nation and state.

Social Change

The book is a collection of very readable pieces written with compassion for peoples on the margins. It may be recommended for all students of South Asian politics and minority/ethnic affairs.

The Book Review

Rita Manchanda

Rita Manchanda is an established writer, scholar-researcher, and human rights activist specializing in conflicts and peace-building in South Asia with particular attention to vulnerable and marginalized groups, that is, women, minorities, indigenous peoples, and forcibly displaced persons.Professor Manchanda has over 15 years of experience as a Senior Executive and Research Director with the regional NGO “South Asia Forum for Human Rights” (SAFHR), directing and coordinating a diverse portfolio of programs, including “Human Rights Audits of Peace Processes,” “Women, Conflict, and Peace,” “Media in... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9788132104551