Right from the Himalayan hermit kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan to the island and archipelago countries of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the sheer variety of South Asia not only in geographic terms, but also in terms of culture, language and tradition is unparalleled. A wide array of religious beliefs existing in the region alongside distinctive mind-sets, tend to differentiate the countries that make up South Asia. The divisions however, of the region among countries are not the same as the divisions among cultures/religions.
This book titled: Transforming South Asia: Imperatives for Action is the outcome of serious deliberations among well-known scholars, diplomats and policymakers at the Third Conference of the Asian Relations Conference Series organized by Indian Council of World Affairs in collaboration with Association of Asia Scholars in March 2012. Papers presented in the conference were thoroughly revised before publication and editors acknowledge with gratitude these insightful contributions.
Most contributors to this volume believe in the pertinence of regional integration amongst various South Asian nations. Specifically, the volume sheds considerable light on the issue of regionalization and co-operation as tools to achieve the much longed for transformation in South Asia. Experts do not shy away from examining issues of conflict and how border disputes have often marred the positive spirit of regionalization as also other mechanisms of SAARC in its day-to-day functioning. Therefore an effort to present the complex reality objectively is visible. Contributors also underscore India’s role in regionalization of South Asia as being far more pragmatic since it has strengthened local synergies, especially at the level of their civil societies.
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