Gopal Krishna Gandhi warns, 'Violence may elbow out South Asia's democratic leadership'

Gopal Krishna Gandhi

Violence may replace the conventional democratic leadership in South Asia as politicians in the region were losing credibility and faith of the people, former governor of West Bengal and scholar Gopal Krishna Gandhi warned today.

Gandhi, speaking at a symposium "Leadership in South Asia" here, warned of "emerging culture of violence in politics of South Asia in the absence of visionary and honest leadership".

"The political leadership has the challenge of the country being driven towards violence and anarchy in the absence of true visionary leaders", the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, said.

"As the politicians of the region are losing credibility and faith of the people there is the danger of violence to replace the conventional democratic leadership," he said at the symposium organised by Himal South Asia magazine.

"Although South Asia has numerous leaders who have family legacy in politics, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru are the self-made leaders," Gandhi said.

"(Mahatma) Gandhi became world leader on his own and he does not have any family legacy whereas Nehru, though being the son of Motilal Nehru, is also a self-made leader," he said.

Gandhi also compared India's top socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan with first elected Prime Minister of Nepal B P Koirala.

He also cautioned about the rising urbanised armed violence in South Asia as politicians have failed to lead the country.

"We need both political and social leaders who can launch campaign against climate change and fight environment pollution as well as protect biodiversity and natural heritage," Gandhi pointed out.

"Not only politicians are corrupt, but there is also the danger of corrupt media and corporate corruption in our region," Gandhi said, answering a question.

He described Myanmar's democratic leader Aung San Su-Ki as a great leader of the South Asia region.

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