Chapter 5 – Contemporary South Asia :Important Questions and Answers

List of Questions and Answers

1.Which one of the following statements about the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is false?
(a) Politics in Sri Lanka openly favoured the Sinhalas.
(b) Interests of Tamils were neglected.
(c) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were supported by the SAARC countries.
(d) There was no political equality in Sri Lanka.

(c) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were supported by the SAARC countries.

2.Farakka Agreement is related to which of?
(a) Indo-Pak
(b) India- Bhutan
(c) India- Bangladesh
(d) India-Nepal

(c) India-Bangladesh

3.The first country to liberalise its economy in South Asian region was ____________
(a) India
(b) Sri Lanka
(c) Bangladesh
(d) Pakistan

(b) Sri Lanka

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4.Explain the factors that have contributed to Pakistan’s failure in building a stable democracy.

Several factors have contributed to Pakistan’s failure in building a stable democracy:

  • The social dominance of the military, clergy, and landowning aristocracy has led to the frequent overthrow of elected governments and the establishment of military government.
  • Pakistan's conflict with India has made the pro-military groups more powerful.
  • These groups have often said that political parties and democracy in Pakistan are flawed, that Pakistan's security would be harmed by selfish-minded parties and chaotic democracy, and that the army's stay in power is, therefore, justified.
  • The lack of genuine international support for democratic rule in Pakistan has further encouraged the military to continue its dominance.
  • The fear of the threat of what they call 'global Islamic terrorism' and the apprehension that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal might fall into the hands of these terrorist groups, the military regime in Pakistan has been seen as the protector of Western interests in West Asia and South Asia.

5.Highlight the main reason behind Indo-Pakistan War of 1965.

Ans: The main reason behind Indo-Pakistan War in 1965 is that the Pakistani government claimed that Kashmir belonged to it.

6.Explain India-Pakistan conflict on the sharing of river waters.


  • India and Pakistan had problems over the sharing of river waters.
  • Until 1960, they were in a fierce argument over the use of the rivers of the Indus basin.
  • With the help of the World Bank, India and Pakistan signed the Indus Waters Treaty which has survived till date in spite of various military conflicts.

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7.Explain some important issues which are a source of tension between India and Bangladesh.

Here are some important issues between India and Bangladesh which are a source of tension:

  • Sharing of the Ganga and Brahmaputra river waters.
  • Bangladesh's denial of illegal immigration to India.
  • Bangladesh support for anti-Indian Islamic fundamentalist groups.
  • Bangladesh's refusal to allow Indian troops to move through its territory to northeastern India.
  • Bangladesh decision not to export natural gas to India or allow Myanmar to do so through Bangladeshi territory.

8.Highlight few issues of cooperation between India and Bangladesh.

Here is the list of issues where both countries cooperate:

  • There is improvement seen in Economic relations between both countries.
  • Bangladesh is a part of India's Look East policy that wants to link up with Southeast Asia via Myanmar.
  • On disaster management and environmental issues, the two states have cooperated regularly.
  • Efforts are going on to broaden the areas of cooperation further by identifying common threats and being more sensitive to each other’s needs.

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9.Explain few ethnic conflicts in SriLanka.

Following are the list of ethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka:

  • After independence , politics in Sri Lanka was dominated towards the interest of the Sinhala community.The community did not want the Tamils that migrated from India to settle in Sri Lanka.
  • The Sinhala nationalists thought that Sri Lanka should not give "concessions" to the Tamils because Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhala people only.
  • The neglect towards the Tamil led to the militant organisation called the liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) that demanded "Tamil Eelam" or separate country for Tamils.
  • There was considerable pressure from the Tamil people in India to protect the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The government of India has from time to time tried to negotiate with the Sri Lankan government on the Tamil question.
  • In1987, the government of India for the first time got directly involved in the Sri Lankan Tamil question. India signed an accord with Sri Lanka and sent troops to stabilise relations between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamils.
  • The Indian Army got into a fight with the LTTE. The presence of Indian troops was also not liked much by the Sri Lankans. They saw this as an attempt by India to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and in 1989, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) pulled out of Sri Lanka without attaining its objective.