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Recent Phase

After 1980, there was a big push towards democracy and democracy was revived in several countries of Latin America. The disintegration of the Soviet Union was the reason for this acceleration this process.

Soviet Union

Poland and several other countries became free from the control of the Soviet Union during 1989-90. They became democratic nations and soon the Soviet Union which comprised of 15 Republics broke down in 1991.

The end of Soviet control on East Europe changed the political map of the world.

Now let us turn and see what was happening at the other end of Asia.

Pakistan and Bangladesh made a transition from army rule to democracy in 1990s. 

Nepal,  become a constitutional monarch, guided by elected leaders.

However, these changes were not permanent.

In 1999 General Musharraf brought back army rule in Pakistan.

In 2005 the new king of Nepal dismissed the elected government and took back the political freedoms that people had won earlier.

General Parvez Musharraf

In spite of a few draw-backs here and there the struggle for democracy continued.

Now let us look at Myanmar, India’s neighbour.

  • In 1948, it gained freedom from colonial rule and became a democracy.
  • In 1962, the democratic rule ended with a military coup.
  • In 1990, elections were held for the first time after almost 30 years.
  • The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi won the election.
  • The military leaders of Myanmar refused to step down. 
  • Suu Kyi, was put under house arrest.
  • Political activists accused of even the most trivial offences,  were put in jail.
  • Anyone caught publicly airing views or issuing statements criticising the regime  sent to prison.
  • Almost 10 lakh people have been uprooted from their homes due to this military rule.
  • Despite being under house arrest, Suu Kyi continued to campaign for democracy. Her struggle has won international recognition. She has also been awarded the Noble Peace Prize. Yet, the people in Myanmar are struggling to establish a democratic government in their country.


Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese national was born on 19 June, 1945, in Rangoon. She is a pro-democracy activist and the leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar. She is a noted advocate of nonviolent resistance.

Suu Kyi won the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and in 1991,and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1992. She was awarded the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru peace prize by the Government of India for her peaceful and non-violent struggle under a military dictatorship.


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