‘Imaginings’ constitutes our most ambitious initiative to date. With this initiative we invite our readers to participate in imagining our national and regional futures ten years from now. What do we think our country, a neighboring country in the region, or the region as a whole would be like in 2020? And why?
Readers can submit as many essays as they wish but each essay should deal with one country only (any country in South Asia, not necessarily the writer’s own) or with South Asia as a region. The essay could cover any or all of a number of dimensions – politics, economics, culture, etc.
At the heart of the essay would be the identification of the major forces and trends that would yield the future that the writer chooses to describe. What gave rise to these trends, why would they dominate, and what might cause to change their direction or intensity? The credibility of the prediction would rest on the depth of this analysis.
We have chosen a fairly short end point (2020) both to keep us from being too speculative and to provide the opportunity to track how our predictions begin to bear out within a short time horizon. We hope to repeat the exercise in 2015 in order to reflect back on the developments to date and assess where we were right and wrong and to update our predictions in the light of our findings. Hopefully, there will be a lot of learning involved in this exercise of retrospective evaluation.
Depending on the response, we hope to publish the most relevant and perceptive essays in the form of an edited book. We are deliberately targeting this as the work of students and concerned citizens and not of established scholars because the voice of citizens rarely finds an outlet conducive to dialogue and debate.
We look forward to your contributions. Any suggestions to shape the initiative further would be very welcome.
Contributions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.