Some Problems of Asian Nationalism

  • J. Kennedy


ALL nation-states have ‘problems’ and the new or transformed nation-states of Asia are no exception. Where the achievement of independent political status has been recent, it has to be remembered that independence is no ready guarantee of nationhood. When the Federation of Malaya became independent in 1957, its new Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, publicly declared that ‘Merdeka’, or freedom, was not the end, it was only the beginning. Some of the problems of the new States of Asia have had their counterparts in the new States of Africa, many of which are of even more recent origin, and thus the concept of ‘emerging nations’ has arisen, with both political and socio-economic connotations. It has often been pointed out that, in a world of increasing internationalism, the nation-state has an anachronistic look about it, but few Asian leaders would be ready to subscribe strongly to this view. They would instead feel themselves more readily in sympathy with a declaration made by Dr Sukarno in 1956, in which he acknowledged that there could be some in the West who held the view that nation-states were out-dated, but that this attitude could never be shared by present-day Asians, for whom nationalism was all-important.


Official Language National Language Religious Struggle Malay Language Asian Leader 
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Copyright information

© J. Kennedy 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Kennedy
    • 1
  1. 1.Madeley College of EducationStaffordshireUK

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