The best part of writing essays while applying to business schools, is that soon enough you realize that the best stuff comes out, only when you stop thinking how what the adcom's personal views might be, and start writing what you genuinely believe in. And once you know this to be true, every essay becomes a soul searching exercise.
Now that the application season is over and I have been royally dinged and happily accepted by various business schools, here's some interim version of one of my essays:
One current issue that Asia is facing and a couple of strategies that may adequately address the issue.
Democracies Delivering Results.. Rather, The Lack of it.
Major parts of Asia are unstable a potential threat to world peace. Iran and North Korea are allegedly pursuing nuclear programs, Pakistan is in a turmoil, the 'Af-Pak' region is still a potential feeding ground to terrorist organizations. In my view, the real issue encompassing all these problems is that of strengthening democracy within Asia. I strongly believe that people at large, when given a choice, will always choose peace and stability. The only way to give that real choice to people is to have a working democracy.
The middle-east is still strife-torn, but efforts to create meaningful democracies are stronger than ever. On the other hand, in democratic Asian states corruption has eroded public faith in political institutions. According to The Economist, only South-Korea and Japan qualify as full democracies. While there are 10 flawed democracies, including the world’s largest democracy - India, there are 7 authoritarian regimes including the world’s most populous country - China. Planned economies might be able to walk the well traversed path to prosperity through industrialization but meeting 21st century's unforeseen challenges requires that free individual voices be heard. The challenge for Asia is to make democracy work for the largest sections of humanity so as to bring them to the forefront of development.
This challenge can be met with two strategies. First, countries that already embrace democracy must curb corruption and improve people’s participation in democratic institutions. In a vast and diverse region like Asia, that would mean more decentralization of the decision making process. Federating legislative power will bring self-determination directly to more people and revive people’s faith in democracy. The second strategy would be for the numerous authoritarian Asian nations. I strongly believe that increasing cultural, travel and trade links with these nations would improve mutual awareness, fostering an organic shift to democracy. Both these strategies, in due course can potentially strengthen democracy, foster inclusive growth, and make Asia a diverse, peaceful and prosperous region.