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Sunday, May 9, 2010

No Balkanisation of India, Please by Khurshid Alam

No Balkanisation of India, Please

Our Patriotism in Question
Perhaps we the Indians define our nationality differently from the people of other nations. Our feeling of national identity is narrow which ends with the geographical boundary of the state we immediately belong to. When we think of India, our state (read region pun intended) appears as a country before us, and not the entire of India as a unified country. It is hard to find a man who associates himself with the end-to-end boundaries of the country. The dispute based on regionalism which surfaces so frequently in different parts of the country reflects such propensity. This feeling is age old with us. Maybe our constitution makers realised this and so to create solidarity they declared India a union of states and not the united states (as America is).

India cannot Sustain Balkanisation
In recent past years the issue of regional alienation has increased to an alarming condition. The demand for a separate state for Telangana in Andhra Pradesh is a burning example of this case which gets worst with the claim for the state for the people of that state only as it is in the case of Maharashtra.

The demand for a separate state for development is another case but a state cannot close its door to the people from other parts of the country. First, because India is a unified nation, and all the Indians have equal right on its all resources. This is guaranteed by none other than our constitution. Second, Indian’s strength lies in its integration and not in disintegration: India cannot sustain Balkanisation.

Orchestrated Paranoia
However, the agitation for Maharashtra for the Maharashtrians only demands a rethinking whether it is a genuine demand. The political parties which agitate give the logic that people from outside are taking the pie of the butter of the state’s progress. Given the report of Mumbai Human Development Report 2009, the Maharastrians have already an upper edge in the government jobs and public representation, which is like in any other state. Also, the immigrants to Mumbai are more from the other parts of Maharashtra than outside. Therefore the agitation does not find itself near to justification. The very basic reason behind the agitation is utterly false. The thought that Maharashtra belongs to the people of that state only and the people of that state have the only rights to all its resources is absolute paranoid.

The political parties which limit their agenda to the interest of a certain people only is nothing but the ‘immense revelation’1 of a people over the other that can dangerously push the entire people to the verge of acute social crisis. This is rather an orchestrated panic which originates from the concept of keep others away whatever the reasons.

Migration cannot be Stopped
Today when the world is narrowing and the people are migrating to the lands of better opportunities more frequently than before; this struggle cannot be justified from any angle. Sadly such agitation is confused with patriotism. If we are really patriotic we must remember Neale Donald Waloch’s words who aptly said, ‘I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.’ Typically, there are many organisations world wide which are working for the betterment of the condition of the immigrants who come to their countries. Some notable organisations are Strangers into Citizens and the East London Communities Organisations (TELCO) in the UK, and Immigrant Solidarity Network in the US among others which are struggling rather for homogenising the immigrants and ensuring all the rights of the citizens of the countries they settle.

Secondly, and very importantly, the Indians have a very different demographic tendency than the people of other countries do. The immigrants homogenise themselves into the local milieu very fast. The migrants successfully reproduce themselves as the people of the state where they settle with time. History is replete with innumerable examples of the people who came from other states, but homogenised themselves soon. They are better known as the people of the states where they settle, which is more of self willingness than a political or external force.

Thirdly, though it may seem ideal, it has farsightedness that every society must have wide enough space to welcome the other people into it. This fabric is more required than wished for which guarantees longevity of the very society in question. A rather purer society has the risk of being extinct sooner or later.

Decentralisation is the Best Solution
Such agitations have bagloads of lessons in disguise that now is the high time that every state must develop in all sectors. And the developments should be decentralised so as all parts of the state progress evenly without any bias. If a state lags behind on the scale of development, the people would have no option but to travel to the other parties, comparatively to more developed ones. This disbalance may award a ground to the vested interests to agitate for their own benefits.

1. J B Slater. "Editorial", Mute, p-6. Vol. 2 #7, 2008.
2. Mumbai Human Development Report 2009, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. I do agree with the author about Non-Balkanization of India. About recent trends in A.P., Some politicians with selfish motto are behind the agitation and they were able to poison the brains of innocent people by saying that if they get separate state, they will get lakhs of jobs etc. Not only this, we used to hear to “mile sur mera tumhara” etc patriotic songs and even films were made. Afer Manoj kumar, there were no patriotic films except Mangal Pandey and some regional films.

    Thanks to A.R.Rehman. Atleast he tried to remind people of India, with his “Vande mataram”. Indians should be reminded of patriotism now and then, else they don’t care.

    “Hum us desh ke vasi hai jis desh mein Ganga bahti hai”. We have to inculcate and motivate our youth towards patriotism , as it is a best medicine for the disease of regionalism.


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