And finally the rogue of Maharashtra, Mr Raj Thackeray is behind bars. But I cannot but wonder, for how long. Indian law enforcement agencies are notorious for their inability to keep the rich and powerful behind bars for any length of time.
The other day I was standing in a Bank at Pune filling out a form, when another customer walked up to me and asked me something in Marathi. Much as I would have liked to help him, I didn't understand him. And I told him as much in Hindi. Pat came the remark, "Maharashtra me rehte ho aur Marathi nahi aati?" I have lived in Pune for many years, not at a stretch, but off and on. But never had I heard this kind of a retort before. Clearly, Raj Thackeray's propaganda had prompted the remark. Not to be outdone, I said, "When you go to Andhra you wouldn't know Telugu either". And fortunately, that was the end of that. The trend however is another manifestation of the fallacy of 'Unity in Diversity'.
How could the authorities allow matters to come to such a sorry pass? What is our country coming to? If things are left to themselves, the Tipping point, which will fragment the country will inevitably arrive, sooner or later. We call ourselves a Secular state, which shows tolerance towards all religions. The Dictionary meaning of secularism is :
a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship. In plain terms, for a secular state, it means, the Government not having anything to do with Religion. But in actual fact, secularism in India the way it is practiced by the state, is minority appeasement. And as far as the populace is concerned, there is hardly any religious tolerance in evidence. Riots, desecration and vilification of churches, perceived mockery of religious Gods by artists and painters, terrorism in the name of Jehad………..and the list just goes on and on. In the south we have demonstrations and burning of buses against Hindi language. Where is the unity in diversity? Only in slogans?
India, is a big country, but unlike some other countries like America or Canada it's becoming way too unmanageable. Why should a country so diverse in culture, language, ethnicity, creed, colour etc. be a single state. Especially since I have already shown above that 'Unity in Diversity' is nothing more than a slogan. Europe has countries, the size of Punjab, or in many cases even smaller. And since the World War II, they have had a relatively stable and peaceful existence (exceptions notwithstanding). Erstwhile USSR gave way to a number of nation states on being unshackled from communism. Though there have been minor skirmishes between states which were part of erstwhile USSR, I am of the firm belief that in the long run, the break up of the Soviet Union will turn out to be the reason for prosperity in the region.
Had India not been held together by military might, it would have disintegrated long ago. States in the North East, Kashmir and possibly Punjab, to name a few would have seceded. The question that I want to ask the readers of this blog is "Would it be such a bad thing for India to allow some of these provinces, which have been bleeding the country for decades, to be allowed to secede? The oft repeated answer that I get is "where will it all end?" There will hardly be an India left. But so what? Wouldn't India, or what was left of it be more prosperous than any of the other provinces that have been clamoring for Azaadi. And in the long run like Europe, a time would come when these very nation states after having seceded, and realized their folly would want an 'Indian Union' on the lines of the 'European Union.'
However, one of the pitfalls of a Democracy, esp. in a country like India is petty politics. And so, even a hint of a suggestion of the kind that I have made above by any political party, would push the country into throes of rage, anger and very likely violence by the so called 'Nationalists'.
Note: If you find my thoughts offensive, feel free to post your comments without prejudice. It will be my endeavor to respond objectively.