By Samrudhi khanna
Edited by Nandita Singh,Senior editor,The Indian Economist
“India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters. I love my country.” These are the commencing few lines of the Indian national pledge. These very lines are the substantiation of India being a secular republic. We often hear praises and glorifications about how culturally diverse yet unified our country is, and how this diversity is one of India’s best virtue. Really though, with examples like the “Bhumiputra” ideology of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, “Jharkhand Mukti Morcha” and the recently accomplished Telangana Movement; we really must rethink and reassert the current status of nationalism in India.
There is no doubt that there was a time when the proverbial Golden Bird did exist, and there were cultural riches, as well as unity, in “Incredible India.” Currently, with a population of over 1 billion distributed in 29 states and 7 union territories, India is considered to be one of the most diverse countries in the world – linguistically, religiously and culturally. However, the praises that we get over our “unity in diversity” are slowly turning out to be hollow. The nationalism that should prevail in the hearts of all is slowly being replaced by regionalism. The aforementioned aren’t the only examples of region taking precedence over the country. Region preference is taking hold in many places, and everyone is thriving to achieve an individual identity by putting an end to the classification or group-ism of various regional sects as one.
Regionalism is a case that is taking over the world in general – not just India. The Scotland – England issue is a good example of this. Scotland has finally decided, after all these centuries, to opt for an independent status from the United Kingdom. The decision is to be conducted as a result of the voting by the citizens of Scotland. If they ‘aye’ it, there are going to be historical changes in various aspects of not just UK, but Europe in general. Few of them include the reapplication by both England and Scotland for admission in the EU, currency instabilities etc. Though this decision is publicly opposed by many influential Scots like Tilda Swinton, Sir Alex Fergusen and many more; the pre voting polls showed a clear decision in favor of separation. Many more places where regionalism is pointedly prevalent is Japan – Korea; Georgia and Florida in the United States of America, the PRC and ROC dispute, and many more.
People all over the world are vying to achieve an individual status based either on ethnicity, geographical region or cultural preferences. Regionalism and nationalism – in an ideal scenario, can co-exist together with a positive synergy. However, an ideal scenario does not exist in these times. Regionalism and nationalism are two distinctive concepts, and politicians and leaders in many places are exploiting opportunities based on this divide. In times when there is so much economic importance given to concepts like globalisation and trade blocks; regional disputes will only hold back many prospects. That is one thing that we all should understand, and therefore, try to place the greater good before individual one.
Samrudhi is pursuing Financial Markets at Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. Besides financial markets, her interests are writing, literature and dancing. Reading is second nature to her – classis literature, Austen, Archer, Bronte sisters and Sheldon are her loyal friends! Writing is another thing she takes great pleasure in and economics, current affairs, polictics are her favorite topics. Having a complete aversion to all types of social networking mediums, you can get in touch with her only through her email: [email protected]!