The latest attack by Bala Saheb on Sachin's remark of Indian has once again proved that regional politics are here to stay. The majority of Indians agree with Sachin's statement and I think the attention that it got from the media will help Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) and Shiv Sena in the long run in Maharashtra politics.
What are the political parties upto? Everybody wants to safeguard their own turf by playing regional card. The four South states are playing this language card for a long long time and now Maharashtra joining this bandwagon this can lead to serious repercussions. CPM is keen on keeping West Bengal and Kerala at any cost and Mamata Banerjee is interested in Bengal rather than Railways. This does not mean other states are not into regional politics. States like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Orissa, UP, Bihar and the NE states are into regional politics very strongly but their group-ism is so strong that no outsider can see it or feel it. Imagine this, can a Gujarati become Punjab CM? Absolutely never in any life time! or a Punjabi becoming Karnataka CM? Highly impossible and unthinkable. So, Where is India?
Almost every other foreigner and literature pundits are amazed by our diversity and pluralist society. Even our literary scholars say we are united in rich diversity. Is it true? Are we united? Bengalis are united with Bengalis, Tamilians are united with Tamils and so on. Where does the Indian-ness come from? Where could we find the Indian-ness? Only when India plays Pakistan in a cricket match! When the match is over its back to normal again. I become a malayalee and you become a bihari! Where is the Indian & India? With the popularity for IPL the Indian-ness will most probably die down. IPL may well become a tool for regional politics like for example Shiv Sena sponsoring Mumbai team or DMK taking over Chennai Superkings. Everything is possible in India!
Regional languages divide our nation and politicians are smart to use this as their weapon to remain in power. Why do we like being after or behind China? It's always China and India. Why are we not making some one think India first and China second? Agreed that China opened up their economy way before India did but India needs to have the goal of beating China first in the region. To do this India has to be united but our so called leaders are compromised in regional politics that they cannot think of this in the near future. The leaders are so tied-up in local/regional issues India is at the last item in their queue. The different languages too doesn't help. A Tamilnadu MP writes a request to the Lok Sabha speaker to render his speech to parliament in his regional language reason being - he doesn't know the national language. If the speaker allows it then there will be barrage of requests from other state MPs to speak in their own regional language and the other thing is if he succeeds in his request then there will be huge celebration down south! Who is going to stop it? Nobody cares! Everybody in politics is for gain.
A recent debate on NDTV brought this language issue and again a MP from Tamilnadu is suggesting that they cannot afford to lose the regional language in their state and if a common language is needed then English can be common medium. Where does this idea come from?? I am appalled and dumbfounded by this statement. There is a national language called Hindi and roughly 40% above of Indians speak and understand Hindi. Why can't we accept Hindi as a medium of communication? I had written about the national language Hindi & continued in Hindi Adv. We are ready to accept English, a foreign language as a medium but opposed to Hindi. Wah! The regional language/issue is the key weapon to be in power.
With Karnataka and Kerala having disputes of water sharing with Tamilnadu, I do not see them states of India. The people in respective state act like they are from different countries. Here too, people in Tamilnadu suffer due to lack of water which is a necessity and local politicians at all 3 states play the game as long as they can. They make sure that the disputes remain disputes for decades and no solution is found in the distant future leave alone near future!
The sense of Indian-ness is taking a backseat as the days goes by. What unites us to be called as India and Indian? I am proud to be Indian but nobody looks at me as Indian inside my own country. Either they call me South Indian or Gujju or Bihari or Bengali or so on. The way you are segregated in a group reflect the way we think of India. Even outside country if a fellow Indian meets another Indian the first thing they inquire about is which part of India? and that sets the tone for future communication.
What keeps us going to remain intact as India?
Is it because of our history?
Is it because of culture that we gain strength from being united?
Is it because of absolute democracy?
Is it because of fear?
Is it because of fear?
I am puzzled and do not find answers.
What happens if a state like Maharashtra declares independence and declares itself as a country? I sincerely hope that this regional politics does not lead to this kind of situation in future.