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Friday, February 5, 2010

Is Regionalism obliterating Indian Nationalism?

Looking back in time, I still remember those days when I was in school, and every day we used to say “India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters” just before our classes began. To me it was a sentence which really meant the core reason why I take pride to be a citizen of the Country having 7 major religions, 18 recognised regional languages, more than a 1000 dialects and perhaps a vibrant history never seen in any other Country or Empire, even in the ancient of days. But today, I feel our Unity in Diversity is perhaps on the brink of extinction, that although India still remains my country, my brothers and sisters are all demanding to be allocated a portion of the country for their own “families”.

Now we are Marathas and North-Indian or Biharis and Oriya first, and Indians next. And this is a fiasco beyond repair and a turmoil beyond clarification that has plagued our nation. The copiousness of politicians playing the Regionalist-wild-card for inflating their vote banks is turning the Government “For the People, By the People” into “For the Leaders, by the Leaders”.  It pains my heart to see people like Balasahab Thackeray and Raj Thackeray virtually stabbing India’s Nationalistic-integrity with the weapon of regionalism to exercise an ideological holocaust of all non-“Marathi manoos” from Mumbai and Maharashtra.

When WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, we also pledged to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation.

These words placed at the beginning of our Constitution, which then laid the very foundations of the World’s Largest Democracy: The Republic of India, are now being openly violated by hooligans like the Shiv-Sena and the MNS. From asking the Bombay Stock Exchange website to be published in Marathi, threatening migrants and job-aspirants from North India to leave Maharashtra, demeaning couples celebrating the Valentine’s Day to even physically abusing the Media, these mindless-goondas have left no hideous measures unused to quench their pointless “Maharashtra for Maratha’s” thirst.

Be it Cricket-maestro Sachin Tendulkar or the Baadshah of Indian Cinema Shah Rukh Khan, the Marathi-Manoos-Goondas spare no-one who thinks above the swamp of localised feelings. With all due respect to local-feelings, its really preposterous to subside ones nationalistic feelings entirely and submit to the hullabaloo of regionalist ideologies, and that too on basis of the saying of a Murderer like Balasaheb or a Demeanor like Raj Thackeray.

Ironically these were the same Maharashtrian locals who talked about “National Interest” when Hindi was being imposed as the National Language on the entire nation not so long ago. When Tamilians rebelled the imposition of Hindi language, Maharashtrians advised Tamilians to accept Hindi for national interest. What happened to Marathi-manoos then?

In my humble opinion, India’s Unity is facing a severe crisis from such elements of division. Their radical-policies and brawl-before-brain attitude is severely limiting people’s way of perceiving their National-identity. It took a Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to lead our freedom struggle against the British but imagine how many such Gandhis do we need today to fight against these myriad problems, where infact this time we are our own enemies. If “why” is a question then “why not” should be the answer. As famously quoted by the Mahatma, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. If every individual in this nation should feel the responsibility towards a better future and contribute in whatever possible way to set things right, only then we can still pull off a sensation, towards a feeling of one nation, One Bharat!

May God give Good sense to such hooligans and may peace and our Unity in Diversity uphold forever. Jai Hind!!