Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Change in "State" ?

One of my favorite books in childhood was the Atlas. Yes, I remember whenever I was having any doubt about area or population of any country, I used to sit with my Atlas, which was a very old one. That atlas was published somewhere around 1987. It showed USSR as the largest country of the world. It was only when I read history that I came to know that USSR had long been dissolved in 1990 into 10 independent countries. I used to draw the boundaries of those countries in my age old Atlas. And dissatisfied with that, I created an atlas of my own (yes!) in which political maps of countries were drawn (not on scale, but freehand) and the different flags of countries.

I used to feel very sad while reading about USSR as I thought how bad it was that the largest country of the world was disintegrated. It was later that I realized that USSR was, like our own country, a conglomeration of different ethnic and religious group. It was the demand for "proper recognition" of every group which led to the downfall of the superpower.

In the year 2000, 3 new states were created in India by carving out from some bigger states. The reason was same. "Proper recognition". People supporting Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand believed that they have many cultural differences with Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar respectively. I don't know the real reason but whatever it was, I was happy because creation of these 3 states made Rajasthan the largest state of India, area wise (earlier it was M.P.)

Years passed and after my graduation from Rajasthan, I left Rajasthan and for doing MBA I went to Hyderabad. Hyderabad, so far is the best city I have seen. It is believed that as a student of Management, you are supposed to know a lot.When I started following the local news there I came to know of the demand for "Telangana" region. At that time I was aware that the main reason for this movement is what they called "insufficient/improper representation/recognition of telangana people". Not a big deal, there were such similar demands already popular in various parts of the country, so who cares.

Now let me tell you something I know about this issue, from mythology point of view. In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, there is a separate mention of Telangana and Andhra. The pandava Sahadeva is supposed to have defeated Telinga (Telanagana) and Andhraka (Andhra) tribes during his quest for the Rajasuya Vagya of his elder brother Yudhishthira.But if we consider the epic to be the source of our demands then we would end up with an enormously disintegrated country as we had Jaipur, Alwar and Ajmer(Pushkara) as separate kingdoms that time. In that case We may head for another Kurukshetra war!

But, coming back to Telangana issue.2 years back I came to Karnataka and by now I have a fair idea of the lifestyle of South India and I want to share this with you that I am so proud to be an Indian ! We have so much diversity, so much ethnic varieties. Our diversity is 100 times more complex than that of USSR. Of course disintegration of USSR has no relation to the demands in India. But consequences may be the same.

Recently government approved the creation of Telangana because the leader of Telangana people was on a hunger strike. Student agitation was on run and situation was getting worsen. So our government Okayed Telanga... But that decision received harsh criticism and is followed by similar demands from different states.

The people demanding Telangana or any other state should first look at the outcome of such decision. Bihar was considered backward. Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar. Now both Bihar and Jharkhand are considered to be backward states. There is no difference in lifestyles and people living below povery line in Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh. We don't talk about development here. We don't talk about uplifting life standard of people here. What we have done has simply increased the number of states in the country in GK Books and have made more atlas books obsolete. There is a change in state but there is no change in "state" of people. We demand for proper recognition of our ethnic group but we keep forgetting that India is not about separate recognitions, India is about unified representation.

People raising such demands must understand the pain our great leaders like Sardar Patel had gone through to accumulate, unite and strengthen this great country of ours. We already have lots of issues to look at, more important ones, so please don't flood such demands. The mere happiness of a child, after knowing that his state is now area wise the largest, can be sacrificed for greater good.

1 comment:

Rahul said...

Good One Mrinal! There are a lot more serious issues out there facing our country & i wish our political leaders would spend their time & energy more productively and efficiently on more relevant issues pertaining to the greater cause of the nation & the world at large!