NATIONALISM versus REGIONALISM
Nationalism means giving importance to the whole nation. Regionalism means thinking of a particular region or area only. We must remember that all the areas were united in giving a fight to the Britishers for our freedom. None thought of Gujarati, Marathi, Madrasi or Bengali. All considered the whole country as one unit and secured freedom for the whole country. It is true that the eating habits and the dress of different areas have been different. As it is very hot in the south people wear lungi. Kashmir being very cold people would cover the whole body with woolens. As coconut is grown in abundance in south most of the preparations have coconut in them. Its oil is used in frying. The North has mustard in abundance while Gujarat is rich in groundnut. Naturally mustard oil and groundnut oil are used in these areas. The same is true about other eatables. But the culture in the whole country is the same. Same Gods and Goddesses are worshipped throughout the country. People of the whole country throng at the Kumbh Melas held at different places. It shows the basic unity among the people.
The post independence traditions are a bit different. The third generation youth had not seen our united fight with foreigners. They started looking in a narrower aspect-the linguistic one. Instead of evolving one language for the whole country, we divided the country into linguistic states. It was rather a blunder.
Formerly the whole south was one unit. Now we have four states. Tamil being the oldest language people of Tamil Nadu have a superiority complex because of their language. The memories of the benign Kingdom of Mysore and the fine culture of Bangalore gave the Kannads an air of sophistication. Similar are the conditions in Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Bengal and other states.
One of the greatest harm done by this regional thinking was that quarrels started between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on the question of Cauvery waters. The Indira Canal mater became an issue between Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana, Sikhs and non Sikhs in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Nepalese and non Nepalese issue became furious in Darjeeling and Sikkim. The tribal and non tribal issue has become serious further dividing M.P. in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh and Bihar changing into Jharkhand and Bihar.
In the North Eastern region the problem is between the neo- converts and the non converts to the Christian faith. It has resulted in riots, killings, arson migration and uprooting of families’ form a place they lived for hundreds of years. The common men in almost all the areas are good. But these sensible people do not control the politics. It is controlled by the local leader-mafia nexus.
Now no one thinks of the whole nation. Andhra Pradesh is dominated by Telugu Desam Party. Tamil Nadu has either DMK or A1ADMK. Kerala has communists and Muslim League that join hands. In the centre NDA that rules the country has 21 parties. It had many regional parties that forced the Central Government on the issue pertaining not to the whole country but only their region.
It is not wrong to divide the country into different regions from
administrative point of view. But when people start thinking in the terms of not one country but a loose commonwealth of states the nation would be disintegrated. The youth of the nation should be cautious. They should not allow such trends to develop. The States should not be thorns but petals to keep the flower of the nation blooming.