TRUE INDIAN FEDERATION
The quarrels among different states give an impression that we are still living in the feudal age. The same culture is seen throughout the country. There are some differences in dresses and eating habits because of climate in different areas. Still they are similar in vast areas. The whole of North is a unit from this point of view. So is the whole South. The whole North Eastern region has the same traditions. Bengal, Orissa and Eastern Bihar can be bracketed as one unit. The Western states have close similarity of habits and traditions. Thus the formation of states on linguistic basis and then declaring the country a federation was one of the blunders we committed after independence. It took no time to let the seeds of linguistic superiority and regionalism develops in an evil shape.
The worst effect of all this is the growth of the third generation leadership that has not seen the united India giving a fight to the foreign rulers. The examples before the new generation are those of the West where fifteen countries were forcibly united to form the Soviet Federation, of thirteen countries voluntarily united themselves to form a Federation of United States of America. The blunder resulted in the assertion of the people as Bengalis, Tamilians, Nagas, Gujaratis, Keralites, Andhraites, Kannadas, Biharis or Rajasthanis – not as Indians. India became abstract and the artificially named states became real and substantial.
The so called states have stopped thinking at the national level. Every issue small or big becomes a regional issue. The neoconverts to Christianity in Nagaland and Mizoram call the non converts as foreigners. Chennai having been the centre of activities in the south during British regime and Tamil being the richest and the oldest to modem language an air of superiority Tamil leaders. The memories of the benign kingdom of Mysore and the supremacy of Tippu in the south in the past and the fine cultural background of Bangalore gives the Kannadas an air of sophistication. Similar are the conditions in Haryana and Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra, Orissa, Assam and Bengal.
The Cauvery water issue between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, The Indira canal water issue between Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana, the Chandigarh and the Sikh and non Sikh issue between Haryana and Punjab, the Nepalese and non Nepalese issue in Sikkim and Darjeeling, The tribal and non tribal issue in the tribal belt have taken the dimension of quarrels between two countries. They have resulted in riots, killings, arson, migration and uprooting of families from a place they lived for hundreds of years.
The masses in almost all the regions are good and sensible. But good men are not in the control rooms. It is the mafias who are in control. It is very easy for them to instigate the poor and the uneducated. Once the lava of hatred comes out of the volcano of regionalism it spreads all around and burns the green pastures of the nation. People in certain areas have already started talking of a loose commonwealth of states on the lines of the commonwealth or the states of former USSR. The youth have to be vigilant not to allow the interstate quarrels take a shape that may sow the seeds of further partition of the Motherland. Let them be guided not by the forces of disintegration but by those that are making concerted efforts for the consolidation and unity of the state petals to keep the flower of the nation blooming. Let India be a real federation of strong states that make the nation too strong. Let regionalism and nationalism flourish side by side not against each other.