Parochialism means narrow regionalism. It means that a particular region is only for its inhabitants. A region means an area of inhabitants having a sense of unity and a feeling that they are different from others. This sense of unity may be based on culture, language or economic interests. This sense of feeling is known as regionalism. Parochialism is harmful in a country like India.
In a democratic society, regional aspirations are not always wrong. It may even be justifiable. During the British rule, some areas of our country which were close to ports or which were of administrative importance developed. Industries, educational institutions and transport systems developed in these places. But many interior regions remained backward. So, there arose great inequalities among different regions. When people belonging to such backward regions protest for great facilities and development, it can be justified.
But parochialism is different. Sometimes, people or political parties say that a particular region is only for its inhabitants. Jobs and other opportunities of that region should be reserved entirely for them. This ‘sons of the soil’ policy is parochialism and it is wrong and dangerous.
India is a democratic country and we have a federal structure of government. ‘Sons of the soil’ policy clearly goes against the country’s constitutional provisions. The Indian constitution gives a citizen the right to live and work in any part of the country. In spite of all the differences, India is a single nation. Parochialism destroys every idea of a single nation.
Regionalism does not do well to the region itself. No region produces everything that it requires. If a particular region is to develop, co-operation from other regions is essential. A country like India with diverse geographical features can march towards progress only with the co-operation and participation of different regions. Parochialism will harm and weaken India’s democratic system.