BY TANVEER JAFRI : The entire world is busy in finding ways to make themselves and their respective societies more prosperous and strong. Only difference is that some people, considering themselves responsible, try to make it possible according to the limits of their thoughts and ideas. For instance, to counter the increasing global domination of USA, the Europeans decided to unite. To make the European economy strong in comparison of US dollar, a common European currency, Euro was launched. Everybody knows the story of divided Germany of 20 years ago. But as a result of the farsightedness of Germans, the Berlin Wall was felled down in 1989, and finally Germany was united.
But the way of thinking of the Asian leaders, particularly, South Asian leaders, is different from that of the Western leaders. Its first proof can be traced by the partition of India-Pakistan in 1947. Regarding the reason of this partition, our leaders told that since the people of two different religions (Hindus and Muslims) can’t live together in a single country, therefore this partition was termed as religion based. But the fact is that this partition was never religion based in any sense. The reason behind this is that at the time of partition, more than half of the Muslims refused to leave India. They consider India as their motherland. Similarly, many Hindus didn’t leave Pakistan during partition. They are still living in Pakistan. A vital example is Justice Bhagwan Das, a Pakistani Hindu intellectual, who became the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Not only this, many Muslims, living in Pakistan and opposed to its creation, came to India. They lived here like other Hindu refugees and gradually got settled and established themselves. Famous cine star Shahrukh Khan’s family was one of the Muslim refugee families, which marched towards India in 1947.
Now, let’s have a look at the tragedy of 1971. While in 1947, India’s partition was termed as religion based, but in 1971, the myth propagated by our leaders was broken when both East Pakistan and West Pakistan were in confrontation with each other to get separated. Here the question arises if Indo-Pak partition was ‘religion based’, then what was the reason behind the voices of partition in East Pakistan? Both East and West Pakistan were densely Muslim populated regions. But in East Pakistan, the call for partition was raised on the basis of regionalism and language. India honoured the feelings of the leadership of East Pakistan and helped it. Consequently, a new nation, Bangladesh emerged in place of East Pakistan.
The voices of regionalism or the attempts of regional satraps have not ceased yet in South Asia, especially in India and Pakistan. If Baluchistan issue arises time to time in Pakistan, in India demands for Gorkhaland, Telangana, Marubhoomi, Poorvanchal, Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand etc. use to re-emerge. The regional satraps try to emotionally blackmail the people either by linking the regional language or by demanding preference for locals in employment.
Though there is no fault in being strong on regional basis, but it is usually seen that during such regional movements, a group of the society becomes enemy of another group. More commonly, such tension created as a result of regionalism ends up in violence, destruction and damage to the public property. The end result is that the demands of these regional satraps are met but the aspirations of the people are not fulfilled, which they were looking for. If seen in the national context, such regional movements have always created hatred among two groups of people and have promoted the feeling of separatism. Consequently, instead of getting stronger, the nation has seemed to become weak in one way or other.
The Muslims of Pakistan will themselves tell whether their condition was better prior to 1947 or is today. There is no use in getting much deeper into the present conditions of both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Similar condition is prevailing in the newly formed states of India, which were created on the insistence of regional chauvinists. Certainly, there is development in some regions but the people of some of the newly formed states are not happy. Whereas the regional satraps are busy in flying of the ‘State Plane’ on government expenditure. Some regional leaders are trying to prove themselves the greatest satrap even by insulting the national language Hindi. Why such situation arises in a country like India and what is the solution of this problem?
In fact, in India, the common people are taught more to learn their religion, caste and region and less nationality, patriotism and love for the nation. For example, if an Indian citizen introduces himself anywhere, instead of calling himself an India, he feels proud in calling himself a Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada etc. similarly Indian people are badly divided into groups and communities. The evils of communalism and casteism are centuries old phenomena for which no permanent solution has been found out. Blame game between the urban and rural people on the issue of development, is also decades old. There are many such differences on which the society is completely divided. As far as the role of the government of India in controlling these evils is concerned, there is no entity named ‘Indian Army’ today, forget any attempt to control these. It means that the army of India is also divided into different military units on regional lines such as Rajputana Rifles, Gorkha Regiment, Mahaar Regiment etc. clearly, such seeds of regionalism provide base for regional satraps to grow. If we have to save the country from the bad motives of these regional satraps and keep it united, we’ll have to promote and propagate the thoughts of nationalism at every level. Besides, it is the responsibility of the government of India to ensure that any group of people of any state, particularly rural people never think that they are being given step-motherly treatment by the governments. Regional satraps can be controlled only through such steps.