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RE: Kashmir: Are We Right?



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Dear  Krishnan,

First I would like to express my appreciation for the tone of your
response.
It is refreshing to see an exchange of opinions in this forum, which is
mature and adult like, which induces people to stop, think and consider
the
opposing opinion.

I suppose the most difficult part about defining a nationhood is "where
do
you draw the line?". If a group of people claim a separate country
because
they speak a different language, can a subset within this claim a
separate
country because, though they speak the same language, they eat a
different
kind of food..how about because we prefer to drive a certain kind of
car?  I
am not trying to belittle the issue here, but I am just trying to extend
the
rational argument to its extreme.

I think a definition of a nation is a sort of leap of faith. Once you
have
formed a concept such as a nation it is very difficult to come up with a

criteria for splitting it in a rational fashion.  Splitting the nation
is
not just a conceptual exercise, it is also about geography. If a group
of
people with a particular common trait, spread all over the country, ask
for
a separate statehood, how do you go about achieving this? The partition
of
India based on separate state for Muslims showed us, and continues to
show
us, how impractical and incomplete this exercise can be.

I agree that multiplicity of view points is an essential component of
progress, but if we start splitting the country into multiple countries
of
homogenous groups, does that lead to multiplicity of view points?  I
agree
that we should have debates and be open to different models of
governance
which gives a voice to every section that makes up a society, but this
is
only possible if the sanctity of the concept of a single country is
accepted
without question.  You can call it blind belief in a divinely ordained
sanctity or whatever but, I believe that only on such a solid premise
can a
healthy dialogue ensue.

My belief is that human beings behave as "clans" and there is a
hierarchy of
such clans. Which "degree of clan" one belongs to varies and is
dependent on
the situation. As illustrated during the recent Operation Vijay, when
there
is an external threat the Indianness of the nation was more obvious and
most
Indians left their lower degrees of clans behind. When there is a north
vs.
south problem the southern states go one degree lower, when there is a
Kaveri water sharing problem, the people of the south sink lower into a
state level and so it goes. ( If you have seen the movie "Independence
Day",
you can see how they had depicted the whole world for once seemed to
belong
to one "higher degree clan" when the attack was from an external
enemy!!)

My point is that the concept of nation cannot be rationally derived. For
an
alien coming from another galaxy, it would be difficult to see why the
world
is split into so many different nations, after all in today's "global
village" there are very few countries which are totally homogeneous.

Regards

Sri





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