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RE: secession




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
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Sanjeev,

It is with great interest that I have read all the reactions to your
question on secession, clearly it is a subject that gets everyone's
attention. Which is such a pity because many other subjects go by
without
half as much debate.

While we need to strengthen the free exchange of ideas and should not
therefore exclude any topic from coming up for discussion sometimes I
feel
that we need to be a bit more circumspect about where we take our
discussions.Just as having freedom of speech does not give us the right
to
abuse anyone we please, having a forum to discuss relevant ideas for the

improvement of India should not become a place for esoteric
philosophical
debate for the sake of debate. We have as yet limited resources, both of

time and of participants and this debate on secession is in my opinion a
bit
out of place right now.

The biggest challenge for India today, whichever way you look at it, is
the
restoration (or perhaps even creation )of a sense of national pride.
Most of
our issues have their root in this.
Corruption, electoral malpractice's, low govt. productivity, law and
order,
religious bigotry and civic infrastructure collapse are all symptoms of
very
low national esteem and if we could tackle this one issue we could make
a
lot of progress on many fronts.

Indians as individuals are very clever and hardworking people but we
have no
talent at all to work in cross cultural teams. Most Indians are very
family
oriented and will make great sacrifices  not only for their immediate
family
but often for their community ( The community support of the marwaris,
the
tamilian Brahmins, the Malayalees, the sikhs etc etc. is pretty well
known
). But put them to work together in a multi cultural group and they just

can't progress.We as countrymen have not quiet learnt to behave as
countrymen.We have a lot of work to do to become a nation first, where
is
the question of Secession?

If one travels through India it is not difficult to see that we are many

nations some how stuck together. In fact if you see historically the
current
Indian nation ( at least in geographical terms) is a creation of the
British. Never has the entire nation of India as it exists today ever
been
under one rule - even during the peak of the moghul empire. It was the
British just a few hundred years ago that united the nation in its
present
state. One can only wonder why is it that we continue to survive as a
nation
and do not disintegrate like Yugoslavia or the USSR? Frankly we have all
the
ingredients and more for this to happen.

The other thing to remember is that once the secessionist ambition is
aroused, it feeds on itself, once a group of people are allowed to
pursue
this idea who is to umpire them. Who is to enforce the rule you proposed

that if any armed struggle is involved all bets are off. Show me one
place
in the world where any secessionist movement has agreed to this. This
rule
is unenforceable. Look at Africa, Latin America,Ireland, the Balkans and

closer home in Sri Lanka & even Kashmir the evidence is overwhelming
that
once a secessionist movement is allowed to start it is practically
impossible to stop it forget about trying to regulate it through
referendums
and such. And invariably the cost that the nation and its people pay for

such movements is catastrophic.

The tinder for the disintegration of the Indian State is present in
abundant
quantities, we therefore, need to be  extremely careful how much fire we

want to play with. It is not difficult to imagine a handful of
disgruntled
Marwaris,or tamilians or sikhs, or Biharis or how about the Muslims in
U.P
and the katihayars in the tribal districts of M.P or just about anybody
taking the cover of a constitutional provision to wage war with the
Indian
state and consuming huge amounts of scarce resources to control.How many

people in Assam want to secede? Has it stopped ULFA from killing? And
where
do you stop - where do you draw a line? At the state boundaries, within
ethnic communities, at the same language, same food. How do you decide
who
is allowed? We can't even agree to share water between states without a
few
hundred people being killed first!

 It could get even worse - criminal elements could completely rig a
referendum and actually secede. Please read N.P.Singhs observations on
elections in Bihar. We can't even ensure free and fair elections in
small
districts of our country for the appointment to the state assemblies
think
about the stakes at play when nationhood is the reward. Just try to
imagine
the likes of Laloo Prasad and Sou.Jailalitha having the advantage of a
constitutional provision to secede?!

In the end we might just turn out to be a far stronger nation then my
above
fears suggest and maybe no one would actually secede but it is
undeniable
that there will be mavericks who will try and we will as a nation not
only
waste a lot of blood and energy trying to deal with this but more
importantly go further and further away from creating the strong
National
pride that is the crying need of today .

I would, therefore strongly recommend that we get off this subject (for
the
time being at least) and focus our attention on the many more urgent
issues
that might enrich the manifesto.

Regards,

Bhuwan



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