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Secession & System

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
Now that there is a lull in the debate over secession, I thought I will
raise a point that I realised only recently while reading through these

One of the main objectives of IPI, as I understood, was to try and bring

about systemic reform. So could there be a systemic issue involved in
question of secession? For instance, could it be that if such a
existed in some form, and if the overall system supported _a free and
domocratic polity_, then the presence of such a provision might actually

induce the central leaders not to pursue policies that give rise to
separatist tendencies. This in turn may help douse the chauvinistic
that some local leaders try to promote.

The point is that, although it is undoubtedly true that many of the
separatist movement in the world has had racist, linguistic, ethnic,
religious underpinnings, there is not much ground to conclude that such
chavunistic sentiments cannot necessarily be countered successfully by
broader political / intellectual principles.

So much for my hypothesis. Now here is my evidence. The Quebec province
Canada has been going through referenda on separation about every ten
for the last thirty years and has failed each time, while the federal
has tried to maintain as much protection to Quebec's sensibilities.
Canada has expereinced perhaps the most peaceful of secessionist
And today, many from Quebec realise the benefits of staying with Canada,

and advantages of free trade and movement with US.

Likewise, the Scots and Welsh in UK have consistently refused to accept
separation as the answer. And increasingly there has been a greater
devolution of authority in UK.

Now an aside on Kashmir. I understand the issue is quite sensitive. But
would like to be _corrected_ if I am making any mistake. One of the
instruments by which the Indian claim over Kashmir is based is the
accession deed signed by the then Maharaja of Kashmir, the late Hari
A hindu ruler in a muslim majority province. This, of course, impiles
the Kashmiris had the option to go the other way. Secondly, India had
accepted the UN resolution on plebicite (we now oppose it because the
Pakistanis have failed to implement the UN resolution over Kashmir.)
Nevertheless, the bottom line seems to be that if Pakistan followed or
follows the UN resolution, then plebicite would be acceptable. Finally,
we fear a plebicite because we have so mismanaged affairs of Kashmir,
alienated a large section of people there that we fear a plebicite will
against India?? The late Minoo Masani, one of the members of the
constituent assembly, and a very prominent parliamentarian and at one
the leader of the opposition, was of the view that we should not fear
plebicite, because if we really trusted Kashmiris, and treated them
and did not look at Kashmir as a prime real estate sans its people, then

there is no reason to think that Kashmiris will vote against a
and free India.

Another aside. It was said during this dicussion, that India looks like
number of nations stuck together, and we as people hardly work together
one nation. It was also said that the same Indians when they go abroad
quite well, and get along with the other nationalities without much
difficulty. Perhaps this is because, those who go abroad have a choice -
stay abroad or return to India - the choice of secession, so to speak,
least as an individual. While many who have remained within India, are
mostly there out of circumstance, not so much out of choice. Perhaps,
factor plays a role in determining the outcome.

Comments are most welcome - personal or public. And I sincerely hope
this mail will not raise a new storm in IPI. My prior apologies to all
may take offence to this submission. That was not my intention.


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