Sunday, February 17, 2008

Naavu Bharatheeyaru

'Maharashtra for Marathis', 'Tamil Nadu for Tamilians', 'Karnataka for Kannadigas', 'Bihar for Biharis' are slogans of dangerous ideologies that are antithetical to the overarching idea of India. If the people are restricted to live and die in their native states and are targeted in other states, India will cease to be a nation but a set of warring states. So parochial, divisive ideologies should be dealt with strongly. Having said that, the feeling of insecurity among the localites has to be treated in a very responsible manner.

Bangalore is one of the cities where there is a growing perception of insecurity among local people. There is a feeling among the native people that they are becoming strangers in their own land. They feel they are losing their job to 'outsiders'. Though this sense of insecurity is not entirely unfounded, the solution lies not in packing the 'outsiders' off, but in accommodating everyone to benefit from the system.

The solutions are not hard to find. First thing is proper planning. If only our planners had taken care to ensure that growth was spread not just inside Bangalore but also cities around it, the outsider problem would have been less conspicuous. The number of people who have come from other states would have been distributed across a larger area had the growth too been distributed.

Secondly, the opportunities for growth too need to be increased. IT alone should not be seen as an engine of growth. Mysore, for instance, can create so many opportunities through it's sheer tourist attractions. In any other nation, Mysore would have been a thriving, prosperous city with it's places of tourist interest.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the language and culture of each state needs to be respected, nurtured and strengthened both by the state and central governments. Blatant discrimination by Governments, as done by the present UPA regime in giving classical language status to Tamil and not to Kannada though both qualified for it, can only add unnecessarily to the discontent.

In a nation there will be places of high prosperity and also places that are not so. There will naturally be a migration of people to those areas where they feel they can lead a good life. None can deny them that right within a nation. But then they too should learn to be understanding about the native language and culture. Stubborn refusal to learn even basic communication in the native language is very annoying. Atleast an honest attempt should be made.

Given that migration between states can only increase, our education system too needs to be finetuned taking this aspect in mind. Although there is considerable awareness of other cultures through TV and internet there has to be cultural education too in schools where people learn about other states. This can be achieved through meaningful educational trips and interesting books. Above all, we need a strong sense of nationalism to be imbibed into every aspect of our national life, be it education, politics or anything for that matter.At the end of the we are the citizens of one nation and we need to remain so. ''Nation", as Dr. Kalam once said, "ïs bigger than the individual".