Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Is India A Nation?

I saw an interesting article in a Toronto paper (National Post) today titled Is Canada a Nation?

This is not a new question for Canadians, nevertheless a sensitive one. This debate has been going for a while and each time there is an election of some kind this question props up. In Canada, this question comes around due to fact they are bilingual. While the majority speaks English, there is significant population concentrated in Quebec province that speaks French. Canadian constitution recognizes both English and French as the official languages and treat them equally as such at all levels and not just pay lip service. This is very evident from immigration forms to the freeway signs to even private conference call announcements.

Yet, there is strong under emotional undercurrent of linguistic nationalism that seems to be simmering for a long time now and doesn't appear to die down anytime soon.

Now what about India? Even after dividing India based on religion, separatist tendencies haven't died down. It has been cropping up ever so often with predictable frequency in India that begs the title of this post. Now, what are some projected motivations behind these separatist cries? If it is due to religion in Kashmir, it is due to race / language / religion in north east. Not very long ago, even the dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu wanted a separate country.

So, Is India a Nation ? or a collection of nations.

More fundamentally, what makes a Nation? Is it homogeneity by race / religion / language ? I don't know the secret sauce, but the number of countries UN general council has only risen over the years and I am quite certain will continue to raise. Does it make the world any more safer and its inhabitants any more prosperous? I doubt it..


  1. Ram,

    This has been in my mind too since a long time. But, don't you think that the integrity is constantly developing in India, than olden days. There may be differences always between divisions. Once we have divisions there will be conflicts. Whether division according to religion,language or region. People should learn to appreciate other's language and culture. The key word is tolerance. This is a debtatable topic.

  2. Hi,
    Are you in toronto by any chance?
    I have been your visitor to your blog for some time now. is it possible to meet up?
    if yes, i may be reached at 416-458-4389 .iam in mississauga/

  3. Ram,
    you might want to check out this article

  4. Hi,
    Got your message, you did not leave a callback number.

  5. Ram, you won't believe that the same topic we discussed just couple of days back....patti mandram topic maadhiri...oru theerppukku vara mudiyaadhu ;-)

  6. Hi Ram,
    It was a pleasure meeting you.
    Nice chat,Lots to talk, very little time.!!!
    Hopefully we shall meet sometime again!!
    I may be reached at

  7. On the one hand there are countries forming the Eu which come together seeing more economic sense in working together.On the other there are states/ regions in some countries rebelling on separtist ideology. It is clear what makes more sense in todays globalised scenario. If only common sense was more common....

  8. Balaji

    On one side globalization is shrinking the world.. but on the sider.. we humans keep finding new ways to create divisions.. I find that as the greatest dichotomy..

    I can travel from Chennai to Toronto or Austin easily.. but can't go to Kashmir easily or Aizwal easily..

    Thanks for taking the time to connect with me.. It was wonderful meeting you..

    Talkative Man

    Yeah.. no easy answers or solutions.. economic development is one answer.. when people are economically doing well.. then the divisions may not matter or worth it..

    Unity in Diversity.. interesting.. what is holding India together in spite of the pulls and pressures..? Why do you think Kashmir is still with India? Is it by force?

    Lot of things are..Common sense.. but not common practice..