Divided We Fall

November 16, 2008
By

Once upon a time, there was a nation that could have lived happily ever after. But then that nation decided to become a democracy, and a confused mix of socialism and communism and capitalism.

Things would never be the same again.

Down the line, several new isms joined in. Big brother communalism started dividing the people on the basis of their regional identities. The nation of twenty one national languages and thousands of other languages and dialects started breaking up. South India hated North India. North India was suspicious of South India. Things came to a pass in 2008 when Maharashtra started beating up people from other states for taking up local jobs and not speaking the local language.

Separatism soon engulfed different corners of the nation. Kashmiris started burning flags and killing people. ULFA went on a rampage in the northeast. Naxalites took over Andhra and adjoining regions.

Then came along secularism. This one was funny because it was really anti secularism. This practice involved certain people from certain political outfits favoring certain religious communities, while ignoring the needs of the majority community. Anyone doing that was proclaimed non secular. Secularism acquired a new meaning – taking for granted the Hindu majority and appeasing the religious minorities to tap into their vote bank.

This secularism eventually broke up the country and gave rise to hatred and intolerance among the various communities.

Soon this evolved into fundamentalism. Muslim groups started blowing up Hindus. Hindu groups started blowing up Muslims. Christian missionaries started getting burnt (literally, unfortunately). When this got too predictable, terrorist outfits started blowing up their own people, just to make the other side look worse. Nobody gained, and a lot of lives were destroyed.

Sikhs got plundered in 1984 because two of them had killed the reigning monarch of India. Hindu pilgrims got burnt alive inside their train at Godhra, and many more Muslims were killed in the ensuing riots.

Gandhi died a second death. And a few dozen more.

This period was a stark comparison to medieval India when a Muslim dynasty ruled most of India’s predominantly Hindu population for a great period of time. Tipu Sultan was a latter day king famous as being a Muslim ruler under whose rule his kingdom of Hindu subjects made immense progress. The British would later come in and implement a Divide and Rule policy which would help them establish control of the huge and diverse country. They were sent packing in 1947, but things were to come a full circle under the politicians of modern day India who played their own game.

The country’s leaders then invented favoritism. They came upon this invaluable instrument that would help them achieve this. A few lives got lost and some people burnt themselves trying in vain to stop them, but we had a winner. Reservation. India started reserving jobs for minority communities. The original intent was noble. Reservation would have led to emancipation of the socially backward in the nation. But that was not what happened.

A couple of decades later, this system was mature. Like a two month old baby. Not satisfied with just having incompetent civil servants, doctors and teachers, the vote beggars started clamoring for reservation in private institutions. (whoever came up with the term civil servants – they are more like rulers!) )This would eventually pave the way for the collapse of the Indian economy as the so called global village started getting suspicious of Indian competitiveness.

Mahatma Gandhi was a Gujarati, as was Sardar Patel. Jagdish Chandra Bose was from Bengal. Bhagat Singh was from Punjab. Maulana Abul Kalam was Muslim. Jai Prakash Narain was from Bihar. C Rajgopalachari was from Tamil Nadu.

Silly people, all of them, representing different regions and religions, yet laying down their lives for the cause of the nation that was not to be.

We will keep fighting. We will keep blowing up people, and then expressing sympathy for them. We will  look down upon backward castes. We will keep fighting for our respective regional languages. We will beat up people who don’t accept our viewpoints.

We don’t care.

Unity in Diversity be damned. The nation can go take a walk. This is too much of a power trip for us to bother.

Earlier:
(Dis)Unity in Diversity
Kashmir Still Burns

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17 Responses to “ Divided We Fall ”

  1. Reema on November 16, 2008 at 7:23 am

    In all this isms we have forgot nationalism.

  2. Shefaly on November 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Reema

    Not sure nationalism is such a great one either. Remember Hitler? His Nazionalism is what caused much of the trouble in the 20th century :-)

  3. amreekandesi on November 16, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Reema – Nationalism seems like a concept of the bygone era. It is as if there are a hundred smaller nations within India, each struggling for supremacy and their own benefit.

    Does anyone think of India as a nation anymore, and not just the welfare of their own state/community/caste/religion? Based on current events, this seems to be the case.

    Shefaly – Indeed nationalism bordering on extremism is not what we want. Nice play on ‘nazionalism’ there :)

  4. Vijay on November 16, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Bravo! Brilliant write up.

  5. amlistening on November 16, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Hi AmericanIndian,
    I liked a couple of points you mentioned ….well researched article.
    This article refreshed a lot of memories. I hope we Indians realize that while we are fighting over silly things amongst ourself, China and Pakistan and may be some other nations are looking to eat parts of our nation.
    Sometimes I wonder what keeps Americans so patriotic despite all the black, brown and white fighting. May be they realize that despite whatever they do at home, when its about facing the rest of the world, I back my country. Funny this is happening in a nation thats made of immigrants mostly.
    Where did we Indian fall back. I still feel emotional when I hear my National Anthem, I still stand up and give respect. Despite being from any part of my country, I still feel glad to see my countrymen in the foreign land and I know a lot of people from my generation do feel that same. I am a idealist I know & I do get hurt because of that but am still not able to give my the Optimism and am happy about that. So let hope prevail….

  6. […] Continue Reading […]

  7. The Quirky Indian on November 17, 2008 at 2:00 am

    AD, my sentiments exactly. There is no vision, no concept of unity, and no accountability…so we will be content going the way we are, with our delusions of being a great country – when the truth is that in 50 years, we might be what Bangladesh is like today. Or worse.

    Cheers,

    Quirky Indian
    http://quirkyindian.wordpress.com

  8. Lively on November 17, 2008 at 6:23 am

    Hey there, reading this made me sad, for myself and for my country. A country which was once so rich and prosperous. A country which I don’t know what I should be proud of. A country in which I’m still living because I don’t have a choice otherwise. Neither to improve it nor to leave it. Many might say I can do my own thing, but I’m talking about a country here! I’ve thought it should start from somewhere and started doing my own things to make things better, but then there were so many other things which would eventually spoil that. Our concept of society and betterment is so contorted that we almost can’t do anything about it. Then there are soldiers at the frontiers protecting a society like this one! I almost feel like sitting in a corner and crying my heart out.

  9. Perx on November 17, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Well, all i’d like to add is what bhagat singh predicted has become true… gore sahab ki jagah bhoore sahab kursi par baith gaye… the conditions remain the same.. “divide and rule” i think this should go down into some book of records.. one theory which has been destroying the people of a nation for the last 4 centuries

  10. amit on November 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Sometimes I feel that we were better under British Rule. Atleast we stood united.
    Why is that we always want an external threat to realize the importance of each other?

  11. Dinesh on November 17, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Brilliant article. The nation is simply getting torn apart for political benefits of individuals. I think people have to realize this. They are the ones taking the bait. If they don’t then the politicians will have to work out something else. But again that is a huge ask – 1 billion people uniting to not take the bait!

  12. amreekandesi on November 17, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    @Vijay – Thanks

    @Amlistening – We need more idealistic people like you. India still works because some people care. We just need more people to start doing so.

    @ Quirky Indian – I believe that (at least some) people are becoming more aware. Its the youth that is going to shape the nation’s future. If they rise to the challenge, India is going to be a huge superpower. If not, well, lets hope that does not happen.

    @Lively – Welcome to this blog. Please dont cry. Yet.
    We can do something about the sad state of affairs. We have to.

    @Perx – Well said.

    @Amit – Thats a great point, potentially contentious though. We might curse the British, but they did some great things for India, including combining the nation as a single unit, providing modern infrastructure including a huge train network, tea, and cricket.
    I would be happy to see India come together as a nation in the face of problems, not sure if that would happen though.

    @Dinesh – Thanks! Hopefully more and more people will start realizing this, and start caring for their homeland.

  13. (Dis)Unity in Diversity? | amreekandesi.com on November 29, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    […] Also Read: Divided We Fall […]

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  15. lata on January 27, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Despite al these ‘isms’ there are still majority of people who care for their country and people at large.That’s why we very proudly sing,’Sarejahan se accha Hindostan hamara,Hum bulbulen hain iski ye gulistaan hamara.’

  16. S!D on October 13, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    ha ha ha ha me coming back again and again and again :(

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