My comment on Kislay's post the idea of a nation was getting too long and hence this post.
the nation is still an idea, is a popular notion that exists among its citizens. Though its geographical boundaries exist, it seems to be gnawing away in the north and in the east . Any country that sits at its borders is playing with the idea of cutting across the existing border line or the people of the state is helping the country across the border to chew it – that is the first reason that india still exists as an idea.
One of my family members has immigrated into India and though he was raised in the central part of the country, he still feels emotionally closer to the state that speaks his native language. People like him exists in millions in india.
It was a bolt from the blue when I heard something called as “south india” exists , and that too no where else but at the orientation of international students in the university in the US – that is the 3rd reason why india as a nation is an idea. An anonymous comment adds their own perception "As much as JalianWala Bagh brings sadness and the thirst for revenge for many a so called Indian, it also brings out another point in post-independent India. The northerners, Hindi, Punjab and others were suppressed brutally by the Muslims, I mean literally butchered by the Moghals and Ghazni’s and also by the British. To this day some of them boast of their struggle against the British and the sacrifices of their Guru’s against the Muslims. But today in the rest of India northerners are proliferating their way of living and language just as the British were doing in the past. Hindi is a damn nuisance especially in the south of India. Their conniving business practices are not unknown to the locals and their refusal to respect the local culture and tradition is an abomination. It almost makes the locals wish the British were back and gave them a good old taste of the Raj. And the ghetto’s they are forming will lead to the disintegration of India which might result in more hatred and bloodshed. You have already seen the beginning of it in Mumbai!!!"
It has been proven that one is more closer to the region that one is raised in.One can see this dyanamisim in universities .All from the same region huddled in groups. Multiply this in millions across the country.This is the 4th reason.
The politics in every state is tied to its state – and tied mostly to religion and caste and dynamics of the land. In India the kid is raised to say words like “ I am a rajasthani or a maharashtrian or a Kannadiga or a jharkhandi and an Indian only second – This my friend put regionalism first. Thus not visualising themselves as an indian first. Add some more millions. This my friend is the 5th reason that the nation is a idea.
As school children millions of kids are not raised as saying “ we are the most powerful people in the land." We all were children first before growing up and we only know it too well – that children like to be the superlatives and that is eluding us as a visualiser. We have continued with the british education system,which was to exalt everything ‘english or western’ and look down upon anything indian(I hate using the word vernacular in the same sentence)–Count this as the 6th reason.
India’s government as a kingdom still exist – with the dynastic rulers becoming the majority party since its inception – call it the democratic tyranny. And as one of my washington classmates once told me, the british has left, but has left the british in the form of babus (the civil service offficer). the heavy beat of the british has jeopardised the process of thinking in india and has collapsed the idea of nation in existence. They made sure that religious violence spread like virus and it has become an epidemic. Sadly our nations leaders at the rebirth of india on the day of independence was more gluttoned with power than the idea of a “powerful nation”- and the current ‘young political big wigs’ are only chips of the old block. this my friend is another reason that india is cracked and its geographical boundaries are being drawn time after time and our indian leaders have no time governing the country because they are buzy playing chess recklessly within themselves – this my friend is the 7th reason that we are still debating and discussing.
India is buzy creating things for other countries and conveniently forgotten to create a governance for themselves.(why parliamentary or presidential system – there might be completely something else that works out for us, honestly I have not given a serious thought.) Our leaders became the FOLLOWERS of the british system and PHOTOCOPIED everything AND they pretended THAT THE NATION WILL BUILD ON ITS OWN. Power blinded them so much on 15th august,1947 that they thought that governance would blindly follow. intelligent leaders are becoming puppets in the hands of goons. Here's the 8th reason.In reality many parts of the country in parts is centuries old (who counted – 60 years?.
TO CARVE A GOVERNANCE is every generation’s work. India has not started it yet. – that is why india is still an idea. To add to it POLITICAL WILL is a word NOT found in the country’s dictionary and that is the only force that one needs to create a vision and a mission, goals, objectives and timelines to create a powerful, impressive country for the citizens to be proud of. Talking about it is one thing and working towards establishing a nation is another thing – A very serious note that is still not included in the idea!
DO NOT sit on the fence on the country or DO NOT HEDGE your own country. Nor mince the works that is required to prove again and again the existence of a COUNTRY. You do any one of this anytime,the idea of india as a nation is still only an idea !
I am not great with history nitty gritties so please expect the errors. Only a million or so think what you have written in practicality, though in theory it is all good. As much is the beauty of diversity in india, the same are its perils for nation building. It is a great visualiser,And a grand mission on hand. And the most important of all,as citizens we have not stepped up, which is where the locus of the failure lies.