Sare jahan Se accha Hindostan hamara. Hum Bulbulein hain iski yeh gulsitan hamara. ( Our loveable Hindustan is above all others in the world. We are it’s singing birds and this is our garden) . This is how poet Iqbal described India before independence and partition. After independence from the British Raj, the Indian Constitution framed by politicians brought up with such liberal and romantic ideas gave us a free nation which bestowed on all citizens unfettered rights to freely move and settle in any part of the country.
Encouraged by this liberal constitution and newly found freedom the post independence era brought about a great intermingling of it’s people . Our great cities at one time took pride in being labeled as cosmopolitan in nature or sometimes being called a mini India. The south Indian Idly Dosa cuisine found it’s way to each north Indian eating joint and south India in turn felt proud to have a “ Shere Punjab” Hotel in every nook and corner of major metro cities. The Kathak dancers of Lucknow performed to fully packed auditoriums in Goa and the Hindi Cinema anchored at Mumbai established as a million dollar industry with the participation of Kapoor Khandans of Punjab. Considered as the heman of his times actor Dharmendra fell to the charms of South Indian belle Hema Malini and Masoor Ali Khan Nawab of a princely State in Punjab found solace in marriage with an actress of Bengali origin.
But the happiness and enjoyment of the newly born nation in creating a multidimensional social fabric was short-lived. The political leadership which in post independent India found itself overwhelmed with the task of nation building and in turn felt threatened for survival due to lack of imaginative problem solving capabilities reinvented the politics of divide and rule . The desperation and frustration, infact painted the obnoxious agenda with much sinister colours . The agenda got upgraded to marginalize and kill.
The new trend of political one-upmanship is leading to an astonishingly grim scenario . Firstly it was a war between north and south later on we narrowed down our boundaries and developed hatred for natives of all states other than our state . Majority of states now have some grouse with the neighboring state. Process of free flow of human beings across the state borders is considered as an invasion for financial exploitation. Each state has it’s own database to explain as to how business men and jobseekers from other states are choking the sons of soil in their states. Migration is considered as an act of crime to enjoy hard earned economic benefits of the other state. With every passing day the boundaries are shrinking further , now it is a question of culture being confined to cities.
So while Mumbaikars may enjoy their New Yea’s eve in Goa but the north indian taxi driver who ferried them across the border for enjoyments may get mashed up by Shiv Sainiks on return for not belonging to Mumbai ! In not too distant future a railway train running from one end of the country to other end may carry only dead bodies of passengers at the last stop because people of each state (or city?) would attempt to eliminate those passengers who are aliens i.e. from other states or cities.
Who said that the Raj is dead it has emerged in a new avtar.