Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bridging the divide

The recent election campaigning by the TN political parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections underlines the fact that the common man there is not able to relate himself to the aspirations of the rest of India. The ongoing war in Sri Lanka between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan army has polarised the scenario there and we have more cheer when a leader accuses the Sri Lankan govt for crimes against the tamils than when he accuses the central govt on failure to deliver on developmental issues.


Tamil Nadu seems to have this problem right since the 1960’s when there was the Tamil movement reminiscent of the current activities of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS). This tamil movement replaced the rule of the Congress party in the state with the DMK. Regional parties have continued to rule the roost ever since.


Primary and Secondary education curriculum have enforced Tamil as a compulsory language. There have been campaigns against using English as a medium of education. Such campaigns are usually spearheaded by politicians who send the children to Harvard or a Yale to pursue their studies. Such hypocrisy I fear will alienate the people of TN from the rest of India.


But thanks to India’s phenomenal growth since early 2001, we have a lot of employment generated in TN ; Madurai , Chennai and Coimbatore in particular. The Services sector has been a major contributor to this. Such employment opportunities have attracted youth from across the country. The movement of people I believe is India’s strength and helps in bridging the divide between people following different cultures and languages. I hope and believe that such a phenomenon will end TN’s isolation.


But when a Vaiko speaks for the secession of TN from the rest of the country and speaks of a separate Tamil nation, all such efforts of bridging the divide seems wasted. The sad fact is that parties like the CPI have also started speaking this language. All this for petty electoral gains.

I recently read about the Governor of Texas speaking in a similar language. He was speaking of secession from the USA if Washington’s tax policies would not be reformed. He was using a much milder tone although.

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