Narayan… Narayan…

October 29, 2008

The Crisis of Identity continues…

I will take a step back to do some thinking on the “Sons of the Soil” concept.

AD 1947 – The great Indian nation stretching from the Karakoram ranges to the Arakan Yoma ranges was being divided. Religion formed the major criteria for partition – Hindu or Muslim. Muslims in the sub-continent had acquired an identity – being a Pakistani, which was different from being one amongst the few million Indians.

AD 1952 to AD 1961 – Potti Sriramulu dies in a hunger strike. He wanted a separate state for the Telugu speaking community, free from Tamil hegemony. Nehru assures of separate statehood. The Indian nation is divided into states based on Language. Every Indian had one more criteria to identify oneself with –Language.

AD 1979 – A commission headed under Parliamentarian Bindheshwari Prasad Mandal was established to identify the socially and educationally backward, and finally ends up suggesting affirmative action practice under Indian constitution to backward communities. Mandal Commision ends up giving us one more characteristic to identify ourselves – Caste.

One should not forget that we are already born with 2 characteristics the whole world recognizes – Color and Sex.

Nature divided us on the basis of sex; the world divided itself based on race, and color. We then divided ourselves on the basis of religion, language and now caste. How further can I go, to identify myself uniquely?

But hey… as I ask myself this question, one cranky guy has opened up a can of worms – Son of the Soil.

Now what is that? How do I identify myself with a particular soil?

I just reached a point of frustration.

Can’t I just lead my own life? Can’t every common man live a life without being bothered to prove his identity & his loyalties?

Why do you need to classify me as a Southie or Northie? Why do I need to identify my loyalties to a particular state, a Bihar or a Maharashtra?

Is it hard being just an INDIAN?

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