Saturday, August 10, 2013

Law School Regionalism - A Broader Perspective

India is all set to turn sixty six in just a few days from now. As we brace ourselves to touch upon the mid-way of the decade, its time to rewind a bit and ask ourselves as to whether will we be certainly a developed nation by 2020, a dream once shown to us by the Missile Man of India.

But not by looking at its growth in GDP, or proper implementation of its five years plans etc. Just as charity begins at home, so does unity. I study in a National Law University and so do many of you in some or the other national institute of the country. During the first year, the lobbying and first-instance inclination of people coming from the same linguistic, communal or regional background was obvious and legitimate. Things tend to go hazy when a small chunk of such people in every batch are not able to get over this fact even after considerable number of days in college. Frankly speaking, I never knew the deep detailed specifications of my caste, sub-caste, origin etc. until I reached college. I came across people with awesome versatility levels. I was happy that people coming from some of the remotest areas of different Indian states interacted and intermingled like old pals. But things get bad when cities, languages, style statement, flamboyance levels, sometimes former schools etc. become the basis for group formation and classification. Subsequent consequences involve cheap acts of favouritism, hoarding of information of things like a new seminar/conference call opportunities, class notes circulation etc. Things get further annoying when dinning discussions become a limited party affair due to language and related constraints. Often this happens unavoidingly, but then very often deliberately as well. Even the unnecessary idea of advocating and debating as to how one state/city of India is better than the other, would make us fall into the category of mundane species rather than so-in-demand glocal citizen of today. Every state and its citizens are prosperous and rich in their own sense altogether.

The purpose here is not to name any states, regions, cities or communities. Rather, it is to highlight these problems which  tend to rip batch unity apart, rather never allow its birth only to take place. The batch gets scattered into herds of sheep rather than a pride of lions. All of these college going lads of today shall be our future of tomorrow.

Sixty six years back, linguistic division of states was done to facilitate administration, law and order etc. National Institutes were set up with the idea to bring in together the most creative and diversified minds of the country who shall live day and night together, become easy solutions to the problems of each others' personal and professional lives, to ultimate become the leaders of tomorrow.

But what is happening in reality is sometimes very perturbing. It does not come to limelight simply because it happens in form of small pockets and closed rooms. These are just small steps which ultimately lead to young minds of today becoming narrow minded politicians of tomorrow. It is only these unwanted persisting mentalities which divide people on the basis of region, then caste, and ultimately the titanic of all, religion. College is the right time curb and cure all such mentalities. One can be an equally efficient seller of his ideas if he thinks in the broader perspective as an Indian, rather than a Punjabi, Bihari, Tamilian, Marwari, Bengali, Kannadiga, Mallu, Oriya etc.

"The focus should be on the first names and not on the surnames. The objective should not be to trace the quota-based history but to shape a togetherness based future. "

Birds of the same feather do flock together, but the real flocking lies in removing one from your cap and adding it to someone else's. Gone are those days when we were 562 princely states. We are on the verge of becoming a global superpower. The problem of Kashmir has always been an uphill task for India to handle. It is already there since birth as a reflection of the persisting religious divide inspite of our tall claims of Unity in Diversity. We as lawyers need to come along together and work as social engineers and ensure that we do not allow another Telangana to happen. Otherwise the day is not far away, when we all shall unknowingly and convincingly prove what Winston Churchill had one said about India, "If we ever left india it will be run by the goons". Just as charity begins at home, so does unity and we need such unified twenty-some Indians more than any moment in history now.

The inspiration for the post comes from mixed emotions generated by today being Eid, the Independence Day celebrations lined up next week, the recent Telengana development and the movies Black Friday and Bombay watched last night.

P.S.: The author can be reached here, here. Any resemblance of this post to any real persons, institutions, instances etc. is purely coincidental.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that such extreme exhibition of regionalism is not acceptable, specially when you look down on one region to glorify your own. But there is an advantage to this rise of sudden regional love, immediately after being tossed into a national matrix. And this advantage is that of awareness.For a average kid who makes it to a national level institution, his last five years before college are all about marks, boards, tuition classes etc. There are many kids who don't know a lot about where they have come from and what are the glorious facts relating to their own region. Only when he/she comes across a foreign culture, there arises a curiosity to go back explore their own culture..sometimes to find a similarity and sometimes to find a counter-part. For instance I had never eaten a sweet commonly sold by any Gujarati Halwai's called the 'Rajbhog'. While my sweet tooth beckoned an extreme sense of bliss, I could not fail to notice its similarity with the Eastern Delicacy of 'Rasugulla'. I went back and did a simple Google research.Only then I found out that this super hit sweet blockbuster in India was a creation of my state. This conclusion was then corroborated by other sources back at home. Such knowledge in the 2oth year of my existence..I felt embarrassed. But then better late than never. Today I cant stop the shopoholic inside me when I see a 'Bandhej Kurta' in any shop at the same time a home stitched 'Sambalpuri Kurta' is also equally dear. In a way I became culturally sensitive. I learnt to appreciate and love the beautiful elements of Northern, Southern and Western India and at the same time re explore those Eastern India with more care. The idea is love your own culture and respect other's!!