It is diabolic and downright arrogant to claim that the Southern States are superior and the Northern states are inferior. This is just like the claim that Brahmins are the most intelligent and all others are wallowing in base idiocy. The development of South has a history behind it. It remained relatively undisturbed for about two hundred years when the North India was in turmoil. Even after independence the North had to face many problems because of its demographic profile. It was because the North was supplying raw materials at cheaper rates that the industries of the south could prosper. The IT industries grew because the tax benefits they had.
I am not for a moment suggesting that all is well with the Northern states. But they are coming out of the morass and I consider it is the duty of the South to help them and not to act uppity. I am also not suggesting that the South should be short-changed. The Governments of the Southern States should ensure that they get their fair share. But the principle that India is one and help should reach the most needy should never be lost sight of. It is on this rock that the Indian Nation has been erected. The task of the Finance Commission is not the simple one of multiplication and division. It has to consider the needs of all the states carefully and allocate the funds in a just manner. So far, considering the complexities that they had to encounter all finance commissions had done a decent job. Yes, state governments had complained earlier too but complaining was their right. That not many were even aware of the existence of such a commission was testimony that there was nothing much to complain about. This time it is different, just because some guys who think they are too clever have taken upon themselves to present a false and a potentially dangerous narrative that the North is likely to sponge on the South with the active support of the Finance Commission. It is disgusting and shameful that vultures are already busy circling the sky when the Finance Commission report is due only in 2019. Veiled threats in the guise of scholarly articles have made their appearance and TV shows are full of fake discussions on the subject. Advisors from abroad are busy pontificating.
Their most putrid argument is that the North did not control its population and hence it should be punished. Let us take this argument to its logical extreme. Between 2001 and 2011 the Hindu population grew at the rate of 16.8% and the Muslims at the rate of 24.6% In the previous decade the Hindu rate of growth was 19.9% and the Muslim growth rate was 29.5%. If the same South-North logic is applied here, the Muslims should be punished for having more babies. Does this argument sound sane? And this is not the extreme. It is well known that the poor in India have large families. Should they be punished for having large families? Within Tamil Nadu itself there were very poor districts and very rich districts. Why should rich districts subsidize the poor?
One harm, a very serious harm, this spurious argument has done is that it has strengthened the arms of the separatist thugs. They are now howling from every platform available that the South has been betrayed and the possible solution is separation. They are also questioning the very idea of nationalism and a few intellectually lazy NRIs are applauding them from the sidelines.
I concede that nationalism has intrinsically no merit. One is a nationalist only because there is no other better option available. But what stares at our faces is this: Indian Nation is a fact and if Nationalism is without merit, regional chauvinism is vile madness. Only persons who are unbalanced and mentally deranged will advocate that Tamil Nadu should go separate on the premise that it is being betrayed. This is nothing but blackmail and Indian state is powerful enough not to submit to blackmail. Threat of separation and ridiculing Indian nationalism will make all patriotic Indians more determined.
Let me also say this.
It is clear that a small group of persons are actively working with some Tamil youngsters and instilling in them the idea of separation. It is more than unlikely that they will succeed. Some febrile guys are even dreaming of civil war, injected as they are with the funds of the LTTE. Civil war might sound exciting to the youngsters, especially the unemployed ones weaned on Tamil cinema, empty rhetoric and, above all, the myth of Prabhakaran. But civil war has always been horrendous. If it was horrendous in the piddly little Srilanka, it was horrendous in China and it was horrendous in the US.
The only democracy that fought a Civil War on a huge scale was the United States of America.
When the American Civil War happened it was not that the Southern States had no genuine grievances. They had many, but it was stupid and callous on the part of its leaders to announce the formation of the Confederacy. The result was a civil war of such savagery that the civil war still holds the record number of deaths for the US – 620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts all over the world. The South is still suffering from its effects.
A civil war in India will be much more horrendous – horrendous beyond our wildest dreams. I am not suggesting that we are going to have a civil war any time soon, but then it is not necessary to have a Civil War for Tamil Nadu to go down the drain. The idiots who are holding court here will ensure that by persistently misdirecting the youngsters. The day is not far off when it will be our turn to request the Finance Commission to take into account our miseries before allocating funds.