oppn parties Time To Bury The Outsider

News Snippets

  • JNU students march against the steep hike in fees, keep HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stuck at the venue of the convocation
  • USFDA says Cytotron, an anti-cancer kit developed by Bengaluru based Rajah Vijay Kumar, is a "breakthrough device" for treating liver, pancreatic and breast cancers
  • Car sales show a minuscule uptrend after declining continuously for 11 months
  • Industrial output contracts by 4.3% in September, the worst decline in 8 years
  • Centre defends abrogation of Article 370 in the Supreme Court, says the power under it was used by the President six times previously
  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar admitted to hospital with lung infection, put on ventilator
  • Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant quits as Union Minister
  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met the leaders of both Hindus and Muslims in Delhi on Sunday to ensure peace and harmony is maintained after the Ayodhya verdict
  • Tipu Jayanti passes off peacefully in Karnataka
  • 10 dead as Cyclone Bulbul leaves destruction in its wake in West Bengal
  • Shefali Verma breaks Sachin's 30-year old record by scoring an international fifty at 15 years and 285 days
  • Former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan dies at 87
  • India beat Bangladesh by 30 runs to win the 3rd T20 and clinch the series 2-1. Deepak Chahar becomes the first Indian to take a hat-trick in T20s and returns the best bowling figures of 6/7
  • Centre removes SPG cover of the Gandhis. However, they will still get Z-category security
  • CJI Ranjan Gogoi will have a meeting with UP chief secretary and DGP of the state in his chamber ahead of the verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute next week
India Commentary wishes all its readers a very Happy Guruparab
oppn parties
Time To Bury The Outsider

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The very idea of creating states on the basis of language or ethnicity gives rise to the idea of the ‘outsider’, or someone who does not ‘belong’. But whichever the state, an Indian is an Indian. Already, there are several restrictions on buying land in place for people other than those domiciled in the state for a given number of years in many states like J&K and all states of the North-East. The idea of India will be defeated if a Punjabi is treated as an outsider in Meghalaya, as it recently happened. The state witnessed days of curfews and clashes in which even senior police officers were attacked when a minor scuffle between a local Khasi and a local Punjabi snowballed into a major issue that raised questions about ‘outsiders’ bossing over the ethnic population. Meghalaya had already witnessed ethnic antagonism that had seen people from Bengal and Bihar leave the state in large numbers in the sixties and the seventies.

Elsewhere, Maharashtra sees periodic ‘drives’ against the so-called “bhaiyyas’ or people from Bihar and UP. In the sixties, the Naxals had made living hell for non-Bengalis in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal. That thread was revived in the late seventies by a fringe outfit that called itself “Amra Bangali”. It tired to enforce a linguistic hegemony by painting shop boards in languages other than Bengali with black paint and targeting non-Bengalis. The movement was an alarmist response to the problems being faced by Bengalis in the North-East. But it fizzled out as it did not receive public support and the administration dealt with the miscreants with a firm hand. The idea of an ‘outsider,’ however, received a measure of ‘respectability’ during the prolonged agitation against foreigners in Assam in the 1970’s.

But India is changing. For instance, boys and girls leave West Bengal for higher studies to places such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Delhi, Mumbai and Noida, among others. Sensing better opportunities elsewhere, they opt for campus placements and seldom return back permanently to their home state. The same is happening with young people in the North-East and other states. There are thousands of north Indian students in colleges and institutes in south India and likewise, there are thousands of south Indian students in colleges and institutions in north India. In that sense, the whole of India is becoming truly cosmopolitan. Hence, there is no place for an idea like that of an ‘outsider’ now. It is just that petty local politicians inflame passions and create disturbances. The administration must educate the people about cosmopolitan behavior and deal with all such instances swiftly and with a firm hand.