oppn parties Time To Bury The Outsider

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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.