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Why not hold a Scotland-style referendum on North Karnataka?

Kiran Batni http://kiranbatni

Updated: May 22, 2015, 10:21 AM IST
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How would it be if the European Parliament sitting in Brussels took the decision on Scotland’s secession from the UK within closed doors (assuming the UK were a part of the EU)? How would it be if, on one fine day, Brussels told London that it must let go of Scotland?

Most importantly, how would it be if the people of Scotland were asked to step aside from such an important question precisely because it’s an important question?

You know how it would be?

It would be like what’s going on in Karnataka right now. I’m talking about the procedure that might ultimately end up creating another dummy Indian state completely at the mercy of a Centre indulging in divide-and-rule: North Karnataka.

We call India a democracy. But some of the most important decisions in India aren't made by the people. They're made by the Central Government which, since its inception, is assumed to possess the infinite and supreme wisdom to do what's good to the ‘dumb millions’.

Anyone who is following the developments regarding North Karnataka knows what’s at play: caste equations. It’s just a question of lingayats versus vokkaligas, with development as the façade.

It's possible to cut Karnataka horizontally so that these two castes gain further majority: lingayats in the north and vokkaligas in the south. And this is exactly the cut being proposed by vested political interests from North Karnataka.

If the northern districts really want to separate from the rest of Karnataka, why not ask the question directly to the people of those districts? Why not hold a Scotland-style referendum on the question?

Instead of such a democratic procedure, what we have is vested interests lobbying with heads of so-called national parties in New Delhi who only benefit from powerless states. Closed-door transactions between caste leaders, powerful businessmen and party bosses substitute for the people's freedom.

Since the Constitution of India entrusts the Centre with the task of playing with state borders as it deems fit in its supreme wisdom, our ‘holy book’, as Narendra Modi called it, doesn’t require the people to have a say in the matter.

This is supposed to be the best approach to ensure India's strength. But in reality, only a few vested interests gain strength while India disintegrates on the ground. I don’t know about you, but I don’t call this holy.

First Published: May 22, 2015, 10:21 AM IST

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