Nation and Nationalism 7 – Live and let live

India is a union of states and a federal democracy with sharing of powers between the center and states. And it has remained as a union and will remain as such forever. But there are few sections of people in this humongous society who will go to any extent to twist the facts and figures without any reasoning which in turn ends up in triggering borderline secessionist ideology.

Is South India developed than the North? 15th finance commission’s decision to consider 2011 census for sharing of taxes with state is misinterpreted vaguely by few politicians. So, eventually several enthusiastic people with itching sensation all over the body joined the chorus without examining the facts, logic and reasoning before it ended upon in debating about North vs South.

So, I asked few of my friends who are one among the common men in this country to share their opinion about North vs South and Is South India subsidizing North India? Should there be equal treatment? What is the reason for North’s under development?

And here are few interesting answers.

Southern peninsula had better connectivity with external world since ages whereas Northern part was almost land locked and suffered in chaos for long period of time. These advantages allowed industries to grow there in modern times which led to better education and in turn better administration in the South. So while North was involved in more wars, hostile neighbors and civil disturbances, South stayed relatively calm. Hence, there was migration of people from North to South to work in the industries as labour which made Tamil Nadu as manufacturing hub. South was better quipped technologically which helped IT boom and in fact Northern people were part of South’s development of IT sector. On the whole issues faced by North and South are different so there will be different priorities. We cannot offhandedly characterize that South is subsidizing North. Please remember that we may face different issues with different priorities and at the end of the day we are Indian” – SK Kambhampati, Andhra Pradesh

Yes, precisely. We welcome them with open hands and with an open mind in all fields such as educational, industries, even day to day life business aspects and religious institutions. We never show partiality nor hatred towards anyone… We don’t bias or judge based on their skin, language or food habit (leave those MCs). We treat them as brothers by providing all the comforts and assurance whenever one is in need whilst they don’t. We’re always treated inferior by them based on religion, ethnicity, race, Color and language. We have lot of industrial revenue income from textiles , automobiles etc .. Those revenues and taxes paid are utilized in building Sardar Vallabhai Patel statue and unwanted stuffs in North rather than useful stuff”. – M Chinnasamy, Tamil Nadu

There already is equal treatment. All states except for J&K are equal. Delhi isn’t a state. Other than North & South, there’s also West, East, Central and North-East India along with two island groups. The entire country is one. Every single state has had its good and bad times, strengths and weaknesses. And every single state has been helped by others in the time of need”. – N Kumar, Haryana

Yes we do. Because 11 out of 23 northern states have special category status. And some of them are having this status since 1969 whereas the others were added later. I will talk about my state, AP. We got new borders after bifurcation which has been done by the so called northern political parties for their own profit and as a result there is no capital city and sources of revenue to run the state…. If you see, 65%-70% taxes are contributing to center from six southern states. And the rest of 30% is contributed by Northern states because this so called 11states are getting their SUBSIDIARY and tax free boundaries. To rule these states, Center is giving 30% share from finances-taxes directly which we(south) are paying. Even I agree to do so but only up to some years. But it’s started in 1969 and is still continuing. This is equal to different Bands/ratings given in IT sector where we are doing same work but getting different treatment. Similarly like IT sector, Central government is following Bell Curve in all its Finance Commissions and I don’t want that to happen anymore. If you think some states are getting profited and some are not, YES, I need special and also equal treatment”. – NT Bonthala, A frustrated citizen of Andhra Pradesh

“My states natural resources and minerals are distributed across the country and we get nothing from it. Where is that revenue going? And this migration thing to the south is contributing even more to South’s development”U Alok, Jharkhand

System is not at all good. Being lazy, north states are getting more money. And if population based money allocation is implemented then it will do more bad than now”. – G Balraj, Tamil Nadu

No one is perfect. Every politician is a culprit. I am very angry.” – HS Sandeep, Karnataka

“First, let’s clear the misunderstanding that every state above south India is not North India. India is divided as the East, North East, West, North, South and Central. This chorus “South subsidizing North” is a well played political move by Congress which was later amplified by Makkal Needhi Mayyam (by our beloved Kamal Hassan). Let me ask you a question ..Would Congress or any other political party ignore weaker parts if at all given a chance to govern? No ! The whole drama is set to defame BJP. Many people are not aware of this political move and are becoming the reason to split India into North and south.

We all are part of same country and should fight/work/unite together when it comes to balance our economic or financial disparities, to eradicate poverty, to wipe out corruption etc., During critical times ( govt failure, calamities, inflation…), we stood together and supported each other to come out of the crisis quickly.

Coming to the your question. Yes, South India is economically stable and subsidizing North India, East India and West India. In my opinion it’s not wrong at all. I find it completely fair. Future is UNCERTAIN. Today you are on the top of the list but tomorrow you might not be and would expect the same from the so called North India”.M Bano, Uttarakhand

Of course! We(south) pay 100 for the center and get only 40 in return but North pays 40 and get nearly 75 which is way large. By the way South has more contribution to GDP whereas infrastructure, jobs and social expenditure is more for them. In terms of investment, ours is more drain of wealth which British did. Lot of disturbances affected north more which made it unstable. Huge population base and being under the control of Congress and RSS hampered its development. Land reforms were not implemented properly and development was more agro centric. But South had regional and linguistic touch which gave good leaders whereas Hindi being common across the North, there was no regionalism except communalism which pulled them down even more”. – S Kakarla, Tamil Nadu

“Culture and surroundings are different in both the regions. In south, even if the person is driving an Audi he will still be wearing a traditional wear whereas you compare the same in North, it will be totally different like they will be playing loud music and youngsters will be driving rashly. In north, once you are caught by police, the first thing you do is call your friend’s friend whose uncle is somewhere in higher position. I don’t know much about South. People here still want to preserve their roots and values. Where as in the North, people are adopting to change themselves. Also there is this language thing going on. Like even inside South, there is a difference you can see between Tamil people and Telugu people. Income of the states depends on alcohol in the South whereas alcohol doesn’t play such a major role in states income in the North. People in the South are more literate compared to north. And this is my personal opinion – when it comes to doing business like selling your ideas , people in the north are better at doing it”H Patel, Gujarat.

So, was this ruckus necessary in the first place? Is it really a useful thing to debate upon? Everyone who is just against the subsidizing concept is not fully aware of the facts and reasons. A prejudicial and irrational statement without any strong basis for truth will serve no purpose other than developing hatred among us. British were successful in implementing ‘Divide and Rule’ policy to plunder us and we should not fall prey to same trap again now laid by our own irrational minds.

North India is not underdeveloped and South India is not developed. There might be imbalance and differences in the levels of development, but not at all comparable with global standards.

The Pacific and Atlantic coast of America is industrially well developed and contributes huge chunk of GDP to USA than vast central part. Is this kind of secessionism prevailing there? Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad are not comparable with the gigantic proportions of Delhi and Mumbai. Cost of living in Noida and Mumbai is more than Bangalore. No other city is as well planned as Chandigarh. And standard of living in villages across the country irrespective of South and North is almost same. Development is not about GDP but it is about our way of thinking. And in this regard, every one of us is at sub standard levels without proper scientific and social temper.

An intellectual and rational judgment of a situation considering most possible factors is the need of hour. Looking at a Facebook post, troll, meme, tweet and a Whatsapp forward message and believing in it without even checking the standard facts is what we call as under development and unnecessary development and a dangerous development. And this is what we are practicing, unfortunately.

Subsidize each other to uplift all of us, hold each other to strengthen ourselves and march forward for a better future.

Author is a proud Indian but disappointed for missing the whistles of CSK again in Chennai.

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