Sunday, September 10, 2017

Idea of a Nation - vi

I wonder whether hardening of anti-immigrant sentiments in the developed countries portend similar social curve in India too. Or are the social dynamics entirely different so that India would be insulated from it? What are the social dynamics in India now anyway?

In many states of India, the proportionate of the population looking for non agricultural jobs has grown substantially in recent times because of improving literacy. However, as the country makes a transition from socialist economy to Keynesian(?) economy the government job opportunities have come down substantially.

Because of huge population, the effective population that applies for jobs is also huge. The poorer states have bigger population than relatively prosperous states. So, the effective competent population from poorer states that fight for jobs is always going to be higher. Unfortunately, such dynamics exist in case of the castes too.

Comparing with the situation in developed countries, one could observe that some of the states in southern India, without reaching the level of prosperity or the quality of life of the European countries, show common factors like low birthrate and immigration. If you compare with Britain, where the immigrants would anyway adopt English, the dominant and privileged position of Hindi in India would hinder the assimilation of the immigrants with the local population (along with the caste system, which though divides the local population itself).

With this background, I wonder whether anti-immigrant voices would become dominant in the states that have job opportunities but aren't developed as much as some of the European countries.

In Europe, the anti-immigrant feeling goes hand in hand with right-wing mentality. However, that's not so in case of southern India. In fact, regional identity is anathema to Hindutva right-wing scheme of things. Nevertheless, the anti-immigrant feeling would be identified with linguistic right-wing thought.

There lies the tragedy. The population that would feel insecure would be overwhelmingly from OBCs and Dalits in any state. In fact, they would even fear the immigration from any other states, north or south divisions notwithstanding. So a set of population, which took generations to come to the mainstream, now finds itself in the kind of competition which the privileged castes never faced when they moved to civilized and scientific world with the advent of modern education in India. Thus while the privileged castes have the means to overcome the competition with that cultural capital, the OBCs and Dalits might struggle thus continuing their overall situation.

I wonder whether one of the solutions to this could be creating an Indian Union with autonomous states. True, the European Union gave rise to anti-immigrant feeling in Britain. However, this is still a good solution in Indian context, if you consider the fact that autonomous states will have a bigger government also providing more representations to the locals in various fields. Thus an autonomous state could act as an employer to a greater number of local people.

This will also ensure that we'll have a single currency, market and open borders. In case of India, a single military too.

An Indian Union will curb  or at least delay the development of linguistic right-wing thought in our society.

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