MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA JANUARY 08 , 2012 11.45 P.M.
It is not that every day a new country is born . It happens occasionally . It happens once in a life time . So when I read about the vivisection of Sudan , a country in Africa , I was pleasantly surprised .
In my 60 years of existence , I have seen birth of 28 major countries . I might be forgetting some tiny countries but 28 major countries took birth during my life time and I vividly remember those epoch – making moments . So when Sudan was split into two , I decided to chronicle these events .
First major country , whose birth I remember , was Bangladesh . She came into being in 1971 after a bloody and gory battle with Pakistan . Formerly East Pakistan , the new country Bangladesh , became independent in 1971 .
Birth of Bangladesh is proof that religion can not be a binding factor for a country . In the case of Bangladesh , the common religion , Islam failed to unite two wings of Pakistan .
Bangladesh became a member of United Nation Organization in 1974 .
Vietnam’s journey as a nation is fascinating . From Imperial China to French colonizers she travelled through the centuries and the journey was an arduous one at times . Later on Vietnam accepted communism , she was divided into two ; North Vietnam and South Vietnam . North Vietnam was communist and South Vietnam was capitalist . Hanoi and Saigon were the capital cities of two Vietnams respectively . Both parts of Vietnams were united on July 02 , 1976 .
Vietnam is one nation . She was divided into two states . But nationalism prevailed and finally Vietnam was united again and again became one nation .
History of Germany is very fascinating . Germany’s case , like Vietnam , is the classic case of a nation triumphing over a state . Basically a nation , Germany was divided into two states after 1945 . Communist East Germany was called German Democratic Republic with East Berlin as capital . Capitalist West Germany was called Federal Republic of Germany with Bonn as capital .
After just 45 years of vivisection , German nationalism prevailed and Germany once again became one nation in 1990 . Berlin became the national capital and Berlin wall was demolished .
Case of Germany is like Vietnam . Both are one nation . Both were divided into two states . Political divisions like capitalism and communism were unable to divide them and they finally became one nation .
Union of Soviet Socialist Republic :
If Vietnam and Germany are the symbols of victory of nation over state , then USSR is the symbol of failure of state in front of nationalism . Vietnam and Germany were one nation divided in two states . Finally they became one nation . USSR was one state with 15 nations and was dissolved in 1991 after 69 years of artificial existence and 15 independent and sovereign nations came into being .
Russia , Ukrain , Belarus , Uzbekistan , Turkmenistan , Tajikistan , Azerbijan , Kazakhistan , Kirghizstan , Georgia , Armenia , Moldova , Estonia , Latvia and Lithuania were merged to form USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] . They became independent in 1991 .
It was most momentous time of my life . Mighty USSR just collapsed in front of my eyes and 15 new nations were born . It never seemed probable even a month before December 1991 that an invincible looking USSR will cease to exist .
All 15 nations became members of U. N. O. in 1992 .
After fall of USSR , other communist nations were also became vulnerable . Yugoslavia , another classic case of one state and several nations , became unstable. Artificially created state of Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1991 after demise of Josip Broz Tito and collapse of Union of Soviet Socialist Republic .
Croatia , Serbia , Slovenia , Mecedonia , Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina asserted their nationalistic aspirations and became independent and sovereign nations .
Off all these 6 nations ; Croatia , Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina became members of U. N. O. in 1992 . Mecedonia became a member in 1993 , Serbia joined in 2000 and the 6th one Montenegro became member of U. N. O. in 2006 .
After USSR and Yugoslavia , another communist country , Czechoslovakia , collapsed soon . She was also one state and two nations . On January 01 , 1993 Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent and they both joined U. N. O. in 1993 .
South Sudan :
Sudan’s case is different . She is one nation but religion divides them . North Sudan is Islamic and finds solace in the comity of Arab nations . South Sudan is Christian and is not comfortable with Arab identity .
After 5 decades of guerrilla struggle and loss of 2 million lives , South Sudan came into existence on July 09 , 2011 . She became Africa’s 54th state with Juba as the capital of the new state .
Religion failed to unite Pakistan and Bangladesh . In Sudan’s case religion divided them . Fate of South Sudan is unknown and precarious . Majority of its people live on less than a dollar a day . Almost three-quarter of adults cannot read or write . Only 1% has a bank account .
Sudan with Khartoum as its capital is Islamic and prefers Arab identity . While South Sudan with Juba as its capital is Christian and prefers western identity . South Sudan is the 54th African state and 193rd member of United Nations Organization .
So South Sudan became the 54th African State . She became newest and 193rd country of the world . She became the 28th nation to become independent in my life time . As I stated earlier , countries don’t take birth everyday . Birth of a nation is a rare experience . I am lucky that I could witness birth of 28 nations in my life .
It is rare . It is unique . It is not going to happen again . Welcome 193rd nation of this earth !
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
- Vietnam – perfect harmony or inner tensions? (mastercopycat.wordpress.com)
- Huế Vietnam (suemtravels.wordpress.com)
- Vietnam Veteran: ‘We Were Winning When I Left’ (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- SDF mission in South Sudan (japantimes.co.jp)
- Clashes feared between Sudans (nation.com.pk)
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