South Sudan : Birth of A Nation


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 .

Bangladesh :

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English: East Bengal Map

Map of Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh

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 :

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Map of Vietnam with Indo - China Nations

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 .

Germany :

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Map of East & West Germany

Map of Germany

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 :

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Map of U.S.S.R.

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 .

Yugoslavia ;

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Map of Yugoslavia

Former Parts of Yugoslavia

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 .

Czechoslovakia :

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Map of Czechoslovakia

Czech Republic & Slovakia

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 :

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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 .

India South Sudan Locator

Location of India & South Sudan

Sudan - South Sudan - Locator map

Location of Sudan & South Sudan

Map of Sudan

Map of North & South Sudan

English: Seal of the Government of Southern Sudan

Seal of Government of South Sudan

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 !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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My Views on Jammu & Kashmir


I know this is going to be my most controversial blog. But when the valley is burning and there are more than 100 deaths, how can I keep quiet ? Let us admit that there are so many people in India, who are biased against muslims. I personally don’t like the generalization : every muslim is not a terrorist but every terrorist is muslim. This notion is wrong. Such kind of sweeping remarks humiliate the community. It instills a kind of inferiority complex and a sense of insecurity in the psyche of the general Muslim. In my opinion, people are more concerned about their bread and butter, if they can afford that, rather than supporting a jehadi outfit. They are also a helpless spectator like us when an organization like Al-Qaeda strikes somewhere. What we expect from the muslim community in such a scenario? Do we really expect that an ordinary muslim should take a gun and start fighting a jehadi or a terrorist ? Look at the photo below. These poor fellows could also be an easy target.

Let me take you to the days of Hitler. He was a democratically elected and legitimate ruler of Germany. But later on he became an autocrat and in the worst holocaust , murdered millions. German nation endured it with helpless silence. But they didn’t support Hitler. In the same way, all the muslims are not the supporters of Al-Qaeda, but they too are helpless spectators. They are too feeble to stand and fight Al-Qaeda. Moreover if the might of the world is unable to contain Al-Qaeda, then how can we expect that muslim masses should stand and oppose them ?

Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Munich, G...

Image via Wikipedia Hitler & Mussolini in Germany 1940

JAMMU & KASHMIR : Geographical Position : So if we start with the fact that all muslims are not supporters of the jehadi group, then we can view Jammu & Kashmir crisis in right perspective. To say that whole of the province is in turmoil ,is wrong. Geography of the province is unique. Jammu is Hindu majority part of the province and they are not spearheading an agitation for cessation. They are happy to be Indian. Laddakh part of the province is Buddhist majority and they also don’t have anti-India feelings. They are contented as Indians. Northern Areas of the province known as Gilgit, Hunza ( Baltit ) and Skardu are under Pakistan’s control. And Aksai Chin part of Laddakh is under Chinese control. So you have to divide the state of Jammu & Kashmir into 4 different parts : Jammu, Laddakh , the Kashmir Valley and the Northern Areas { Gilgit, Hunza ( Baltit ) & Skardu }.

KASHMIRIAT : People of earlier generation used to take pride in Kashmiriat. according to them, the state of Jammu & kashmir is a testimony or a fine example of secularism. Let us agree that this culture of Kashmiriat is dead. Jammu has no love for the Valley and the feeling in the Valley is reciprocated. During the recent floods of Leh, people from every corner of the country rushed to help, but there was no voice of concern from the leaders of the Valley. And I am not pointing fingers only at separatists. People like Mehbooba Mufti, her father, who was once the Home Minister of India, were not concerned at all. So why we are trying to keep a facade of so-called Kashmiriat alive. Kashmiriat died with the death of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.

SOLUTION : According to me , state of Jammu & Kashmir should be trifurcated .

1 – Hindu majority Jammu should be made a separate and 29th province of India.

2 – Buddhist majority Laddakh should be made the 7th Union Territory of India.

3 – Northern Areas, as and when taken back from Pakistan, should be christened ” Seemant Pradesh “ and should be made the 8th Union Territory of The Nation. No need of saying that Aksai Chin , when liberated, will be with Laddakh.

4 – Now comes the question of The Valley a. k. a. kashmir. First of all we have to make a conducive and congenial atmosphere for the return of the Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland. Every leader of Kashmir have said that Kashmiri Pandits are the part and parcel of our culture. So they should be settled in The Valley and ” Panun kashmir “ should be made as their homeland. It could be like the National Capital Region of Delhi. Almost every party have rejected ” Panun Kashmir “. They say that it would not be a viable entity. But if ” Dadra & Nagar Haveli ” or a tiny ” Diu ” could be a Union Territory then why not ” Panun Kashmir ” ?

Now the question comes about the rest of Kashmir .

1 – We must acknowledge that there are real and genuine grievances of the people. And the central government should address it on the priority basis. It should be addressed as Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee famously said , ” everything will be done insaniyat ke dayere men.”

2 – Loss of life is not acceptable under any circumstances. Trigger happy cops should be restrained and duly punished , if found guilty.

3 – AFSPA ( Armed Forces Special Powers Act ) can also be withdrawn as a test case. It could again be used if need arises or situation gets out of control.

4  – I also endorse of the steps taken by All Party Delegation. There is nothing wrong in going to the house of Syed Ali Shah Geelani or meeting Mirwaiz  Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik. There should never be a protocol coming in the way of meeting our own people.

5 – Kashmir has article 370 in the Indian Constitution to protect her interest. Kashmir has a separate constitution and a separate flag also. [ Only Indian State to have it ] So if the people want some more power, it could be talked. There is no harm in reaching to the people.

6 – If people of the Valley is not satisfied with Omar Abdullah, he should resign. Congress, in order to have a government in the province, should not support him.

7 – National media, specially Barkha Dutt is widely criticized for her reporting, but she has a point. We should understand that.

6 – Terrorism is a worldwide phenomenon. People of kashmir should not be held responsible for this scourge.

The terrorist incidents in the whole year of 2008

Image via Wikipedia Terrorist Attacks in 2008

Vidur

Mumbai , India

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