The current regional political landscape of India is no longer a fight of ideologies for the benefit of India as a nation. The actions of political parties in India show the terrifying underbelly of their true intent for India as a nation. One prime example of divisive state politics is when Tamil Nadu’s M.K. Stalin warned Amul to steer clear of the state’s milk industry. Another example is the rise in boycotts of Amul and its products by private institutions in Karnataka. These practices and statements display the burgeoning hate state politicians incite against the policies of the central government. Moreover, they showcase the increasingly divisive regional politics in India.
AMUL at the heart of Divisive Politics in the South
Amit Shah’s declaration that the merger of the five state-run cooperative societies will benefit the country’s dairy export. The details of this proposed merger are as yet unknown. However, the political parties of the southern states have decided to hurt the Amul Cooperative Society to wreck the central government’s plans. They are using the excuse of their state-produced brands of Aavin in Tamil Nadu and Nandini in Karnataka to sow the seeds of disconnect among the people of southern India. Additionally, these regional politicians encourage southern Indians to unite in their boycott of Amul under the guise of state pride. Their logic ignores that all these brands are cooperative societies. The rise of any or all of these Milk Cooperative Societies will benefit rural India on the whole.
Voters must note that this is a direct leaf from PM Modi’s book of ‘Rajneeti’. He united Indians using national pride and won the 2019 general elections. Consequently, other political parties are exploiting the emotions of voters in their states by using state pride as a motto. The aim of these regional political parties is to ensure that the common man votes them into power in the upcoming elections by hook or by crook. Contrary to PM Modi’s ‘United India’ stance, regional politicians encourage the ‘Divide India’ stance. Regional politicians fool state consumers into rejecting goods produced in the other states of India. Consequently, they want to unite the Indians of their state against the Indians from other states.
It inflames the ‘Mine Against Yours’ war within India, without encouraging healthy competition in the state economy.
If such statements and actions are ignored, they will ignite the raging fires of regional politics along the lines of regional identity. Thereby encouraging discrimination against products based on their state of origin. These political skirmishes along the diverse regional identity will solidify the disunity among Indians. However, regional political parties focus on small victories that can be obtained by maintaining the cracks that divide India based on regional identities.
Consequences of Divisive Politics for India
India is a diverse nation. The socio-religious landscape of India celebrates the diversity of its people and the geo-politics of India tries to bridge the gap of the differences in regional identity. When India stands together as a nation, it has the potential to be a power that the world acknowledges on bent knees. However, it is a tightrope walk to maintain the balance of celebrating the differences and encouraging similarity among the communities in India. Currently, the balance in India skews in favor of celebrating the differences only. All attempts to encourage similarity among the different regions of India is met with a severe backlash. Consequently, India is facing a rise in divisive politics in states.
Recently, Indian voters are encouraged to identify with their region, religion, caste, language, and state. Also, they are being brainwashed into placing these identities before national progress, national unity, and national pride. The common people of India must question who benefits by keeping India divided. Voters must understand that celebrating diversity and celebrating division are two very different things. Celebrating diversity comes with encouraging similarities among Indians. Celebrating division feeds into the ‘tukde-tukde’ gang’s toolkit agenda; which disables India as a competitor on the global front. The protection of regional identity and propagation of diversity in India should not hinder India’s growth on the global platform. Else while the Milk Cooperative Societies fight under their regional identities, the world watches India tear itself apart from within without remorse.