alexa Balkan Woes and Vote-Banks

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Balkan Woes and Vote-Banks

Ethnic chauvinism is detrimental for national interests. Historically, no political entity has been static and unchanging in the past. Whereas under Harshavardhan and Prithviraj Chauhan, Tabarhind (Bhatinda) and Ajmer may have been part of a single kingdom, today one cannot picture Ashok Gehlot and Prakash Singh Badal having tea over joint administrative ventures quite so easily today. Change is the only constant in geo-politics, so much so that Chinese claims over Tibet and demands for Tibetan independence are often based on facts and figures that span less than a century! It may be hard to believe that in the nineteenth century, Afghanistan and Myanmar were as much a part of India as Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh today are. So, in this regard one needs to be cautious about how one segregates people. Our country has had to bear the brunt of partition once and like various writers have illustrated, such times may draw contrasting reactions: on one hand, as Amitav Ghosh highlighted in The Shadow Lines, these boundaries are often not inked in the people’s psychology even after maps have been sullied by a new fissure cutting across fields and settlements, on the other hand these acts may entail long-lasting and even traumatic experiences for more than a generation. Agreements signed and bills passed by a select few define how the people are governed and histories written.

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