The Irony of ‘Maha’ Pak

A recent report compiled by American Intelligence agencies highlights an important fact about the ‘now important’ “State of Pakistan”. Pakistan has been tipped to become a completely failed state by the year 2015.It has been compared to the ‘failed state of Yugoslavia’ in the Global Futures Assessment report. This talk has been doing the rounds ever since democracy proved a complete failure in the Islamic State. Civil war, internal state rivalries and bloodshed complicated by a titular government are the major factors for this projected state of Pakistan. The ostracizing of a state on the basis of threats to stability due to rivalries immediately strikes a chord to Indians. The state of Maharashtra is slowly trotting the same path in the last 5 years.

The rise of parochialism and divisive state politics has made the state of Maharashtra an issue of concern. It is very difficult under current circumstances to allay any fears that arise from terror in the state. An incapable government sitting at the helm is just a spectator to the recent chaos and confusion in the state. The state has witnessed two consecutive terror attacks and with the current trend, it looks imminent that the next few are prone to be around the Mumbai region. It is also clear that ‘Power’ lies entirely in the hands of parochial behemoths and the  government/bureaucracy is just a silent spectator. The recent issues on ‘Mumbai for Maharashtrians’ and the hullabaloo that surrounds Shah Rukh’s My Name is Khan are testimony to Maharashtra’s decline as a state and is a threat to Mumbai’s position in the financial world.

The whole world despised the Pakistan cricket team for intertwining religion with the game over the last decade. Overt display of religious zeal in public and on the field has been detested by many world-wide. A De-Islamization of the National cricket team is being called for. Now if we resonate on this line of thought, we ourselves are hypocrites for having coupled politics and cricket in this year’s IPL Season Three (by the non-inclusion of Pakistani cricketers due to political reasons). SRK’s statement in favor of the inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in this year’s IPL has put him in a spot and he is facing Shiv Sena’s ire. Now this brings a whole lot of embarrassment to the country on the whole. Shiv Sena and other like-minded parties in the region are poking their nose at all and sundry around the country today. It was Shah Rukh’s individual opinion and the furore over his statement created by the Sena was totally uncalled for. It defeats the very idea of ‘A free country’ and the ‘Right to opinion’

Another fact that vindicates the failing state of Maharashtra is the “North Indian” jargon that is famous of late. North Indians are treated like foreigners and the idea of ‘India – Our Nation’ is completely defeated in front of ‘Maharashtra – Our State’. A fanatic tendency is spilling over to nearby states and it is imminent from the rise of Ram Sene in Karnataka. State reservations and protectionist attitudes have been part of Maharashtra’s governance manifesto for decades now. If the financial capital of India is cocooned because of regional politics, it means a serious dent to India’s hope of evolving into a developed nation. What is the difference between Pakistan’s unstable milieu and the current state of Maharashtra where power is in the hands of wrong people? In the age of rapid development, if ideologies are outdated like in the current scenario, India cannot boast of being a far superior power than Pakistan though we have convincingly proved our prowess in other areas like military, economy and governance. There is a grave threat to regional stability and the dirt is spilling over to nearby regions. It is high time the Congress government in Maharashtra acted against these fanatic activists and snatched power from them. It is important to set things right in order not to damage India’s position as a global superpower.

Pradeep Sekhar

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