Monday, June 20, 2011

We want out

Just musing.

How many countries do we have in the world that were able to divide up peacefully? Any contract one enters into, there is usually a severance clause written into it. Even marriage (with all the bound till eternity proclamations) as a contract comes with the possibility of divorce written into our legal system. Software comes with the uninstall option built into it. So, why can't a part of a country secede peacefully if it really wants to?

Some countries existed as a political entity before democracy was introduced (such as the UK): that doesn't exclude them, but it does make their case more difficult legally. But what about countries that came together after democracy was introduced? Take the US for example. The colonies voted to become the United States. So, why is it that when the Southern States voted to secede from the Union, there was a civil war? Was that even legal? Did the colonies not ask for a secession clause when they signed the agreement to join the Union?

The case of the Sub-continent is a bit more muddled, but still, Pakistan and India both came into existence as modern political entities after they chose the idea of democracy as their guiding light. So, why then was there a war when East Pakistan decided to secede? And what is the situation with Kashmir now, where the Government is afraid to even ask the people what they want? 

And what about the EU? The countries in it are still very lightly bound, but they are moving towards more cohesion. Are they writing sufficient secession clauses into each new agreement to become more intertwined? Or are we going to have a war in the future when one of them decides that they want out?

Nationalism is all well and good, but countries have to start being more mature when dealing with parts of them that want to go their separate way. They, perhaps, shouldn't go on a killing spree or declare an emergency as soon as the idea of separation comes along. Maybe they could accept the idea that a desire to secede doesn't mean betrayal, it just means that living together in one home is not an option any more; that they don't want to be enemies, they just want to go their own way. Being stubborn and starting oppression of the 'betrayers' only creates more bitterness. It is better to try to negotiate, and if what is wanted cannot be given, separation would is not the end of the world.

1 comment:

  1. We need more people willing to understand what you just said/wrote. Call me cynical, but I doubt it will happen.