On Nationhood

On Nationhood:

          What I may confide in these pages might intimidate a lot of people. To be really true, I believe that this entire concept of nationhood is a farce. This is because I guess there is nothing natural or divine about any country’s border or its peoples. India is the India we know today because of one thing - history. USA is the USA we know because of the same reason.

The concept of nationhood is pragmatic as long as it serves the administrative purpose of its peoples. This is because, over the years, I come to realize that the Utopia -the ideal world government is not ideal at all. We see what’s happening at WTO. While the concept of the WTO is itself fundamentally good, a lot depends on the attitude of the developed members of the WTO. Thus the concept of nationhood is ultimately needed for bargaining power of developing nations like India. But a false sense of identity must not carry us away. I believe a person’s sense of identity should stop with the intrinsic details of that person’s individuality and should not include peripheral details like language, country, religion, caste etc.

The concept of religion and spirituality should be ideally decoupled from the state. This is because, in my opinion, a person’s religion is as unique as the person himself and any attempts to associate a religion with a broader concept of nation is bound to fail.

Regarding the economic foundations of a nation, I believe Capitalism is the most democratic form. Communism, which concentrates power at the hands of a few, is a disaster waiting to happen. I should correct myself by saying that Capitalism is the more democratic form of economic activity than any of the economic system we know. The concept of Capitalism lends itself seamlessly to the concept of accountability to the public at large. There is also an absence of a supreme censor and the market forces decide the rules and outcome of the game. Nothing could be more natural than that. I surmise that a comparison can be made between the capitalist market place to the evolutionary playground. In both of these, there is a notion of utility. In evolution, this utility is how well an organism can adapt and thrive in its environment. In capitalism, the utility is how well a company satisfies its customers. In both of these environments, there is abundant scope for competition. Moreover none of the actors in either of the above two environment has any unfair advantage. India has made an attempt at embracing capitalism by coming out of the license raj era. I sure do hope, It does well.