Divide and Rule

Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

From the ancient Greeks to the British until they ruled most of the world use the divide and rule concept quite effectively.  The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures and prevents smaller power groups from linking up.  After the British split India 1947 before leaving the Indians and Pakistanis to their own self governance, (later Pakistan and Bangladesh in 1971), they also left Indians with Indian National Congress (“INC”) to govern the newly independent India.  Along with the independence the INC also inherited the divide and rule policy of the British, so well learned were the congressmen in the policies of British, they have continued to follow the divide and rule administrative polices even after many generations of independence from the British.

There is very little of INC and British influence from 1947 on the current crop of politicians.  The ideals of the original founders of INC might have been noble in the cause of driving out the British invaders out of the occupied land, but they rarely thought of self-governance of a large country with diverse religions, languages and agendas.  India is and was very diverse from its original existence, and the land was always of different cultures and traditions.  Prior to and with the invasion of the British, French and Portuguese and others the larger Hindustan was nothing but a loose confederation of kingdoms that coexisted with each other.  They fought with each other and the invaders from the time of Alexander the Great, and even before.  Before the invasion of occupying forces of the Europeans, the greater Hindustan survived and flourished with their kingdoms coexisting with each other and each with great diversity and tradition that is still etched into the societies of today.

Many hundreds of years of invasions, and occupation and the eventual British rule prior to the modern day India, and countries around it, have kept the people and their traditions and languages intact.  The changes in geographic boundaries and technology that allows for instant communications have not been able to wipe out the age old bickering, which was instilled by the British pitting one Indian against other for their gains, and long after the British and other invaders have left India, the bickering continues to exist among the various groups of Indians who are segregated by language, culture and traditions.

The current crop of politicians are continuing to practice the policies of divide and rule even today, while the people seem to be oblivious to the politicking which is continuing to erase the importance of using the limited resources of the nation to build the future, rather keep themselves in power.  There is no question in not being able to meet the demands of many sections of Indian fabric, as each of them have their own fascination with what was wronged to their particular community by the country, ignoring that it is impossible to get representation of every person in the nation at every planning stage.  The politicians who are in power typically try to take care of their own constituents to make effort to represent their electorate, and that is typical of any elected politician.  Some politicians try to play to keep their positions and play to the national leadership and ignore the voices of their constituents, and if the requirements of a certain section of the population get ignored there is bound to be dissatisfaction in the regions that feel ignored.

India for more than a couple of decades has been grappling with center verses states issues that continue to plague the national governance.  The population is getting so large, even a very small percentage of the people are a fairly large vote bank.  Everyone is disgruntled at the leadership, and the leadership really doesn’t have the resources to address the issues of the people.  The bigger issue for the government is to retain power and they continue to only do enough to be in power.  There is no planning to meet the growing population and its needs; rather the government is busy full time in surviving.  The large number of scams in every level of the country and states eat up most of the resources that the nation has, and the government is unable to curb the scams at any level, and they keep cropping up every day.

Now Congress is going to use the divide and rule policy once again, as they have done many times in their rule.  If this one occasion was the only time they have contemplated the division of a state, there could be merit to the decisions heeding to the demands of the people, but the decision making is being contemplated only to keep one party from coming into power, and retaining the power at the center.  Although no decisions have been publicly communicated, the INC seems to adopt the policy of divide and rule once again, but doesn’t seem to take into account the needs and requirements of the population that will be affected by the decisions it will make for the sake of being in power.

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