EVENT DATE : 20 JUNE
Since India’s independence the southern states have made great strides in educating their populations and developing their economies. As a result these states have managed to successfully control their population growth and achieve high literacy rates and above average income levels. They rank at the top in India on almost every human development metric. Yet there is a sense now that they may be getting penalised for their achievements.
The largely poor and uneducated states in the northern Hindi belt have been undergoing a silent population explosion and consequently claiming an incrementally larger share of the national revenue and parliamentary representation. Their dismal record in governance and failure at population control has ironically rewarded them with greater political clout and cultural dominance. Unsurprisingly we are seeing renewed efforts by the centre at imposing Hindi and northern food taboos on the South. These have aggravated the long-standing and widespread sentiment among southerners that their history, languages and culture are not given sufficient attention and support at the national level.
If this real or imagined grievance is allowed to fester for too long, it may have adverse effects on India’s regional unity. Therefore we believe an open and inclusive discussion is warranted whereby the matter can be examined from multiple dimensions in a nuanced manner.