The news item prominently published in news papers, that about ten thousand north Indians are leaving Mumbai on account of threat to their life and property held by the Maharashtra Navanirmana Sena headed by Raj Thakery is the saddest and most unfortunate. The basis for giving threat in the name of son'sof soil theory arising out of parochialism is injurious to national interest. It is destructive to the feeling of fraternity which we possess on account of all of us being children of Bharath Mata which means that there is only one soil. Every particle of earth in Bharat is sacred to all the citizens of this country wherever they may be living. We have one Constitution to obey, one citizenship, one flag to hoist and protect, one national anthem and one national song Vande Mataram and more than all we have one slogan Bharat Mata Ki Jai which has welded the people of this country into a strong and united nation. Depriving any class of citizens of their right to reside in any part of the country is fraught with disastrous consequences. Seeing such dangerous trend in the matter of admission to professional colleges, a five judge bench of the Supreme Court in the case of Pradeep Jain [AIR 1984 SC 1420] in the very opening para of the judgment stated as follows:-
?We find that today the integrity of the nation is threatened by the divisive forces of regionalism, linguism and communalism and regional linguistic and communal loyalties are gaining ascendancy in national life and seeking to tear apart and destroy national integrity. We tend to forget that India is one nation and we are all Indians first and Indians last. It is time we remind ourselves what the great visionary and builder of modern India, Jawaharlal Nehru said, ?Who dies if India lives; who lives if India dies?? We must realize; and this is unfortunately that many in public life tend to overlook; sometimes out of ignorance of the forces of history and sometimes deliberately with a view to promoting their self-interest, that national interest must inevitably and forever prevail over any other considerations proceeding from regional, linguistic or communal attachments?. [AIR 1984 SC 1420, Para-1].
Therefore, it is the duty of all patriotic individuals and political, social and cultural organisations to stand united and nip such divisive attitude in the bud. Such forces must also be dealt firmly by the Governments and should be supported by all the parties. In order to check such dangerous trend, all parties should burry their differences of opinion on other issues.
Despite the basic foundation of our national life, few leaders in different parts of the country; out of sheer selfishness and narrow mindedness; now and then raise the slogan of ?Son'sof soil?; meaning thereby that all employment opportunities, right to do any occupation or business or trade, right to reside in a region should be exclusively available only to locals without realising that such centrifugal forces cause immense injury to our national life. Every one should always remember that our Constitution is supreme. It confers Fundamental Right to every citizens, to move freely throughout the territory of India and to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India and to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation or profession, trade or business. It is indisputable that persons who belong to different states residing in states other than their original state have done and are doing great service and have completely merged themselves in the area to which they migrated. Therefore, any demand or agitation which is intended to stop thinking in terms of nation as a whole just for securing temporary advantage and pleasing the local people for selfish ends is sure to inflict permanent damage to our nationhood. Doing so is like sitting on the branch of a tree and cutting its trunk without realising that when the tree would fall, people sitting on it would also fall and get crushed. Let all of us pray to the Almighty that good sense should dawn on such people.
On this behalf, for making a correct approach there is a guideline in an Akbar Birbal story. Akbar once drew a line on a paper with a marker and asked Birbal to shorten it without touching it or wiping any portion of it. The wise Birbal drew a longer line by the side of it and pointed out that the line drawn by Akbar had become shorter. Akbar was immensely happy at the wisdom of Birbal. Therefore, the remedy for a situation in which a narrow parochial line of regionalism has been drawn in the hearts of individuals by narrow minded leaders, is to draw a longer line of patriotism in their hearts by the side of the line of regionalism or linguistic chaunism. Then, just as darkness disappears when light is brought in, separate or divisive thoughts disappear automatically when feeling of patriotism enlightens the heart. All those who think about development of a region should know that just like development of a part of a body of an individual is not good for his health, development only of a region is not good for the health of the nation, which is indivisible. Let all those who desire of Maharashtra Navanirman strive for ?Rashtra Navanirman? which includes Maharashtra, inspired by the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who is our national hero.
(The write is former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court and Former Governor of Jharkhand & Bihar. He can be contacted at No. 870/C, 5th Block, Rajajinagar, Bangalore-560 010.)