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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Concept of Nation State

Increasingly, we all are tolerant of differences within our country. A person from whichever corner of India finds welcome, at least in theory, in any other corner of India. Laws make it easy to move, to work and to settle wherever one wants. Such intra-country freedom is common in most other countries. What we are still fiercely protective about are our national borders. Somehow, barbed wire fences there attach so much meaning that killing and dying for them is considered laudatory whereas doing same for borders within the nation is considered ridiculous and dangerously divisive.

Will there come a time where concept of nation state will dissolve to permit real global citizenship? It seems impossible. Despite our acceptance of different cultures, nationalities and races, country still gets number one priority spot in our loyalties (after family and clan, for some). One would rather save one life in his own country than ten in other. Yet, this distinction stops within different states in a country. A geography under highest government is expected to be inclusive. Will it be possible to have one government for the world in future? This is mere hypothetical question but it will mean that policies will be designed for overall welfare of humankind rather than that of citizens of a particular nation at any cost to other people in the world. Will it ever be understood that all lives are really equal? What will it do to idea of patriotism which will be a defunct concept then.

These are thoughts I never harboured or had inkling about until that day about four years ago when I happened to meet this women at AID’s picnic. She strongly championed elimination of concept of nation state and questioned my views on patriotism. I am not really sure where I stand but idea has been fascinating enough to stick with me this long.
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