Friday, June 24, 2005

India, that is Bharat

India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
So begins the Article 1 of the Indian Constitution. The constitution so far is one of the world largest, actually it is the second largest, next only to Ireland. Anyway, thats a tidbit about the constitution. This very statement in the constitution has lead to a lot of controversy and provided impetus to a large number people to take note of the two names, India and Bharat.

Is India the same as Bharat ? The constitution would imply so, or atleast thats what the founding fathers thought they were envisioning when they referred to India or Bharat. Unfortunately more than 50 years since it was adopted by the Parliament in 1949, we have created a flourishing, vibrant and a powerful India, but also left behind a floundering, weary and a weakened Bharat. The much talked about middle class that was touted as the saviour of the country as it moved from a protected license raj to a free-for-all-FII, has now been left behind.
Well not exactly because the middle class has grown. The upper class are now virtually non-existent, atleast they have built their own castles, virtually in the air, or in new lands (read phoren), that they now call home. It is so common to hear, that my children are studying in Switzerland or US etc. The middle class has now broken into three, upper-middle which is now the new upper class. The lower-middle class have a roof over their head, and that distinguishes them from the lower class. And of course the mid-middle class, they have remained stagnant, not knowing what the Government and the Financial analysts are talking about.

Where is Bharat in all of this ? The rural India, which for a long time symbolized Bharat, has now build its own class distinctions. Altho' caste is a dominant factor is most decisions in rural areas (not that it is not in the Urban areas), class is taking a preeminence over caste. It is only apparent though that in a vast majority of the cases, the new higher class also happens to be the dominant caste in the geographic area. Certain parts of the country have absorbed this disparity much better and have adapted themselves to the new requirements of society. Others are still wallowing in the past and trying to fight it out the hard way, almost always a losing battle.

The ultimate chase for the pot of gold is being run between India and China to dominate the new century and create an Asian superpower. India has all the dynamics required to fulfill that role to the fullest, but will she be able to carry her almost considered illegitimate sibling Bharat to the same heights and destiny.

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