Hello, I’m back and this time with a strange idea.
Have you ever given a thought to what would have become of the INDIA we know today if forced integration of princely states into the Indian Union not happened? Had Sardar Patel not been the Iron-Man, had Nehru not insisted on Kashmir being a part of India (although with a plebiscite) and had Bengal not been broken up into two? In fact, what would have happened if at the stroke of midnight August 15, 1947…each of the princely states of free India decided to be a master of their own fate and chosen to be separate countries?
So what follows is purely my dystopian view of what would have become of India. I’m not a seditionist and this is just a thought which I’m trying to compile on paper or e-paper or whatever…
August 14, 1947 – North Western part of India separates from India and assumes a new identity as Pakistan.
August 15, 1947 – India wrests its independence from the 200 year old British colonial rule.
The new Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru convenes a cabinet meeting discussing the fate of India. After heated rounds of discussion, a landmark statement is passed – “all the princely states will have the right to choose whether they want to be a part of India or do they want to continue their existence as separate nations.”
Within a month, all princely states chose to abandon the Indian Union and become nation-states. India was declared as a continent consisting of 30 countries. A brief intro to each of them –
1.Andhra Pradesh – The land of rivers, agriculture and innately one tracked people (fascination with getting into IIT and then into an American house with a Swedish car and a Telugu wife)…this country would be reduced to rubble with Satyam Computers destroying the economy of the country but not before all the IT majors being black listed for getting humanly impossible work done from their employees (I love this part…thank God I’m not the engineer but the consultant…poor engineers).
2.Arunachal Pradesh – Arun-who? I don’t recollect anything…my oracle globe has become hazy…losing consciousness…keeling over….glurg glurg glurg (frothing at the mouth)…
3.Assam – First there was Earl grey, then there was Ceylon…and then came the Assam tea…from that day on…year after year the highest tea producer award went to this small country constantly being wrecked by floods in the Brahmaputra river. And guess the country survived, after all China was too big and didn’t have an enemy called India.
4.Bihar – This would be the Sierra Leone of the Indian continent. Rich in mineral wealth, but equally rich in 5th class fail, hay eating (yeah…people can do that) politicians-warlords…this country would see all its mineral wealth proceeds going to a small country called Delhi and some un accounted parts going to the LGT Bank in Liechtenstein.
5.Goa – The protectorate of Portugal, this small country would thrive like nothing else on the planet…thanks to serene beaches, cashew plantations, Iron ore deposits, nice people and a far removed controlling country. And the only sad part would be…I’d have to clear the GMAT to get admission to Goa Institute of Management. And I would do that if that was the only thing I could ever do in my life.
6.Gujarat – This semi arid desert country would be the most discussed case study all over management institutions across the world for the supreme business acumen of its people. Dr. V Kurien and Mr. Ambani would be giving lectures all over the world and making Gujarat proud (they still do). Occasionally the country would come under the scanner of the WTO for not allowing import of liquor (it was a dry state from a long time)
7.Haryana – This would be the trouble child of the continent. Skewed sex ratio, less brains and more brawns, there would be permanent state of unease in the country.
8.Himachal Pradesh – The pleasant land of the Indian continent. With thriving tourism, apples competing for world level awards every year and posh school…this would be a mix of Edinburgh, Eton and Switzerland all in one.
9.Jammu and Kashmir – The poster boy for something gone horribly wrong, the state would be in flames 50 years after independence from the Indian Union and would continue to be in turmoil for another 50 years – Ladakh, Aksai Chin, Kashmir and Jammu fighting amongst themselves to carve out separate countries and Pakistan providing support to Kashmir, China supporting Aksai Chin and Ladakh and Delhi quietly watching where to poke its nose.
10.Karnataka – The land of superfast growth, this country would become a nemesis to many others due to the sharp brains of its technologically learned people, beautiful girls, rivers, natural resources, weather and everything else. Neighbours would be envious as to why Karnataka got everything and they didn’t.
11.Kerala – Hugo Chavez, Ahmedijenad and others of their ilk would be extending warm welcome to this country. One more Socialist nation, causing pain in the wrong places for Uncle Sam. Winning ‘Lonely Planet’s Best Backwater Destination’ year after year…Bush and party would be crying somewhere….
12.Madhya Pradesh – Supremely sympathetic to the ruling class of Delhi – the Nehruvian dynasty…this country would pawn itself off to them. With everything available, natural resources, tourist destinations, a wealthy ruling family…somehow they would find a way to bungle up everything and go bankrupt. And then put their foot in their mouth all the time…”do a Digvijay Singh” would become a common idiom for idiocy. This country would beat Ethiopia and Chad in malnutrition ratings for 5 years in a row!
13.Maharashtra – The powerhouse of the Indian continent…this country would be the business nerve center for entire Asia. (Pakistan would never attack Mumbai…its black money would be stashed Amcha Mumbai Bank) Mumbai would be the entertainment, financial, business, real estate….oh and I can’t remember more…but it would be bigger than New York, Tokyo and London combined. Every country would want to be on good terms with Maharashtra...after all they would be the source of business for every one. And Maharashtra would be having its own Chechnya (Vidhardha fighting for independence)
14.Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram –Like the three Baltic states, these would be three conjoined triplets. Each country would depend on tourism as the primary source of income and yes…Cherrapunji and Mawsynram would still be winning the ‘highest rainfall award’. I don’t know much about them…why bother the keyboard then?
15.Sikkim and Nagaland – The Finland and Norway and Sweden of Indian continent. Numerous Grammy, VH1, MTV, TRL and Kerrang award winning rock bands would keep emerging and rocking the world every year. (Finland and Norway have produced some of the best bands, house DJs in the world – Rasmus, Poets of the Fall, Europe, Apocalyptica, Children of Bodom, Darude, Night wish(check out Tarja Turunen), ABBA, A-Teens, Yngwie Malmsteem and many many others) Oh and yes…the silk route (not the band, the trade route)would be open and functioning.
16.Orissa – Even after beaches, temples, cyclones, floods and everything in between…people would never forget Biju Patnaik and the highest civilian award would be the Aviator Award. And Orissa would be the first country in the world to make fully waterproof, floating houses anchored to the ground and that would be patented as the ‘Anchor-House’(What with so many hurricanes every year)
17.Punjab – The country winning the Miss Universe, Miss World and any other pageant worth its salt every year. And also the bread basket of Asia award. And also an honorary ‘No Visa Required’ program with Canada (written as Kann-e-ddaa in Punjabi)
18.Rajasthan – Asia’s East Europe (minus the poverty and post Bosnian-war destruction). With beautiful castles, forts and rich cultural heritage this place would be UN’s favorite for its heritage sites. And they’d surely need all the tourism and then a little more to pay for food imports (deserts…you see)
19.Tamil Nadu – Silk.Gold.Rajnikanth. Enough said. And yes… A. Raja :P
20.Tripura – Not bothered. Next Please.
21.Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand– Agriculture, Tourism, Hills, Plains, Mineral Wealth, Hydro Electric Power, Corruption, Gang-lands, acute poverty (Purvanchal, Bundelkhand), Lawless-ness(Noida, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Baraut, Mawana, Gr. Noida) and ultimate a sliver of economic and educational boom (Noida). This would be my little India.
22.West Bengal – Still Communist, listening to Rabindra Sangeet (sorry folks…but its painful to hear and the same songs since 1918AD…or maybe 1918BC), cheering Brazil’s football team while sitting in muddy fields in slippers, and fishing in the Hooghly. Rest I don’t want to rant about.
I think this is a pretty scary picture and I’m thankful to God that even with all his flaws, Jawahar Lal Nehru did one thing right…giving full authority to Sardar Patel to unify the country by hook or crook. Today we have a throbbing, vibrant country where the good balances the bad, and we are changing the world order inch by inch…
Imagine where we would be if this country won’t be in existence.I don’t know about others but I’d be fishing in (East Pakistan) Bangladesh, ruled over by Pakistan with little hope for a better future.
So people who think the unification of the country was wrong, that ideological, territorial and other forms of integrity were taken away from the princely states...TAKE A HIKE to PAKISTAN!
I believe in India.Anyday.Everyday.