India should attend to its problems and heal its own fault-lines instead of trying to make a mark as a global super power, said historian and writer Ramachandra Guha here on Wednesday.
Delivering an address titled “India’s Internal Fault-lines” at his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, at the closing ceremony of the Institute’s golden jubilee celebrations, Dr. Guha said the call for India to make it at a global level given by a small section of the country’s elite and non-resident Indians was “highly premature”.
Describing the Republic of India as “the most reckless and ambitious political experiment in human history”, he said that after 65 years of independence the country was facing a “serious mid-life crisis”.
Dr. Guha said a stable, regular and focused functioning of the three legs of democracy — the government, civil society and the private sector — was necessary to meet the challenges facing the country.
While he said that a strong civil society had emerged in the country, there were mixed feelings about the private sector where a tussle between innovative and creative entrepreneurship and crony capitalism was evident.
Referring to the problems the country is facing, Dr. Guha said continuing conflicts over identity indicated that religious peace was still fragile.
Citing the recent ethnic violence in Assam where more than 100 people were killed and lakhs displaced, he said politicians with malicious designs were trying to instigate people from both the communities.
Dr. Guha said while secessionist movements in States like Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland should be a worry for the country, instability in the neighbouring country of Pakistan was also a reason for concern.
Commenting on the problem of Left wing extremism in the central parts of the country, he said “Maoism is a consequence of reckless handing over of land belonging to the tribals to mining and energy firms.”
“Adivasis [tribals] have suffered more in recent times than the Dalits have suffered in the past,” he said.