Jun 182012
 

Sanjay Barua, makes some very interesting points on Europe, Continent building & Leadership and why Europe needs a Dr.Ambedkar

what was most frightening was the absence of a shared “narrative” in Europe about the crisis it finds itself in. There is no shared story about why Europe is where it is. Consequently, there is no possibility of a shared vision of not just how to move, but which direction to go in.

On the demands of the States v/s the Needs of the Federation

For today’s India, the European situation is an early warning. When “national” policy becomes hostage to “regional” interests, the “federal” government becomes paralysed and would be unable to act in the larger national interest. Something like this is happening in Europe. The interests of individual member states have become impediments to a continent-wide response

Why

Europe’s crisis of confidence has occurred before the “idea of Europe” has been able to strike adequately deep emotional roots

And finally

The challenge for the EU is to find its Ambedkar. It needs a constitution that will enable a continental political leadership to offer continent-wide solutions to a continent-wide problem. Europe needs emotional unity as much as it needs a new strategy for generating employment in a globally competitive way.

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All in all a thought provoking piece.

Except that European states and prinicipalities have spent the better part of the last millenium at each others throats. The visceral hatred was not just that of the rulers but of the people. Ancient India too was disunited, its kings routinely fought with each other – but by and large the people were kept insulated from hatred or indeed warfare.

There were of course places of worship that people visited across Bharatvarsha, but the Europeans had those too. People would travel to see the churches where saints were interred or look up other places with religious symbolism, or pass through nations on route to the Vatican. Much has been made of the role of Sanskrit spoken by the priests and the rulers – but the Europeans first had Latin and then French served the purpose.

So it isn’t language, nor is it religion. It can’t be nationality because that came into play less than a 100 years ago. It wasn’t culture – culturally the French and the British have more in common that possibly  the Tamils and the Telegus – so the only thing remains is the fact that the affairs of the rulers did not permate down to the people. Which is one of the reasons why regional identity bothers me. I know it is important, i know we need to have pride in it – but when does  it become antithetical to the whole ?