Saturday, August 18, 2007

Where are the martyrs and where are the hoarse voices?

The Idea of Scottish Independence - Work in Progress
from Desicritics by Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta Self Determination, freedom, independence etc. are very emotive words. The emotions come from the fact that one is being ruled by somebody unwanted. Like the old quote goes, “it might be in your interest to enslave us, but how is it in our interest to be your slaves”.
When a group decides that it had enough of “foreign” rulership, it revolts and then if they are lucky, a new country is born. This birth of a new country is not a given and the process is quite difficult. But one of the crucial factors behind the success of any national independence movement is a deep belief in the separateness of the nation -, a deep faith that they are being kept down or oppressed by the ruling nation and a strong desire that their nation’s destiny will be better guided by themselves.
That and few other bits and bobs with a dash of luck will get you your own country. What wont get you independence is a very wishy washy statement, which effectively says:
"well, ummm, perhaps it might be better to be independent, but we aren’t so sure, but we think we might be able to do better, so there is a possibility, a chance, not 100% sure, but still …"
Unfortunately, the opening shot for Scottish Independence in the 21st century is not really a shot, but a limp dishrag of a document...
The debate for Scottish Independence has degenerated into a car-boot sale bargain session. And it is mainly based on economic grounds, like how much money for the North Sea Oil, or the European subsidy, or the tax raising powers, or the level of investment in public sector or stuff like that. That is so disappointing and boring! It is like negotiating a contract for sewerage services or recycling service level agreements. Puke! Puke!
Where are the poets? Where are the story masters? Where are the people who can sing the songs, write the epics and sagas of how wonderful Scotland will be when it finally becomes independent? Where are the national feelings? Where is the emotion in this document? Where is the call for a national coming together of shared patriotism? Where is the mark of the Scots? Where are the town criers and short pithy slogans? Where are the martyrs and where are the hoarse voices? Where are the processions and demonstrations?
Take a leaf out of the independence movements of Ireland, USA, India, Pakistan and other countries. Where are the missing giants such as Jefferson, Collins, Nehru, and Jinnah? Where are the stirring words such as “tryst with destiny” uttered by Nehru? See what the US Declaration of Independence says in its first paragraph,
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Now that is a declaration of independence, not this cockamamie bureaucratic wishy washy, vague, boring, intellectually incoherent document. It is passionless, emotionally stunted and is as exciting to read as reading the wallpaper pasting instruction sheet. Very disappointing!
If this is the level of political leadership that Scotland has, then no wonder that the English want to get rid of Scotland and the Scots do not want to be independent. All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!

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