After the Karnataka assembly elections, similar but eerie posts began appearing on many social media platforms. It was the map of India with the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala shown in a different color from rest of the country. Ostensibly, it was a reaction celebrating the victory of Congress in Karnataka. All these states are currently ruled by non-BJP government.
However, what looks like a post against BJP by other party members hides an ugly truth. These social media posts are the seeds of a secession idea that are being planted slowly in the minds of unsuspecting people, especially the youth.
An idea of a ‘United South India’ or the ‘Republic of South India’ is being slowly nurtured that the southern part of India is somehow culturally and socially different from the northern part of the country. It tries to question the need for southern states to remain part of our country and puts forward lies and untruths to further the idea.
Recently, a conclave was held in Kochi titled ‘Cutting South’. It was mostly financed by Kerala Media Academy. The brochure of ‘Cutting South’ showed southern part of India in a different color, again an attempt to showcase south India as separate from the rest.
The organizers of the conclave were pro-left and pro-Islamists like the news portals News Minute, Newslaundry, and Confluence Media and the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ). It is to be mentioned here that KUWJ had given strong support to Siddique Kappan, an associate of PFI, who is under trial in a UAPA case.
The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan had attended the function online but did not mention the name of the conclave and addressed it as ‘Global South’. It is believed that he had received many intelligence inputs about the event’s funding source and its links.
Organizers of ‘Cutting South’ also had the audacity of putting the name of Goa Governor, Adv. Sreedharan Pillai, on its brochure. The office of the Goa Governor had to give a press release stating that the Governor has no knowledge of the conclave and that neither he nor the Raj Bhavan has given any consent of participation.
Reports say that NIA and ED have started inquiries into the financial sources of News Minute and News Laundry. There are intelligence reports that funding for extremists activities are camouflaged as news portal subscriptions.
These conclaves, social media posts, etc. might be a way of testing the waters and to slowly inject the poison of secessionism.
However, another danger that fuels this idea is the intellectual backing given by prominent writers, thinkers, social workers and social media influencers.
Manu Joseph, an Indian journalist and writer, wrote an essay in a newsportal two weeks back titled ‘A Republic of South India is not entirely unthinkable’. This is the kind of intellectual support that is being given to this dangerous idea.
In his article Manu Joseph says that southern India is facing oppression from BJP dominated North India. He points out that south India has ‘a clear distinction from the north’. And says that there exists a vague sameness about the five states in southern India. He continues that these southern states are united in their dislike to the political domination coming from north.
He also gives out three conditions that might make southern states secede from the rest of India.
This is the level of activities that are going on to spread the dangers of secessionism in our country. It might look harmless at present but once the poison goes deep enough, it will quickly spread. It has the potential to turn in to an armed rebellion in the coming future or perhaps a civil war. Then it would be too late to reverse the effects. India has suffered the violence, miseries, and hardships of partition once. It is still fresh in our collective memories.
The only anti-dote to this poison is nationalism. Spreading the message of nationalism, our collective culture, the history of our glorious past, etc. is what nationalists can do to prevent this poison from spreading further.
The Central Government should also take cognizance of this secessionist movement taking shape slowly. It must be nipped at the bud. Otherwise this danger could engulf the whole nation in the coming future.