A friend from Pakistan, with whom I was discussing the Partition, told me how India is better off for its "tolerance".
I rolled my eyes, but my friend said, "No, look at the facts. First, we threw out the Hindus and the Sikhs. Then, it was the Christians. Then, it was the Ahmadiyas. Then, the Hazaras. And now, the Shias. What next? You're lucky people can live in India irrespective of who they are."
There has been communal violence in India, but there has been no mass migration from the country's shores. Even so, can we call ourselves a united country?
We have several states agitating for secession, and we have several parts of states agitating for dominions. If it isn't religion that divides us, then, is it language? And if our states were divided on a linguistic basis to begin with, what are we still fighting about? Can we really separate our ethnicity from our language, and carve separate states for sentimental – and not administrative – reasons?
It has finally come down to the ballot, then. The creation and disintegration of states has become a promise on a manifesto.
The Congress Working Committee, which appears to have set the process for carving out Telangana in motion, has been speaking grandly of the decision being made in the "national interest". But how do we separate "national interest" from "party interest"?
Even more dangerously, the ubiquitous, anonymous "sources" quoted in media reports have admitted that the Centre may approve of a division of Andhra Pradesh simply to contain violence in the state.