In “India – a million mutinies now“, Naipaul makes the point that India’s political identity as one country is a recent creation and that it goes against the grain of her long history. He concludes therefore that this aberration called modern India will give way at some stage and the country will break-up to form the large number of small political units that have historically existed in South Asia. Gloomy Gus, isnt he?
So, when the BSE tanks (as it seems do every few years and amazingly, seems to surprise a lot of people each time), I refuse to panic. To me, the prospect of the larger melt-down forecast by Naipaul is the real worry. If that were ever to come to pass, life will be very different from what we see today.
Will it happen? The answer my friend is blowin in the wind.
So, let us give our collective index finger a lick and hold it up to the breeze. And remind ourselves that history is full of funny, unanticipated things that seem to happen again & again.
To take just a couple of examples from the very recent past across the world. The collapse of the soviet Union, a State so overwhelming in its projection of power that when the wall crumbled in Berlin one night on TV, I simply could not assimilate it. Similarly the break-up of the Balkans (the word balkanisation had for a few years become a relic, an anachronism – and suddenly, in just the space of a few months we learned why the word meant what it did).