When the British parliament debated the Kashmir problem the Indian government and many Indians protested. They were wrong. Two neighbouring nuclear nations torn by an emotive dispute, with one being a hub of global terrorism, cannot be ignored by the rest of the world. The majority opinion in the British parliament expressed concern about the Taliban, nuclear weapons and the dangerous cross border terrorism allowed by Pakistan. A debate in the Indian parliament would not have commented otherwise. Some Indians irritably said that India should retaliate by debating the Scottish referendum to be held on September 18, 2014 to show the British their place. There should be a debate on the Scottish referendum in the Indian parliament not in retaliation but because its outcome concerns the rest of the world including India.
Let us understand why.
British Prime Minister Mr. David Cameron has strongly urged the Scots to reject separation. He is right. Scotland’s urge for separation may be understandable. The remedy being sought is wrong. It goes against the global trend and the emergence of a healthy New World Order. The Scottish referendum is being watched keenly the world over. Innumerable nations across the world are contending with separatist demands. There are separatist demands in Germany, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, China, Iraq, Ukraine and a host of other nations. In India of course we wrestle with demands from Kashmir and the Northeast. All over the world separatists are keenly awaiting the result of the Scottish referendum to step up their own demands. The Scottish referendum therefore could be a catalyst to determine the shape of the New World Order. That is why one submits that the solution lies not in granting sovereignty but federal autonomy. The motives for separatism need to be understood.
The strongest motive is the assertion of distinct identity which may be determined by religion, ethnicity, history, culture or language. Kant, Hegel and Max Weber emphasized the power of identity as a motivating force in politics. The second motive following from the first is the desire for self rule to give expression to identity. The underlying demand therefore is for democratic autonomy mistakenly confused with sovereignty. The recent floods in Kashmir should make clear the advantage of being part of a bigger political dispensation although greater autonomy may be desirable. As important as the need for smaller units asserting distinct identities is the need for regional identities to find political expression like the European Union in order to enhance regional prosperity and security. That is how a federal New World Order ought to evolve with eventually a world government at the apex in a reformed United Nations.
That is why the Scottish referendum result is important. That is why what is needed is not granting sovereignty but a rational reordering of powers that deliver greater self rule and autonomy to smaller units. Splintering big nations into small nations without regional identities getting expression would create a centralized world order at the mercy of international finance capital.