In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, there is quite a bit of discussion on what's wrong inside India because of which we keep on having these attacks. Two different sentiments are holding sway over the media, which in turn holds sway over people. Firstly, there is the sentiment that India's defense apparatus has gone to the dogs because of unprofessionalism and corruption. Secondly, there is the sentiment that India's linguistic diversity is an impediment to India's unity and security. While the first sentiment is based in reality, the second is based in a false notion of India.
The first sentiment is shared by anybody having even the slightest commonsense. India's progress will never exceed the unprofessionalism and corruption in not just defense but in every sphere of public life. Unprofessionalism and corruption are two different types of cancers which are eating away India. There is no option but to get rid of these two cancers. The only question which remains to be answered is - how can we reduce unprofessionalism and corruption in public servants? The answer lies in true leadership. It is foolish to believe that those who are corrupt and unprofessional can be cured of their cancers. Instead, the solution is for those who are professional and non-corrupt to become public servants, that's all. That is the only way out. In other words, rectifying the unprofessional and corrupt is a futile excercise. It is best to replace them.
We now come to to the second sentiment which is rooted in a misunderstanding of the Idea of India. The basic rights of the different linguistic peoples of India to obtain education and employment, as well as their right to protect their own language and culture are being slighted with increased vigour in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks. It is being selectively forgotten that the irritation of Marathis is against those non-Marathis who act to the detriment of Maharashtra, its culture and its language, and not against those who help Maharashtra in any way. The anger of the Marathis is against those non-Marathis who have the audacity to snatch away jobs of Marathis and openly disgrace the language and culture of Maharashtra. Those non-Marathis who help Maharashtra and who are not inimical to its language and culture (for e.g. the NSG commandos) are obviously welcomed by the Marathi people. The fact that Indians need to be united against a common enemy - terrorism - does not make India's linguistic diversity a shame. Nor can it be wished away. The need for India's linguistic peoples to protect themselves, their respective languages, their respective cultures and their rights to education and employment remains irrespective of whether or not there is a common enemy. India's education and employment are the education and employment of the Marathis, the Kannadigas and that of every other linguistic people. Not just that of the Hindi speaking people.
It is high time people understand that the linguisitc states of India have willingly transferred defense responsibilities to the central government in order that they can focus on peace-time activities such as education, employment, human development, language development, arts and crafts, and culture. It is unfair and against the very idea of India to argue that the speakers of one particular language and their language itself - Hindi - have a higher priority in all the above peace-time activities all over India. It is against the very idea of India to have a system which makes Kannadigas themselves underdogs in Karnataka, and Hindis the upperdogs. We should not forget that this fact remains whether there was a terror attack on Mumbai or not. We should not forget that the principle of unity in diversity holds irrespective of whether or not the different linguistic peoples of India have a common enemy.