Going a step further than Gandhi and clearly differentiating between India's cultural/spiritual/civilizational unity and political unity, Maj. Dalbir Singh, in the capacity of National Secretary, All India Congress Committee, had the following to say in a paper presented to the Forum of Federations on 25/6/2004 (the Forum of Federations is a global body devoted to studies on federalism in the world):
India has never been governed by a single or unitary centre of authority. Throughout the history there has been persistent endeavour to establish sustainable political order in a diverse social framework marked by civilizational unity.Of course, the "civilizational unity" Maj. Singh talks about spans all the different religions, not only Hinduism. In any case, it is doubtful if anybody in the BJP or RSS have ever managed to gather up sufficient intellectual courage to admit anything like this. Atleast, we haven't come across any such admission. Why does it take intellectual courage to admit something like this? Because if your own Gurus - Gandhi in the case of Maj. Dalbir Singh and Golwalkar in the case of say Mr. X. - have found India's historical political diversity to be a shame or even nonexistent, it takes a certain amount of intellectual courage to argue against their ideas (or even what people think is against their ideas) when you believe what you think is true.
We'd be more than happy if someone showed us a similar understanding in the BJP or the RSS. Anything remotely similar. Why would we be happy? Because then, the two largest parties in India would be on the right track w.r.t. federalism - a welcome situation.
On the question of federalism, Maj. Singh says in the same paper:
The re-assertion and articulation of Sub-regional diversities has produced an inexorable trend towards greater federalization. The last three parliamentary elections from 1996 onwards and the fractured electoral verdicts in several states during the past few years have demonstrated that the country is set for a coalition order of Government in years to come. At the theoretical level there is a new found equilibrium in the system in context of changed reality of politics, economy and society.So while the BJP and RSS think of the existence of different linguistic states - why, the existence of different languages themselves - a pain in the neck because their ideology doesn't fit reality, we see the Congress to be more receptive to the idea of federalism and more power to the states.
[Now wait, this is not a Congress-paid blog, nor is BANAVASI BALAGA affiliated to the Congress in the remotest of ways. We're not asking you to vote for the Congress (in fact, we strongly believe that your vote is powerless because of the guys at the receiving end of your votes). And of course, the elections are over, so take it easy. We're in the business of calling a spade a spade when we see a spade. That's all!]