The Scots have Bungled

By Ranjit K. Sahu

Economy has been the focus and foundation of many geopolitical decisions in the recent decades and has been seen as the panacea for ailments plaguing the world order and human developments. It is no surprise that it has been “the factor” that prompted slightly more than half the Scots to continue to adhere to the United Kingdom. But world history has different lessons to teach. A poor country can get rich over time and under privileged citizens can sooner or later find ways to acquire their requirements and improve the quality of life. On the contrary, an independence movement does not happen often and not successfully. And it is the independence that lies at the base of future progress and not economy. Imagine the Chinese development if they still were under colonial powers! A caged bird will not go hungry but then it does not have the chance to reach the sky or even learn to fend for itself. And surely it will only be able to give rise to another generation of caged birds. The Scots have bungled a golden opportunity and for once at least they have disregarded history. Imagine the United States was still a colony of the British! Sadly “Opportunity knocks only once”, as wise men have said.

It is not that the Scots’ decision is entirely wrong. Their past experience of holding on to the British identity had brought lucrative remunerations. They were a part of the party that was thrown with the loot from India. But that was before 1947, when plundering the wealth of other countries in the name of the Queen was considered patriotic and valiant. No more. World order has changed. Today every country is independent and consists of citizens with aspiration for a better life. So it is only a matter of time before the prosperity is defined by either the natural resources of a region or the capabilities of the constituent population to evolve with trends and find novel niches for their survival in a competitive world. And for that to be practically possible, they need to have their jurisdiction over their natural resources. Recall that under the British the natural resources of India belonged practically to the     Queen and the British who enjoyed it even though the Queen (or the British) did nothing for Indians or any other country that they colonized.

While the recent happenings around the world show the problems of maintaining a geopolitical Identity after separating from a bigger conglomeration as evident by the Ukraine Crisis (Ukraine was a part of erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) , the Scots are not bound by land boundaries with any other country with a major power (like Russia). Nor are their closet neighbors in the North Atlantic interested to wrest any of their resources though war from them. The only country that may ever annex them is England. So the problem of maintaining their regional identity would not be an issue in the foreseeable future, especially with the British themselves searching for their foot hold in the new world order. The happenings in Hong Kong are perhaps a reflection of the effects of losing the independence of your sociopolitical concepts to your stronger neighbor(s).

Today the vast oil reserves of Scotland will continue to be British by legal considerations. And it is naïve of the Scots to think that the British with a history and attitude of imperialism will ever subscribe to the idea of developing Scotland in the way they would England and that too at the cost of England. Today the fish does not come from India which the British are going to share with the Scots. It will be the Scots’ oil which the British will gladly share under the same political bargain that China wants from India. i. e, What is grabbed by China is Chinese and what is disputed is the Indian territory. The similar logic by the British would be that all the Oil and other resources of Scotland are British but things that are from England are not Scottish. Anyway England has little natural resources to share with Scotland. At best they would give Scotland a Tag of being British. The contribution of this Tag to the Scots development will only be seen in future. Whether it is history or economy that would have been a better subject to read before the referendum by the Scots will need to be seen. It also remains to be seen how future generations of the Scot view this decision that was taken after waiting three centuries. Right now it is just a wait and watch in the casino. The Scots have already played their hand. With wars of many different kinds looming large on the horizons, there can yet be a possibility that the scenario of World War II will repeat for England where the Scots will face the music like India did in the past. And maybe that will be the cause of their independence. Till the time the case is further decided in tune with economy or history, their Irish neighbors will continue to paint their Shamrocks on their flights while the Scots continue their labels on their Whiskeys, and remain British and part of the United Kingdom.

About The Author: Ranjit Sahu, was born in India and is a doctorate in biotechnology. He has published two books in poetry ( 2005: A Year of Love and Drunk )and his poems have appeared in the website of Presently, he is working on several volumes of poems with different themes.

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