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Why entertaining the idea of a ‘republic of south India’ is mischievous, dangerous and outright ahistorical


Active member
Manu Joseph is a well-known journalist and novelist. He writes beautiful prose that often feels like poetry. He is leisurely to read and easy to comprehend. Last week, however, he wrote an article that seemed jarring at several places. Neither was it a leisurely read, nor was it a piece of clarity. For, this time, he wrote about an idea that he didn’t seem to comprehend, deliberately or otherwise.

The article, ‘A Republic of South India is not entirely unthinkable’, published in a Delhi newspaper on 1 May 2023, argued that “if the BJP grows more powerful, a new political superstar may emerge to lead the south away from the north”. The tone, too magisterial for a journalist, was that the north and the south of India are two poles that shall never meet. According to him, no one knows what keeps India together. “I have heard ‘English’, ‘cricket’ and ‘Bollywood’. I think there are no reasons,” writes Joseph. Maybe the only thing keeping them together is a “habit”. And then, he warns, “South India, too, is a habit!”


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