Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scottish Independence

United Kingdom is on a verge of disintegrating, with Scotland trying to de-couple itself from the union of 307 long years. 18th September would be a deciding day to know if Scotland stays as part of United Kingdom or creates its own identity as an independent country. United Kingdom comprising of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have a tremendous geopolitical influence and this has benefited the members immensely. England being the prominent member of this union has a major say in matters close to home and in world as well. This, to some extent has clipped the wings of the other members who would like to have their own identity and be governed by their very own people. To the outer world, the culture and tradition of England seems to be the same for its other members, but that’s not true. The Welsh, the Scots have their very own distinctive culture, tradition which they are very proud of. They are also very proud of their language which is not really English. I have known people who when asked about their nationality, they proudly declare as Welsh or Scot. Scotland in a matter of days would be attempting to declare it free and carve a niche in the world with an independent identity. The Scottish independence referendum as it is called would be put to test in matter of days. Scottish independence has many pros and cons which would be instrumental in decision making.
Bappiper and Kilt the Scottish Identity
Scottish Identity
Since last few weeks, when the % of voters saying “Yes” exceeded the “Nay Sayers”, there have been frantic parleys from the “Ten Downing Street” to appease the Scots to stay with the UK, also enticing them with greater privileges in making their own decisions etc. David Cameron the English PM made an earnest request to the people of Scotland to not break away from the UK which is our home, while he said this he had tears in his eyes. The opposition parties in the English Parliament, joined in with Cameron, requesting Scotland to remain part of the UK, for that will ensure better future for them. This emotional address by Cameron to the Scots also has other ulterior motives, is what can be made out of it. This disintegration of Scotland from UK would also cost him his post and he might be pressurized to leave the “Ten Downing Street”, to add to that, the ignominy of being the PM of England when this happened. This would be a great blow to his achievements so far.

So far it has been a mixed reaction from many of the popular Scots. The most recognized face of the Scots, Sir Sean Connery thinks Independence is what he wishes to see in his lifetime and it is getting closer. Gerard Butler, the other famous Scot thinks, there is no reason why Scotland can’t be independent, and this is the right time to make it happen. While as other Scots like Andy Murray, Sir Alex Ferguson think Scotland should remain part of the UK, other celebrities from the UK, the famous J K Rowling echoes the same sentiments as Alex Ferguson. Many of them view independence from a very emotional angle while the Nay Sayers who are from Scotland say, being practical is what should matter and not otherwise. They consider themselves proud Scots but would love to be part of UK, for it can give them a better future. Thus the Scottish independence debate goes on.

Sir Sean Connery: Pro-Independence Supporter
Pro-Independence supporter Sir Sean Connery
A miniscule percentage of immigrants to the Scotland prefer “Yes”. They have their own reasoning to go for the independence. According to them, being part of the UK, the immigration policy is very stringent and this would not help immigrants like them. Others, who are pro-independence think, being independent will be good for their business and they would prosper. The Scottish independence odds are many. The flip side to “Yes” is, they would lose the power which comes from being part of the UK, and they would also be out of EU and NATO. Many prominent banks like RBS and Halifax which are part of "Lloyds Banking Group" have threatened to move out of Scotland if they secede. What currency they would opt for, if they separate, is a big question. There are many such issues in front of them on separation.

Taking a cue from Scotland, many other countries would get a boost to their respective separatist’s movements. Since long, Catalan wanted to separate itself from Spain. Flanders the Dutch speaking region of Belgium would like to break free from Belgium which has the other prominent region called Walloon which is predominantly French, and they say they have nothing in common with the other Belgians. In Canada, the French region of Quebec had for long wished to separate from Canada and have their identity as French speaking country. There are many such cases across the world, and the people are watching very closely the developments in Scotland. As the voting date approaches, the Yes and No percentage is fluctuating, and both are having an upper hand, but only for a brief period. The result will be out this week on 18th Sep, and many hearts will be broken for sure. While I read about the entire hullabaloo in the media, one line from a song, sung by Queen (Freddie Mercury) comes to mind, “I want to break free….
I want to break free
The most popular song with majority of Scots nowadays

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