What Cultural Lessons Can India Learn From The Catalan Crisis? 

A million years ago, two species of human beings coexisted on earth in a common time frame: Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens. Both had different technological advancements, shared a power struggle, and had fought for survival. The one who survived on earth were Homo Sapiens, today’s human beings. 

After thousands of years, man settled with agricultural development and domestication of animals. But different groups of humans started living divided by their cultures, for example, different clan systems. There are stories of how clan totems like a snake or a tiger were crucial for clan members. For the protection of their own clan, struggle and competition with their counterparts and wars were common. 

We, as a species, have evolved, but our tendency of collectively organising around our culture has remained intact irrespective of the time frame in which we live. 

This tendency sometimes can be at the rational end of the spectrum when the culture is in danger. While in some cases, this tendency can also manifest as an ethnocentric attitude, meaning the ‘false pride’ of a thought which says, “Only my culture is best.” All nations of the world today are oscillating between this spectrum; and if the pendulum gets heavy on any side, the power struggle and crisis are bound to happen. 

Europe is witnessing one such crisis for many decades: the Catalan crisis. This crisis again makes one think through the fundamental attitude of human beings about culture – like expressing cultural pride collectively, searching for a collective identity, and rebelling against repressive forces. 

Catalonia is the richest and highly industrialised semi-autonomous region in the North East of Spain with a population of 75 lakhs (16% of Spain). The region proudly distinguishes itself culturally with the history of thousands of years, their own traditions, language, parliament, flag, and national anthem. Most of the Catalonian population lives in Barcelona which is a popular tourist place and an economic-political hub. 

Catalonian land has always seen peaceful pro-independence protests, for example, in October 2019, 5,00,000 people gathered on the streets while chanting “The streets are always ours.”

Catalonia is an economic centre for Spain. 25.6% export by Spain is shared by Catalonia. But, Catalan nationalists don’t identify themselves as Spanish, they share a close historical-cultural connection with France.

And, for a long time now, they are fighting for their independence from Spain, as a lot of their money goes to the poorer parts of Spain ruled by the right-wing forces. 

A Chronological History of The Catalonian Crisis

Catalonian land has always seen peaceful pro-independence protests, for example, in October 2019, 5,00,000 people gathered on the streets while chanting “The streets are always ours.

But the news coverage the last few months also revealed stories of civil unrest and how the very air of Catalonia reeks of violence. Attacks on police and authorities are claimed by Spain. The oscillation of Catalonia between the spectrum of peace and violence is evident. 

What Cultural Lessons Can India Learn From The Catalan Crisis? 

India as a nation is currently struggling with the mockery of nationalism. “Only if you function this way, are you a true national”: this is the temperament we are living with. Patriotism is being judged on the food people eat, the language they speak, the content they post on social media and so on. This repression should not give birth to a Catalan crisis inside our country where a section is made to feel disconnected to an extent that separation is all it can think of.

A diverse country like India is vulnerable to such a crisis and our policies must adopt global human rights directives. They must direct the society towards harmony rather than a crisis. 

Europe is witnessing one such crisis for many decades: the Catalan crisis.

Do you find online payments safe?

Take this survey and help companies and the government make online payments safer for you.

Take the Survey
Similar Posts

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below