Saturday, 1 June 2013

What is a country – geographical area or the people?



In Sophocles’ Antigone, Cretes, the King of Thebes and the protagonist in the play asks the question, “What is State?” For him the King is the State and others in the play believe that the people are the state.
This is an age old question ancient as States.
Definitely, the King is not the State, for such kings have been overthrown by the people. History always has proved that the people are the State.

While I was writing another blog on the “Absurdity of war”, I came across a statement of mine saying that the people are the country. Is it so?
There are vast areas of land in the frontiers and some corners of countries which are not occupied by people. It is uninhabited area with forest or snowy mountains. Such areas are not suitable for habitation. Still does any country consider it unimportant and ignore the territory so that the neighboring country may occupy it? No. what does it mean? People are not the country?

What a country without people? What a country stands for? For who does a country exists?
There is no country without people. No country can exist without citizens.
A country stands for its citizens, for protecting the interests of its citizens.
A country exists for its citizens, if they reject the country it become extinct.

So people are the blood and vein of a country. A country belongs to the people. In fact a country comes into being because of its citizens.
The existence of a country is declared by its citizens.  It is run by the people, maintained by the people and protected by the people.

What is a country?
A country is a geographical area inherited by a group of people and with specified borders for protection, growth and governance.

It is a geographical area inherited by a group of people. It is not an occupied area. When a country occupies another country, the area is called as, “the occupation of ……..(such a country)” or “the colony of …… (such a country)”. It means that the geographical area inherited by a group of people always remains a separate country that belongs to the inheritors.

No country can be bought by money. It has to be inherited.
It should be a geographical area inherited by certain generations by the same group of people.
Only such a country can anyone call as “our country”.

Anybody who has such a history of inheritance can call the geographical area as “my country”.
The period of inheritance and the number of generations that lived there cannot be specified universally. No law exists for defining such a period. It is related to the history of inheritance of people in that particular geographical area.

Then what about the uninhabitable areas in countries?
These areas, though uninhabited and uninhabitable are inherited by the people of the country. They own such areas for generations.

What shall we conclude?
A country is a geographical area inherited by a group of people and with specified borders for protection, growth and governance.
No country is the King or the rules. The people are the country.
Even if anyone argues otherwise, history won’t let him.

Professor Jacob Abraham                                                                            

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