New Delhi, Sept.24 : Criticizing columnists for suggesting that certain sections of Indian society should be encouraged to dismember the country because of some so called "adverse" administrative decisions, former Defence Minister George Fernandes has said that India's geographical boundaries cannot be redrawn because of the desires of such secessionists.
In an article that appears in "The Other Side", a journal of socialist though and action, Fernandes said: "A few feature articles in newspapers and magazines cannot redraw the geography of India overnight just to show that we are radical and fashionable."
Admitting that Jammu and Kashmir has seen bad times, especially with Pakistan stoking the Kashmiri separatist cause, Fernandes said it does not mean that " we should be prepared to tear our country apart."
"We need instead to tear open our chests and see whether our own hearts beat for a better India, whether it be Bihar, Bengal, Orissa or, Gujarat," he added.
Indians needed to make a choice on whether they still wanted a unified India or be part of the "stokers' of trouble for political ends or for a few minutes of fame," he added.
Describing India as being in a permanent crisis zone, he said: "We need an alert and competent government at the center to monitor the pulse of each state of the Union and be ready to trouble shoot before things go out of hand. We need leaders with not just wisdom, but stature and moral authority to handle sensitive issues, and know what is needed to bring people of different communities together."
He suggested that the latest terror strikes across the country were aberrations that did not require an atmosphere of mutual recrimination.
Instead, all parties should stand together, look beyond elections and at the suffering people.
"Once this happens, fashionable writers encouraging secessionism, will not get the attention they so desperately seek," he concluded.