It’s a resounding NO ! But 6 million Scottish people voted on the issue of independence from United Kingdom, the impact of the split could have been tremendous, on the economy, society and people at large across the country.
James Crabtree, Mumbai bureau chief, Financial Times, said there has been a long running demand for independence. “And there has been no counterveiling idea to bond the nations.”
Yashwant Deshmukh, founder of polling company CVoter, said Quebec/Canada also saw a similar referendum which ended with a No. “The question of Kashmir is also a question of identity and being different from India. The surprise in Scotland is that every 5th voter has asked for a postal ballot; that’s a very curious development.”
He added that 16-17 year old voters are participating in this referendum. “And I am looking forward to a keen contest.”
While there is no constitutional mention about referendum in India, Deshmukh said the collector held a referendum in Raigad, Maharashtra. “96% people voted against a proposed special economic zone (SEZ) and the plan was called off.”
Crabtree said the mood is very nervous among the political circles in Britain. “If the vote is No, some sort of devolution will start. It is unclear if Scotland will benefit from independence.”
While Crabtree said the young are overwhelmingly in favour of independence, Deshmukh added that there may be people around the world who would be excited by these developments.
Deshmukh said: “The idea of referendum is to ask people their views on various issues. Developed economies like U.S, U.K hold 100s of referendums. If people can elect MPs in India, they can definitely express views on issues affecting their lives. Once elections are done, we never go back to people for their views. The idea of referendum on independence can only be a part of the broad plan.”