D e m o c r a t i c P o l i t i c s
Belgium and Sri Lanka
I have a simpleequation in mind.Sharing power =dividing power =weakening thecountry. Why do westart by talking of this?
: A socialdivision based onshared culture. Peoplebelonging to the sameethnic group believe intheir common descentbecause of similaritiesof physical type or of culture or both. They need not always havethe same religion ornationality.
Communitiesandregions of Belgium
Belgium is a small country in Europe,smaller in area than the state of Haryana. It has borders withNetherlands, France and Germany. Ithas a population of a little over onecrore, about half the population of Haryana. The
composition of this small country is very complex. Of the country’s total population, 59 percent lives in the Flemish region andspeaks Dutch language. Another 40 percent people live in the Wallonia regionand speak French. Remaining 1 per centof the Belgians speak German. In thecapital city Brussels, 80 per cent peoplespeak French while 20 per cent areDutch-speaking. The minority French-speaking community was relatively rich andpowerful. This was resented by theDutch-speaking community who gotthe benefit of economic developmentand education much later. This led totensions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communitiesduring the 1950s and 1960s. Thetension between the two communities was more acute in Brussels. Brusselspresented a special problem: theDutch-speaking people constituted amajority in the country, but a minority in the capital.Let us compare this to the situationin another country. Sri Lanka is anisland nation, just a few kilometres off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu. Ithas about 2 crore people, about thesame as in Haryana. Like other nationsin the South Asia region, Sri Lanka hasa diverse population. The major socialgroups are the Sinhala-speakers (74 percent) and the Tamil-speakers (18 percent). Among Tamils there are two sub-groups. Tamil natives of the country
Walloon (French-speaking)Flemish (Dutch-speaking)German-speakingBrussels-Capital Region
Look at the maps of Belgium and Sri Lanka. In which region do you find concentration of different communities?
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