In the political history of the world, secession is an extraordinary step taken by the people on multiple pretexts. The major driving force behind such drastic step is generally deep rooted sense of deprivation. Since ages security and prosperity has been the only bonding factor that can draw people towards any possible social and political compromise. The existence of empires and kingdoms persisted on the same predominant factor. Spain is such part of the world that has undergone several shades of kingdom. This territory existed since the pre-historic times. Under Roman era Spain was divided into two parts: Hispania Citerior (Hither Spain) in the north, Hispania Ulterior (Farther Spain) in the south. The locals especially Lusitanian’s resisted the Roman occupation incessantly. From 8th to 11th century the Arabs remained the masters of the Iberian Peninsula. Umayyads ruled over the territory with their stronghold over Andalusia and the southern territories. They made Cordoba as their capital. Although Arabs had been tolerant of Christians and Jews but there had always been conspiracies to get rid of “Moors” by the Christian leadership. In 1139 Afonso Henriques captured a number of “Moorish” strongholds and established the southern boundary of his kingdom at the river Tagus. Later on the union of Portugal with Spain in 16th century initiated the Golden Age of the Spanish history. The separation of Portugal and subsequent regional political events again put Spain into many pitfalls.

The modern history which clearly shed light on the struggle between nationalists and the republicans starts from the Spanish civil wars of 1936 -39. This civil war rather served as the battleground for prevailing ideologies of that time. Franco’s Nationalists were being supported by the Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy with both troops and weapons. While communist Russia was supporting the Republicans. Till 1938 nationalists were not successful in taking control of Catalonia from the republicans. There was such tremendous war along the river Ebro that the republicans were rather exhausted. Ultimately Madrid was taken by the nationalists but the feeling of separatism was always there in the masses of Catalonia.

Franco died in 1975. With the demise of Franco, the republican forces stated to gain strength once again. It was turning point in the political history of Spain. Juan Carlos had taken route to democracy in complete diversion of the training of Franco. Political parties were legalized and election took place in 1977. UDC (Union of the Democratic Centre) attained majority. Among other democratic reforms, the new regime has been firm moves towards autonomy for the Catalans and the Basques.

Catalonia has always show apathy towards the authorities in Madrid. These were provisions of autonomy that have served as the practical facilitation between the two. After the implementation of the constitution of 1978, sufficient autonomy was granted to Catalonia. This political facility helped Catalonia to emerge as a developed as well as the richest region of the country. Initially, the autonomy or complete independence of Catalonia was regional or political issue. In recent times, economic crisis in Spain has surpassed all historical, political, geographical and demographic reasons. The economic reality is that Catalonia is 16% of Spain’s total population with 19% of GDP and 20.7% of foreign investment. 25.6% of Spain’s exports come from Catalonia. The basic grievance of the people of Catalonia is their bigger share in the Spanish economy than the returns they get from the center. These realities have intensified the calls for independence.

2006 “Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia” gave elaborated autonomy which sufficiently satisfies the economic grievances of Catalonia. Eventually, this statute was challenged by Popular Party, the center-right group that now governs the country, before the constitutional court. Constitutional court, in its decision struck down 14 and curtailed another 27 clauses. Among other things, the ruling struck down attempts to place the distinctive Catalan language above Spanish in the region; ruled as unconstitutional regional powers over courts. This seemingly simple decision culminated into a whirlwind.

The regional parliament of Catalonia called for referendum on 6th September 2017. The Spanish government declared it illegal on the very next day. Despites all hurdles involved by authorities, the referendum have taken place on 1st October 2017. On theother hand the “Catalan Statutes of Autonomy” abhor any change in the change in the status of the region without two third majority of the Catalan Parliament.

There is no doubt in declaring the prevailing situation as a complete political chaos. At one hand, it is a stark reality that no political region, with more than one element of oneness as nation, can be forced to join a center hostile to its cardinal interests. On the other hand, establishing a separate state in the set regional and global political realities is not an easy task. Undoubtedly, Catalonia has been autonomous region with all its riches and geographic reality. In the global political and economic scenario survival of a new state with more than one strategic hardship is another issue. Whether central government of Spain chooses to curtail its opposing regional component or it submits to its people’s demand of complete independence, in both cases there is a lot to learn and a lot to lose. Route to negotiations in the perspective of regional and global realities would help both parties to find out some middle way which could save foreseeable political chaos on both sides.