It happens all the time, but this time round it really pissed me off...
I was walking through ‘Forum’ the other day, with a friend who was well cuter than most other guys (and I have a MAJOR weakness for cute guys… Ahem!), But a bit darker in complexion than most of my other friends, when we both almost bumped into two very obviously Gujuraati boys. We missed each other by an inch, and well I turned round to say sorry, when I realised that the two boys weren’t very pleased. They muttered of some bad word in Gujuraati (It sounded bad!), and then worsened the situation by adding some thing that went with a meaning of “….These Madrasees…”, It wasn’t surprising one bit, for its almost become, an accepted norm, all over India, for this term to be used, as a derogatory insult, to most South Indians, I wasn’t all that pissed till one of my Southern Indian friends did the same a few days ago (He Apparently did it in humour… ?!)
That did it!
I mean when will this obviously stupid generalizing and derogatory, use of the word STOP?
Madras doesn’t exist anymore, its Chennai now, for heavens sake! (But that’s not even half the problem!)
Ever since the independence of India, the North-South divide (I shall call it so, for it divides us further than we can ever acknowledge), has only been worsening with each year. These divisions based very obviously on topographical divisions, are worse than racial discriminations because they don’t obviously involve races anymore.
This ‘Madrasee’ is inclusive of everyone who lives below the state of Maharashtra, and Orissa, and thus includes Andhrites, Kannadiggas, Keralites, Konkanis, Tamizhians, Tulus, Kodavaas, Badagaas, Tamizh Sauraashtrians and several Tribal (Around 30 odd) groups who live scattered all over the Southern Peninsula.
Colour, has added even further to the divide, as Most South Indians are generally perceived to be dark in complexion , and all North Indians Fair (Its funny how , several, North Indians, will refuse to believe of Rekha’s, Hema Malini’s , and even Aishwarya Rai’s, southern family lines), its even worse when, Dark is again considered to be ugly (?!)… And fair beautiful.
The Divide is even obvious, when it comes to something as trivial as Language Accents, Its funny how, a South Indian is ‘Forced’ to learn a North Indian Language and then, mocked again for not speaking the ‘foreign’ tongue properly, or when professors from leading North Indian Universities, based in ‘The Capital’ (again in the North?!), claim that the English Spoken in North India is far more ‘English’ than the English spoken by South Indians (When almost everyone in the South think Vice Versa), But the Northern Ideology triumphs, as the Central Boards of all Educational, or Lingual foundations, are based there…
And when certain people stand up for the cause of protecting their identities, in a country fast on its way of losing its ‘Heralding’ multiple identities, for a more ‘Global’ Indian Identity, they’re either considered, trouble makers, or worse, Partitionists (?!)
I for one have decided to stand for this cause, being a Tamizh- Manipuri, I see this ugly face of racist, India, IN MY FACE everyday, and well… I can’t take it anymore… I have decided to stop using a language that stands as a symbol for such a un-equilibrium in this country… I hate the fact that I cannot love this language, as I once loved it, for it now seems to be a tool for such discrimination (?!)
Down south ‘Madrasees’, Up east ‘Chinkees’ (because they have Mongoloid features!), Its almost like these people aren’t Indians, and the others are… and yet we complain that they ask for ‘freedom’ and ask for special rights, or even consider them to be ‘Barbaric’ (Ha! A friend actually said that), because they’re afraid of losing the only identity they have left, and thus refusing a compulsion on using this ‘Majority’ language...
We all came to this land long ago, none of us have claim to it, Its this diversity that gives us our identity, so instead of being racist and imagining ‘The Indian’ to be one ‘Kind’ of person, understand, ‘Indian’ Itself has too many faces… The Dravidians (The Earliest) came from what is now Australia, long ago, The Aryans from Middle Asia, The Mongolians, might have even preceded both as they came from much closer Mongolia, and Never had a history written, nor left any traces… The only people left, are the Negroids and the Austric Tribals, and well… wherever they came from, does not matter…
So… Who is the Indian, we all claim to be?
Is the Naga from some remote part of Mokokchung any less Indian than the Haryanvi from Noida? Or the Keralite from some village in Pathnamthitta any less Indian than the Punjabi from Jalandhar... Then how is it that these people do not refer to the North Indian as ‘Gora’ or ‘Vellaikaar’…
It’s Time for a Change… Or we are accepting that the real Indian is the North Indian because The Capital and The Government reside there?! Are we? …
Are we Accepting facts like, a film originally made in a South Indian Language, dubbed into this ‘Indian’ Language, has more chances of winning an award, because, its in This ‘Majority’ (?!) Language…?
Or even worse, that half of our Leaders, other than Nominal Heads, seem to be from this ‘Majority’ (The few of the others who DID make it, weren’t even there!)…
It goes on and on… The argument never ends, you might completely differ in you views, and I give you an equal right to express your view… Feel free to comment, but not before you think about what I’ve written… As an Indian.
I am Proud to be a citizen of this Country that respects my voice, and lets me speak out… Respect this Freedom, and do not be a cause for you losing yourself this Right!
I’m sorry if I’ve hurt anyone’s feelings, please believe me when I say, I spoke of no one, in particular, in this piece of writing… feel free to let me know of what you think!
“Eeshwaruh Allaah, Taeray Jahaan Mein,
Nafarathuh Kyoon Hein, Jangue Hein Kyoon?
Taeraa Dil Thoeh, Itnaah Badaa Hein,
Insaan Kaah Dil, Tangue Hein Kyoon?”
Mohandaas Karamchand Gandhi.