Thursday, September 15, 2011

North of the Vindhyas — No chance!

I'm thoroughly fed up answering a million queries as to why I am anti-North-Indian... and so I decided to instead write my logic down somewhere, so that tomorrow, just in case I suffer from a serious head injury and forget who I actually am, my blog shall remind me of my bias and my bias shall stay close to me, refuelling my anger and ideas — my precioussssssss!

But before I begin writing this orgasmic piece that will surely make me smile and jump in exhilaration in bits, let me be the ‘Indian’ diplomat and explain that — I am shamefully generalising and yes, I choose to do so...

I do not, never will and never have claimed that every North Indian is the same, so much so, some of my best friends are from the North — just that they are more evolved than I and often more than not, are much more broad-minded than I am.

I thank them for accepting me with all my annoying biases, but in the same breath, would like to remind them, that I am allowed to have said biases and indulge in them too. Much like they are allowed theirs.

Simply put — my biases define me to a huge extent, so deal with it!

LOGIC ABOVE ALL (It simms!)

I hate North India as an idea and I stand by every hateful word I utter with a vengeance, when I say this.

It’s not the people or their customs or their religions that annoy me... it is their identity, that they have chosen and created in the last few decades, that make me want to hate them.

Here’s a 5-point list that in-detail describes why my hatred is justified.

1) Language Issues:

India is a country with 28 states and 7 union territories and every single person who resides within these territories are as Indian as anybody else within these territories.

We might have a capital in New Delhi and Hindi might (as unfair and undemocratic as it might be) be the Official Language along with English — this however does not give anyone any legal or cultural authority to insist on the knowledge or usage of Hindi in any part of the country.

Our constitution quite clearly says that India has no National Language. What we do have is Hindi as our Official Language and English as a Subsidiary Official Language that can be used in lieu or with Hindi. We also have 22 Recognised Regional Languages that can be used in lieu of Hindi or English.

When the constitution so clearly states that we DO NOT have a National Language... it annoys me when people assume they have the right to question a person’s lack of knowledge or usage of Hindi.

It’s a free country — we’re allowed to use any of the recognised languages we might prefer to use!

More importantly, Hindi is a language native to the Ganga belt and so yes, speakers from there are naturally gifted to speak the language in all its subtle nuances and pronunciation anomalies.

Hoping and expecting people from other areas, with different native tongues, from different language groups to speak it like a native speaker is outright ridiculousness!

Furthermore, a person ridiculing someone for their regional accent in Hindi is uncalled for and illogical. You cannot force a new language down someone’s throat and then expect them to speak it as beautifully as you — that’s just common sense!

Of course you will bring up the Tamil issue and all I will say is read up. The Tamil issue was raised to counter the undemocratic proceedings of 1960.

Read: http://rajbhasha.nic.in/enpres-1960.htm

India did not need an Official Language from among the existing spoken languages. That is just undemocratic. An Indian version of a foreign language like English would have been fairer. It didn’t belong to anyone and none could claim it, not even the English!

2) Skin Colour Issues:

Indians who come from a Dravidic/Negroid/Austric or Austroloid racial origin tend to be darker skinned than people from Aryic/Mongoloid and Semitic strains. This is a fact, deal with it!

On the other hand India is so thoroughly mixed, that no one part of this country can claim to have pure racial origins from any one of these races.

We are a mixed people and we always have been. Often more than not, it has been geography and language that has united us, not the people we originally came from.

There will always be super fair South Indians and super dark North Indians and even though generalisations may be the norm, often more than not, you cannot judge a person’s origin by their colour.

I shall not demean the reader or myself by throwing around names... but it will suffice to say that some of our darkest models are often not from the South, while some of our fairest are not from the North.

And anyone with fairly unbiased tastes will vouch for me when I say; there can be good-looking dark people and ugly fair people.

3) Geography Issues:

This is one area that I refuse to be diplomatic about.

North Indians need to brush up on their geography. South Indian geography non-savants are as rare as two-headed snakes. Even more for the North-East!

The North-East has seven states, take time out and learn to recognise them on a map. Calling someone ‘Chinky’ is as racial as a North-Indian being called ‘Chom’! A Manipuri is not a Naga and a Naga is not a Khasi! A Khasi is not from Arunachal Pradesh and the Boros are a people. Getting yourself acquainted with your fellow Indians will not kill you.

The South of India is not one big state called Madras. Nor does everyone speak Tamizh. Half of South India is actually the two larger states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Kerala and Tamilnadu are the smaller two of the four states.

Be proud of being Indian, not just North Indian!

4) Accent Issues:

Exactly how not everyone in the North speaks fluent English, so don’t people in the South. Like how there is a proper accent for every area in the North, so do English accents change in the South. Neither is better than the other. They’re all equally creative and interesting.

Remember just because you were taught something in a particular way, it doesn’t make it right... English being a borrowed language in India can afford to have many rights.

I, for example have a stronger Scottish leaning in my spoken English, because missionaries in Western Tamilnadu were often from Scotland. The same can’t be said of Chennai where the educators were mostly English. Pondicherry similarly will have more French influences, while Goa will incline towards the Portuguese — the lesson being, stop assuming you are correct. Nobody ever truly is!

5) Identity Issues:

Yes, I am Indian, but no, I do not like Hindustani music. Yes, I am Indian, but I do not consider Kathak to be beautiful. Yes, I am Indian, but I am not inspired by couplets in Urdu and I am not that into Bollywood films.

I may not be like you, but I am Indian too. I am equally as Indian as you are.

India goes beyond the popular notion that India stands for. It pains me every time I am asked if I can speak Hindi because I am an Indian. Even worse is when Hindi is referred to when someone asks me if I can speak Indian...!

India does not equal Hindi or Hindi culture and thankfully never ever will. It’s about time people realised that. Yes, Hindi and the related culture is a huge chunk of our present common identity, but that’s not all of it. The rest of the states, their languages and cultures are equally Indian too!

To sum it all up, I hate what North Indians have become.

They have become the carriers of an oppressive culture unawares and are now taking pride in an assumed pseudo-superiority.

The problem however is that, for every North Indian who does not want to see beyond his borders, an Indian like me will redefine my borders without him.

This might seem like a small ego play in the beginning, but will soon rise into a huge secessionist movement that has already shown signs of arriving.

Let’s just hope India realises what went wrong and rectifies six decades worth of oppression or when the awakening comes, it might just be a tad too late.

3 comments:

Shruthi said...

Beautifully written:).But it is of no use,kannu.People just don't want to live and let live.What to do?Cheh I yam feelings the saad na.

Nkp said...

Yay! \m/ On the face of it :) Good work, Romal. All these issues mentioned here get on my nerves too. Some can't accept ppl for what they are. Now, i can give them this link to your post :D

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