So the MNS now does Maharashtra Nirmaan by targeting Northerners. Sure that'll help build a much better state! Migrant labour, newer ideas, wider participation are only impediments in the way of progress and success.

How often have fringe ideologies managed to hijack the polity - and get a quiet nod from so many who're not really supportive, but agree anyways cause they'd rather not disagree, or have some obliquely connected biases ?
  • Is language for communication, or domination? Is it worth burdening it as a vessel of culture etc if that causes a breakdown in communication itself ?
  • Whats with this whole outsider/insider paranoia ? Are the insiders always more concerned about their city/state? [ If so Bangalore would be much better run :) ] Why are some outsiders so defensive and end being abrasive, not knowing how to handle their initial discomfort at what they cannot understand upfront ? Why is there so much digging up of trenches and hardlines ?
  • Everyone seems too keen to believe in the myths about the "other". I just read on some blog's comments that "Hindi speakers have a superiority complex". Would've never guessed that - in fact the average Southie is looked up to as a learned, law abiding, religious, vegetarian up north - again a rather generalized prototype. Benefit of doubt, people ?
Diversity is a good thing (imagine having the same food, same songs, same everything wherever you go - would feel like the US!) - but the way its being used right now - for hardline ethic identities - makes one wonder if our nation deserves that. Go the strict French way and abolish any signs of difference ? Adhere only to the one Indian-ness and ban everything else - at least from the state's point of view ? Crappy and quasi-comunist, of course, but what else do a people who cannot celebrate difference and only live in fear of imagined demons that the "other" might be deserve ?

Sad. Very very sad.


Thejas Nair said...

I have a different opinion about US. Its lot more diverse than India in many ways. Especially the bay-area.. its full of people from around the world, the different cuisnes you find at restaurants here is are amazing. There are even local punjabi radio channels here! US also has a special visa called diversity visa, for bringing people from countries that under-represented .

The homogenising factor I have seen here is the big corporate chains. You have even national chains even for barber shops!

sameer said...

True - people wise the US has many pockets of the cauldron effect and thats what has helped it grow, and be so attractive to people from all over :)

In terms of the variety of *substantially* different cultures and traditions, foods, architecture, etc, its much less diverse than any comparably sized country/place.

Sadly, one has started seeing a little bit of the "big corporate chain" effect in India too - a Barista is the last thing you want to see in Shimla - but its impact is pretty limited so far.