Cultural interaction in India

Last updated on Feb 25, 2008

Posted on Feb 25, 2008

There was a lot of reaction on my piece on Raj Thackeray and may felt the Biharis will decimate their culture.  Here are my thoughts:

Since our independence, North Indians – specifically the Allahabad crowd ruled India.  South Indians and the others were almost not welcome.

And majority of this crowd was either with lawyers background or elitist.

Even the business was North based for the most part.

Over the years this has changed.

One of the things that has changed all this is Knowledge economy.  Suddenly the education oriented culture of the SOuth had a way to assert itself.  Now, instead of SOuth Indians going to north for jobs and becoming the butt of jokes.. the reverse happened.

This is a natural process.

In the last 2-3 decades, a lot has happened because of this migration – for one the lines of demarcation are weaker between the North and South.

I have many friends who are married to SOuth Indians.  And the intermingling has helped everybody.

In my personal view, it is a FITTING reply to Max Mueller for his Nonsensical Aryan Invasion theory!  What he hoped to achieve with those theories, our generation will annul with a simple tool.. economic migration!

South India has a lot of talent but it could certainly do with some of the elements of risk taking from the Punjabis.  Punjabis in turn are great, but they could definitely learn from South in terms of emphasis on education and knowledge – hopefully that would reduce the female infanticide there!

Biharis and UP-ites may be the most reviled, but anyone who has ever studied for Indian CIvil Services and visited JNU even once and who has also seen the motivated Biharis studying for the IITs – would know that they bring a level of dedication to their cause UNMATCHED in any other state!  It is not that Biharis do not realize the mess they are in – which is why they work harder and more passionately than the most!  No wonder everyone of us have heard stories of at least one Bihari student in JNU who would burn himself with a cigarette to keep awake because he had to study for his IAS exam and couldn’t take a break!

Yes, they also bring a “raw-ness” that other elitists feel is bad for their “culture”.  But if a “refined” culture can be decimated by a “goonda-ish” culture then such a refined culture has no strength to exist!

Indian culture has survived NOT because of protectionism.. it has survived because it had no protections!  THAT is its greatest strength!

Its easy to sit in a locked room all your life alone and keep shouting that you are the greatest.. its quite another to go out meet others and then others say that you are the greatest!

Indian culture was that guy who went out or rather LET others come in.. and had a straight “cultural duel” – if you will – and survived handsomely!

Standing water will rot.  Moving water will thrive.  That is history’s greatest lesson.  Whether you like it or not, that is how it happens.

So, if Raj Thackeray is the modern day role model for Maharashtrian culture-vultures, then I am afraid, they are preparing their culture’s coffin as we speak.

Good luck with that.

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