The Regionalism


I remember a small but unimportant incident that happened few weeks back. I have recently bought a flat. So while finalizing the deal, we happened to get into a friendly chat with this guy from the builder’s office. In the process we inquired about each other’s home towns. He quickly retorted by saying he is actually from no where. I was surprised, but the reason he gave was right. If you are from Mumbai, you must have read or at least observed a supplement that accompanied today’s TOI. It is about the people and the unique ways of the descendants of the Sindhu Valley, the Sindhi community. Some one probably came up with this ‘novel’ idea of promoting and making every one aware of a community by publishing widely about them. Nothing wrong in it though, I just dont get the big need behind doing so. May be because, like the guy I mentioned above, all of them think they are actually from nowhere? (Since the state of Sindh is now in Pakistan).

Anyway, this post is not about Sindhis. Its about the fact that regional and religious boundaries still divide the minds of people in India. Look at the way the ‘Marathi Manoos’ agenda is driven by the two ‘Senas’ in Maharashtra or the way Mayawati runs the party solely for the backward classes. This is an aboriginal hypothesis. The difference actually egresses from our own mind.Ask a person who he is and he will say he is a Punjabi or a Marathi or a Gujrathi. Thankfully at least the ‘South India’ is united in the eyes of all others above Maharashtra.

I have been talking about it very openly and I keep saying it that division on the basis of religion is an abhorrent deed. We can not grow as a nation till we grow out of our regional bounds. Often as a Maharashtrian I have heard this that since all Patels help a fellow Patel, all Joshis and Kulkarnis should all but support another Joshi or a Kulkarni or a Deshpande. Believe me, this way neither the Joshi will grow nor the Patel… let alone the country.

People, please! Grow out of your regional boundries. The country needs you.

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5 thoughts on “The Regionalism

  1. The Northies identify everyone from south of Maharashtra as a Southie, but it irks the Southies. They retort by telling you how they are from Andhra or Kerala and not “Madras”, and how their language, clothing habits, food habits are so different from each other.

    And on the other hand, Assamese people tell you how they are different from Bengalis, UPites tell you how they are different from Biharis, Haryanvis tell you how different they are from Punjabis.

    And then there are Gujju Muslims telling you they aren’t Parsis and Parsis telling you they aren’t Gujjus. And Punjabi Hindus telling you they aren’t Sardars and even some Sardars getting miffed if you call them Papaji, since Papajis are a business caste among Sardars.

    We are divided.

    Angry as we are about it, it is a part of our masses’ mental buildup.

  2. Yes we are divided but we are all still united.
    Consider a family called Bharati’s. They have a big house somewhere, and in that house lives Mrs. Bharati with 28 kids. The siblings are all different from each other, they are individuals in their own right. Each one has different ideas, views, habits etc from the other. There names are Delhi, Haryanvi, Marathi, Gujrati, Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Kerelite, Bihari,……etc. All of them have their own kids.
    Rajasthani’s kids are called :- Rajput, Marwari …etc
    Punjabi’s kids :- Pape, Monney, Jatts,…..etc
    and you can name everyone else’s kids in your free time.
    Now my point is this, that each person in this family is a different individual, they play together, fight as siblings do, there is some rivalry…but it is one happy family and they call themselves Bharatis and if one your their brother or sister is in trouble, all of them rushes forward to help. And they know how to defend their family name and honour.

  3. In Malaysia, there are some friendly rivalries between states. People from different states have slightly different habits, and we all tease each other about it. Of course, being on the brunt of jokes is not always nice.

    Anyway, with the talk of unity, we are all humans. Yet we are not globally united. I could hazard a guess that the divisions that separate us internationally is pretty much the macro of India’s own divisions.

  4. @ Amit: I agree with you 100%, point well said!

    I think I said this earlier also- someone like me who was born and brought up in town which is in haryana, but has lineage from what is present day Pakistan, Punjab & Delhi. My dad belongs to a Hindu family and my mom is from a Sikh family. I can speak in Punjabi and can understand Haryanvi- So what does that make me??? According to me a proud Indian- who is lucky enough to have so much diversity in my culture!

    My mother tongue is our national language- Hindi. Though this is just not good enough for some (actually a lot).

    oh another thing- and this irritates- when people of a particular region are together no matter where they are, they will start talking in their regional language even if someone who doesn’t understand that language is in their company and can’t understand a word- I find that really uncool! Why can’t people talk in a language which can be understood by all…?

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