North South – The Divide and the Bridge

Society & Philosophy 6 Comments

India is quite a large country …7th largest to be more precise and also boasts of a great variety of demographics (more than 2 billion people). Among other things in India a person can be differentiated by ‘n’ number of identities like language, dialect, religion, race, etc, etc. In fact in India if you meet a stranger after introductions with your name(by which religion most probably is ascertained) the very next question that is posed is where are you from (by which language is ascertained to an extent) and then this is followed by more questions on the identities you hold…

I draw you to the particular question of pinning you down to where you belong/hail from—south/north. I say north and south for although you have small linguistic states such as Bengal, Meghalaya, Manipur, etc but due to the relative minorities, the broad classification would just include the North and South… Although there are no clear lines of division, North is assumed to comprise of all the states above Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh thus meaning all the states where Hindi is widely understood/spoken or the native language is a derivative of Hindi. On the other hand southern states include AP, TN, Kerala and Karnataka–states where languages are different from that of Hindi . This is fine enough… an easy classification for better understanding of our nation….

But the division doesn’t stop just here. The division continues to a mind blocked stereotype-ism…. A mind block which has shown its ugly head in the dirty game of politics, sports and so many other things. I hope through this blog to discuss this identity block… the reason for its creation, as to how it effects the daily indian .. why does it still exist and .. finally how do we combat it…

Prior to proceeding with my arguments, I will ascertain my stance as to be not biased. I was born in Hyderabad, brought-up in the union territory of Pondicherry and speak Kannada… That makes me a pretty good mix of the south after an year in Chennai and two years in Hyderabad… (which were punctuated by visits to Orissa, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Darjeeling, Nepal, Sikkim, Kolkata, among other places…) followed by a visit to the United Kingdom for 6 months… I think I have travelled quite a bit… Not only this but post 18 years of age I have lived in constant company of “north” Indians (pre-18, it was “south”)… I speak 4 of the Indian languages… so I think this would stand testimonial to my statement of being unbiased and true to the point…

India, more or less, until the British colonization was not a unified country.. there were always sub – kingdoms… a verity of dynasties -each bringing with them a new definition for art, culture and religion… As far as history goes the south of India is populated by a race of people called the Dravidians… and the north was inflexed by the Aryans coming down from central Asia… Aryans supposedly drove the Dravidians further south… In the aeons past the south stayed relatively stable when compared to the north – probably was peaceful for the sea on three sides may have acted as barriers. The north on the other hand was constantly bombarded with invasions and as a result a wide variety of cultural blends developed… people moved a lot and a common business language of Hindi emerged from hindustani… where as in the south people remained relatively stable… and .. strong links between region and language developed.

With the coming of the British colonies, people came under a unified power for the first time… And then came the differences… North Indians in south felt they were in a very different country and same was true the other way around.. they can’t be blamed.. right from food, culture, language, dressing sense, everything is different… well this was one of the first major seeds for the stereotype-ism. But this was lost in the greater cause for political freedom… this spirit truly unified India …

Post independence… Hindi was made a major language as most of the country speaks the language.. this was the first wrong move… And this resulted in a political turmoil in the south… esp. Tamil Nadu where leaders and masses felt that the north powers were putting them down. More over the seat of power being Delhi and the dominance of the North Indian politics in the national scale… sparked some statements off… TN politics turned dirty and slightly twisted… TN took stances saying they were Dravidians and they were continually being put down. They cited texts like the Bhagavat Gita where Dravidians were supposedly depicted as monsters and killed by an Aryan god… this stance was not only against the north but also against the so called educated Brahmin classes of the south … who generally held influential posts.

From that point,… there were many incidents that led to further discrepancies… The act of the Indian government (or Rajiv Gandhi to be more specific) to launch war in Sri Lanka against the Tamil tigers was looked down by most of the Tamil speaking south Indians… Further the assignation of the same national leader on the visit to the south led to a wide spear headed the unrest… the rapid economic development of the south when compared to the northern states.. also turned the balance… south felt it was making money which the north led government was using to uplift down trodden north states like Bihar… Other than all this the imposition of Hindi as a language as a communication was totally objected.. out Indians even if learnt Hindi through text books never were an environment to speak the language… there was a wide spread displeasure for learning a language which was of no need just for official purposes…

All this incidents, along with the prior differences led to a strong image being made in the minds of the people… A north Indian identifies a south Indian by the term of a madras, who eats more rice ..has no rotis… who wears elaborate saris or dothi… who doesn’t know Hindi and even if knows speaks it with strange accents.. doesn’t have nice tastes of metropolitan life styles.. up tight, miserly… etc etc … where as for a south Indian a northy is an hindikaren.. who eats more roti and less rice… who wears pyjamas/or jubba/salwar/kammez.. who doesn’t accept another language but hindi… drinks and smokes too much.. and is not such a nice person… ( these are some of the words that I have heard for myself from my friends and colleagues).. both will dread to go to each other’s lands..

Well know I think you have understood what I am speaking about… just take a second and identify yourself either as being from north or being from the south and look at the opposite side and think of the expressions that come to your mind… most probably they will be in similar lines.. well don’t blame yourself.. this is just not just an example of mind blocks but reinforced mind blocks… Today we hear continuously on the TV and the radio these mind blocks being drilled into our heads .. lets take the example of an advertisement–. “vango .. pongo .. bingo …” this clearly is based on this cultural divide.. many a TV serial show these differences … and kind of enforce these serotypes… examples are many .. More over people fail to adjust a northy going to south doenst want to learn the language and insists on speaking hindi ( its the national language) and wants to adhere to his/her own food habits … the guy/the gal from south going north… doesn’t want to propagate hindi as a national language so doesn’t speak it… and of course wants his/her own food .. Each seek her/his own people and try living with them and blocking others out resulting in the fact that Unified india is actually not so unified…

Ok now we all know that it exists, it is critical .. it’s not a bomb about to explode but rather a pungent odour and continuous displeasure… what needs to be done is to dissipate differences.. first Hindi is not the only language that is spoken all over india… actually there is no single language spoken all over India.. so make the national language into English… patriots…i am sorry, English may be foreign but patriotically looking towards the countries interest and development .. its a nice solution.. Next censor board must take steps to ban those ads and serials which promote the stereotypes… next … re-divide India into states… not based on the type of people and their culture.. but geography ( like the united states where a grid makes more or less rectangular states).. thrust people into each other .. let them learn… that north is not north but india.. and that south is not south but rather India… slowly but surely educate people on what India is … how its people are. I know removing mind blocks is not easy.. but its not impossible… people must adjust.. learn to live where ever they are.. must travel the country… and… after a point all this stuff becomes pretty silly…

Well with this, not only problems of the north -south divide be solved but also problems of people like me who don’t have one place to call their home. We hybrids are put to test on both the sides.. I am always a southy for my north Indian friends. And always someone who is not a true southy for my south Indian friends… hahhaa… just remember in 1945 unified India got independence from the rulers of the world… now imagine at this age, at this time, when India is growing…unified India will achieve far better results than ever expected… jai hind

India Political

India Political

6 Responses to “North South – The Divide and the Bridge”

  1. bharat Says:
    August 3rd, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    need a map of india

  2. admin Says:
    August 3rd, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    there is supposed to be a map of india here… google images shows it… maybe the url is dead…i will make sure there is one asap

  3. admin Says:
    August 3rd, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    new map inserted…much more simpler than the older… cheers

  4. admin Says:
    August 3rd, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    but the map is old..it doesn’t have the new states.. not finding good ones on the internet.. however,I will scan one from the atlas and put it up soon..

  5. anonymous Says:
    March 6th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    “Aryans supposedly drove the Dravidians further south…”
    Correction. This statement is a popular rumor propagated by the British, and the likes of McCaualay. There is no historical evidence for such a conflict or such a mass migration of Dravidians to southern regions.

  6. admin Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    hey thanks for ur comment… well I wrote
    “”Aryans supposedly drove the Dravidians further south…”
    Well the supposedly is der so as to indicate that statement is believed to be true but may be false. Well other than that please do tell me wat you felt abt the overall writeup

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