Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Politics making fanatics!

I just read a tweet today from a person whom I think is very well educated, cosmopolitan and well connected in the social networking space. All of this, judging by the nature of his tweets. His tweet was about how the government in Tamil Nadu (A state/province in South India) is insisting that shops have their name-boards in Tamil and not in English. Now, the DMK Government (Ruling party in Tamil Nadu) did bring this whole issue up the last time they were in government (1996-2001) and even then it brought a lot of resentment from shopkeepers and traders.

Now they are trying the same in Chennai. Now, is that how we move forward as a leading business metropolitan city in the country? Is this the example we want to set to the Fords, Hyundais and other MNCs who have setup their base in Chennai? The government playing language-politics is one thing... I always did know that they were using this as a trump card to garner votes among the illiterate set of people but I didn't think that it would pull well-educated people into its fold.

I agree that we need to cling to our roots and not let go of our rich culture and heritage which includes our language -Tamil, which is one of the oldest languages in the world. But, if we want to move forward, we should remain strong to our roots, but be acceptive of necessary change to induce and nurture a business environment. Chennai today, is not home to only Tamils, but a number of people from across the country and the world. South Indians are known for their hospitality (We would not even refuse an enemy a glass of water or a little food in our homes). And is this how we treat our guests now? By not letting them understand anything in our city? If they were to protest, we ask them to learn our language. Call that hospitality!

I am proud to be a South-Indian and going forward an Indian, but am also open to taking in the good practices of the world which will lead to advancement of my country. I wonder when our people will open their eyes to be aware of a world beyond their tiny streets? When the politicians are all MBA graduates perhaps!


Anonymous said...

yes buddy... all u say abt me maybe true. u may also add, that i see things near and far and i dont go by sentiments.

shopkeepers resent it because they have to spend extra money for the new signboards. they dont resent it because they dont like tamil.

Half the world, including many states in India, give preference to their mother tongue. Its we tamil who tend to see it as a fashion statement and neglect tamil.

Be an expert in other language and that doesn't mean that you must erradicate ur native language.

and ur closing statements literally made me throwup uncontrollable laughter. education has nothing to do with politics mate. For a better politician u need foresight, provocativeness, sense of brotherhood, patriotism and no-fear attitude.. guess they dont make such breed anymore..


Kumaran said...

EDUCATION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS! Lol... Carry on laughing. I close my argument!

the cool intellectual said...

hey kumi,

well said. the language of politics in India is changing from inclusivity to exclusion. i think that people like us have a huge role in ensuring that this narrow minded bigotry goes away. :)


Kumaran said...

Well I sure do hope that the mindset of our people changes first! Or else we're just gonna be blaming our politicians and everything else till the end. For change to happen at a fast rate, people need to open up a lil bit.... Yes, we should be a part of this change... to start of, it can be in the way we behave when we're out of the country and also the way we speak to our friends and family....