Thursday, June 01, 2006

We're not racist....We're just a little pissed - P3

My viewpoint

There are 2 kinds of North Indians for me. (Thanks to Keshava for putting in words what I had in my mind all along) Those who come down to Bangalore, love the place, and make an effort to blend in. And then, there are those who live here but crib about the place and about the people. It is about the latter that I wish to put forth my viewpoint on.

Let me make it clear that cribbing about a place is perfectly OK by me. In fact, I guess nobody cribs as much as me when it comes to the condition of our roads, or the traffic situation etc. But it's really ridiculous to complain about people, to look down upon them as second grade citizens. Is it just because we speak in a funny accent, or we cannot speak our national language too well? If yes, then my faith in appealing to good sense lies shattered.

Do you really believe you are superior?
I see no reason to be diplomatic anymore, as I am talking about a section of the population I don't have much respect for. If you believe that you are a superior race, then please heed my unsolicited advice. Get out of my city. Go wherever else it is that you consider to be a better place for uber races to survive. And yeah, before you get suckered into the feeling that you actually are "better", let me lull you out of that false sense of security. You are not!

Give us respect, maybe you'll get some back
Have any of you guys ever tried learning the local language? Relax, I'm not asking you write a Kannada epic. I had a friend who learnt a coupla words. Yaake, Yeshtu, Yenu, Yelli etc. And everytime he went out, he could get by pefectly with a few words. And he used to tell me the bus conductors/ auto drivers used to grin at him and treat him with *literally* new found respect for making an attempt at least speak a few words in the language that they understood. He said to me, "They seem to be elated they do not have to make an attempt to speak in a language foriegn to them". The best way to show respect to the locals around you is to try and learn a bit of their culture. Learn a little of the language. Give a smile once in a while. I doesn't cost you anything. remember, if anyone's doing a favor, then it's the locals to you. You dont have to act like you deserve all the care and understanding in the world, and that you can be rudely dismissive to the rest of us. Give us some respect, and maybe you'll get some back.

6 comments:

Akshay said...

Hey,

Why is it that you are putting in strong statements in this post. Ok let me get certain things straigh.

Speak in a funny accent.

Hell No, may be u will find that in chennai / hyderabad to an extent not in Bangalore. There was a guy here a Gujju from Pune who told us that we had a native language influence when we spoke english.

Do u know how a gujju will pronounce a simple word such as dress ---> Dr A Sse

I very well remember that we the bunch of locals mocked behind the back of a few delhi guys in our class as to how pathetic their english was.

Sorry I dont accept that an average Bangalorean would be made fun off owing to his English Speaking / pronouncing abilities.

Believe me " We speak better English than the English ".

And yes we bangaloreans do make an effort to learn every new language and make our guests comfortable and feel at home. We are known for our hospitality, and i do agree with you that we will not let ourselves be walked over.

But what can you do to a bunch of arrogant maniacs, such are the people who would behave the same way no matter where they live. A false air of superiority is more like a congenital disorder, you cant to much but just let them be rather than stoop to their level.

Vinayak said...

Hey,

I share your opinion.

Put patience does run out, you know.

Venkitesh said...

Hi,
I wish to differ with Akshay on certain points here.
Akshay argues strongly in favour of Bangaloreans saying that "And yes we bangaloreans do make an effort to learn every new language and make our guests comfortable and feel at home. We are known for our hospitality, and i do agree with you that we will not let ourselves be walked over."

Hear this...
I was working in Wipro during mid 2001. One of those very hectic days, I was returning home in BTM at around 1:00 am when two policemen stop me barely 200 meters away from where I was staying. They check my documents, and after finding everything proper, starts questioning me in Kannada. I (being a Malayali) can only understand Kannada, cannot reply back in the same tounge fluently (though can manage good enough in broken Kannada with the taxi drivers, auto rikshaw guys etc.) and one of the policemen insists that I reply in Kannada and he does not understand English or Hindi. The other guys stands there watching with amusement. After around 10 minutes of "ragging" thorougly satisfied they let me go.

Hear this too, which happened recently during the fiasco that followed Rajkumar's death.
My friend stays in BTM 26th Main, and has been staying there for the last 3 years. He used to park his car there on the sidewalk ever since he moved in. That night, four or five of his neighbours walk up to his house, wake him up and asks him to move his car so that they could park theirs. Now, he faces the same problem with Kannada that I do. So, tries talking in broken Kannada and Hindi. The guys refuse to understand, though it was pretty clear that they could understand everything he was saying. He tries explaining to them that he has been parking there for quite long without causing any problems to anyone, and also showed them a place hardly 5 meters away where they could also park comfortably. They start shouting at him, and one guy hits him on his face, shouting obscene words and gave him a grave warning that he is an "outsider" and if any localite tells him to do something, he should oblige without any questions. Then minutes later, with bleedin and swollen lips, totally shaken by the episode, he knocks the door of my other friend who stays in the next lane, and narrated the episode. It took half an hour's consolation and two shots of whiskey to bring him down to normal.

Now, I can get you more stories like this. I can also find so many episodes, incidents which will give you a totally different picture too.

My own impression about Bangalore and Bangaloreans not very different from what I feel about Maharashtrians in Mumbai or Tamilians in Chennai.
The larger group consists of very nice, gentle, peace-loving, hospitable crowd.
There is always this cross-section of the society that consists mostly of youth, less educated, mostly unemployed or partly employed, who need a reason to feel important, a need to be heard. They are exploited (note the use of the strong word, I mean it) by politicians and other people with ulterior motives, who provoke them in the name of divise thoughts - Karnataka for Kanndigas, Tamil Nadu for Tamilians and the like.

I am not deviating from the original line of thought followed in the blog. But, again, you cannot completely justify Bangaloreans also for many things they do, everyday.
I don't think we are naive not to see the discrimination a non-Kannadiga faces in Bangalore. If you think otherwise, come with me, let us hire an auto rikshaw from Madiwala in the wee hours of the morning, and I will speak to him in English or Hindi (and act as if I am rather new to this place). Let us observe what happens.

Vinayak said...

Hi Venki,

I have to agree with you there. The title of my post reflects your sentiments exactly. It is sad to see that Bangaloreans are resorting to such strong arm tactics to express their hatred. But mind you, it's the cross section of the society that is not very educated, etc, and like you say, you would find such people in every state. It's disgusting, what happened to your friend.

Akshay said...

@ Venki

The post here talks of people who have migrated to Bangalore coz it is a land of opportunities, so I guess when we talk of bangaloreans being hospitable let us realize it is the decently educated and employed lot.

As far as policemen are concerned you and me are no different, I being a native from Bangalore was TRIED to be harrassed but the b@*t*&d was made to s%!t in his pants when I made a call to the Deputy Secretary of Home Department right there. So screw those police guys esp the sub inspector and levels below.

What happend to your friend is bad and I myself wonder how fanatical people can get in literally every part of the world.

On a more generic and relative observation I still believe Bangaloreans in Bangalore are lot more accomodating than most others anywhere in the world.

kavya said...

Superb post Kini....I was just reading this blog...the views are very similar to what u have expressed in yours...
http://nychthemeron.blogspot.com/2006/04/open-request-from-bangalorean.html
Hope to see more posts like these :)