Beautiful people-not just in looks but in their hearts and minds- that is my experience of northeast. Having lived in Shillong for 3 years all I can say is that northeast has this serene countryside ambience with relatively content people. Teaching the teenagers from all the 7 states gave me enough experiences to say that they are beautiful !
Conflicts don’t begin just with frustrations and deprivations. Conflicts happen because of petty politics and connivance of vested interests. It happens all over the country.
The diversity of India sounds good when we pass statements like unity in diversity. But the irony is that this diversity is a live volcano. Anyone can make the lava flow out with minimum triggers like, religious, ethnic, caste, language, region, social or racial differences. And in this case, even orchestrated rumours can cause the lava to flow.
The unfortunate exodus to northeast is another such example.
In his column ‘underage optimist’ in TOI of 26th Aug’12, Chetan Bhagat says that ‘we have let them down’.
I would like to say something about his observations that ‘we comment them for their looks’ and discriminate them because they are from a different region.
Commenting on people for their looks is something that we Indians indulge in without any discrimination. Any part of the country, any complexion, any size or any religion, region or caste- we have something to say about it. It is not just about north easterners…we Indians can comment on anything and anyone. So let us not conclude that this Indian trait manifests only for north easterners.
I am surprised that he asked a question...”did our schools not teach open mindedness or did our parents reinforce them?” – Did your IIT teach you that Mr Chetan Bhagat ?
For the last 20 years, schools are opening minds only to pump in math and science so that their products get an entry into the mighty IITs! And we have another set of schools teaching exclusivity and elitism in the name of international education where open minded ness is more for all things western !
Parents (and the policy makers) are blissfully fine with it because they are not expecting our graduates from IITs or engineering colleges to resolve northeast issue or Telangana issue—all they are expected to do is bag a million dollar job.
Neither are we expecting graduates of IIMs or ISB to resolve the conflicts and problems of our country- they are diligently trained to manage the HR, finances or marketing of some MNC , not some mundane problems of the country !
All the professional capabilities, group discussion, problem solving skills, critical thinking and strategic management is for participating in the remote corporate citadels – the real issues and conflicts are the for the most ‘qualified’ politicians!
Our raw spots for our religion, caste or region can easily be flared by- a disgruntled politician, an unhappy CM, a sensation hungry TV channel, Pakistan ( according to our Government), opposition parties, a religious fundamentalist group,or a SMS, a rumor accentuated by breaking news that breaks every 15 minutes and lo and behold what ensues is macabre scenario. Burning the buses, bandhs, gheraos and what not !
A country with a spiritual past suffers from lack of emotional intelligence. We are so ready to believe rumours and breaking news of incompetent reporters.
Our lack of emotional intelligence drives us to believe the bad rumours like how believe the tales from epics. And we are so active in spreading the rumors like wildfire that even wildfire has something to learn from us.
The recent case of a talking baby that said that all those who sleep between 1am to 3pm will be dead…and we had an entire section of the city waking up one another !How I wish that there were rumours like- if you take a bribe, a ‘bharatiyudu’ will come and kill you ! or if you do wrong a right man will hang you !
If I have to analyse some of the causes for this continuing blasphemy I would say that….
It is neither the excess baggage from the past nor the prevalent inequalities (of all kinds like social, economic, class, caste, religion, region) that plagues our society- more than open mindedness-Mr Chetan Bhagat..it is
it is the IQ vs EQ ( emotional quotient) or BQ(behavioural quotient) equation that troubles our great Indian mindsets!
In spite of all this, we are still living in a multicultural setting of India with occasional upheavals like this that make me ponder over these ‘trivial issues’ !--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To those who are interested…
What is dominating the Indian temperament right now ?
- Island minds
- Ostrich tendency
- Class cholera
- Superman syndrome
Island minds- a family behaves like nothing exists outside- I me and my family.
Ostrich tendency- why should I bother about what happens outside-I will keep my head in my safe cocoon of TV, movies, functions and parties....
Class cholera- I see many people who display these symptoms like- Branded clothes vs Chermas ( a local brand in Hyderabad), Address in Jubilee hills vs Address in Miyapur ( both localities in hyd), Party in a Star Hotel vs Party in Local Joint, My child in Aircodnitioned school vs Your child in neighbourhood school….I can go on and on….
Superman syndrome- I am the best and everybody else is dirt. The fever is also evident when one thinks that I can be best only when others are dirt.