Saturday, October 18, 2014

National Integration

After coming to Chennai, one thing that surprised me is the large number of North Indians working in Chennai.  They are in the IT industry, medical profession, but majority are in the low paying jobs.  Like restaurant workers, service apartment workers, sales girls/guys in retail shops, etc.
 
Several years ago, the traffic movement was only one way.  Educated and uneducated laborers will migrate from South to Bombay and Delhi.  In addition, every South Indian family will go to Bombay, Delhi, and Agra for sightseeing.  But very few (very rarely) North Indians visited Chennai or any city.  One exception was older North Indians making pilgrimage visit to Sri Rangam and Rameshwaram.  Also, a few of them were brave enough to open business and settle here.
 
There was a general perception that North Indians never considered the 4 Southern states as part of India.  Our history books also did not do a good job.  It contained details of North Indian freedom fighters only. No mention of any South Indian freedom fighters.  In the South, many streets were named after North Indian leaders.  Not a single street was named in the North after any South Indian leaders.  Later, in New Delhi, they named one or two (due to pressure from Southern politicians.)
 
I am not complaining.  I am just giving the background and would like to say the current situation works great for national integration. I know a few Tamil families in New Delhi who are now 4th or 5th generation.  They carry only Tamil names but all their living style, including the language they speak at home, is that of a Delhi-wala.
 
In about 10 to 15 years, the same thing will happen in Chennai and other Southern cities where North Indians will settle comfortably.  Majority of North Indians in Chennai may be low paid laborers now.  But very soon their kids will become doctors, IT professionals, etc. and live here with family very happily.  Lot of their relatives will visit them here.  (Couple of guys in a restaurant told me they are from Bangladesh.  Wonder how they obtained work visa.)
 
I would call this true national Integration.  What do you say?
 
PS:  If you are going to work in a place, it is better to learn the local language and local customs.  I saw in Chennai many North Indian workers speak Tamil or trying to speak Tamil sincerely.  But a few of these workers insist on speaking Hindi only.  If this is their attitude they will not survive for a long time.  People in New Delhi do not want a Madarasi waiter in a restaurant speaking to them in Tamil.  Same situation in Chennai also.

25 comments:

  1. First of all<i don agree with you that North Indians never considered Southern cities as a part of India.No.
    If at a point in time if there was a time there was a problem between N and S.That was there ONLY because of dirt spilled by politicians.
    I have worked in TN for quite sometime and it was just fine.
    Even today,I can converse in Tamil

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  2. Thanks for your comments Mr. Chowla. Since I have lived most of my life in USA, I do not have a personal knowledge. I said there is a perception. It is still there in South. It may be right or may be wrong.

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  3. Most of our security people are from Bihar and UP. All of them speak Tamil without much accent. They are here for the past 6-7 years, it seems.

    My husband says that Biharis are good manual workers. So his sites have mostly Bihari workers. They don't try to cheat, don't mind working on a Sunday too.

    I know some North Indian families whose relatives hate to come here because we, South Indians are dark and dirty looking. But my friends from North who had settled down here because of work, loves here and converse in funny Tamil...but they try their best to learn our language.

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  4. I know many Marwaris and Sighs who are settled in Madras for a long time, and they all speak perfect Tamil. My niece's husband is from UP, and he and his parents have been living in Chennai for years, they all speak perfect Tamil. In fact nobody would believe he is from UP, he speaks so well. The actor Arya is also a marwari he speaks very good Tamil and his movies are always a big hit. Some people really become one with surroundings. My mother learnt her hindi just by talking to people, and after few months could speak like a local. In fact our mode of conversing at home was always Hindi, English and Tamil. That is the normal mode for all who have lived in various part of Northern India.
    Majority of the North Indians can't be blamed for their lack of knowledge regarding Southern India , for they never had the need to live anywhere but in the North.
    However, things have changed in the last few years, and we see a lot of them coming down south and even settling here. I had a Gujarathi friend who became quite fluent in Kannada within a few months of her moving here.
    There was a time when they used to look down up us as we don't wear slippers while walking on the road, we eat with our hand, and we are all dark, and we speak a language that sounds " Ingli pingli". Remember the many stupid comedy by Mehamood.
    My husband speaks very good Kannada, because he has to communicate with his workers, although he cannot read or write in Kannada.
    Good thought provoking blog.

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  5. Bangalore is truly cosmopolitan. You can see people from all over India, abundantly. More than Chennai. People there speak 4-5 languages fluently!

    Comparatively, Chennai is monolingual and Tamil-focused. North Indians have to learn Tamil if they want to work/survive/enjoy here.

    Destination Infinity

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  6. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. What I was trying to say is that more North Indians settling in South will lead for excellent national integration.

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  7. Thanks for your comments Rama. I am glad you liked this post.

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  8. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. You are correct. One has to know/learn local language if he/she wants to live in a place.

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  9. Good article and good observation SG...

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  10. Thanks for your comments Sindhu. I am glad you liked this post

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  11. Come to Bangalore SG. You will wonder if you are in South India. Most of them are from North and all others comfortably speak in Hindi ONLY. Kannada is long forgotten and it hurts me.

    Having said that, in Tamil Nadu, there are several North Indians who have settled several years ago.

    A nice post...

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  12. Thanks for your comments Satya. It is good people are settling all over India. But they should learn the local language, local customs and local culture.

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  13. I agree with the above comment SG. At least in TN, people have to learn Tamil in order to survive. But in Bangalore, not even a single soul knows Kannada. These new localities look like they are part of North India. It is sad to see local culture getting lost. :(

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  14. I guess I am little different here... I have seen many north Indians know more about south Indians and the vice versa...esp. the movies play an important part as well. Right now, as immigrations grew, there had been lots of understanding between the two parts of India as per my personal experience :)

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  15. While the bi-directional flow of people between North and South India is a good step toward integration, for proper integration, each one of us needs to feel more Indian at heart than North/South. My view may be one-sided, but at least in Bangalore, most of the immigrant population makes little effort to gel in, they just want to paint everything in their preferred shade of arrogance and hardly show any regard for local sensibilities. My take, no matter where you are, before you demand your rights, perform your duties.

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  16. Thanks for your comments Ashu. It will change in about 10 to 15 years, me think.

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  17. Thanks for your comments Uma. You are correct. As the immigration grow, there will be true national integration.

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  18. Thanks for your comments Reshma. I agree with you. Better to mingle with the local crowd.

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  19. The IT revolution integrated the nation i must say.I have lived in bangalore majorly and in hyderabad. mid- 90's onwards there is a major shift of Indians from north into south in both these places. I live in a condominium which is a mini india and has a floating population. here i see people of all kinds. Despite staying in hyderabad for 12 years some don't make efforts to learn the local language while the working class who have migrated form MP,Bihar and UP make efforts to learn the language. I think it is difficult to generalize regarding the adapting of local culture. Some of my north indian friend enjoy south indian food and culture while some crib, rant and complain that everything is nice back home. There is a mix of this and that.

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  20. Working in the IT industry, I can totally relate to what you say. There are people from all over India working here. Just one thing, when people go abroad they adapt themselves to that environment and lead that lifestyle. I dont understand why some North Indians still keep complaining about the ways of us South Indians. As you rightly said, we need to try and attempt to learn the local language and how the people live in that place.

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  21. Times will change slowly...but they will.
    I am in Kerala and yes I see the same national integration happening in the same manner :)

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  22. The same is the stage in this state also.Restaurants, real estates, road workers and all are from Bihar,Up,Orissa,Bangal and so on speaking colloquial Malayalam very well.
    hat you said is correct.This integration cum harmony.Nice topic.

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  23. Unemplyment is driving like osmosis - pulling and pushing people out of their comfort zone. I agree about local language, also with local behavior. They should adopt to local customs rather than stand out like a sore thumb.
    A perfect opportunity to learn a new language, I say.

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  24. Most of the Metropolitan cities here have now seen people from all cultures coming up together, thanks to the MNC's established there, Being a Mumbaikar, this has been an all time experience for me. Best part of being here is you have friends from all parts of the country most of the time and you definitely know many languages in bits and pieces.

    I have seen many south Indians fluently speaking Maraathi here, and many North Indians who love South Indian cusine. However , there have been the tough ones too, like you mentioned The ones who strictly adhere to their language inspite of adapting to the locality. I have heard people Teeling the non*hindi Speakers here that you have to learn Hindi because it is our National language.

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