desi · desicritics

The North South Divide in India: Language, Culture, Prejudice?

 

BG’s little experience in a mall in Delhi got me thinking. Prejudice shows its ugly face everywhere. One of the most often discussed topic in our country is that divide between the so called South Indians and the so called North Indians. It is such an interesting topic that all those funny comments to articles in Rediff lead there no matter what the issue was originally to start with.

The nucleus of the prejudice, quite obviously lies in the language barrier. The fact that one community cannot understand the other’s language leads to baseless assumptions, ridicule and fantasies. The oldest example I could remember was Mehmood making fun of the south Indian accent, way of life in Padosan. All in good humor.

So, what’s this prejudice? Having lived in both the societies  and been in the receiving end of both the forms of partisanship, I believe I understand them both quite well.

The Hindi speaking community looks at South Indians as backward, narrow minded and a disconnected lot of people that at times suggests an alienating behavior in ones own country. Blame it on the language. All said and done, it is indeed a fact that Tamil Nadu at least, where I come from, has been disconnected from rest of India. But it by no means gives an excuse to cultivate such pedestrian opinions about a community that is very much Indian. As soon as you land in a city beyond the four southern states, you are branded a “Madrasi” in your school, you are ridiculed for the way you pronounce thoda. You may argue it is childish and probably a thing for kids, but everything, like charity, begins at home. If a matured twenty something has the audacity to ask a decently dressed woman, “Why are you dressed like that, you look like someone from South India”, it speaks volumes about what that woman has seen and understood of India as a whole.

The people down south look at Northies as a community that places importance on show, splendor, outlook and all other things considered trivial down under. The people from Bombay and north of it are more exposed to fashion, lavish spending, highly westernized influences in daily life and an undying urge to stand out in the society. The people down south consider themselves to be leap years ahead when it comes to the topic of gray matter and achievements in education and personal lives. They speak better English, are widespread in the fields of engineering and entrepreneurship and are well read individuals. These are some of the factors where south Indians seem to think they are one up compared to the north.

The issue comes down to a debate of priorities and perspectives. It really depends on an individual’s choices and emphasis on what is important to his/her life. It may be a thing of the past but today when people move around, live in other states and countries, together with different communities of India, they realize how wrong they were. It still pains to hear about men and women like the one BG met. They not only need to open their minds, but also take a look at themselves. Maybe wearing Manish Malhotra and sitting inside Cafe Mocha for hours is more important to her than wearing Naidu Hall and flipping through J.K. Rowling and Thomas L. Friedman inside Landmark. The perspectives differ with individuals and not with communities. At least not anymore.

 

(But trust me, the first and only time I met BG, she was dressed pretty well. Actually, really well!!)

 

(First published on Desicritics)

 

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69 thoughts on “The North South Divide in India: Language, Culture, Prejudice?

  1. So in our kupam we galeej boys call northies as ‘Gapoooors’ (Kapoors). So to join our kupam you need to hate ‘Gapooors’ guys and if possible eve-tease a few Gapoor girls.

    I spent 7 yrs in Gapoorland and 15 in Madduland. See I realized I gell better with people from Madras. I don’t say tam. I say people from Madras. I can’t get along with our ‘country cousins’.

    p.s. I am in form today. I have insulted both non-madras tams and gapoors.

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    1. @Ok: you are an idiot and a sorry excuse as an Indian.
      I have not heard such deplorable statements from people from any other states but from people from Tamil nadu. It seems to be a pattern. With such a rich culture and heritage it is really disheartening to see people from the state making such statements. It is all about politics and the reasoning that you get as a small kid that northerners want to dominate you and hence teach Hindi. Thus Tamils never made much progress with national integration lik ethe 3 other southern states.
      Even here Hindi is just another sorry excuse for regional politics.

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  2. Nice, thought-provoking post!
    Travelling and living outside one’s home state do trend to broaden one’s horizons. I agree.
    But sterotypes do tend to point to a greater truism, don’t u think?: For example, south indians tend to be insular and conservative whereas their northern counterparts are more prone to vulgar dispalys of wealth and pomp…?

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  3. dei.. office poi vela pannuda na.. wednesday morning post on blog.. worstu..

    but yeah.. as the person above said, stereotypes are based on some reality.. although it is amazing to see the transformation once ppl step out of the country.. everyone becomes an Indian.. and language becomes less of an issue..

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  4. Yes indeed…. I’ve gone to class/work with lots of oil on my head ready for the Tuesday ennai-thaech-kuLi and not been scrorned at…aana, I imagine the case would be rather unpleasant if I did that in anywhere else BUT TN… inga they care a damn how you look.
    Thats bad in a way actually….. but we;ve carved a niche havent we?
    We dress like southies..lol!

    Oh well…kudos for the max number of engineers and actor-turned-politicians.

    I am not drunk, trust me.

    :D

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  5. yea yea we are lowly people coz we can’t speak hindi!

    A commentor on desicritics talks about that. Hindi is like a root fro most north indian languages, bhojpuri, haryanvi sound quite similar to Hindi. I sometimes watch bhojpuri films(don’t ask why) and I can follow. So for them hindi is very similar to their mother tongue and easy to switch back.

    South indian langs are very diff from hindi and so it takes a concious effect to learn it. But then our govts prefer to neglect it for their votebank politics. This way you keep out other parties from entering your territory.

    But then you have to give it, in general southies don’t like dressing up. Reasons for which I cant conjure but there is a ‘kuch bhi chalta hain’ attitude. I dont mean any harm to your friend nor do I support the skimpyly dressed mall female.

    Fact is, we are not so wardrobe concious but lay a lot of emphasis on education. Folks above the vindhyas tend to lead a more flamboyant life and like dressing up, etc.

    Bottom line: majority of southies are docs,CA,s/w etc while most northies have motels, gas stations, subways/dunkin and employ us for aaaf-campus jaaab!

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  6. ok: lol @ gapoorland. I saw that in Wiki Madras Tamil article only!

    Rada: Something on those lines, yeah!

    Harish: Lol, not from office. I wrote it yesterday and by morning Desicritics had published. So, I copy pasted in the morning before leaving.

    Mayth: Lol, I trust you. And I see you are back in Madras. New post? :P

    Maxu: Pretty much what I think pa. Desicritics acts like Rediff sometimes!!

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  7. luckily i have not met many! but most think of me as an abcd or someone from west/north india. for a few…streaked/highlighted hair, tanks, shorts or say any clothing from hollister,american eagle can never be a property of a Madrasi, aha! one time, a good friend of mine(from Bombay) assumed i was a non-madrasi(for like a semester) before i burst the dumb bubble on an outing. i was hush-hush questioned, if it was OK for me to eat at Udipi and tolderate dosa & vada for a meal!:D

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  8. This is for u >:D<
    Very well written; If you look at some of the mail threads from Wipro/TCS/Infy – the fight is endless. there was a post about a North india sneering at SPB! can u imagine- in front of a South Indian audience he said ” You guys have an old pot bellied thatha singing the same tunes for 50yrs “. the crowd threw stones at him. And after a few mnths SPB,during one of his shows on TV sang an amazing ghazal and said ‘this is for the north indians who think i cannot sing anything else’. :-)
    im linking ur post to mine.

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  9. dude its just not this, there is this unfair criticism that we cannot speak the national language. irony is with the system that boast of the country being diverse and yet having a national language,doesnt make sense to me. and i find southies speaking and adapting to hindi much better than the other way around. for proof u can look at all the singers, musicians and heroines doing well in bollywood. and its not that we dont bother abt how we look, i wld say we bother a lot and thats precisely y we dress conservatively. ps: who is bg?? ;)

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    1. To be frank, lot of us don’t know that Hindi is not our National language. Actually India does not have a National Language. Hindi is just an official communication language for the Central govt. along with English.

      Each state in India have their own official language along with English which they use when communicating with the Central Govt. So we have to realise that first. There is no National Language in our country. Not many people know this.

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      1. gentleman please do not misguide , Hindi is officially announced national language whether you like it or not ,though the consideration taken from rest of INDIA regarding the national language was null, they tried imposing it to on rest of non Hindi speaking communities rather than feeding it like a mother.

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  10. super post.
    I have a colleague who uses “south indian” as an insult.
    It really really gets on your nerves.
    There are some southies here who actually do that “i dont speak taa-mil” peter in my batch as well.
    The fact that they’re ashamed of their own mother tongue is soo sad!

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  11. Methinks that you generalize when you say that North Indians are flashy. Now Punjabis … they definitely are. We the genteel folk from Lucknow do indeed have the opinion that these brats have no tehzeeb.

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  12. All super comments have already been written…But my 2 Rs worth, lemme give:

    I’m totally not in favour of the ‘northie’ attitude of “Oh, ur A idli-dosa” (i’v been told this by someone when i mentioned i was a tam)..There r soooo many annoying comments that people there direct across at ppl here…I agree there r also many things that r said ‘in retaliation’ to all that…But it is just that – retaliation.

    Your post basically centers around the ‘dress-sense’ issue of the North vs south divide…But there’s more, there’s more predominantly one of colour…We talk of the world being racist against the browns whereas inside our country we have discrimination from Dark Brown vs Light Brown!!! Like the South Indians are called “Kaale”…

    Sad part is all this has made those from the South develop a complx…Yes, we r the darker ones (blame it on being closer to the equator, but gray matter was never their forte huh?)and yes we may lack behind on the fashion front…This has kinda gotten instilled in the minds of those here…

    Trsut me, it is sooooooo anooying at my work place..Till now EVERY single person iv met has asked me if im Punjabi…Or a Bengali…Because a)I’m tall b)I take time out to accessorise c)Iv hair that is high-lighted…One lady told me “U dont dress like a tamilian” and sad part is she’s a tamilian herself! Everyone gives me weird looks when i talk in tamil and they speak ONLY in English but i make it a point to reply only in tamil…

    Also, first hand experience is my sis is married to a maru ok? Now u know how they r – very LOUD when it comes to colours and all that jing-bang…Problem is we belong to the pattu podavai is elegant or the less is more philosophy…but they – they dont understand that…And so at their weddings and functions, my sis complaints she feels soooo outta place being ‘under-dressed’…So much for love! :P

    Could go on forever…aana this is enough :)

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  13. Shit that was a post in itself…I’ve really gotta count my words…Maybe the comment section should have restricted word limit..!

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  14. butterfly:

    thankoo!

    wt:

    rofl@ tolerate dosa, vada. wt, chamatha start a blog! pretty please! for all i know, you probably have one. you do have a hidden blogger account, don’t you? :P

    bg:

    lol, spb pavam! thanks!

    arvind:

    I know bg through Edulix and we met at Bessy in one of the Edulix Chennai meets January 2007.

    chutney:

    Send those ashamed losers to Amreeka. They’ll know.

    anon:

    nice name there!

    preeti:

    I am not too sure of the darker ones thingy. Only some northies are vela thol. You don’t dress like a Tamilian? Ask them to have a look at a_____ti aka wt.

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  15. Well. only some northies r vela thol, but to them all southies r dark thol…there were these group of migrants in cognizant (my sister’s colleagues) who sent out a mail on this, me and my friends replied semmmaya to that…! :)

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  16. I totally agree with you about this whole north-south divide. I am married to a guy from north n I hear weird Q’s from his family and friends every now and then. And the best Q we both come across is what is the language boo-boo is learning, I am like dude its none of your F***ing business. The hindi speaking guys want to hear that booboo is learning hindi. I fail to understand what loss booboo will suffer if he wont learn hindi. I am like guys he is not learning either hindi or telugu, he is gonna speak french for chrissake, any problems? And one more Q, do you make “roti” for M, cos you anyways eat rice nah, no I eat one live human being and next time you visit me I will eat you for dinner. God the list is endless.

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  17. ada pavi…no hidden thingy, just got one while trying to comment on ATP’s blog!:| btw, don’t you have enough(blogs)on your platter to digest? ;) okie ok will start one soooon and promplty re-direct all those rotten roma tomatoes to you and Preeti! :D

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  18. Haven’t you heard of famous british quote during pre-independence days-” North for brawn;south for brain’

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  19. Man! desi critic went really off track. Some comments were really rude but better left that way. Replying to them is not worth our time!

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  20. I think this topic is as old as Agastya himself! I am just glad that North-South tensions have mellowed to a point where, at worst, we accuse them of thinking of us as dark & ugly conservatives, and they accuse us of thinking of them as dumb show-off’s! So, it’s like a friendly feud rather than the serious all-out hatefest that it was even 30 years ago! It’s all good.

    As for me, most desis assume I am Paki until they hear my full name (I’ve gone by my initials pretty much all my life) thanks to what one TamBrahm friend of mine dubbed “Kabir look & Peter accent.” I need to shave off my wannabe Abhishek stubble one of these days before Homeland Security assumes I am some Taliban dude! Matter of fact, the only person to have ever asked me if I was a South Indian was a White dude, and he said, “I assume you are South Indian, going by your tan” and it took me by total surprise. I wanted to laugh at the face of whichever idiot told him that if a person has a little pigment, he’s gotta be from Southern India!

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  21. Hmm, I agree with most of what is said.

    I personally havent experienced prejudice like this for being South Indian, but I have observed all that you have said.
    The only thing I have heard is Northies say I speak better Hindi, (read pronounce Thoda as it should be) and are surprised by it!
    The other thing is I love how well knit their families are and how they dont hesitate to show their affection.

    And though Southies are considered ‘brainy’ I do think southies need to work on their interpersonal skills, which nothies have masters.

    North and South, as you have stated, have different traditions, Southies are Dravidars while Northies are Aryans, mostly from elsewhere, I think, and hence the differences.

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  22. I like turtles.

    I hope we are all bound once and for all by our (obvious) love of turtles.

    The turtle avataram is the best avataram of all.

    I am going to blog about turtles. I like.

    Anything to take the attention away from spiteful, hateful words such as northie and southie. You poor,poor people.

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  23. Having lived a large part of my life in the north, I can say that the divide may exist, but not everywhere, not in everybody’s minds. Some of my closest friends are northies, and I have never felt any sort of a barrier, language or otherwise with them. I do agree that language might be one of the causes, but then don’t we have different languages back here in the south, like Kannada, Tamizh, Telugu etc? As mentioned here, another major reason would be the priorities. I observed that the northie ladies dress very well even when at home, while we southies need an occassion/reason to do that; and as always, maybe we respect intelligence and achievement more, while up north, it might be your wealth or status or whatever that is counted first. I really don’t want this to flare up into a north-south war, because, as I have already said, I have learnt to embrace both and have seen other people do it too.

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  24. And yeah, like SK says, most northies are often surprised that I can speak good Hindi, ‘Aap to Hindi bahut acche se bolte ho?’ is the expression I am often met with.

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  25. Wt:

    Good!

    chutney:

    Chutney the punjabi!

    Arun:

    Really? Actually, I haven’t.

    Jayashri:

    hehehe, first hand experience?

    BG:

    I know, desicritics comments are lost somewhere!

    Art:

    Poda dog.

    BR:

    Lol@Kabir look and Peter accent. Heh, even the white dude!

    SK:

    I agree. And that is a compliment I receive even to this day. That I speak better hindi for being a Madrasi!

    arethusa:

    I agree, it is finally the priorities. My close friends are northies too. The third person interaction is where all these prejudices flare up.

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  26. @Preeti: hehe, you don’t girl! but the romas are inevitable when i start one and churn out crap, what are friends for…sharing is caring no?:D

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  27. @Wt: Aaah! Like that u say? Then definitely…I shall shield u from every one of those rotten tomatoes (if any) from all those rotten meanies out there…i shall be a part of ur blog’s security team…

    but whthr gradie would be a good enough friend to do that, now that i wonder ;)

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  28. I had to say ‘National Law University’ in Hindi for my ragging session. Beat that. A poor tamil born kannada brought up, hindi third language edho konjam speaking girl, say ‘Rastriya Vidhi Vishwavidhyalay’.

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  29. This is an interesting perspective for someone like me – a South Indian born in Bombay and living out of India in the US in a dense Indian community. In India, it seems as if everyone should be recognized as Indians instead of regional classifications. But here, it seems sort of important to keep your ‘regional’ roots – most Americans tend to lump Indians into one category; sort of a one-size-fits-all description. I don’t mind being mistaken for being Hindi or Gujurati or what not, but I do mind the assumption that we are all the same. I think that’s sort of the same assumption that runs in the North vs South argument in India – I have been never successfully explain to a person that yes, I am Tamil, but I am NOT from Madras.

    Apologies in advance for the long winded comment. Just my two cents. :)

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  30. wt & preeti:

    Of course, why not. I am good enough, at least, for that. Remember I am biased to maxdis compared to maxdas :P

    hakuna matata:

    That would have been fun!! Did you actually say it?

    Vi:

    No issues. Long comments are good. I can understand your predicament. I’ve lived in Bombay 8 years myself and have seen scores of people like that.

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  31. @Preetu: Thankeeeee…soul sista! wolfie seems like the chivalrous kind but only close encounters can weigh its credibility! :P

    @Adi:ahaha…max(d)is and more bent on minis na? ;)

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  32. YEA! Put out that blog and let’s put Adi Kadi Padi to test!

    Oh BTW, All of u, disaster has struck Preeti’s life… I guess the NUTCASES here have discovered my blogging thingie and have blocked blogger…Fortunately i can read blogs but cant comment…Maybe i should just move to wrodpress too…Hmmm..so dont think i aint reading, i am…just gotta gt back home and comment…and that is such a pain :(

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  33. You write very well Adi-with balanced thoughts and perspectives. It’s a pleasure to read you.
    But but, maamikku vayasu ayiduthono?indha reverse colour writing vellai ezhuthu kannukku chita kashtama irukkupa.
    Best wishes

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  34. @Mr. Anony whose parents hated him so much that they refused to give him a name:
    You’ve gone ahead and done precisely the thing that the article is talking against. Well done.

    @Adi: Very interesting article! The Rediff comments section is usually funny but it does sometimes get pretty upsetting with the whole you-ugly-Southies and you-dumb-Northies thingie. I’ve a Tulu friend and I remember when she’d first come to our class, kids were like, “Oh, she doesn’t look like a Madrasi!”. Why, though? Why do we call them only ‘Madrasi’? Why not ‘Hyderabadi’ or ‘Bangalorean’? Okay, ignore, just silly musing.
    As far as the whole lavish lifestyle and the Mocha cafe and mall culture is concerned, I think it’s spreading everywhere. Sure, Gurgaon can still be called the Holy Mall City but even so, South isn’t really different anymore. The dressing up, spending, going out culture, it’s all there too. And I think the stereotypes about dressed-up-like-a-Southie are more restricted to a dress like salwar kameez because here in the North, there’s a huge generalisation that since the South Indians are traditionally saree wearers, they can’t carry a Patiala salwar or a chooridaar as well as a North Indian woman can and that they don’t know the kind of colours/material/style to choose either because they’re unfamiliar with it all. That’s why if a person is wearing a weird combination or is not carrying salwar kameez well, they’ll get comments like, “Looks like you’re dressed like a South Indian.” No, I’m not justifying it at all. I hate these kind of comments myself but I’m just trying to explain the mentality behind it.
    I can agree with the intellectualism thingie to some extent. I can diss my city and some other places when it comes to books and interest in such things because most of the people my age are indeed pretty superficial here and sort of take pride in saying that they don’t read (it makes me want to break their teeth). However, I think you forgot that Bengalis are classified as North Indians and I don’t need to explain further about them. Also, a huge student population of Delhi at least are fine readers (and that doesn’t mean Sidney Sheldon or Jeffrey Archer). So, as you said, it’s not the communities anymore. It’s the individuals only.
    Again, a long comment. It’s half past noon. :P

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  35. preeti:

    come, come to wordpress!

    maami:

    ty ty! Celebrity blogger in my blog? :P I’ve heard that from a lot of people. Guess, I’ll work on a different theme.

    Drenched:

    Well summed up, Ms Drenched. And welcome back, once again. You can’t keep doing this but.

    Like

  36. “You don’t look like a South Indian” is a reaction that I often get. My initial reactions used to range from “duh, wtf” to “I am very much South Indian”. These days, I just smile at their prejudices, and lack of exposure!

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  37. @ arti
    // but i make it a point to reply only in tamil… //
    techie salutes this effort :)
    @Aditya
    nice writeup machi. in a country with half(or does it tend to 100%) the population that insists in learning hindi (a dialect with ~200% loan words) claiming it being the “National Language” crap, such stigmatizations are too very often.

    Adi: Well, practically speaking, you have to learn Hindi. It’s stupidity to not learn Hindi and expect yourself to survive when you go out of TN.

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  38. Nice post da :) I totally empathise. I remember that one of my friends who is Mallu was sent a file through our internal chat messenger service and asked to translate coz it was ‘South Indian.’ However, the person who sent it thought it was Tam or Telugu ( this friend of mine worked with me in Hyd before moving to Gurgaon)

    My friend saw the file and said that he could translate Mallu only and that this was neither Tam nor Telugu because on the top the document said Government of Karnataka in bold. The North Indian guy said: Toh kya hua, sab kuch ek hi tho hai: south indian.

    I think I should not say what my friend said to him :D here! All this in Google where people are educated and all that. Sigh.

    Adi: Haha, brilliant!

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  39. Interesting post,hit home quite a bit. I’m a third generation Tam Bram Delhiite, and while I didn’t quite bear the brunt of any of these so called “prejudices” I can see where your writing is coming from. Amusing that such a huge divide exists within the country, goes to show that prejudices and a lot of preconcieved notions are born at home!

    Adi: Welcome, here and thanks! Well, there are exceptions. But I know many people who have faced the music.

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  40. haha..totally understand. In my hostel block of 200 indians, Im the only one who speaks a ‘foreign’ language. Tamil!haha.. works well in my favour whenever I want to swear.:P

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  41. This is the tragedy of south indians that they are living in a country with north indians. As long as a south indian doesn’t come in contact with a north indian he is a person who is self assured and confident of his abilities but the moment he comes in contact with a north indian guy he ends up with a low self esteem. An average north indian not only belives he is superior to a south indian but he also belives in giving a complex to a south indian. At least in america the blacks and whites have different national origins. The kind of racism that happens in India doesn’t happen elsewhere in the world. The implicit assumption in Deep’s post is that south indian men are ugly that is why the south indian women like the north indian guys. Well with countrymen like you we south indians don’t need enemies. At least the britishers were much better than you north indians. You people are even worse than the nazis when it comes to racism. It is high time the south indians took a decision whether they want their future generation to end up with low esteem because of the racist north indians.
    For this present state of affairs the south indians themselves are responsible. Look at the pakistanis they are living in self respect unlike the humiliated pathetic condition of south indians. It is the birth right of every individual whether he is dark or fair, north or south to have a high self esteem about himself but that is not possible with the north indians around us. I would not have minded the north indians abusing us if they were from a different country but the problem is that we belong to one country. There is a south indian saying that a mongoose and a snake should not stay together in the same hole. The south indians are sentimental fools who allowed themselves to be swayed by the north indians. The north indians only want a big country from kashmir to kanyakumari to that extent they will utter this nonsense about unity in diversity. If the south indians were even as half as hot blooded as the pathans then we would have been living with our self respect intact like the pakistanis.

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  42. Reminds me of a couple of abbreviations coined by a NRI Desi friend of mine for both the groups..SDRE — Small Dark and Rice-Eating for the Southies and TFTA(Tall, fair and tight-a**ed !! ) for Northies..pretty racist eh..but ironically enough tis comes from a Mallu ! The point that I am trying to make is that, if we all share the same spirit and learn to laugh at ourselves and embrace the way we are, things would become a lot easier. As we converge towards ‘one India’ its imperative that we respect an individual ethnicity and not make unfair prejudices based on background. At the same time, one must realise that its best to try and gel-into the culture of the town ur based out of. Both the groups should take a leaf of each other’s books and try and be like the other to whichever extent possible, whilst being sensitive to one’s own roots and culture. This is how we can mix & match and truly integrate.

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  43. This is SO true. The other thing is the ‘colour’ prejudice. I have “South Indian” written on my face, but SO MANY people have told me “You dont look ‘tamil’… you’re fair skinned”. I have also been called “Madrasi” by my cousins up north, and gotten “You are dressed like a South Indian” at functions. All this, and I live half-way across the world. What a compliment eh? I smoothen my pavadai dhaavani, bring my ‘plait’ to the front, bat my unusually long South Indian eyelashes, say thank you, and flash my big Madrasi Smile.

    The ‘Western influence’ in the North always makes me laugh. They really need to get out and meet some ‘Western’ Indians.

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  44. I think we are taking the color prejudice a bit too far. Come to think of it, do individuals really have a choice about the way they are born? We just happen to be born into a certain community and later on find that we have particular traits. The problem is that in a relative world where even beauty is relative, people unquestioningly accept certain traits as the gold standard against which every other human trait is to be measured.Coming to the north versus south debate, I find it particularly funny that Indians as a race live on many different levels of perception.North Indians give free vent to their anti South Indian prejudices on the assumption that these are harmless and will not affect the national unity and integrity. South Indians tolerate such prejudices on the assumption that this is a passing phase and will be resolved as the nation evolves. But the problem with both these assumptions is that they are based on an incorrect reading of the human nature. One of the driving needs of modern humanity is the attainment of positive self esteem. If the north indians continue to deal with south indians with their anti south prejudices, it can lead to reactionary forces rising within south india.And the south indians will increasingly realize that these prejudices are not a passing phase but are eternal manifestations of the human nature.

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  45. I got more curious about the north south divide after reading two states, and this got me thinking.

    War are waged in the name of race colour and ethnicity, We Indians are a prejudiced lot when it comes to religion, colour caste and even the states we come from, we ridicule each other and pass comments, but we should give credit to one thing that inspite of all these differences we still live in harmony with each other, and in times of war our patriotism shines like a beacon and we come together as one -‘Indians’. There is no other country in this world with so many languages, religions and even differences in colour like in India, yet we live together as indians with this i confure what ever may be our superficialites in the heart of hearts we know we are indians. imagine if we took all these differences seriously could we have been together as a nation for 60 years. long live India, Jai hind!

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  46. Hey Guys, Lot of debate over here huh.. I am from Uttar pradesh and my life partner is from Tamil nadu.We never forced each other to learn our languages and knowing each other’s food habits and culture has only nurtured our heart and brains.Our parents can’t even communicate to each other, but we ensure that they give due respect to each other’s culture an space.
    I am glad I am an Indian because only here we get this broad spectrum of cultures. all we need to do is grow above our color,dressing sense an other shallow prejudices.Today we travel to lot of places together and are always open to explore more diversity and learn from it..
    I hope many others could follow cross cultural experiences.. that would make us much more tolerant and loving community… an may be more smarter

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  47. Much of the prejudice directed against South Indians is due to skin color. This is a perverse topic which defies any rationality. Consider this – Indians were derogatorily called “Black Dogs” by the British. Gandhiji was thrown out of the first class compartment in S.Africa because he was brown. So one would think that there would be much compassion towards dark skinned people in India. Alas no! We are so gravitated towards “Fair and Lovely” that Northies call “He looks like Madrasi” meaning dark and ugly. Or, they say “He looks like Rajnikant”, completely oblivious of the fact the Rajnikant has Maharashtrian genes. Here comes another perverse notion about Tams – that they stick to themselves and do not let outsiders in. Let us face the fact – Rajnikant as I just mentioned came from Maharashtra/Karnataka. MGR, one of the beloved CM was from Kerala and could speak Tamil only with a Mallu accent. I could go on, but the stereotype sticks. Here comes the biggest perverse thing abt skin color – Tamilians are a shade darker than rest of India. However even Tamilians prefer a light skin almost like Caucasians. From Bollywood to Kollywood, we want people with Caucasians. Why did we kick out the British in the first place. We should have become like South America – where the Native population is throoughly mixed up with caucasian gene.

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  48. Tamil hindoo are the lowest group of sub humans and the scum of this planet. The whole of tamil nadu should be swallowed by the sea.

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    1. Lowest group of sub humans??
      Pray tell me on what basis have you arrived at this enlightening conclusion??
      Friggin lassi slurping incestuous moron

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    2. @Singh: you are as ignorant as some of the other people spewing hate here among Indians. Stop your diabolical speech. You must know about the contributions of South Indians especially Tamilians in fields of Engg and applied Maths.

      Personally I dont think Southerners are Smarter than the Northerners. It is just in the attitude. We have Noble laureates including in science and biology from both sides. It is HOW YOU APPLY YOURSELF. Traditionally Southerners apply themselves to Science and Engg and Northerners are more successful in Business and Entrepreneurship/leadership positions. But again that is a generalization of what you see. There are anomalies on both sides.

      AND FOR THOSE SOUTHERNERS WHO SAY SOUTH INDIANS HAVE MORE GRAY MATTER THAN NORTH – IT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. JUST A MYTH. ITS THE APPLICATION OF YOUR BRAIN AND UPBRINGING. You will see more studious attitude in southern families and more business minded attitude in the north. They both have their strong points.

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  49. north indians dont know how to respect other people and their culture….thats the main problem…,there is only 1 solution…better they dont come to south…every1 should live in their own place by preserving their culture..bcoz,no one will allow you to go and make fun of their culture…better be happy in your place..dont o and comment on others…

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  50. I’m telugu and many people mistake me for a north indian because i really don’t look like the “typical” telugu… i got light skin and am 6’5 and do not have a mustache… I also like to dress nicely…. for these reasons, people come up to me and start speaking in hindi.. while i don’t mind that much, I wish people would stop making such assumptions..

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  51. Well, I have read all ur comments and felt necessary to contribute my bit.I am a South Indian telugu and did most of my schooling in the North.While I accept than most Northies are racists, I dont quite subscribe to the stereotype that Southies are pushovers or weak and short.Many people say this but I find it quite amusing that Southies themselves fall for such stereotypes.Its similar to saying that Chinese are shorter than Indians but in reality its very much the opposite or the Pakistanis saying that a single Pakistani can manage 3 Indians.Indians are the shortest people of already shorter asians(compared to west) including the south east asia(except Indonesia).Now coming from such a country and finding difference among ourselves is quite ridiculous.To prove my point better let me give some examples.In cricket though India is the only country without an express fast bowler although it has a population size 2 times the size of all other test playing nations combined, traditionally Indian fast bowlers came mostly from the South.India’s fastest bowler ever was Srinath and the current fastest bowler in domestic circuit is Abhimanyu Mithun also from South and the fastest bowler in the national team is Sreesanth.Though North also produced some decent fast bowlers, most have been medium pacers with inconsistent fitness and speed with the exception of Zaheer Khan.In tennis both in mens singles and womens singles, India’s best players are from the south.Though top boxers and wrestlers come from Haryana, I attribute it to the state govt’s encouragement there than to genetic reasons.
    On personal front though, I came across many Northies during my school days who used to think they can easily kick my ass and passed comments like, “Chutty hone ke baad tera kaam dekhlunga”.And I used to take it as a challange and would give them what they thought of giving me.In the process they used to pick up fights with me for every silly reason just to take revenge.By the time I finished my schooling I broke quite a number of teeth(which the school principal gave me the licence when I complained to him about the racists).My bro had similar experiences and ended up breaking even more teeth.By the time I reached university I found North Indian students and South Indian students formed different groups and we even had tug wars between us.Cricket matches were like India vs Pakistan.The loosing team used to feel as if they have let their motherland down.I would blame the South Indians here as they were the majority and were always the first to start the fights.Though violence is a mean hard thing, I think it is the best way to kill all these bloody stereotypes once and for all, not just in India but elsewhere too as stereotypes are present all over the world.
    At the end after having all these experiences, when I sit and introspect and still see people fighting on the basis of race and color, I doubt does India deserve to be a single big nation?? I mean, it took the British to unite us and since they left we have already started showing our third world genes

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  52. Me being a south india i find north indians uncultured peoples. dont know to respect others. there may be exception but most are as i said. maybe it has something to do with education maybe

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