[Marxism] On Cultural traditions and left
bharatbhooshan.tiwari at gmail.com
Fri Apr 12 04:26:06 MDT 2013
I can’t agree with you more on the fact that caste and religion are
powerful identities in North and East India, but I am not sure if we can
absolve the south as such. My last name making you believe that I hail
from northern India is a direct corollary to this sad reality. I, however,
grew up in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra which unfortunately is neither
part of Northern India nor that of Southern. One can possibly condemn it to
far less illustrious Central India.
My rub with Southern India, though, has been limited: via brief stints in
places like Mangalore, Bangalore, Mysore, and Hyderabad and through a
variety of colleagues/friends hailing from all four southern states (while
being in United States and India). I’m afraid, I found a majority of them
equally steeped in caste consciousness of their own. Sporadic incidents of
caste-based violence in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (the
anti-Dalit violence in Dharmapuri district late last year being a case in
point) also do not suggest otherwise to a “Northie”, if you will, like me.
Also, lumping all four states together into an imagined entity called South
India may very well be acceptable in popular culture but doing it in the
realm of complex social realities seems kinda over-simplification to me.
Lastly, my concluding comment was more of a musing than accusation which is
gradually gaining acceptance within Indian left. If one still takes it as
an accusation, the finger was pointed towards the whole spectrum of Indian
left, and not just the “official” CPs in India. By being critical of the
parliamentary left or the “official CPs” at times, if someone qualifies to
be damned to far-left (or ultra-left), then I am the one. The sad part,
however, is - the so-called far-left or ultra-left in India, too, can’t
boast of being free from this malady.
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