One word that has rung in my ears all this year has been ‘outsider’. Google trends agrees. The last few months have seen an increase in the number of occurrences of this word in news references. And of course, you don’t need a fancy algorithm to tell you that. If you have been even barely alive to the world around you, you’d have heard this yourself.
North Indians are outsiders in Maharashtra. UP folks are outsiders in MP. ‘Indians’ are outsiders in the north-east. Jeans-wearing, pub-hopping women are outsiders in Karnataka. Rich, bratty software engineers who are causing real-estate prices to rise, brides to reject grooms in other professions, and causing moral degradation with their lifestyles are of course, outsiders everywhere. A cricketer, who is the pride of the nation, is an outsider in his home state. Muslims are outsiders for the VHP and its cohorts. Sensible economics is an outsider for the Communists, and the communists are outsiders according to Mamata. Maoists consider industrialists outsiders, as do politicians when the industrialists are supporting a rival party.
We’ve been divided on caste, creed, religion, language, ethnicity, geography – name it. But nothing compares to the weird nature of the Telangana divide.
What the TRS and KCR are asking is a redrawing of boundaries that were first created by a vile Nizam. They want to turn back history and rule like the Nizam did – see KCR’s insistence that all Hyderabad has, was built by the Nizam! He went on to emphasize the division while making the claim for Hyderabad – 5% people of Andhra versus 95% people of Telangana – never mind that they have the same language, same culture, same spicy cuisine, same horrible weather, same TV channels, same film stars, same five letter initials with at least one ‘Venkata’ in their names…and so on. So, ladies and gentlemen, we have a new divide – coastal v/s inland – the ‘ruthless’ Andhraite v/s the ‘meek’ Telangana-walla. Next we can look forward to a pant v/s dhoti divide, or a boxers v/s briefs divide, or maybe even a oily hair v/s dry hair divide. (Note that the sari-jeans divide is already present.)
Who knows, then one might become an outsider for being a left-hander. Right-handers can then protest on being deprived of the ability to write with both hands. They could ask for a state where only right-handers prevailed. Of course, the left-handers could also ask for the same. Maybe then we’ll come to our senses.
Never mind that the real outsiders are having a field day in our open borders, planning and executing attacks with impunity. Never mind the real outsiders who suck the living blood out of the state by their corrupt means. Never mind the fence of law that eats (or rather grabs) the land it is supposed to protect.
Welcome to India!