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For the first time since I have moved here, I feel ashamed of being a Chennaivaasi.

My city has disgraced itself, and I am outraged, hurt and ashamed.

I echo what Shobha Warrier says here and Nirupama Subramanian says here.

Being from small-town Tamilnadu, the Chennai cop has always been, to me at least, a comfortable-to-deal-with entity. There are rules and lines, which if broken or crossed, will get you into trouble with one of them. However, these are clear and well defined, and as long as you have not transgressed, the Chennai cop is a reasonable, and to an extent, even tolerant, person. Contrast this with a provincial cop, with whom you are always in trouble. The fact that he wears a uniform, and you do not, seems to give him the authority to behave badly with you and harrass you, which he does not hesitate to take advantage of. Compared to them, Chennai cops were a refreshing change. Not any longer, it seems. The Chennai police have proved themselves to be intolerant and retrograde, and have been backed up by a judge’s ruling that it is “indecent” for a man to kiss his wife. In jumped the so-called guardians of “Tamil culture” – none of whom has even an iota of knowledge about Tamil, culture, or the underpinning ethos of what they so flippantly call “thamizh panpaadu” – and cried themselves hoarse about the degradation of Tamil values and the Tamil way of life.

This came as the cherry topping the culture brigade’s massive cake, which had as its ingredients:

The trashing of Khushboo, who, in answer to a question as part of India Today’s annual sex survey, uttered what were perhaps the most sensible things any actress in India has said till date, when she called upon women to protect themselves from STDs, AIDS and unwanted pregnancies.

The intolerant and retrograde policies of Tamilnadu’s “premier” technical University. It is interesting to note that the Vice Chancellor saw it more important to take careful note of what women students in colleges under him were wearing than to see how his university could effectively handle all the administrative hassles of 229 (?) colleges – a matter that has since grown to such proportions that there has been talk of de-affiliating the colleges from the university. While the VC was ensuring that his students (both men and women) were “decently” dressed, less important things like academics and administration have fallen by the wayside.

All this has brought about what one thought would never happen in Tamilnadu – Tamil Talibanism.

And by being mute spectators, we too are party to it.

7 thoughts to “Ashamed!”

  1. While I agree with you strongly on the attitude of the cops, which is unhealthy, Shobha Warrier’s potrayal of Chennai was in bad light. I have already spoken to Rediff personally and blogged my displeasure at her childishness.

    You could also do a Google BlogSearch for “Shobha Warrier” and check for yourself.

  2. Shobha’s piece was satire, and sarcasm was the device used.

    Your post on the other hand, was only a rave and a rant, which I agree with you, many of us bloggers have indulged in already.

    Reacting as you have to a piece of satire only gives bloggers a bad name – you seem to have missed the point of the article, which was to shed light on the happenings by poking fun at the players – a common political tool which has proved effective on many occasions.

    Aaagh! I feel like I’m back in college and its just before my Literary Forms exam 😉

  3. I guess I beg to differ with you.

    I did my Eng.Litt from one of the top colleges in India back in 1981 – Madras Christian College. Some renowned professors taught me and believe me, I am still able to distinguish b’ween satire and trash literature. I still stand by my opinion that SW’s article was regionally biased and chauvinistic. You just need to go through the comments to her write-up on Rediff to realise that 90% of the respondents think so.

    I agree with you that my post is just rave and rant. I wanted it that way, b’cos I thought that would be a fitting reply to SW’s style of writing. In any case, I dont write a literary blog… I rave and rant in my blog.

  4. Hmmm… Just thought I would point this out. 90% being against someone’s way of expressing themself does in no way reflect what’s right and what’s wrong.

    Just pointing things out. It was a column and not a news report. Columnists are bloggers (sort of).

  5. I agree it is a disgrace that Police are stepping out of the line in the name of protecting Tamil culture. Iam an Tamilian and believe in the traditions and customs that we follow but to stop someone partying in hotels is moral policing to the extreme. There are lots of other serious and important problems involving law and order, they need to concentrate on fixing those.

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