Friday, August 3, 2012

Let us face it. Indians have identity crisis.

I am not a journalist. I am not trying to bring just facts to the table. I intend to bring to the table what I feel about the things happening in India. I think feelings are as important as facts. It is true that feelings are derived from facts and they are subjective. A fact may evoke different feelings in different people. And that is the reason why understanding feelings of people is important. I also acknowledge the fact that it is practically impossible to record everyone's feelings and that it shall create chaos. However, sometimes, we should decide to have exceptions. Exceptions on things that people hold too dear. Things which are about the life and death, ones of identity, ones own sense of freedom. Feelings of those concerned and those affected need to be recorded, analysed, quantified if possible.

My views may sound cynical. But they will never come across as baseless.

I identify myself as a Tamil, more than as an Indian. While a person from Delhi will most probably identify himself as an Indian more than a Delhi-ite, I tend to believe that a a person from Bengal will tend to identify himself more as a Bengali, than as an Indian. So, the sense of identity among Indians varies remarkably and while people talking Hindi or other Indo-Aryan languages tend to align their identity as Indians, the others tend to align towards their own languages - Bengali, Kannadika, Telugu and most strongly by Tamils to name a few. It is important to establish this because, it will help you understand my feelings and the rational behind them - supported by facts. 

So, I speak this very old, lustrous, beautiful, classical language called Tamil (Thamizhl - pronounce the letter 'l' while folding your tongue and touching the upper palette) . Though everyone may think of his own mother tongue as the most beautiful one, factually speaking, it has already been established with sufficient evidences, that Tamil is one of the oldest, most cured and languages of the world. 

So, I speak a language which most of the country does not. Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada  has lot of their words, grammar derived from Tamil - but they are still different. Tamil is the mother of the Indo-Dravidian languages in short.

Most important fact to be established here is that Tamil is NOTHING like HIndi / Indo-Aryan languages. Tamil is Greek&Latin for the Hindi speaking Indians and the vice-versa. 

To quote some more differences, the way I dress is different from other Indians. The food we eat is different. It is cooked differently, served and eaten differently. The way we cremate, bury our ancestors is different. The way marriages happen is different. 

Tamil Nadu just happened to be geographically a part of (or stuck) the sub-continent and hence a part of India. That is the reason why Sri Lanka and Maldives are not a part of India. So, what does it give me to call myself Indian. There was a collective need during the struggle for independence - freedom! But since then there has been nothing. I am not saying that we should have parted our ways and should have made different governments and should have become different countries. But I am wondering if we ever thought about it. I certainly now!

I find this very interesting and in a sense, disturbing as well. But certainly worth pondering about.

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