Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Lessons for us all
While Europe has so much learn from India on how to run a multicultural liberal democracy, there are a few things we can learn from current and past European history.
Let us take for granted that the Indian economy would continue to move the way it currently is going, and as consequently, the states, esp the southern states cross certain indices in economic performance and social demographics in the coming years. Now what I read recently has interesting implications.
Are we ready for immigration from the north?
Yes, there are a few unconfirmed second-hand and third-hand reports that North-Indians are not too fond of migrating to the south for many supposed reasons, but I guess most of these 'reports' concern the professionally qualified person, who has a certain amount of informed choice before making the decision to migrate. What we need to discuss are economic migrants, who's decision to migrate has very little to do with individual choice. The expansion of the EU shows how the economically less well-off, yet demographically better-placed eastern European is moving westward. Should we look forward to such a situation in India as well?
I cannot speak for all of the South, but I can speak for Tamil Nadu. This migration would probably provide the best image-altering opportunity for us. There is so much to gain from the influx of the Gujrati and the Bihari into Tamil Nadu. Not that we have not had migrants from these parts of India before. Take a look at the prominent commercial and cultural institutions of Madurai and Thirunelveli, and you would see how the Saurastrians and other 'Northern' immigrants in the past have neatly integrated into, and even defined Tamil culture (Ex: Thirunelveli Halwa).
Of course, there will always be issues regarding the pace of immigration, ghettoisation, right-wing backlashes, claims of cultural erosion etc. In Tamil Nadu especially, there is an acknowledged, probably minority, opinion that the North is already culturally dominant. This mostly uninformed insecurity would certainly distort the discourse then. Yet, in Tamil Nadu, there is also the pride of having come out a fairly ancient culture, and even having been the centre of an empire. This manic-depressive duality of insecurity and pride, also find echos in Europe. The Brits who suddenly lost an empire, the Germans who lost two wars, the Italians who probably have only the past to be proud of when it comes to politics and so on.
Let us look at Europe and learn from it.
Comments to Lessons for us all
Great words...well said.
Unless the Tamil society opens itself to embrace ideas, people to integrate into the mainstream, we can kiss creativity and competition good being to see Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Gurgaon...become the magnetic cities of tomorrow.
posted by A Lateral Mind posting..12:57 pm, July 06, 2006
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