Monday, December 11, 2006


Resistance – The hall-mark of Keralites
Before I begin, let me qualify my statement. By Keralites, I refer to those who live IN Kerala, not all Malayalees. Those working outside and send their money to Kerala belong to a different genre.
So, what is the thing the Keralites do best? Resist, resist everything – whether it is ideas, plans, schemes, suggestions or development. We find arguments to oppose them when it comes to affecting us or our property. Do we need new roads, railways, factories, Dams, IT parks, ports, airports or bridges? Yes, as long as they do not encroach on my property. We resist such things in the name of environment protection, saving wild life and upsetting the living conditions of the aborigines (Adivasis). We will spread the news that the new scheme will destroy our ecology, life style and tradition. We will vehemently resist all attempts even to survey the land.
Do we need to curb the goondaism? Yes, but let us and our group be not affected. Each successive government assures their ranks that they will be spared. The Goonda Act will be properly amended.
The courts of Law are there to be challenged until their decisions turn favorable. There is nothing like permanent truth or stable affinity. Justice is accepted only when the verdicts are in our favor. Otherwise, we have means to protest.
The real festive days for us are the days of bandhs and hartals. We will find reasons to resist something, almost three days a week. Schools and colleges will remain closed, shopkeepers will get a holiday and employees a day of rest.
We need self-financing educational institutions, but not at our cost. Let somebody else pay for it. We will make sure that they don’t get returns from their investment.
Why do we keep on changing the government every five years? Actually, we don’t want to be ruled. Defiance is part of our character. Freedom to do whatever we like is our birthright. A government unnecessarily interferes with our private freedom to make money through avoiding tax, felling forest trees, dealing in spurious liquor, smuggling contraband items, manipulating contracts, running unholy recruitment traps, operating false finance companies and producing pirated CDs. Corruption in bureaucracy is our second nature. Accepting bribes is a way of life. There is nothing wrong with it because it is money paid to smoothen out things. If someone refuses to fall in line, he will suffer, even if he is a Malaysian. Pay the due and all those involved will be kept out of the purview of enquiries.
Kerala as a State has the maximum number of newspapers and TV Channels in India and can boast of the highest number of readers/viewers. What do we read and see? All biased ‘news stories’ that has a tinge of sex and a heavy load of concocted theories to malign the opponents. Yes, we find pleasure in reading about the bad deeds of others, the papers are full of them. TV channels vie with one another in webbing stories of no consequence.
When the UDF is in power, the leftists will resist anything that smacks of progress or development. When the leftists come to power, their internal factions will take care of preventing anything progressive. ADB loans are untouchable, but the currency sent by NRKs (Non-resident Keralites) is most welcome!
Integrity is a quality in question, being fast discarded from society, government and politics. Farmers commit suicide by the dozen; the government continues to dole out promises. Scores die in police custody, but the Home portfolio is intact. Education is in doldrums, progress is at standstill. Safety for life and belongings is still a distant dream.
Such is the fate of Kerala, the land of the most literate, politically conscious, intellectuals. Any ray of hope?