- NL Sena
I understand that it's the safest thing to discuss and laugh about. It doesn't offend anyone of importance and can't really get people to riot and/or make news.
Since the beginning of time, we have been slicing up the country across the centre into North and South India, so why stop there? Why don’t we start doing that length-wise too? Why should we accept the states as they were divided by some ancient people based on factors which are irrelevant today?
The ‘North’, aah the North, which hogs up massive airtime on so many Newslaundry Haftas and understandably so.
The South – the sunny South. The land of film stars and Sambhar. And tiffs about Mysorepak. But where does Goa fit in? No one seems to mention it as part of the peninsula which forms the so-called ‘South India.’
Bah, how does it matter? Goa is just a collection of beaches and booze shacks strung together anyway.
And then there’s Kashmir. Kashmir is Kashmir. Not North India. Kashmir is like the cool, rebellious cousin we have who no one else can decide for. We think we know them. But do we really? Similarly Punjab is that uncle who is very global and proud (and loud and currently smoking a bit too much).
We have conveniently coined the word ‘Northeast’ and ‘Seven Sisters’ to show solidarity with ‘those people who kind of look all alike’ showing that we care about their exotic land that we frankly aren’t interested in knowing anything about.
But I really pity people from Odisha, Jharkhand and Bengal who have no such common identity. No one says ‘East India’ since it is such a loaded word that brings up history textbook memories of colonial rule.
What about our archipelagos? Can we give them some cool name too? Guys, what’s really happening out there?
I know I have missed many states here, but you get the gist. Let us start afresh. Let’s draw a grid and divide the country into blocks and do away with such frivolous concepts as ‘states’. We can call ourselves The United States of India (I should trademark the name in case anyone hasn’t done so before).
Too much time and energy is wasted in debating these things. But I also understand that it’s the safest thing to discuss and laugh about. It doesn’t offend anyone of importance and can’t really get people to riot and/or make news.
I was born to parents from what is universally known as the state of ‘Maharashtra’ and have been labelled a South Indian by people from ‘North India’ and a North Indian by people from ‘South India.’ To them, my standard response is: ‘Bitch please, I’m West Indian.’ Or as one would say in a Maharashtrian accent, ‘Waste Indian’.
A suggestion: Maybe you can also invite audio feedback for Newslaundry as the tone of the letters is lost in the narration sometimes. Someone might take this article of mine a bit too seriously and decide to write a 2,000-word reply to it. I mean, too long, didn’t read, right?