THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

East is the new "West"?

Five years ago, everything "Western" was (and still is) bad in Kerala! And "West" included faraway countries like America, Canada, UK, Brazil and the likes. The picture the media in Kerala, which I guess reflects the mentality of the people and what they like to read, gave any corruptible youth in Kerala (oh yeah they are so corruptible in Kerala, especially after their training in school and college for politicking and staging strikes) the impression that in the "West" people were all loose and without morals; and we are the only sane, moral and decent people in this world. They called this farce the "Conservative Keralite" (CK).

The CK, most realistic people know, is largely non-existent. I emphasize "largely", as there are still a lot of good decent realistic people, who are not necessarily the CK type. I really cant understand why this CK form of conservatism is equated with good. The good people I talk about are good human beings, and not people who pretend to be something, while doing something else when nobody looks. But this sort of pretense is what is being harvested in the youth of Kerala in the name of conservatism. Girls are taught to be "calm and homely", sent to "finishing schools" and to forget anything closely related to a career, IF they want to be the eligible CK. Guys are allowed to drink, smoke, sniff and whatever else, provided nobody knows about it. "dont drink in the bar, just drink at home, what will people say" constantly rings across most households in Kerala.

Anyway, over the last year or so, I have noticed a new phenomenon. Possibly a fall-out of the great Indian Outsourcing phenomenon that Bangalore led India to, which in reality has saved a lot of people from hunger and humiliation, and provided jobs to thousands of lazy people. Along with all the good things, Bangalore managed to outsource the wrath and jealousy of a lot of narrow-minded people. And going by my observations in Kerala recently, Keralites are topping this list too, along with the health and social development index. So today the west is very close to us, much closer than ever before.

In a television serial that I was subjected to today, as a result of some others in the same room watching it, I saw a young lady being chastised allegedly because she had a baby which she had in Bangalore, but kept it hidden from the conservative Kerala. Such references to Bangalore for anything immoral for the great CK is becoming more commonplace, and I have seen similar Bangalore bashing happening on a regular basis. Bangalores the new buzz-word in Kerala.

There was also this episode, apparently, where a "conservative malayali eligible guy and a homely, calm wife" are romancing (supposedly) with eachother . And the wife goes, "njaanum kure naal bangalore-il undayirunnu, athukondu enikkum ithokke ariyam" Which transaltes into " I was also in Bangalore for a while, so I also know all the naughty things".

I also see regular newspaper references bashing Bangalore. Bangalore's pubs, Bangalore's a hotspot for immoral traffic and what not, and the essence is that Bangalore's bad for our kids, and they may not grow up as the good CK. But of course, we still need the education for our kids, and the IT industry for the money, and when nobody is looking we can also enjoy ourselves a bit.

Anyway I dont want to go on describing these things and sound like a newspaper in Kerala myself. The idea of this post is a simple discovery:

From what I have seen, the so called Malayali youth are the people behind most of these so called incidents of immorality or indecency. It doesnt take long to establish this fact. You go to a mall with a girl and you can be rest assured that the maximum glares and cheesy comments will come from someone who also blurts "aliyaa". If a woman gets brushed in the store or grabbed on the dance floor, chances are its one of our fellow CK youth. Most brawls I have seen in pubs and bars, involve the good CK. If you stand long enough on Brigade Road, you can see the good CK in action.

But of course, after all this dirty indecent behavior, our men go back to Kerala to be the good CK. And allege Bangalore is a haven for all things bad.

I dont know when people of Kerala will realize that goodness is being respectful and truthful to your own conscience, and not put up a show for the "society" and do something else when nobody is watching. So what if men and women live together? Or if they kiss in public out of affection? Its much better than molesting your neighbours daughter or grabbing women in the bus. What if youth drink in pubs (as long as they know what they are doing)? Isn't Kerala the largest consumer of alcohol? And when we talk about all this social development, is Kerala not the worst in terms of respect for women?

I am not saying one wrong is better than another, but if we want to call something or someone wrong, it will be good if we are sure we are not wrong-doers ourselves.

The "west" is a place of independence and freedom to be the individual you want and should be, and not live your life according to what others think, or might think. And it is this spirit of individuality thats harbored in the so called "west", as opposed to mentally-stunted, pretencious people, who survive purely by bringing down the other person. The so called "west" is a character, not a place or region.

One recent example about the character of Bangalore: After the Cauvery ruling came against Karnataka, which is the single most sensitive and biggest issue for the majority of Karnataka, there were fears of violence and bandhs. But at the same time, the Aero Show 2007 was also happening in the city with thousands of foreigners (or westerners if you prefer!) in the city. The people agreed that the bandh be postponed to a date until after the Aero Show! One would say, it does not reflect the people's morality or decency. But similar is the way of thinking across the state. I wonder what would have happened in Kerala! No politician or party would have let go of the immense potential in the situation!

I am hoping that one day soon, the "west" will be a place within Kerala. Wonder "what people will have to say" then.

44 comments:

abhishek said...

Sex education in Keralite schools, let alone at homes, is non-existent. Parents think nothing of segregating their children's education by gender. It is no wonder then when a girl and boy seen together in public, who are otherwise unrelated, would be cast as morally corrupt. When a society condemns mere talking as corrupt, it goes the way of all closed societies, down the gutter into inconsequential shells of themselves.

Around the world, societies are debating whether or not they should be discussing contraceptives and alternatives to abstinence as part of sex education. In our supposedly literate society, we can't even mention sex without invoking a laugh, giggle, or squirm from someone. And this hurts most because that someone is almost always a parent or teacher who should know better.

You might ask, what does sex education have to do with economic welfare? It has everything to do with it. Sex education creates men and women who are better informed of their bodies and minds.

People ultimately flock to open societies where nothing can be kept under wrap, for that is where wealth is created. A major pre-requisite for widespread wealth creation (or put in Keralite politicians' language, poverty alleviation) is the free flow of information - information that is economic and social in nature. That is why you see people migrate to the U.S., Gulf and more recently, Bangalore from Kerala. As long as Kerala remains one of the most closed societies in the world, whether that aspect manifests itself in terms of the non-existence of sex education or sexual harrasment, it can never hope to create opportunities for economic progress.

Alex said...

True. It is disheartening in fact.

"goodness is being respectful and truthful to your own conscience, and not put up a show for the "society" and do something else when nobody is watching"

This says it all.

MC said...

@ abhishek - very well said and i am amazed at your level of understanding and analysis.

i read about an attempt by the kerala government to include sex education in schools. lets hope something sensible comes out of it.

@ alex - very disheartening indeed. it really bugs me to think that we have promote a two-faced society in kerala.

sJ said...

The so called mith of loose morals of bangalore and west are created by the NRK s themselves. " its not a place to raise girls.We are planning to come back and settle at home once the kids reach teens" is a common dialogue of NRk s. Ofcourse , kids who are brought back cannot stand the hypocrisy thats going on around and are dubbed spoilt. Individuality and freedom of thoughts are taboo in all Ck.Hence not very surprising that many never comes back to kerala once they can find a job else where.
Probably the same goes on among all Indian families where grown up kids stay with parents under' their protection'.We are aware of only CK s and few urban non malayalis hence the feeling that it happens only in kerala.
This will change as more people leave home (forcefully)for employement and this phenomenon will be seen only in some period cinemas like our present day movies showing the old days of matriarchy.
Hopefuly so.
Paradoxically, 25 yrs from now popular TV will be celebrating individuality and there will be bloggers nostalgic about old time CKs.

MKERALAM said...

The pretentious Keralites. I wonder what percentage of the Kerala population can be excluded from this category. Very little, I believe.
I think we spoke enough. Time has passed to think what can we do for a change.
To start with go to a small school talk to the children, not about sex education, but about values. To be truthful, to be honest, about religious exorcism and so on. Will the teachers allow that? or will the parents allow that? Breaking the barriers should start in the young minds.

I do not think kissing in the public is of any appeal in Kerala. Each soceity has its own existence and ways of solving problem. Love is intimacy, it is not for public exhibition.

Though faced with mountains of problems, Kerala cannot make west as a moral model except for its economical growth.But what would be the economical growth in the west without the skilled manpower in Kerala or Indis which is certainly the product of the moral life of Kerala.
Like that there are a lot the Kealites can be proud of. They should learn how to take pride in their strength and to sort out the weaknesses. West is not any answer to Kerala.

Jiby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jiby said...

It is all about individualism...somewhere along our way we stopped listening to ourselves and gave more weight to the words of others and society. It was the individualistic thought that saw communism, social reform, good literature, etc creep up in our midst but somehow things started changing from the 70's. We have been taught not to question but only to obey.

What percentage of children today read? All their influences today are from the visual media and their friends. It is reading and absorbing new cultures that makes a young mind reach out of all the limitations imposed on it by the closed society we live in.

This has been one of your best posts till date...i wish a lot of our people read this. Ofcourse you are going to be criticized by "proud" malayalis who feel all your blog does is badmouth kerala in front of others...let them be...but in these times when people speak/gloat of economic progress but cant digest or want to resist the social changes taking place, an article like this has a great value.

P.S- Sad to read that the "jackie-vekkal" culture has been outsourced to blore too. If I can find it i will send you an article in a mainstream magazine where the writer rants and crusades about youngsters travelling by the Blore-Kerala Volvo buses...it was one heck of a hilarious read.

alex said...

@Jiby

"It is all about individualism...somewhere along our way we stopped listening to ourselves and gave more weight to the words of others and society."

You said it!

MC said...

@ sj - I dont think the negative hype about Bangalore or West is in any way created by NRK's. I find most NRKs sensible, aware and realistic (not to mention hardworking). The "We are planning to come back and settle at home once the kids reach teens" dialogue is a fallout of the immense pressure NRKs face to marry of their children in the closed societies of Kerala. Once an NRK, they face all the alleged "western" qualities resident keralites gossip about. It is mainly to beat this NRKs send back their children home.

I know this will again bring back the topic of "sex education" and morals and how the western style is different from the Indian culture. Thats fine. But there are enough Keralites and Indians in USA and Canada that I know, whose kids are more Indian and Malayali, than most people in India or Kerala!

Well said about the nostalgia of the CKs of the past :) Lets hope it comes a bit sooner than 25 years!

@ mkeralam - excellent suggestion..i have always believed that any change will be possible only with the youth and the newer generation. so its very apt to focus on the schools. but as you rightly said, how our CK teachers and CK parents will react is a big challenge.

love is an intimacy. agreed. and we all have ways of showing our intimacy.

Kerala doesnt need to model on the west. but the problem is kerala does not have ANY model, itself or someone elses. Kerala is showing a trend of surviving by putting down the others. Example,we gloat on social indices in comparison to Bihar and UP. This reflects the nature of the Keralite as well. Its time Kerala had its own individuality. And that goes for the Keralite too.

@ jiby - perfect!! individuality! thats what this is all about! we need our youth and children to grow up with individuality!! not custom-made brain-dead pretencious social animals.

i feel the youth are taught to question everything now and disobey everything - but irrespective of the good or bad in it. this is perhaps why we have so many strikes and protests. they simply like to resist anything without THINKING themselves. so you are right...they just obey the vested interests and act like robots, without thinking for a second whats right or wrong, or listening to their conscience.

i think i read the article you speak about. it was in MM? it was the most disgusting article i have ever read! and i just shudder in my seat to think that the malayali thrives on reading such third rate material! absolutely pathetic! but yeah..its hilarious to see how shallow the writer was!

MC said...

@ abhishek - see this:

Kerala halts sex education programme
Web posted at: 2/14/2007 3:32:37
Source ::: The Peninsula/ By John Mary
Thiruvananthapuram • Kerala Government has applied brakes on an adolescent education programme following criticism that it offends sensibilities of parents and students in a society that treats open discussion of sex a taboo.

The programme comprised a 16-hour discussion module on sexuality, adolescent growth issues and sexually transmitted diseases, especially Aids, under the direction of the National Council for Education, Research and Training, its counterpart in the State, the SCERT and Kerala State Aids Control Society.

It was proposed by the United Nation's International Children's Emergency Fund.

The programme was launched throughout the country in 2000 and all States barring Kerala have implemented it without any hitch.

What had led to (mis)apprehensions, according to a section of students and teachers was that the handbook was prepared without any forethought, copying the Western pattern.

"It's sad that a well-intentioned extracurricular programme should become controversial in a State with near-total literacy", said SCERT director E Valsala Kumar.

rajesh said...

Well said.I have just done a malayalam blog on the same subject (http://strangemalayalikal.blogspot.com)

I think we took up some of the bad habits from western countries and left the good ones like consideration for others, politeness etc.And people tend to blame everything on "western culture".

WHISTLEBLOWER said...

r@MC,
Very reflective of the hypocrisy of the Mallu society.Mallus lead in all the vices; booze, drugs, illicit sex & termination of pregnancies; yet they want everything under wraps!
My sincere advice for MC is to stop watching Malayalam TV serials ; as they are specially cooked up for a mentally challenged section of the society!

abhishek said...

@Mkeralam

MC said it best - the problem is kerala does not have ANY model, itself or someone elses.

We don't have to ape the west. But if we can't discuss sex or the birds and bees unlike mature people, then we are always going to act like children. And that is mainly why college youth in Kerala are becoming increasingly rowdier, prurient and susceptible to misconstrued ideas of male-female interaction. When I see how many parents raise their children in Kerala, I ask who is doing the raising because it is often as if children are raising children. The issue is that parents treat their children as children and not as the mature adults they will have to grow into. Not surprising, because when have we used any foresight or planning?

What is literacy without freedom?

@MC

Sharp eyes, man! Your post stands vindicated. This nonsense has got to stop.

Why do we leave it to the state government to tell us what is good for us? When all of India has deemed it necessary to teach its youth about a natural aspect of life, what moral authority do a few aging politicians cocooned in their state houses in Trivandrum possess over Kerala youth?

It is truly pathetic. This nonsense, among other farcical pretensions, will never end unless the government leaves school managements to themselves.

Nita TJ said...

Just a thought...

You speak about Kerala from an outsiders point of view.Things are changing and if you truly 'experiance' Kerala rather than form opinions from newspapers,television and non resident Malayalis,you would realize that things are not as gray as you think.As for the rest of the things that you mentioned,it is more of human nature than any distinct Malayali perversion.

MC said...

@ rajesh - nice to know there are other keralites who share similar thoughts. it definitely gives a lot of hope.

i couldnt read your blog as i couldnt load the malayalam font. will try later surely.

@ whistleblower - yes..false prestige..ego..what do we call it..whatever the name is, its so deeply instilled in our thought process.

no doc..i dont watch those sob serials..unless i am cornered in some room where it happens to be on tv. but when i do stumble on them, i really have a good laugh to see the kind of stuff that sells in kerala! one would just need a camera, a few actors, glycerine and a violin (veena?) to make a serial.

@ abhishek - you asked what is literacy without freedom?..but i am doubtful of this literacy tag itself in the first place.

on a long term, i think things wont change unless we have people who think differently within the government. how we get there, needs to be discussed.

@ nita tj - i am very much an insider..and very disgusted at the REAL state of affairs. and i dont see much "gray", just lot of black and little whites here and there.

i dont know how old you are..but if you are young, and yet still dont feel the need for drastic change in kerala..then it worries me.

if you havent experienced the VERY distinct malayali perversion if you are actually a miss/mrs.nita, you must be extremely lucky. which is very good anyway.

rajesh said...

Thanks mc.

You will need to install anjali oldlipi- from http://varamozhi.wikia.com/wiki/Varamozhi. welcome to malayalam blogging as well !

nita tj said...

Just for argument sake...

You talk about the maturity of the people in postpoing the bandh.Where was this maturity when a certain Kannade actor died some time back?But then again,Banglore is not Karnataka.Or is it?

Stereotyping is bad,whether it is labelling ourselves or others.So is criticsm...

MC said...

@ rajesh - will do

@ nita tj - good argument.. i accept the sense in what you say..but i think i have personally seen and analyzed these things that i write about kerala and keralites. its quite obvious i am not saying ALL people behave in a particular way or what i speak of applies to all. but these are trends..which i hope by publicizing will awaken the conscience of the reader..and in turn generate more awareness..so that individuals think before they act..so that they gain the sense of whats right and whats not. you can call it all MY view..how you perceive it or react to it is entirely up to you and every other reader. the simple fact that you thought over these things after reading the post is good enough for me.

abhishek said...

@nita

"Stereotyping is bad,whether it is labelling ourselves or others.So is criticsm..."

Even criticism? So to disagree with the general (I say general, because there are exceptions) state of affairs in Kerala is bad? Why have we been gifted with independent thinking?

Complacency is the hallmark of stagnation.

sJ said...

The idea is to point out things that need change by contrasting with others. Does nt ve to argue that one state is better than other. The idea is "save kerala" and not just make it better than bangalore/karnataka right? (Otherwise all we ve to do is count the number of coconut trees and we will be one up. But got to do it soon as the number here is dwindling!!) I think, the whole perspective of a parent with teenage girl would be different on this issue from others.Their concern would be their childs safety than real backwardness.I admit that it would hamper the kid's outlook of life but got to be a lil more compassionate about the parent while critcising. Despite all the soaps ' innuendos, there are umpteen number of malayalees in colleges at Bangalore and US and most NRKs get married to CKs - so resident malayali as a whole is not orthodox or retarded. Is that what Nita tried to say?.. what ever

sJ said...

"MC @ abhishek - you asked what is literacy without freedom?..but i am doubtful of this literacy tag itself in the first place.

on a long term, i think things wont change unless we have people who think differently within the government. how we get there, needs to be discussed."

Well thats something to be thought of.

Maveli Keralam said...

MC

"love is an intimacy. agreed. and we all have ways of showing our intimacy".

I do not understand the rational in arguing about the 'ways of showing our intimacy" in Kerala. Where even in the very normal looking family realtionships, the wives' have only one option: to 'obey' the 'husband' who in many case is not more than a moronic slave of his mother and dughters are enticed to be `good' through following the obeying mothers.

What is the sense of love the children from such home expereinces?

And what is true love?
To have sexual expression in public or even sex and produce children? What is needed in Kerala families is acceptance, respect, loving and caring relationships based on mutual understanding and values.

Is it difficult in the present Kerala to get a girl with a premarital relationship to get married to a male in a so called conservative family if her parent can afford a huge dowry?

Come on males, how many of you would dare to marry a girl whom you 'love' and can relate with you in terms of your values and attitude, when your family confronts you with a thousand and one reasons mainly economic for not to marry her. The intimately 'loving' males will then become 'practical minded' if not obedient family caring sons.

Love is a facade there, and only money matters there. And to the girl who loose the 'love' of her life, it is double blow. In such a society,'showing our intimacy' is problematic.

In the west on the other hand, love has lost its sereneity long time ago.No girl is harassed there because she lost a love. She can freely love, co-habit, copulate, produce children, give children on adoption if she cannot afford them, and go on and on like that. That is how the concept of family, love, realtionhip, sex, child-bearing and all such are defined and practised in there. That is how western societies are developed particularly after the World Wars and the economic liberalisations that followed it.

Come on, Kerla is different. To reach the socio-moral level of the west it has to go through a lot more calamities and drastic revolutions of that kind.

Abhishek,

"But if we can't discuss sex or the birds and bees unlike mature people, then we are always going to act like children. And that is mainly why college youth in Kerala are becoming increasingly rowdier, prurient and susceptible to misconstrued ideas of male'.

Sex education to teach how the nature work is needed in the biology classes.

But sex education as an idea to inculcate morality is a long failed agenda. South Africa is a country that followed the west to introduce sex education in schools. The purpose was to make the youngsters to be aware of when an adult even a biological father make a sexual move and so as to alert the Child-line operators.

The outcome, children as young as seven started engaging in sex in school toilets and even in open classrooms. At the extreme level even some innovative teachers asked children to demonstrate sex in classrooms to have a good practical lesson only to have been criminaly charged later.

It all depends on the morality of the socity. Kerala has to work on its defects and failures in its own way. Sex education to inculcate morality is not an answer to that. That is the job of the parents and the soceity at large and not of the govenment. parents should live by morality and preaching is no good.

Jubin George said...

I agree completely on your observations and definition of CK. But I'm afraid, you have overlooked one common factor in CKs and non-CKs. Let me name it as KC (the Keralite Conviction).

CKs don't say groping in buses is good, they only know in Bangalore 'opportunities' are more. And they know no one can tell that's wrong - that's KC at work. To elaborate the same 'untouchable' issue, CKs claim, eve-teasing, most of the time, happens with female consent or encouragement. Again KC at work. And progressive non-CKs protest, and claim not a single female in kerala can be that stupid. Once again KC at work, this time from the non-CK end. The fact remains that kerala is sexually frustrated, regardless of the gender KC belongs to. And CKs, of both gender, exhibit their frustrations when they have a chance - inside or outside Kerala.

Paradoxically, the only positive thing in kerala - availability of decent-quality education - is the root cause of the worst thing in them - the Keralite Conviction (KC)

The reasons are many, and complex. From the insane density of population (almost equal to any metro) to an educational system that's headed by the celebates, that too for generations after generations.

Imparting sex-education alone may not solve the issue. The Keralite Convition won't break that easy.

One point i differ in the article is the postponing of protest. The author considers it as progressive, considerate and sensible. The reasons behind the decision were quite clearly not any of those, but the good old dirty money. And it's easier in bangalore or any other part of the country, because of the low political awareness and almost neglible active political participation from the masses. Not a thing to be that proud of.

abhishek said...

@maveli

"But sex education as an idea to inculcate morality is a long failed agenda."

I think you and I are on the same page. That sex education is necessary to teach adolescents about the human biology is true. But do you realize what proportion of biology teachers skip over the reproductive system when the topic comes? How many of them have the guts to talk about what the male reproductive organ is and what is the female reproductive organ. How intercourse takes place, how ovaries function, how fallopian tubes function, how eggs are fertilized etc? I guarantee you that you ask any girl above 15, she won't have a clue what you're talking about beyond what her friends have told her. Because our teachers simply regard the topic as "dirty"! I'm talking about pure biological functions here. Of course, there's always that somewhat unusual question - how does a sperm fertilize an egg to begin with? But you see, if you were truly a teacher, you could convey that concept without feeling embaressed.

Frankly though, I don't believe in teaching children (7 years olds in the example you mentioned) about sex, because they don't have the physical or psychological capacity to understand sex. However, you can teach them about sexual predators without teaching them about sex. We tell our children all the time about how they should stay away from strangers. With sexual predators, however, that advice has to go one step further and we have to tell children that they should be free to tell their parents if anyone they know or don't know indulges in abnormal behaviour and tell the children what that abnormal behaviour constitutes (fondling, etc). At that moment, no parent I know has had a heart to heart talk with their children. And believe me, I have asked around. Doesn't matter whom we blame because sexual predation may only have become a serious problem recently. But, to fold your hands and ignore the problem is truly bad parenting.

"The outcome, children as young as seven started engaging in sex in school toilets and even in open classrooms. At the extreme level even some innovative teachers asked children to demonstrate sex in classrooms to have a good practical lesson only to have been criminaly charged later.

It all depends on the morality of the socity."

I think those are very extreme cases and examples of terribly bad things gone awry. How many of those incidents have occurred? I don't believe it's more than once or twice and just about as rare as four-legged frogs, because children having sex in classrooms is the result of poor teaching and negligence if anything. We don't expect teachers to encourage free sex when asking them to teach sex education. If that were the case, then something's terribly wrong with those teachers themselves and I'm sure that behaviour of those teachers would have manifested itself long before you even ask them to impart sex education. Let's not make sex education the bogey-man here.

"Sex education to inculcate morality is not an answer to that. That is the job of the parents and the soceity at large and not of the govenment. parents should live by morality and preaching is no good."

True, but who said anything about including morality? You can teach people about sex without teaching morality.

Somehow I suspect that the teachers revolting against sex education has nothing to do with Kerala's so-called values and how the proposed sex education curriculum includes things 'foreign' to our 'culture'. In fact, they want to avoid the topic altogether. I assure you that this topic will die here in our forum without so much as a whimper anywhere else. No one will resurrect it because no one takes children or the youth seriously.

crocodile said...

I stumbled on this blog and found it quite interesting. I am a non mallu keralite, having stayed a good part of my education till post grad outside, and I have an observation.
It is probable that a large part of what you all are saying is due to population homegenity - everyone is like everyone else, and very little novelity is seen in terms of different cultures or languages. so change becomes very difficult.
In the "North" inhomegenity is the rule, " the mother is punjabi, father is maharashtrian, educated in bangalore, works in Indore" types. It is OK in such a case to be different, and people accept differences. Just a point of view!

Tinkerbells said...

Your article is amazingly true I feel....I have personally experienced this once, when our car accidentally hit another car in front which had applied brakes suddenly. The lady driving the car got out and started abusing my hubby like this "You guys come from America and think you can drive very fast...its b'cos you had a lady by your side that you were driving recklessly ...blah blah" and all the while I was wondering what had America (where we had never been to) or my presence in the car got to do with the whole situation. Now I know :P

Crocodile, I agree with you...too much homogenity is bad...hybrid societies are in general far more tolerant !!!

PCM said...

I am sorry I could not involve myself in the discussion so far because my computer was down for about a week. What the post says is very true and I feel the following are the reasons for the predicament:
The typical CK has never gone out of Kerala or has an idea of what happens there. His basic instinct is ENVY and the resultant attitude is HATRED. He hates everything he doesn't have. If his neighbour buys a new car or builds a new house, it is owing to 'blackmoney', If he marries off his daughter well, the groom is 'certain to have something wrong',if his neighbour's son gets admission through entrance exam, it is 'through manipulation;. The CK will find fault with anything and everything that he cannot possess.He knows that people outside Kerala, like in Bangalore, live a comfortable life. So, they have to be immoral. He will not do anything worthwhile to make an earning and hates anyone who lives a good life. All the latter's wealth will be attributed to 'taking bribary and immoral wife'.
Well, a student approaching a teacher to clear his doubts will be termed 'sissy', one who speaks in English will be ridiculed for 'showing off'.
As crocodile rightly pointed out, it all boils down to homogeniety and the isolated life in the proverbial well (Kundukinattile thavala)

crocodile said...

Another point is Negotiation. Ability to strive to find a middle ground. Once in Delhi, I landed in ISBT at 11.30 pm, wanted a taxi to Hotel near airport. Sardarji taxi chap said 200 bucks - I had paid 200 for the reverse direction in broad daylight, so was pleasantly surprised. When asked, he said - saab, hotelwallah will give me 150 for bringing a traveller with confirmed booking ( I could have gone elsewhere and Hotel would be waiting for me) - This is Win Win Win. I win (cheaper fare), he wins (gets 350) Hotel wins (room gets filled - and traveller doesnt 'escape" to another hotel. In kerala - it is VERY difficult to get a taxi / auto at midnignt at ANY price. Why not negotiate - its night, raining, luggage, christmas eve - ergo 200 bucks for 2 km. But there is no attempt to negotiate - just a blunt refusal. Its is more in the capital, not so much in calicut. Inability to take no for an answer is a gift - it leads to a search for win win situations. everyone has to learn it - taxi driver to the CM. That is another problem. Thats why kerala loses out in development issues, I feel.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion: First of all Dog's Own Country? that's too cheap; when some one compare u r writings and observations the title is too cheap. It’s not up to u r blogs standards.

My thought: I personally felt the whole writing of this particular blog was spoiled because of that example “character of Bangalore.” Because we all know and seen maturity of people over here when Kannade actor died and many other instances.It would have been better, if u don’t try to label Bangalore is better than Kerala,

My View: “ck” KIND of people is every where not only in Kerala because this is INDIA.

Very good blog, keep writing. All The Best.

Nariyal Chutney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nariyal Chutney said...

@ crocodile : The win/win siutation that you have quoted seems to be too generalised for Delhi based on an experience with one taxi driver in ISBT in Delhi.You can hear the blunt refusal in Delhi , Mumbai and Chennai not only in Kerala. Taxi and Auto drivers are the worst in Chennai in India. But does that mean that Tamilnadu is on a backtrack in the development front . The win / win attitude exemplified by Stephen Covey has to come from within each individual from taxi driver to CM and there are lot of people in Kerala with the same attitude .It is another question how we can cultivate that attitude in each individual.

Nariyal Chutney said...

"I dont know when people of Kerala will realize that goodness is being respectful and truthful to your own conscience, and not put up a show for the "society" and do something else when nobody is watching." - You have hit the nail on the head MC.

As Far as the serials go they seem to be the technologically advanced new version of cheap "Ma" magazines from Kottayam . Some how so many people in Kerala beleive that whatever is portrayed in the serials is true and does not think what really happens or who causes it , the points to which you have drawn attention here.Another symptom of closed behavior of closed minds in the "homogenous" society where everyone wants to be like others and believe in "Nadodumbol Naduveodanam".It is the same thing what jiby has called as individualism where we have stopped listening to ourselves and gave more weight to the words of others and society . When somebody tries to be different from the society the instinct is ENVY and the attitude is hatred as Prof.Menon has pointed out , a reason due to which everybody remains a conservative Keralite inside Kerala but chnages to another self to relieve themselves of the frustrations that they have experiences as a CK inside Kerala .Hopefully as you said most probably the next west will be in Kerala (Read Kochi) and it may spread through the entire state and the attitude may change.

It seems that most people who post over here agree with the fact that Kerala society is closed to the outside changes and people are more bothered about what society will think on theor doings rather than what they really want to do?
We have been debating this repeatedly in so many posts . In fact most posts/examples seem to be symptoms of this closed behavior that we have experiences . So many of us agree with the fact that our attitude and behavior chnage as soon as train enters Coimbatore or flight crosses Shayadri hills. Why is it like this ?

We have debated symptoms for long. What can be constructively done to change this attitude and perception ? Any ideas..

crocodile said...

@nariyal,
changing societies is by nature very difficult, unless change comes from within - I believe time, and non resident and returning keralites will bring about change by itself. May take decades. Just look at Bihar, can you even begin to guess that Magadh, Buddhism and Ashoka happened there? These are secular cycles - if you read peter turchin's War Peace and War - he says thats a cycle too.
Just so prosperity leads to complacence leads to poverty leads to hard work leads to prosperity.
Takes time, thats all.
The Blog is symptomatic of early efforts at change.

Nariyal Chutney said...

@ crocodile : You are right . But what has been argued in the post and to which most of us agree is that "non resident and returning keralites " when they go back become CK's and try to be a part of the homogenous society by imbibing the homogenous symptoms. The experience that tinkerbells has poined out and the stares that you may get if you walk through any town/village in Kerala wearing what is supposed to be quite normal in India seems to be getting worse every time. Usually the "non resident and returning keralites " become tired of all this after sometime and try to be a part of the homogenous society.That is what is bothering me . Never mind , hopefully it may take some time as yu said and the future seems to be bright :)

PCM said...

@narialchutney
The moral standards of the average Keralite cannot be judged by what we see in the serials. The 'Ma' weeklies, as you have said, have done a lot to erode the attitude of the people. In these, every other person, whether it be a woman or a man, is immortal and is in search of an opportunity to 'trespass'. If you believe the authors of these stories, every woman loves to be raped and every man is waiting for an opportunity to do so. Illegal affairs are carried on to a breaking point. No one in the story, or serial, is certain about the 'fathership' of the child.
These are only stories and is not a factual depiction of the Kerala society, but it is fast setting up an unwelcome trend among the people, of suspecting everyone else of immoral behaviour.

sJ said...

Why are we against TV serials?
Its another persons point of view(director or script writer).You can agree or disagree or just sit back and enjoy it as another story. I dont see serials because its too slow and hence bores me.I do see alot of Tv though. If they are discussing extra marital or pre marital affairs I would say its a step forward atleast. Some one is talking about it.I cant say whether its happening or not in kerala but thats the beauty of stories right? You can discuss fiction or nonfiction or a mixture of both. From the admission of bloggers itself these serials are immensely popular.why trash a popular pass time then. Soaps are popular in all societies. Kindly dont expect every one to discuss theory of relativity or keynesian economics all the time .The opinion about 'ma weeklies'- where the stories have protagonist always trying to jump the line of morality..... I thought these situations are discussed by all our celebrated writers in atleast a dozen of their stories. Would they all be called as Ma writers? I remember those ma weeklies had a large circulation and may be they still do. Probably will be so in all societies too.Those cheap weeklies(money wise at least) made a big market of readers when all the literary figures were selling next to nothing or lamenting about malayalees loss of interest in books. I know popularity doesnt make a vice less evil. But question is, is it a vice to read "ma weekly"? Some care to watch NatGeo, some are addicted to 'sthree' .For some both are waste of precious time.
The debate on 'Are the serials making CK a jealous, lazy imbecile' is some thing to be argued about.Did CK came first or the serials?

മാവേലി കേരളം said...

Dear Abhishek
i was busy. Yes, what you said was that the Kerla teachers do not do their job well, when it comes to sex-education. Then why is the dep. of education not taking them to task? More than anything the teachers are violating the code of conduct of employment.What code of condcut?

It is not an exageration that children as young as 7 are exposed here to sex-education, so that they can avoid the risk of being attacked by the sexual predators.

The elders are corrupt.So the youngsters are burdened with the task of preotecting themselves. All point to one thing lack of morality.

Your conclusion was painful. That the children and the youth are not having the power to push forward their own causes for they are neglected. I also agree to that.
honestly what are the problems of Kerala?
I would like to embark on a project to look at our strengh and flaws as a state and as a people.
So long as we pretend that we are right and good becasue we are conservative (think like our ancestors of many generations back), that is a flaw.
caste and class descrimination is another flaw.

please read my new blog and sent your comments if possible
http://whatkeralais.blogspot.com

Nariyal Chutney said...

@Crocodile: "The Blog is symptomatic of early efforts at change. "

@PCM:"The moral standards of the average Keralite cannot be judged by what we see in the serials."

Serials though is not a measure of moral standards and is one persons point of view generally creates an effect on society .

People like us who came together through blogs, are the minority that has escaped being neutered through social pressure and blog is an avenue to shout wide and loud.

But somehow it is ironic that the shout is not that loud :? so that it can be heard and understood by all those people who watch serials.

PCM said...

I am not discounting the excellent service done by the Ma weeklies in spreading literacy - I mean, the ability to read - among the lower class of people. But my point is that it gives the people the feeling that everyone is immoral and 'flexible'. This is perhaps the reason why advances are made in the public as evidenced by Parvathy in her survey. The serials, likewise, establish the occurrance of iillicit relations among the middle/upper class, which is not true in 90% of people. The stories need a thread and it thrives only on playing the base sentiments of people.

Sanjeev said...

I felt comments in the original post and subsequent comments are very much stereotypical. I don't see a point that anyone is trying to solve a problem here. Many of them are trying to just gossip and laugh at others. What they don't understand is they are doing the same! People are trying to project themselves as 'good' guys and laughing at others.

I can prove that some comments in the original post are exaggerated and a reflection what they have done or currently doing! For example, every year alcohol consumption sees significant growth in Kerala. What I see is people get along with their own small groups and drink/smoke. Ask the bar owners! Some people might try to hide those activities from their parents/relatives for different reasons(too much advise?).

And if you look at the statistics, number of love marriages are increasing every year. That means more and more people are NOT trying to hide their 'love'. Some people might try to hide from others for different reasons.

And yes, its true that our people are 'socially educated' as others in the developed world. But I can see more and more people trying to be honest officers and trying to obey our laws. No place is perfect
for that matter.

I am not trying to say Malayalies are perfect or they are doing everything right. There is of course room for improvement. But for that to happen we need to act than blog! Go out there and set you as an example and educate few people around you. They might take it if they think what you say is right!

silverine said...

"But for that to happen we need to act than blog! Go out there and set you as an example and educate few people around you. They might take it if they think what you say is right!"

@Mind Curry: You know he is absolutely right... so let him lead by example while we will all follow.

:p

MC said...

@ sanjeev - very true..the whole funda of this blog is creating awareness. thank god you at least think there is a NEED to change! a lot of others think NOT.

anyway, i am sure we can all do our bit..blogging according to me, will create awareness and at least implant a thought in every reader, even if he or she does not act or agree to the good points right away. i will definitely try and do my bit as well, apart from blogging that is.

@ silverine - :) absolutely right! we need more leaders like sanjeev.

tHoMManDi said...

I kind of like the things u write in this blog - except for that 'kerala is bad and everywhere else is good' attitude. I am optimist.

There are lot of things i like about the society in which i grew up. There are a lot of things i lament too.

First let me talk the good things.

From my experience, it is difficult to find a more egalitarian society in India. The workers and not so better off people enjoy a very good standard of living.

Then there is the concern for education. Society has developed an apetite for education, and thats good.

Then there is religious tolerance and secularism in society. I find it sometimes troubling when my north indian friends tend to stereotype other communities in a negative manner. I find it shameful when they keep the thought of caste and colour when they talk about people. They have not experienced friendships where their group used to consist of an Antony, a Fahad, a Rini, a Sreekuttan, a Divya,... Society is MUCH more homogenous and the homogenity is taken in a positive fashion here.

And my heart still stands out for that group of men who selflessly tried to free this society from its fuedal shackles by taking up the cause of revolution.

But then there are things that i lament. And i think these are problems that affect not only malayali society but indian socity in general.

First is about relationships. Society doesnt seem to accept romance as natural. It seems to see it as an attempt of some pervert to get down with a girl or as a mistake being commited by two immature/rebellious kids(however old they may be). I feel once we have lesser number of singles in society the pervertism of society is bound to change.Someone who falls in love is said to be 'thoughtless of family and family's reputation'.

Next thing is about freedom of the individual. Society seems to think that children are to listen endlessly to their parents and not excercise freedom of thought or choice. Their education, career, marriage, and everything seems to be expected to be in their parents' hands.

Then there is alcoholism. That seems to be the outcome of non productive work, or lack of productive avenues.

Then there is also this 'mind your own thing'. People seem to be interested in what someone else is doing. Be it neighbours, relatives or their own children's personal lives. People love giving advices/scolding for 'mistakes' but refuse to turn their eye inwards. Ive always felt its better to be mute than be an irritation.

So i gues there are some things in society that have to be rectified. Its bad to keeo in mind the weaknesses or shortcomings of our society but also important to see the good things of our society.

Undroos said...

Well,I guess most of these comments arise from the fact that they are simply jealous.It rises from the deeply rooted inferiority complex of the so called malayalee.Since they cant,they wont let others do so.

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