THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Greatly Inflated Mallu Ego

Today i saw an ad on a malayalam television channel about a vegetarian curry powder from an apparently well-known company in Kerala. The theme of the ad was about how other companies are mixing "non-vegetarian" extracts to make their vegetarian products more tastier, and how only this company's products are pure and tasty.

The concept brought to my mind a very infamous characteristic of us malayalis, one that we cannot really be proud of. Many people have related the "crabs in the can" theme to malayalis. And in some aspects its strikingly true. We have this nasty habit of trying to "look" better by putting others down. Instead of focusing on our own deficiencies (at least the ones that are correctable) and trying to improve ourselves, we always expose the flaws of other people, and then try to look relatively better of (or probably console ourselves).

While our politicians are the biggest trendsetters for this sort of trashy attitude, it seems to have caught on with the people in general as well. It is this same false prestige that leads to so many of our woes, including the deeply instilled sense of casteism, communal divisions, and gender inequalities.

Some of the comments to posts on this blog also point towards this characteristic. You can see scores of comments about how Kerala is better than Bihar and UP in many aspects. When we talk about how malayalis mistreat women, we dismiss it by talking about Delhi. If its about hartals, we see comments about the farmers strike in France. If we talk about personal freedom, we get comments comparing ourselves to Iraq and how better off we are. We try to focus on all the ills and troubles of everyone else, and try to cover up our defects, while we, as a state, sink further down.

I remember a forum on development in Trivandrum, where almost for a year people celebrated the widening and beautification of a half-a-kilometer stretch of road in the city, and termed it as the "model road". Every day there would be pictures of that stretch from various angles. And alongside that there would be bitter comments about how Kochi roads are congested and pathetic, which made for greater celebration.

I think this is a very laughable way to look at ourselves, while we gloat ourselves claiming to be 100% literate (which itself is a very silly claim in my opinion!) and the malayali culture being so superior to everybody else. I think this false sense of pride and inflated ego really holds us back from progress, and is one of the biggest reasons why we get stuck in time.

Agreed we have a great culture and tradition, but it should not be something we hold on to obsessively and bring ourselves down by disallowing change and fresher perspectives.

Thanks to Silverine for this link. Absolutely classical malluism.


68 comments:

mathew said...

So true..I have seen such silly prejudices in many forums...where else can we find communities in social website which advocates trivial or infact sadist comparison between cities within the state for the sake of false pride...On one hand its good if development planks are built on aspirations to have facilities seen in another city/state..But at the same time it is childish and deplorable when such thought are fueled by negative egos..

The best example of such tendencies from politicans are seen in most goverment websites..We have more photos of a minister being garlanded..or him laying project foundation stone..or giving a speech...than the project itself!!
compare it with any other website of a project elsewhere you would notice so much of "self-patting"!!

I hope this post should be taken in the right spirit and people swallow their pride in accepting it..let change happen at the attitude level itself...

Anonymous said...

off topic - nice read ..100% literatureate ..

http://www.keralartc.com/html/future.html

Jennifer said...

Reading your posts makes me think of universal human behavior. I think it's always easier for a group and individuals to look at others for improvements. We never (rarely) like to admit we have fault or need to improve.. so this is how we put others down. This is the traits of bullies also. Thinking one is the best takes it one step further and is a bad thing. Even as an American I say this. Thinking 'we' (as Americans) are the 'best' most literate, best educated, richest, etc. But if you study world stats, anyone would see America is not ahead. Trait of too much ego is a problem too...

silverine said...

I have noticed two distinct kind of Keralites right from childhood. The type that wont encourage gossip and deliberately keeps away from gossipers and the second type that loves to gossip, show off and pull people down. While walking to church during holidays, I remember people whispering warnings when the second type of people joined us on the road. After that it would be monosyllables only from the first group. And if the second type showed off, the first group would sarcastically sigh and say that they were poor and hence could not afford whatever the second type were boasting off. Sometimes the second group would understand the sarcasm and feel small. Sometimes not. This polarization was everywhere...weddings, engagements or any other social gathering. It taught me to be wary at a very young age. So you can see how deep rooted is the trend that a six year old could fend off clever questions framed to elicit max info! :p This polarization exists now too. You can see it here! :) The first type of people are our hope. I hope their numbers swell. The second type...well I cannot figure them out. A commenter here rightly called them Ostriches!

That road incident was hilarious and sad at the same time. Sorry to have gone a lil OT rambled off!

PCM said...

MC,
Excellent post! The only thing in which the Keralaites can be better than other people is BOASTING! Each successive Government boasts of correcting the errors committed by the previous one. The present LDF Government never wastes an opportunity to give an open dig in whatever they so or do. The latest in the queue is the present announcement of the Comprehensive Life Insurance Plan announced on Gandhijayanthi Day, where the CM openly announced that this one is nothing like the ‘imperfect plan brought by the UDF before the elections’. How long can a Government go on blaming everything on the previous one?
The prices of almost everything have been increased, perhaps because ours was lower than what existed in other States! Nothing was done to correct the water shortage; everything connected with electricity has been in dire disaster. Starting from the period of involving Lavlin, no repairs have been done other than shutting down generator after generator. The only solution, according to the Minister, is Power Cut and increasing the charges. The idea of making the Board into companies is totally against our ego.
Talking of our ancient Kerala tradition, how many years should we go back to see the true Culture? The times of the Feudalism of the landlords and untouchables? The period suffering after Independence when the farm workers became landlords? The times of the workers enjoying attimari, nokkukooli and extortion? During these days of junk food, varieties imported from other States – like chappathi, Biriyani, Idli and Dosa, where have our local food items gone? With the arrival of pants, jeans, churidars and salwar kameez, where have our State Dress Patterns gone? What is real KERALA CULTURE except this boasting? Can somebody enlighten me?

Agn! Sharman said...

Dear MC

Nice read after a long time.

I too agree with most of the things you said and disagree with some. Do not want to start a debate here.

Thought I must appreciate you for putting it on the blog for people across the globe to read it.

Good luck.

(I have re-published first few lines of this article in my blog inviting people to read the rest of your articles too at www.simplymalayalees.com)

Thnx
Agni Sharman
www.agnisharman.com

Madhavan said...

Excellent blog MC,
Mallus are the biggest hypocrites on the surface of earth!They boast about 100% literacy, which is a quantitative thing, quality wise the standard of education is below the national average.Mallu's preach high morales, but deep inside it is a promiscous society.When it come's to showing off they are in the forefront.Being an NRI; I recently went for an Onam Party ; only to find more than half of the male guests suited-booted , speaking Cockney accent , and loudly boasting about their mansions, pools and 4 wheel drives! I left the party thinking the message of Onam was lost to these people.
Pulling down others for one's one self glorification is an exclusive Mallu trend. It happens in every field of Mallu life; even in humanitarian disciplines like Medicine. I have never heard a fellow doctor commenting positievely about another colleague.Buerocrats like IAS/IPS guys have 2 chips on their shoulders!! Drunken Mallu antics on board aereoplanes are a matter of cultural shame.
Unless people realise the hollowness of their actions, Mallu society is bound go down the drain.

silverine said...

Do watch Episode 33 Part A and B of Akkarakazhchakal. Very educative! :|

MC said...

@ mathew - our leaders set the example probably for the masses. i also read your post on the attitude towards blogs and bloggers. interesting.

@ jennifer - talking about bullies, thats the next level. the bully-aggressive type of behaviour is increasingly common in our state of kerala. its so evident on the streets and workplaces, and people are unnecessarily becoing enraged and violent for no reason - to some extent, this is also because of the high level of politicisation.

@ silverine - very true. i also see these two kinds quite commonly. but the gossip mongerers outnumber the rest, and thats the issue. and whats more disheartening is that majority of the newer generations are also falling into the same pit. thats where we need to intervene. the newer generation is our biggest hope for change in the right direction.

@ PCM - sir, i have lost faith in the current parties. the only choice we have is deciding which devil is better. we definitely need a new breed of leaders who are educated, knowledgeable and sensible. i believe there can be good and bad in our traditions, and we should respect and hold on to whats good, and be broadminded enough to lose whats not good.

@ sharman - thank you. and its normal to have disagreements. i certainly do not expect everyone to agree with my views.

@ madhavan - i absolutely agree 100% that we are the worst hypocrites, and that the whole 100%literacy tag is one big bubble waiting to burst. its time we came outside our covers and looked objectively at ourselves and our clan.

Drunken Mallu antics on board aereoplanes are a matter of cultural shame

and we wonder why we are mistreated by airline staff!

@ silverine - will do :)

PCM said...

Just today, I heard on the TV, our great Mallu economist, Sir Thomas Isaac (Newton?) ridiculing the Americans for passing the funds to steady the Economy! Bush did not have the commonsense to consult him before doing any such thing. Bush should have learnt from him lessons about managing financial affairs, as is evident from the achievements in Kerala since he came to power!
Blame the Central Government for the State's incompetence!

manu said...

i am not very active writer..but i do read blogs related to kerala..and have been reading this space for quiet a while now...
never seen such a frustrated group of people...i think you guys should 'DO' something about it rather than debate in and out.... at times this jus makes me wonder if you too belong to the same 'country' ( dog's or god's )...ny thoughts on something 'DO able' ??

manu

Abraham Menacherry said...

Really good and thought provoking post.

Spot on, I would say. I have nothing more to comment for you say EXACTLY what I feel is the mallu attitude.

Do keep up the good work.

MC said...

@ pcm - our leaders are leading by example. just that we have lost the direction.

@ manu - so whats "DO able" according to you? please suggest whats doable. this blog welcomes people with leadership and practical sense who can suggest ways to mend and change things in our state.

at the moment i cannot turn into an activist or politician. so from my part i am doing the best i can at this time - to write, discuss, and spread the message about what i think is right and wrong. and i strongly believe that this message will spread and create awareness among larger sections of our community, slowly but surely. in the process, there will be some people who cannot digest the truth or tolerate talking about facts. cant do much about them. this blog is not for them i guess.

thank you for the comment.

MC said...

@ abraham - thank you. its great to see that there are many of us who think similarly. certainly it means that there is hope, and its just a matter of time before our collective efforts and thoughts create enough momentum for change.

Raouf said...

Talk about hitting the nail on the head!!!

Absolutely brilliant post. Can't disagree with anything. I've mulled over a post on the mallu psyche for so long, but never got around to doing it. Primarily because, though mostly I am sure that these mallu-isms are typical to us only, but on occasions, I've this nagging doubt if most of them are true for the average Indian and some of them, and a few of them, even a common human trait. And whether, like typical mallus, we are thinking that only we have it. :D

And reading the other posts, I don't really think I can add anything to them if I decide to do a post of my own, especially on our State Festival - Hartal.

Cheerio :)

scorpiogenius said...

Good one again MC...

You know that 'ego' is a mental mechanism which grows with education, and gets hyperinflated when other defence mechanisms set in.. Its a global human behaviour; not just r/t Kerala and Keralites.. :))

This is what drives the 'model road' syndrome too; you very well know what I mean. A mother never accepts that her child is at fault in a situation, thats the best example of this mind mechanism. Dont just blame the Keralites only MC, we are victims of our success: literacy.

Jadayillatha Malayalee said...

Madhavan,

but deep inside it is a promiscuous society
Please speak for yourself and people close to you.


-Jadayillatha Malayalee

Seema said...

Apparently making curry for 3 years has not been of much help. Poor Kerala being burdened with more such initiatives. Could not make head or tail of how this creates awareness. oopps sorry may be I am dumb. Dont' have much intelligence as some people had when they were six.

"in the process, there will be some people who cannot digest the truth or tolerate talking about facts. cant do much about them. this blog is not for them i guess"

So the quoted comment is not ego eh? I have to get your version of dictionary very soon :)

Dr. Joseph Tharakan said...

Mallus are the biggest hypocrites on the surface of earth!"
From where are you quoting this?


Is this your opinion?

Pulling down others for one's one self glorification is an exclusive Mallu trend.

I disagree. I thought it was a human tendency.

Also what trend were you showing when you said..
I recently went for an Onam Party ; only to find more than half of the male guests suited-booted , speaking Cockney accent , and loudly boasting about their mansions, pools and 4 wheel drives! I left the party thinking the message of Onam was lost to these people.

It is a human tendency to flaunt,to display opulence to a certain extent.Nirakudam Thulumbula.Aadyam Nirayatte

Aren't you pulling down NRI's..and isn't the last sentence self glorification?


I have never heard a fellow doctor commenting positievely about another colleague
So you just assumed that "It happens in every field of Mallu life"??

Buerocrats like IAS/IPS guys have 2 chips on their shoulders!!
I personally have interacted with a few bureaucrats by email and they seemed very approachable.Bureaucrats in Kerala are the best I would say

I find lots of assumptions in what you say. In a post which is read by many people including non malayalees, please refrain from portraying such assumptions and generalizations as ultimate truths.Bring in numbers Mr.Madhavan, then lets talk

MC said...

@ raouf - good to see you around after a long time!

@ scorpio - yes, its time we learnt to distinguish between literacy and quality education.

@ jadayillatha malayalee, seema and dr.tharakan - are the three of you friends? :) thank you for your thoughts.

Raouf said...

MC, are you sure you haven't mistaken me for someone else? I mean, I have started blogging only recently and it's the first time I'm commenting on one of your posts. So, "good to see you around after a long time" surprised me! :O

Anyways, I'll be a regular visitor here from now on :)


Sorry to take the discussion off track, but I have to say this.
@ Dr. Joseph Tharakan & friends:
Friend, Having only recently read about your ilk from two thought-provoking posts of Mathew and Silverine, I am surprised and saddened I had to meet you so soon.
it's perfectly alright to have a disagreement with what MC wrote. After all, it's his opinion, and everyone is entitled to their's. At least on blogosphere. Why remain anonymous and rob your comments of the respect and attention they may get otherwise?

The Layman said...

@MC - while you must have quoted the vegetarian curry powder example to highlight the "crabs in the can" attitude of malayalis, I believe it is not a phenomenon associated with Malayalis alone.

It is seen everywhere especially in the advertisment industry (sprite/ mountain dew, pepsi/coca cola, speed/torque etc)

Again, you might say ..'see you are trying to look relatively better off, by putting others down'

But please note that, it is not my intention to glorify kerala. It's just that, some of the ills that are portrayed as 'highlights of malayalis' are not really so. It is a human tendency or nature that has originated as a result of the cut throat competition in today's world.

I completely agree to your last paragraph when you say..
"Agreed we have a great culture and tradition, but it should not be something we hold on to obsessively and bring ourselves down by disallowing change and fresher perspectives."

You are right..we need to go beyond ourselves to bring about a transformative change.
The only point where I disagree with you is when you portray certain human traits as exclusive ills of malayalees.

But ills are ills and need to be rectified. Let's start with ourselves and be how we want an ideal malayali to be.
If the readers of this post alone transform themselves to better people , Kerala will have a hundred (or more) better citizens.

@Madhavan - please don't quote a few incidents from your life to pass judgements on malayaless. I have had only good experience with Kerala and malayalees. Will you agree with me when I say Kerala is the best place to live on earth?

@all - my intention is not to glorify kerala. When we aim for a better kerala, we should also keep in mind the best that we can achieve. After all, man is an animal inside and even the best of societies will have its own set of domestic problems. This is not to discourage anyone. But the truth. Humans have it in their inherent nature to fight, compete,
put down etc.. And if lucifer (satan) could be born out of a group of angels then even the most idealistic society will have its lucifers.

The comparison with others/better states or countries is to simply portray this fact. It's not always for self glorification.
To say, "even with the best social/environmental conditions, these places have its own set of problems. And therefore we may not be that far behind or that bad when compared to what is actually achievable"

But yes, in Kerala there are a million things that can be done better. And we all want it to happen.

At least to that one thing, every one agrees unanimously :-)

silverine said...

After observing all the discussions here I can see where the confusions and rancor are arising from. There are two distinct type of Malyalees today. The born and bought up in Kerala mallu and the NRK or the mallu born and bought up outside Kerala. The former rightly think that Kerala is just another State as as they have grown there and take its peculiarities as normal. It is us NRK's who can actually appreciate the difference in Malayalees and the rest of the countrymen. I am not trying to belittle the former group of people. But as an NRK I understand the deep shame many NRK's have for being associated with Kerala and how they try to give the impression that they are not like regular Kerlites due to the ridicule you get from your peers. The ridicule comes from some outstanding traits that distinguishes Malayalees from mainstream Indians. And this is what leads to NRK's pretending not to know Malayalam or acting like non mallus. Both sides have to appreciate the situation here. Malayalees from Kerala are yet to integrate into mainstream India. Perhaps it is the geographic isolation that makes them so peculiar and different from the rest of the countrymen. We will have more arguments here and more fights till the former group appreciates the situation the NRK finds himself in.

I will get flak for this, but oh well...I have got used to it! :)

The Layman said...

"....as they have grown there and take its peculiarities as normal"
Just one correction.

I don't think they take it as normal. Perhaps the angst is lesser compared to the NRK's as they have lived with that their entire lives. So you are correct to some extent.

But again I fear this is a generalization. There might be people born and brought up in Kerala who share the same angst. Or there might be NRK's who are not bothered.

If NRK's get flak for undesirable traits of malayalis, then it's something we all should be ashamed off. And something we all should try to rectify..

But then again, I haven't seen many forums which discuss the undesirable traits of malayalis alone.. or the traits which distinguish malayalis from mainstream Indians.

What I read (and what frustrates me) is statements like "Malayalis are the biggest hypocrites in the world"

The Layman said...

There is one trait which perhaps distinguishes a malayali from the rest of his countrymen. His nature to form an opinion and criticize anything and everything (as is evident in all of us be it NRKs or RKs)

How about us trying to rectify ourselves in that trait? That's something we all can easily do. Stop criticizing ... or at least reduce it!!
And then start doing something abt the issue which we are criticizing.

For eg; when each issue comes up there can also be some thoughts on how this can be tackled by us..not Keralites/other malayalees/police/government.
But by us!
The blogging/blog reading community.
And the comments section can be used as a forum where everyone states how he contributed to that cause?
Just a suggestion!

PCM said...

@Silverine
I agree with you perfectly. Those who have not gone outside Kerala live in their own world of supremacy. For the politicians, all the developments taking place outside Kerala are just scum and worth ridicule. The people have no choice left other than the devils that contest the elections. The analogy of the frog in the well pretending that there is no world outside its premises seems to be apt.
Anyway, the discussion is hotting up. A little of the wounded Mallu Ego is surfacing in the comments. In a world of egocentrics, what is wrong in my being a little more egoistic, is the question. One quality of this Ego is the refusal to accept criticism.
In any case, all are well within Kerala. The latest news is that maximum quantity of liquor is sold from the Beverages outlets on the days prior to Hartals. More of Hartals, happier the people:; richer the exchequer. What more satisfaction does the State Finance Minister need?

Anonymous said...

Now I understand, the blog lives up to its name...
"Dog's own country"
Hope, you all know the particular behavior of the species, where one barks and the rest follow suit without any reason.
The children of Dog's own country are showing the same traits barking out things that make sense and some utter non-sense.

Ini personal attack ennum paranju aarum ivide bahalam vekkaruthu. Njan oru pothu kaaryam paranjatha.

MC- the blog is a source of non-stop entertainment for me for the past few days. ;-)

MC said...

@ raouf - you are right, there was another raouf who was a regular here before. sorry for the mistake. but great to have you with us.

@ the layman - i see it most in kerala..and the legendary "mallu=para" comparison is evidence of that. in any case, as malayalis we should try and change this and whatever other flaws we can, irrespective of whether its a national trend or human nature. on a broader sense, i love india more than kerala. but improving kerala is OUR first step towards a better india.

as you rightly said, there are a million things that can be improved in kerala. thats the beginning.

@ silverine - to a great extent thats true. but i think even within kerala, you find plenty of forward thinking, progressive, and broadminded people. it could be due to some exposure to the outside-kerala world, or the education, or something else.

the point about the ridicule malayalis draw from outsiders is a great example of how low our state has reached.

we could keep arguing forever that we are better off and there is no need for all this flak and blame. but the truth is very real, irrespective of whether we are ready to accept it or not.

@ the layman - there can be a huge difference in the intention of criticism, and thats what separates the good and the bad. our intention here is to discuss the bad and spread a larger message about how things can be improved or done better. there are enough forums and blogs to discuss how good we are anyway.

@ pcm - i have said this before i think - manoj night shyamalan must have got the idea of the movie "the village" from kerala.

@ anonymous - i am glad you understand the jest. its difficult to find a malayali who can laugh at himself.

silverine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mathew said...

Diverging a bit from the content of the blog, I have always felt malayalees are infact very much like the Jews...a diaspora so huge that has a presence in every nook and corner of the world...dominating in several spheres of life ..But unlike the Jews we were not driven out...and the question arises why??

Just a few other questions to ponder…

Why our roads are inferior in quality compared to other states?
Why do we still have the highest number of suicides?
Why do we have so much political influence in our schools and colleges?
Why do we have so many bandhs and hartals under the pretext of janangalude shabtham!
Why do we have so many lobby’s...Cochin lobby, Calicut lobby, Christian lobby, Nair lobby…the list never ends…
Do we have enough jobs in the state for every malayalee in the world?

Questions seemingly disconnected but looking at the bigger picture answers we shy away from pondering…which trickles down to our egos…an ego that stops us from accepting these facts…

Coming back to the topic…Yes. Showing off or flaunting, self glorification, back-stabbing are all natural human tendencies seen every where... I agree that there is generalization here…But I think it comes when a huge majority of people do something that is reason for this generalization…we have a huge percentage who do it and we tend to overdo it making us stereotypes of such traits outside!!
Yes we say...”Malayalee alle, jeevichu povvum”…It’s a funny one liner...but its caricature of how we manage to do!!

Some ask what difference does just writing a blog make…Yes it makes a lot of difference if it brings about a change in attitude in you and me…You know what, the trouble is many of us were hurt reading the post, me included because we hold our state dear…and I badly wish there was a change happening in the state…Just because someone is critiquing or someone happens to write from outside Kerala doesn’t make that a person any lesser malayalee…

We are 100% literate state for statistics sake...but literacy doesn’t make a difference if we use it only for writing banners all over the state…. thoyyilaali ayyikam zindabad! Let’s put the literacy to good use…

The Layman said...

@mathew - I personally felt it was a great comment Mathew.

Instead of ridiculing the attitude/people you have pointed out the problems.

"We are 100% literate state for statistics sake...but literacy doesn’t make a difference if we use it only for writing banners all over the state…. thoyyilaali ayyikam zindabad! Let’s put the literacy to good use…"

Agree 101%

How is the question?

I'm sure each and every one commenting here is more than willing to chip in!

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Mathew,

Quite unfortunate that the same high levels of literacy cause(d) some of the issues you mentioned.

Political Activism, be in schools or in the state in general(Hartals)-boils down from knowing too many rights and doing too little duties.
Mobilization movements in the state were linked to a region or a caste, the reason being mobilization was to unite people against the British.
Like today,even during those days, there had to be some uniting force/reason to mobilize, and that happened to be region/religion/caste. (Refer titles by A Sreedhara Menon for more info)

High literacy leads to higher expectations and, inability to achieve those expectations cause mental agony which at times lead to suicides. Example- taking loan to buy white-goods or to build a house and committing suicide in penury.

Accessibility to primary education facilities caused migration to Malaysia, Burma, the Middle East and the West and later to other areas. These migrations were primarily for jobs and later for higher education. And the higher education sector never took off in Kerala like the primary education sector. (Not considering the recent Professional college boom)

Summing up, better social indices were related to better literacy but that came with a baggage full of problems.

Nikhil

silverine said...

@mathew: That was awesome!

kannan said...

I am glad to see the discussions here getting more fruitful. And happy to see Mathews comment and absence of comments like that of that of meanderthal man. Good going.

k.nair @ yahoo.co.in

Seema said...

I was skeptical about replying to comments but see that rule being broken by the so called "bigwigs" of Malayalee blogworld. I am just a newbie so what the heck.
@raouf:"I am surprised and saddened I had to meet you so soon" isn't it too soon to make judgements??
“Why remain anonymous ” I gave my name so I don't know how you thought it was an anonymous comment. My name also has a meaning. It means "limit" and there is a limit to criticism. How can you save Kerala with criticism and pointing out the obvious and visible? On the contrary the blogger himself has a pseudo name! Did you miss the bloggers reply to Manu saying that he cannot be an activist?
So what are we dealing with here, a bunch of arm chair critics with the intention that I can write anything I want, please don’t comment if you don’t agree and give me kudos if you do. Take a couple of basic human behavior and throw in some self made statements and add the word Malayalam and Kerala and there you go.. You have a spicy post ready. Comments would come pouring in, debates would go on, Malayalees get classified into two or three groups and each group fight to have supremacy. If that is how Kerala gets saved then great I am with you people. What am I losing, 5 minutes of my life that’s all.. However it would have been much more appreciated if the blogger also posted some of the initiatives that were done actively or even ideas and not just writing criticisms. This blog is just like a virtual tea shop (chaya kada) where we all come read the newspaper, get into arguments and go home thinking we have done something productive today. In the end, things stay where they are.
I agree to certain things what MC says but that does not mean we should all sit down and belittle our own state and criticize it to the core without giving out any solutions.
@Manu, the layman, Mathew, Nikhil: Thanks for making sensible comments instead of coming up with “There are two kinds of Malayalees”…awww.. ;-). Shows that we have sane people around.
@MC: please don’t take it personally as I know it’s just the frustration that is coming out as a post. Actually your efforts are appreciated but maybe in your posts you can add in a hint of solutions as well or at least invite ideas from people.

phoenix said...

Seema, If you do not have a blog why not leave an email ID like Kannan? Lets see who you are. Give me your phone number and I will call you.

seema said...

@phoenix: sure take all my details.
Come over for a cup of coffee.
Phone : 001-403-542-2009
001-403-455-8807

Address-1008-1121 6th Avenue SW
Calgary
Alberta T2P 5J4
Canada.

Giving my blog name also for you curious minds..

mathew said...

@all
Just a request to shed all the tags of bigwigs or newbie’s, RK's or NRK's...and please let’s talk as ordinary people…

Some answers to a few questions raised here…

How can we put literacy to good use…?

*Spread the word around people to change attitudes mentioned earlier for good…
*Educate others about the folly in supporting any political/social movement/leaders which is detrimental for the state…Many don’t see that and blindly follow any kind of rhetoric.
*Spread the word around the youth esp. in our colleges not to fall prey for political agendas under the pretext of social awareness ...The power of blogs is here where we can reach out to substantial number of people.
*Encourage leaders including bureaucrats who actually make a difference and that would instill faith in the system... (Recently read a blog about an IPS officer who makes a difference http://www.ashok.loyolites.com/2008/08/30/saturday-night-live/)

I know the technical reasons for the problems I raised earlier and which Nikhil has answered here…But the question is why there are no corrective actions? As Nikhil mentioned the onus is on securing our rights and delivering the duties have become fringe business.
I am realistic enough not to believe that I could one fine day visit every malayalee’s home and ask them to change attitudes…neither do I have the power to tell a politician to ban politics in the campuses…it would be like asking a fish to come out of a tank so that I could change the dirty water in it…
What we could do is to understand the mistakes done in the past, try to do corrective actions in our thoughts as well as in actions (for a start mentioned in stars above)…and pass the lessons on to the future generations...and what better medium than free and open blogs!!

Let’s not discourage this blog (which I believe is an excellent outlet of ideas for a different generation for malayalees) by comparing it with a chaaya kada …though not the best of examples...even Hitler gained prominence based on talks/speeches in the beer halls of Munich…
who would have thought so back then…

Seema said...

Thanks Mathew for some workable solutions.

@MC : Courtesy Mathew I am taking back my "chaaya kada" and "bigwig" words.
Sometimes you need to go down few levels to make some people understand. If I went a little personal here it was because some bloggers who has the power to reach out to the world got fame into their head.
The Save Kerala initiative is appreciated but please use your blog power to discuss solutions and not conventional criticism.
PEACE!

PS: Please delete my contact details comment if possible as Phoenix would have noted it down by now :-)

phoenix said...

I don't need to note it down. I always knew you were the person who wrote manasinakkare dot wordpress. Just wanted to be sure. When I do feel like talking will call.

phoenix said...

Seema a.k.a SR - I have seen you in action at Mathews post on dowry, hitting out at Silverine and losing face so badly I was blushing for you. Let me sum you up for people who don't know you here. It will be a piece of cake for me let me assure you.


1.I am taking back my "chaaya kada" and "bigwig" words.

2. "It was because some bloggers who has the power to reach out to the world got fame into their head."

3."Thanks for making sensible comments instead of coming up with “There are two kinds of Malayalees”

It all boils down to taking pot shots at Silverine in the guise of concern for Kerala (sitting in Canada). I pity your miserable existence.

Kannan said...

"The Greatly Inflated Mallu Ego"

Very evident in the comment section!

Good job Phoenix. :-)

k.nair @ yahoo.co.in

Ryanna said...

Agree with Silverine here. Do check this article out.

Well said Phoenix!!

Sreejith said...

"Sometimes you need to go down few levels to make some people understand."

ha ha we all understand now! Regret to see this discussion being hijacked by vested interest for their private agendas.

Good work Phoenix!

The Layman said...

@mathew - Nice suggestions mathew. The link you provided was really inspiring. Hope there are more of them.

Some of my suggestions are:

1)"Spread the word around the youth esp. in our colleges not to fall prey for political agendas under the pretext of social awareness ...The power of blogs is here where we can reach out to substantial number of people."

We can use this power to write thought provoking stories which will inspire people in our generation (colleges, work place etc). For eg; real life stories of people YOU know who fight against the evils in our society.
All such articles could be posted here (with moderation from MC of course) as this is a more widely read blog by most malayalis.

We can also make sure it is read by more people by passing on the link, to every one we know.
Something like an online version of "Readers Digest" publicised through 'click of mouse'.


2) This is an extension to your last point. "Encourage leaders including bureaucrats who actually make a difference and that would instill faith in the system...".

We could also give/publicise contact details of such personalities provided it's ok with them. Similarly we could spread awareness about helpline numbers/emergency numbers by writing about it. We can then help spread this information through class groups, friend groups, work groups etc.

It might help if we ourselves research the efficiency of this medium beforehand.

3)This might be a little off the mark but we can conduct an online survey (maybe with the help of someone who has expertise in doing this).
Identify the worst ills which plague our society. Ask people which they think is the worst. Request their feedback on the same.

We never know what kind of solutions people might propose. For eg; robbery was increasing in my neighbourhood in Kerala. So all the families got together and hired 3 goorkhas. Robbery is considerably low now in the neighbourhood.

These are some things which I thought of. Hoping others would chip in with their thoughts.

@all - we'll never move forward as long as our contribution to the discussion remains 'putting down others'.
It's sad that a discussion has to turn out this ugly. My tip; which I have been practising while commenting on this post. Respond only to comments which you think are positive comments.

Digging out past history, accusations, supporting accustions, defending accusations, blogs/comments which promote hate against any blogger/commenter.. all this will never help us.

I read in another blog that some of that blogger's friends commented - you (malayalis) can't disagree without getting ugly. I want to prove it wrong.

As malayalis, I hope you would also want to do the same. I also hope that people who are disheartened by seeing such ugliness will not stop commenting.

After all, we want Kerala to be God's own country. Let's agree to disagree.

Sandeep Nair said...

Layman,

Why don't you address the issue here instead if addressing the rest of the commenters like a self appointed moderator? Has anyone told you how long winded and boring you are?

I was onto this lady right from the start. All her comments are veiled references. But good to see some innovative solutions being offered here.

longhinos said...

i appreciate the blog

The Layman said...

@sandeep nair - no. You are the first one. Thanks :-)

MC said...

@ all - its so wonderful to see that finally everyone agrees on one thing at least - that blogging can make a difference (however small it seems today) and that it can create awareness. appreciate that.

thank you for all your thoughts and views. its okay to have disagreements and difference in opinions. but the important point is that we should all think about the right and wrong, and about what we can do. we may not be able to do great things today, but there will come a time when we can make a difference. it may come in small ways, but thats okay. all our small contributions and actions will add up and go a long way.

i see goodness in the small acts that we do. be nice to others, be polite, show respect. help others by going an extra mile. it will only add up and create positivity. fight against wrong and call out fouls whenever you can. we may not be able to take on the might of the system just yet, but our small daily acts can create an impact if we all do it. it need not be big agendas or publishable news items. dont wait for something big to happen. we can start right now, right where you are.

Anonymous said...

This was the best discussion so far in this blog. However timely moderation could have prevented attempts to steer the discussion towards more personal agendas. MC, your intervention as moderator when necessary is a must if you want to keep the discussions here on track. Trojan Horses disguised as concerned Keralites can seriously jeopardize the purpose of this blog. I hope you actively monitor comments for sincerity from now onwards.

And I hope the next post will be about implementation of the points offered here. We need to take this forward if we were sincere about it.

Jayanthi

Pillai said...

I agree with the write up. Compared to Indian standard Kerala is well ahead but miles to go till we call ourselves a developed state. I think the most stumbling blocks to the kerala developments is the politicians over there. Referring to a Sr CPI leader comment about SEZ, one can imagine where our state is heading for? Most of our so called leaders in Kerala have no vision about the state in the next10 years. We must be ashamed that a President like Abdul Kalam came and unfolded a vision for Kerala even though he has no obligation to do so. Again the shameless politicians have no time to make those plan a reality.

The MEANDERthal man said...

The content of your post is a valid observation, however I feel that it is not just limited to malayalees. But I guess that is besides the point. I'm glad to see a healthy discussion going on here and I don't want to divert it to side issues.

MC if you don't mind, could you think of an alternate name for the blog? Is it necessary that you should call it "Dog's own country"?

Of course it is only my opinion but I prefer constructive criticism to cynicism. Hope this blog helps better our state. Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

Seema has got a valid point.Too much sweeping generalisations. God, with malayalees like silverine and mc, outside kerala, who would need enemies like shiv sena.(remember them kicking out south indians).

Two types of malayalees?????I wonder where he deduced such profanities from???

And malayalees as ego centric????but who is not???

MC with his attitude towards those who does not agree with his view, has an ego the size of the universe.

And whenever a post comes up, we can be assured of most of them's reply would be "excellent post,mc" or "spot on,mc".
Was anyone talking about hypocrisy.

And we get some anonymous people who seem to ask (????) MC to intervene when there are criticisms. wonder who these anons are.....Is it MC coming up with views in a peudo name?????

Anyway, One did see a few people (or one person in a few names) bullying seema and asking for her identity....As if her concealed identity is the reason for all the woes of kerala and this blog.

S. George Padinjare

MC said...

@ seema's uncle - thank you for your "insights". this blog is definitely for folks like you as well. so keep reading.

@ everyone - we will now close comments here since there is a new post.

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