Friday, February 19, 2010

Same same ...but different


A friend said he wouldn't want to be seen out on Valentine's day for fear of the Ram Sena. Recently, I was out with a bunch of friends when a group of men with sticks threatened to attack the ''girls''. We joked about it and called them the Ram Sena boys.


Ofcourse ,Bangalore is divided – the pulsating , spiraling IT world and the unchanging  old city.


Men are threatened by the new age financially independent women who seem to earn more with their white collar jobs than them. Locals are apprehensive that immigrants are taking all the jobs. The South Indians suddenly unite in all this and claim that the

North Indians are brash , loud and ''spoiling '' Bangalore's culture.

Envy is at the heart of it all. More important than envy however is economy and politics.


If the Shiv Sena tries to collect   the inner rage of the impoverished, unemployed or in some other way discriminated Marathi speaking person to control a metropolis then in another part of India, the richer Telengana region doesn't want to share it's resources with the rest of the state.


It's same same but different everywhere in the world.


While in a tram in Basel, Switzerland one day, a working class man starting screaming at two men who entered the tram. He was angry and hateful, the old man, I could tell even though the nuances of language were lost to me. The men he was screaming at were Germans.


One of the  rich looking German men said to the old man ''ok , ok'' and tried to calm him down but in vein. An Indian man intervened and started speaking in German. All this while, I was getting line by line translations from C. The old man calls the Indian man a black dog.


I looked petrified by this point so the Indian man in his very Indian man way came up to me and said in slurred speech (he was drinking) ''It's all ok ..don't worry.''.


It turned out that the screaming old man was telling the Germans  to leave Switzerland. Ever since the EU's policies changed, Germans have been coming to take high profile jobs in Switzerland which has created a lot of resentment among the locals and hence animosity towards the Germans.


But we are all human and we need money and we envy.


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