Sep 28, 2023
Sep 28, 2023
I may sound preposterous; biased; anti-social and a cynical (old) man with defeatist thoughts.
Nevertheless, I feel India as a whole and especially Tamil Nadu, everything seems to be in excess. Be it devotion, education, entertainment, celebration; all seem to go beyond the limits of tolerance. As expected, the results of these overzealous activities only prove to be either crazy or detrimental in different forms.
In a small town in Tamil Nadu, sometime back a chariot procession around the town resulted in an unexpected electrocution and people died. There were several reasons attributed from the poor upkeep of the roads to the rains and the not so safe makeshift electrical connection caused the accident. But, soon after this accident, instead of fewer movements of this type of celebration, I started seeing more of such chariot processions in several villages and towns with greater pomp. Do our Gods expect this has to be done without fail?
Education is the most misinterpreted activity in this state. No other state in India cries hoarse like TN about the NEET exam. It had been now made absolutely into a political agenda for all the regional parties of Tamil Nadu. Here only I hear the boys or girls who either could not take the test or fail in it opting for suicide as if no other education is available. The media’s and politician’s noise and the public’s craze for this is just unimaginable.
Once it was for Engineering education. There were hundreds of colleges opened for engineering education without buildings, hostels, toilets, classrooms and teachers. I heard it right from the mouth of a student who studied engineering in one such college. Now, even after doing post-graduation, he is in some other business which had hardly anything to do with the course he had studied.
Every boy, girl and their parents are/were with that aspiration to become ‘software professionals’ and ‘working abroad’ and ultimately ‘settling’ there with their family. This was not only for the so-called brightest brains from IITs but also for anyone from the nondescript engineering college. At one stage because of the sudden eruption of ‘pink slips’ or ‘on the bench’ syndrome many opted out for sometime. Yet, still the resort for any engineering graduate is only ‘software’ profession. Again, the mass dismissal in big companies had created a stir a few years back. Now, the news item says thousands of engineering college seats have absolutely no takers.
There is hardly anything to feel proud about in the cinema industry. With OTT and various techniques of making films right from the mobile phone to the most expensive camera, we are flooded with as many useless and depressing movies as possible with least ethics, culture, decency or content. Each big or small film opens with not less than 100 shows in every city/town with screening starting even at the wee hours of the day if the star is a big one.
Classical Carnatic music is supposed to be patronized only by a group of elite population. Too many sabhas and too many artistes performing in every venue during the December festivity had been put on hold because of the pandemic for a couple years. Now, it has bounced back with full blast. Not less than 500 to 1000 concerts are to be conducted with or without an audience during this season of nearly 30 to 50 days.
The less said the better about the pomp and pageantry of our marriages and other functions. Though the Tamil Nadu population is vociferously against anything 'North Indian' and ‘Hindi’ culture, they shamelessly follow their Mehandi, Sangeet, dressing up in Sherwanis and Lehengas as their marriage costumes. Even the culinary items include more North Indian delicacies along with the traditional South Indian dishes.
Look at the new gen chidlrens’ names in Tamil Nadu. One could find hardly any name which is truly Tamil. They always include ‘ja’, 'ha', ‘sha’, ‘sa’ and ‘ksha’. I honestly doubt whether they can pronounce these names properly with their absolutely native tongue though they loathe Hindi and Sanskrit. What a double standard?
Real Estate boom in Tamil Nadu and especially in Chennai and its suburbs is something shocking to say the least. Since this is yet another industry which is politically backed by the politicians there is no way of stopping it unless the people stop buying the same. Thanks to NRIs who are bent upon buying properties in their country whether they have planned to come and settle here or not.
Gold and Jewelry have perennial takers all through the year. Murders, robbery and petty to big thefts are reported almost every day in several parts of the state and city. Many times they end up in murders also.
Merchandise of all sorts from very small to very big is growing up like mushrooms at every part and artery of the city. They vary from small food joints to major textile or jewelry shops of all shapes and sizes. Two wheeler boom almost increased multifold and so are the four wheelers. But, parking spaces are absolutely absent. Both cars and bikes are parked any and everywhere irrespective of the size of the vehilce or the space available.
Public media is at its worst and less said the better about the television channels.
The major cause for all these excesses is nothing but burgeoning population. But, neither the politicians nor the social workers or intellectuals utter even a single word about it.
Now, I dread to open the newspaper, a magazine, switch on a television channel or to start a conversation with anyone.
The questions will be invariably the following:
Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have no eligibility to answer these questions. Honestly, I don’t know whether I am blessed or cursed to be a citizen of India and especially Tamil Nadu.
More by : G Swaminathan