1 Apr 2012

Why it is better to live in the North

Aakar Patel often writes interesting stuff on the Mint. Yesterday he had a different take on the North India-South India debate. He claims it is better to live in South India. I though why not rebut this point by point and look at the other side - why I like living in the North :)

1. Aakar claims that south Indians are more knowledgeable about music. Ok. But ask them about Sufi music or Qawwalli. Zero. Name me one singer in this genre from the South.

2. He claims that the south is more inclusive about North Indians and Bollywood. In actual fact Tamil Nadu has long run a campaign against Hindi and actually discouraged showing of Hindi films till a decade ago.

3. South Indians are more tolerant of other communities. I have no idea where this come from. Karnataka has a bad track record in this regard in the last decade. And Tamil Nadu? Please refer to previous argument. Tolerance here should not just mean other religions but also other cultures. Now Kerala might be tolerant but then so is West Bengal. They do things differently there.

4. He accepts that North India's high culture is influenced by Islam. So what is the equivalent of Urdu in the south ?

5. He claims that south's vegetarianism is not oppressive. This may be true. The only eating joints in Delhi you can find beef are mallu joints.

6. Another argument is intellectual. Apparently the south is superior. Yes but they also keep to themselves and do not interact with other communities. North Indians tend to be gregarious and sharing in social interactions. How long can I discuss Coleridge when I cannot borrow sugar from your kitchen?

7. As a last salvo he puts forward this theory that south Indians know another language from a neighboring state. This is bizzarre. My father knows Tamil and understands Telegu because he migrated for work and lived in these communities. The average south indian is not more interested in learning languages. I know of north Indian families who are conversant in Punjabi and Telegu since they live in Hyderabad. In the north if you travel from Bihar to Haryana you can do with Hindi. 

He signs off by comparing Mumbai and Bangalore and giving the latter a thumbs up. And what about the winters of Delhi? How can anyone beat that?

What say ?

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