Will the north Indian onslaught on south Indian society and the south Indian people ever end? This is the primary question that this paper seeks to analyze and answer. History is replete with instances of Aryan infiltration and subsequent efforts at domination of the Dravidian people, three of which stand out as inflection points. By studying these three and other events, an attempt is made to understand the viral nature of the Aryan society growth.
What is also noteworthy is certain constancy in the motivation behind these attacks as well as the evolution of the nature of infiltration. An unfortunate change in the reaction of the Dravidian people to these Aryan movements is also observed during the same period. What are the lessons to be learnt for the Dravidian people in general and policy makers in particular forms the essence of this paper.
The first onslaught
We begin our journey with the first Aryan onslaught which occurred during the Vedic period. Certain aspects during this revisit shall be conspicuous by their absence – aspects such as date, location, ethnography and evidence (either as archaeological discoveries, documented history or legend). In fact, any allusion to these aspects has been deliberately avoided. Why? This shall be clarified subsequently.
Moreover, the word ‘invasion’1 in our discussion does not mean or connote an act of aggression. For instance, we use the word in the same manner as we do to describe the ‘advent or entry of technology in our homes’. So, the phrase ‘Aryan invasion’ in our discussion denotes an ‘infiltration of’ or ‘infection by’ one culture over another. And therefore, the question that we ask ourselves at this stage should not be the occurrence or the nature of the invasion, but rather the existence of two separate cultures.
It is not only of academic interest, but also somewhat of a relief to note that those of who support an ‘invasion theory’ as well as those who oppose it seem to agree on one aspect – that of the existence2 of two groups. It seems that supporters of the AIT opine that the Indus valley culture was pre-Aryan. Those against such a theory opine otherwise. Can it not be possible that both parties are right or wrong at the same time if it can be proposed and considered that the Indus valley culture was not pre-Aryan, but an Aryan modification of a pre-existing pre-Indus culture?
The second onslaught
The second major onslaught began in 1947 with India gaining freedom from British colonialism; gained momentum and reached a crescendo in 1950 with the framing of the Indian constitution. Here we have adequate and undisputed records of the north-south conflict, the imposition (and consequent opposition) of Hindi as the national language being the most visible of the lot.
In a sense, the second wave has not petered out because we are discussing time as measured in decades and not millennia as in the case of the first onslaught. In fact, the spirit of Periyar E V Ramaswamy Naicker’s “Self respect movement”3 is as non-Aryan as it is considered to be non-Brahmanical. The political developments today are a reminder that the second onslaught continues unabated. It is a reminder that the hegemony of the north on policy (both business and public policies) making still infuriates the south.
For the insensitive north Indian ‘Madras’ encapsulates south India and ‘Madrasi’ personifies a south Indian. Our ‘national’ anthem itself relegates the entire south to one word – “…Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha Dravida Utkala Banga…”
When Lata Mangeshkar sang ‘Ae mere watan ke logon’, it supposedly reduced Jawaharlal Nehru to tears and this is how an allusion was made to the south –
“…Koyi Sikh koyi Jaat Maratha
Koyi Gurkha koyi Madrasi…”
The third onslaught
The third onslaught is the indiscriminate and uncontrolled infiltration and subsequent inhabitation of south Indian cities by north Indians. Generally, south Indians have been seen to be socially, culturally, morally, intellectually, politically more refined and progressive than their north Indian counterparts. South Indians have also been known to be less aggressive and more tolerant of other cultures and languages.
Unfortunately, north Indians, who have been facing issues of lack of education opportunities, lack of employment avenues, unpleasant climate, shortage of natural resources, lack of infrastructure, bad governance, lack of civic amenities in their land have been migrating incessantly into south India.
South Indians welcomed them as guests with an open heart. South India, with its renowned educational institutions, abundant economic, commercial and industrial opportunities, rich natural resources chief of which being water, enviable infrastructure such as roads, electricity, public transport has and will continue to sustain its children – both local as well as migratory.
Unfortunately, north-Indians have been breaking this trust by blatantly misusing south Indian resources, amenities and facilities. More seriously, they have been taking undue advantage of the tolerance and soft nature of south Indians by showing no respect at all for the people, culture, society or amenities.
It has been noticed time and again that whenever a south Indian resides/ works in north India, they are meted out shoddy second hand treatment despite (and most probably because) of their soft nature. They have no choice but to learn their (north Indian) languages and mould their (south Indian) habit according to the north Indian culture. While such treatment is condemnable, south Indians have never resorted to similar behaviour to north Indians. In fact they have never compelled them to learn Dravidian languages.
However in the effort to be globalized hosts, recent developments4 have shown that south Indians are getting alienated and marginalized. And these observations are not just restricted to a particular section of the society. The displeasure of north Indians infiltrating and corrupting the fabric of the south Indian Bangalore society is evident across demography. For instance,
1. Native middle class Bangloreans are disappointed and angry at the local authorities, who have been blatantly (and by supposedly accepting hefty bribes) allotting sites in Bangalore at a premium to north Indians, who yet find the rates affordable. This in turn has artificially raised real estate prices (even builders seem to prefer to deal with north Indians, who have deeper pockets and are less eager to bargain as compared to resident Bangloreans who are aware of the valuation) beyond the reach of resident Bangloreans.
2. At a micro level, even roadside hawkers of fruits and vegetables, auto rickshaw drivers prefer to deal with north Indians (easily identifiable by their inability to converse in Kannada), who are unconcerned about inflated prices or doctored meters.
3. According to certain confirmed and reliable sources, most of the recruiters and HR managers in Bangalore-based IT companies are north Indians who offer jobs in Bangalore to candidates from their states, while asking Bangalore candidates to relocate to cities outside Karnataka.
4. Finally coming to that section of society, which has probably been affected and disadvantaged the most – the youth belonging to economically weaker, lower middle class families (SEC C and below) have been witnessing the love child of globalization – the BPO sector explode and flourish before their eyes. Over the last seven years they have seen affluent north Indian youth pursue a lavish lifestyle (wear branded clothes, sport the latest gadgets, drive the latest cars, frequent the most happening pubs and cafes and work in swanky offices with glass facades) right before their eyes and in their own land, while all they can do is simply stare and silently desire. Marginalization could not have been so intense in such a short time nor would it get exposed in such an explicit manner – the rioters in April 2005 targeted only those buildings that had the latest architectural feature – glass facades: a feature they identified with globalization and alienation.