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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inspire....Don't Frighten

In 1995, when I invited home a non-Brahmin friend, that too, a girl; I was breaking several rules of an orthodox mindset. When I walked along with my best friend on the street near my house in Surathkal (Near Mangalore), I recall many eyes, anxiously gleaming through the windows of their homes; perhaps they were judging us, or may be many stories originated in their creative minds. Even though I was the first, at home to do so, my parents did not object it; I would want to believe that they have understood friendship in a much broader way than the others of their own generation and not just being tolerant.

Only few years later, there was a major riot due to a Hindu girl’s involvement with a Muslim boy; their personal matter was forcibly made public, followed by a major riot. Apparently I knew both of them but we, without any prior consulting, unanimously choose to ignore this event rather than scrutinizing it. I felt then and still feel that it is a personal choice of an individual of what he or she does with their lives. Their parents or responsible people in the family can guide them if need be; it does not require public attention.

Today, as I see on news channels, video clips of the attacks on a pub in Mangalore; College going boys and girls being hit and tagged with ugly names by the attackers; it brings back these old memories. The attacker’s claim that their intention is to prevent bad western culture superseding ours and i very much appreciate their thoughts; but according to me this is simply not the way to execute their intentions.

If an awareness of Indian traditions and culture has to be brought among youngsters, then inspire them; motivate them through cultural programs, talks and importance of our culture and tradition, not by instigating in them, fright. Fear has and will never bring a positive change; Hitler perhaps is a lesser example for them I guess.

If one wants to sustain our traditions, let they initiate programs to uplift our life style, our folk arts, our culture. More initiation such as Alva’s Virasat, cultural programs, Yakshagana, awareness through Pravachana and talks are needed; not through mob attacks.

And may media once in a while start presenting the better side of Mangalore such as recently held internationally acclaimed- Virasat (Cultural fest) and phenomenal achievements by Dharmasthala Veernedra Hegde. Three achievers hailing from Mangalore and Udupi are among the Padmashree awardees this year; Dr. B.R. Shetty (Founder & CEO of New Medical Centre Group of companies since 1975), Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Bannanje Govindacharya (Vedic scholar).

Media should also learn to present some of these many good qualities of Mangalore apart from highlighting the name during attacks and tagging it as Mangalore Taliban.

19 comments:

  1. Hi Ajeya,
    Very rightly said that we have to preserve our culture by inspiring and not by frightening. There are have to be more number of cultural programs, talks, discussions on and off media (as you have already written) to ignite our generation minds to also think about our culture and country. Thanks for nice post :).

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  2. ewww Mangalore Taliban??
    i didnt know that news. so scary neee ajeya chan...
    enjoyed looking at beautiful indian people in that photo album.
    thank you very much!!

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  3. Mahesh - Yes.

    Niki - Ya..I mean the media has named the attack as - Mangalore Taliban. Well its really bad the way they protray and spoil the names of a place by giving such names. See this is the effect i am exactly talking about, to outsiders, it will give a kind of picture that there is a Taliban kind of influence in Mangalore.

    Ya the Cultural fest will be cool

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  4. Inspiring post. And very rightly said, Ajeya.

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  5. That was a sad incident, and we call ourselves tolerant!

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  6. True! and I do agree to your points.

    But what I can never understand is that the media’s (especially the news channels) role, they are indeed sick & many a times highly irresponsible. Whatever happened in Mangalore is for sure unfortunate but what’s that the media is trying or maybe they are creating many folds business for themselves?

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  7. @Cuckoo - Thanks

    @Mridula - True

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  8. Alok- Very true....Media is known to exaggerate things and simply hype things out of proportions. I am not saying they should not cover such attacks, but they should not exaggerate it and effect the reputation of the town or country. For the most westerners today India is a slumdog Millionaire.

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  9. Contd....Do we see any positive things in todays news? Does that mean there isnt any growth happening? I was just comparing - The HIndu & Times of India...in Satyam case or Bomb blast or Obama becoming president to this Mangalore attack....The Hindu has been very decent in covering these news and have not over exaagerated issues like Times of india has done.

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  10. The atrocities in the name of religion...
    Well written post!

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  11. I agree Ajeya , Brute force is not the answer.
    On the media subject : These days there are so many stupid channels - just yesterday they were running this story of "Pak terrorist" and I couldnt believe it the way they were sensationalizing the whole clip....!!! It was quite disgusting....!! Who are their target audience - or have we succumbed to that level that only these kind of news appeal. I am clueless!!
    And then every bit of information - becoming NEWS and getting repeat telecast - whether its TV or paper, that is also amazing. One would hope that media would show some restrain and maturity.

    Very well written post !!

    Tk care ~~

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  12. @Bendtherulz - True..There is hardly anything postive...By the way...wats the issue with your blog profile? not updating blogs either...do you have a new location?

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  13. Hey Ajeya,
    No I havent moved to new location :)) - just too lazy after a hectic travelling these past 2 months.

    Hope to update from next week....!! Thx for checking.
    Happy weekend - yup my weekend is starting today :))

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  14. Ajeya-

    coming here after a long time....very sad to know about mangalore taliban. Have been hearing more about Mangalore happenings of late.

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  15. i deliberately didnt want to blog abt this..as I felt that its so easy to skirt the real issue ..very good post ajeya

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  16. Long time no new post? But then probably life is hectic?

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  17. Mridula - :-) Will update soon.

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