WOMEN HATERS OF KERALA

this week saw the lowest level to which malayali society could fall , at a felicitation event at the trivandrum airport , mrs sunanda pushkar was attacked by a few perverts , at the pretext of welcoming her. this is not an isolated event  , in a state where women out number men , the ego of the minority are always on show , whether it be the crowd at the bus stop or the ranjini haridas haters on facebook it all boils down to the ideal concept of what a woman is supposed to be. ironically these so called traditional values the moral brigade dwells on is not even indian , but a crude imitation of the victorian society. what else could explain the fact that in a region where women rarely covered the upper body ,  the women are crucified for the dressing choices they make and  where a matriarchal society always existed a free willed woman is considered a whore. all this comes down to the way we as a society have evolved post independence.

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this attitude is more an issue in the southern districts of kerala and among  particular communities of malabar. the south was the region first to embrace the missionary education and the accompanying value system of the victorian era .these new set of moral guidelines were worlds apart from  what existed , the imbibition of these so called moral values where slow and steady . on the heels of christian missionaries the hindu reformation movement  also adopted a similar stance resulting in the universal accreditation of these practices. and sadly it still remains as the ultimate authority.muslims of malabar were the most egalitarian of the sect in india , women were the pillars of the community  , sadly the gulf boom put an end to that world. malyali men in arabia saw a different brand of islam which they adopted with vigour , introducing purdahs and hijabs. within the span of a decade the community have become more global in following the extreme views of islam , abandoning the moderate views which it developed over centuries. a whole new generation have been brought up in this fold , that is why one of my lady friends who exceled in studies commented on the sunanda pushkar episode as “if she would have worn a purdah this would not have happened” .

a reformation of these archaic laws must and will happen as we as a society become more globalized , till then these acts are bound to increase , what we can hope for is nothing like this turn more brutal.

CULTURAL REVOLUTION

kerala was once the destination for immigrants , from jews seeking freedom from persecution to arabs in search of famed black gold.post independence its reversed, we now export people to all parts of the world. a lot have been discussed about the gulf boom and its implications , but not much about the IT boom and the indian growth story . valluvanad from british times have seen its bright ones board trains to madras  never to return. this migration peaked in the 80s then stopped owing to the gulf boom , but late 90s have seen it return.

out of the nearly 40 students in my batch at school all except a handful have gone the IT way. this must be the true for the most among gen Y.  bangalore which is the face of new india attracts most of these young graduates followed by chennai .the booming economy and the weird  insistance on the parent’s side for the children to be engineers have accelerated this to such an extend that its hard to spot a young face at family functions.most of the educated , upper caste middle class families have no young ones at home . many of our family friends are among this “middle people” . middle class, middle aged at home staring at a post retirement life , lonely at home.

the full effect of this mass movement of young people will not be evident in the immediate future but as the parents age the social implications will be severe. it will have catasrophic effect on the cultural  set up of malayalis . ways of life , caste and cultural traditions will be lost for ever .The urbanisation will result in cultural and lingistic homogenisation  with  hinglish replacing malayalam and punjabiyat replasing malayalitvam.

this trend is sure to continue and is hard to reverse . all we can do is to prepare ourself for this big revolution just round the corner ready to adapt to this new world with minimal conflict.

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