‘Peninsular arrogance + contempt for the North’

M.S. PRABHAKARA in The Hindu:

“A recurring theme in much of the analysis of the recent political drama in Karnataka is that the ‘dirty politicians’ have brought disgrace to the glorious history and heritage of the State and its people, bringing them down to the level of Bihar, the very nadir of ‘dirty politics’….

“Such assumptions about the exceptional nobility of the character and sensibility of the Kannada people necessarily have to have as an extreme contrary contrast the despised other. This, conveniently, is Bihar. Unlike those nasty others, we in Karnataka have always taken the high road of political morality and virtue….

“Has contemporary Karnataka any claims on this imagined heritage of loyalty and fair play towards the vulnerable? In actual fact, Karnataka’s politics has always had its seamy side going back even to the halcyon days of the princely state of Mysore, now viewed nostalgically as having been immaculate, uncontaminated by ‘dirty politics’.

“With such an authentic and unbroken tradition of political skulduggery and very little social conscience, why is Bihar so frequently cited in deploring Karnataka’s seamy political drama? Perhaps peninsular arrogance and contempt for anything north of the Vindhyas, once seen as the exclusive vice of the Tamil but now assimilated by the more prosperous and successful Kannadigas, may be the explanation.”

Read the full article here: Our own exceptionalism

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Karnataka, Bihar of the South?