‘Parochialism offers an easy resistance to change’

The abhorable Tebbit‘s Test conducted on Amitabh Bachchan by Raj Thackeray is proof, if proof were ever needed, that parochialism is the first refuge of the pathetic.

In asking why Big B didn’t stand for elections from Bombay, in asking why he opened a school in Uttar Pradesh, the poor man’s Bal Thackeray has shown that he is a chip of the old block. The old man targetted South Indians; the young man looks North for inspiration. The irony is that Jaya Bachchan now seeks solace in the senior to blunt the junior.

Amrita Shah writes in the Indian Express:

“A traditional competitiveness with the North may underlie this resentment but studies by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the International Institute of Population Studies find that there may be a statistical basis for the perceived threat from the North. According to data analysed, inter-State migration from Uttar Pradesh has sharply increased, while a declining trend in migration has been evident from other parts of Maharashtra and neighbouring states like Gujarat and Goa. The studies also found that more migrants were arriving from rural rather than urban centres in the north, suggesting the possibility of a different stratum of migrant….

“It is absurd to expect single rather than multiple loyalties to be the norm. And it is against the law of the land and the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution to demand such tests of loyalty. At the same time, greater competitiveness and mobility brought on in a world of shrinking borders will make citizens more vulnerable to jingoistic demands of this nature. This issue may or may not blow over but in some form or the other the outsider issue will surface… Parochialism offers an easy resistance to change.”

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