CHURUMURI POLL: Are North Indians lawless?

It is an old story, the differences—real or imagined—between North Indians and South Indians. Just who comprises this great North Indian mass is a matter of dispute, but those below the Vindhyas think those up north are physically stronger, more aggressive, more fun-loving. And those in that part of the world see South Indians as more conservative, intellectual, calculating. It’s a stereotype, of course, even racist in its own way, but there are many who hold this brain versus brawn hypothesis close to their hearts.

Now, when Raj Thackeray has been stirring the North Indian pot in Bombay, the lieutenant-governor of Delhi, Tejinder Khanna, has stirred the (North Indian) hornet’s nest by asserting that Delhi has one of the highest accident rates in the country because North Indians take pride in breaking the law and getting away with it. ”It’s a specialty of people from North India. They feel proud when they break the law and get away with it,” he said. “North Indians have no traffic sense. People in the south are disciplined on the roads and have good traffic sense.” The remark has drawn the ire of such law-abiding Indians as Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mayawati.

Questions: Do North Indians have a greater contempt for the law? Are South Indians more respectful of the law? Or is this just a ridiculous generalisation because you find all types everywhere? Given the intra-country migrations happening within the country, could the lawlessness spread?

Also read: Would War have made South Indians different?