A 21st century Adiga’s appeal to Kannadigas

Alarmed as every right-thinking Kannadiga should be at the State’s emerging politics, Aravind Adiga, the Booker Prize winning Kannadiga, pens a passionate appeal in The Sunday Times of India, titled ‘Kannadigas, stand up for Karnataka’:

“The source of this crisis is cash. It has been flooding into this state. Some of the new money is from the IT and real estate sector, but a large part comes from the mining interests in the north….

“Culture, in the south of India, has always been a bulwark against money. Sadly, just when he needs it most as a defence, the Kannadiga sees his language and culture being eroded everywhere….

“Our sense of who we are has unraveled. There is money, but there is no pride in Karnataka any longer. The cultural identity of the state is fraying, and needs to be reinforced.

“I appeal to those who have migrated from the north to teach their children the Kannada language, and to learn something about Kannada culture. Please develop some sense of ownership and belonging in Karnataka — for the sake of your own children.

“Tamilians care about Tamil Nadu, and Malayalis about Kerala. Kannadigas, wherever they are — inside the nation or in Silicon Valley— must become more active. Many excellent NGOs have sprung up across the state, and if you spend a few minutes scanning the internet you will find one that is right for you. Strengthening the Kannada cultural identity is another part of the solution.

“But do pay attention, my fellow Kannadigas — Gowdas, Murthys, Sheikhs, and D’Souzas, all of you. Ten years from now, if the residents of Bihar tease you for coming from India’s most lawless state, don’t say that you had no warning.”

Photograph: Fiction Writers’ Review

Read the full article: ‘Kannadigas, stand up for Karnataka’

Also read: All you wanted to know about Aravind Adiga