The first principle of colonization: call natives "fringe"

This is the second and concluding part of my reply to Mr. Raghavan's article in the DNA, arguing that the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (I believe this is what he means, not Kannada Rakshana Vedike as referred to by him) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are fringe groups, and that there are two "solutions" for eliminating the natives vs. migrants argument. In the first post on this topic I showed that this argument must not be eliminated at all, in the first place.

Mr. E Raghavan refers to the KRV and MNS as fringe groups and accuses them of drawing the line for cultural compliance, making outrageous demands which amount to emotional extortion.

First of all, on what basis does Mr. Raghavan refer to the above organizations as fringe groups? Are they fringe because they stand for those who form an undisputed majority in their own states - the natives? Are they fringe because they stand for the rights of the natives, the language and culture of the natives? Are they fringe because they stand for the protection and development of the natives? On what basis can anybody call them fringe?

I'll tell you the answer. It's on the basis of a deep-rooted intolerance of human diversity and the dangerous and baseless belief that unity is achieved only by the destruction of diversity. If India speaks in two dozen tongues, that is the reality of India. But once one dislikes that reality, everything which downplays that reality starts looking sacrosanct and mainstream, while everything which upholds that reality starts looking base and fringe.

What is the best way of downplaying that reality? It is to call both those who are the cause for that diversity (the natives) as well as those who protect that diversity (organizations of natives) as fringe! As soon as you call the protectors of human diversity as fringe, you become the mainstream! And since the single most important trait of the natives is that they stay put in their own states, that itself becomes fringe behavior, and to migrate becomes mainstream behavior! Extending this logic, the trivial migrant population becomes Mainstream India and the majority native population becomes Fringe India. And then it is argued that Mainstream India should be given preference over Fringe India. What a smooth swapping of titles!

With natives and those who stand for the rights of natives becoming fringe, so become the native language, the native culture, the native skin-color, the native food, the native attire, the native everything. And by the same token, everything migrant becomes the non-fringe, or the mainstream: the language of the migrants, the skin-color of the migrants, the food of the migrants, the attire of the migrants, everything of the migrants! By the above logic, 95% of Indians (who stay put in their own states) are fringe, and the 5% who do migrate for food, clothing and shelter are suddenly mainstream!

Remember one thing: when everything native is being discarded as fringe and everything migrant is being elevated as mainstream, what is in progress is colonization. Nothing less. Accepting this is accepting colonization. Accepting this is accepting death of the natives. Accepting this is accepting the argument that the Europeans are the mainstream and the native Red Indians are the fringe - in the land of the latter!

The first counter-argument which arises in the camp of Mr. Raghavan and his friends is that he's calling only the groups (KRV and MNS) as fringe, not the natives as a whole. Now this does not make sense at all, because whether you like it or not, these organizations stand for the rights of the natives in their respective states. These are legitimate ways in which the natives organize themselves to address their concerns. The natives have every right to organize themselves, don't they? If the natives are not fringe, why are their organizations fringe? Who gave Mr. Raghavan the right to decide what is mainstream?

The second counter-argument which arises is that these groups are fringe because they indulge in emotional violence (Mr. Raghavan himself argues that they do not indulge in any real physical violence). Now this is a very tall claim. If what these organizations do is emotional violence, what do you call the slow colonization of the states by Hindi speakers? What do you call the slow, state-supported colonization of Karnataka and Maharashtra by Hindi speakers? What do you call the higher status conferred to Hindi speakers by the Constitution of India itself? Is that the milk of human kindness poured on the natives in Karnataka and Maharashtra? If that is the milk of human kindness, why is this fringe?

If it were not India's political system which created the mess in which Karnataka and Maharashtra are today, there would probably never have been any KRV or MNS. Migration, as I have argued in my first post on this topic, is absolutely fine as long as it is not state-funded, i.e., polluted by the Nation. The government of India and state governments in states like Bihar fund migration in broad daylight. That is a form of forced juxtaposition which ultimately leads to hatred. It's a pity that many urban Indians do not understand that migrants are no more Indian than the natives. It's a pity that even in the 21st century, natives and their organizations are relegated to the fringe in the open, while migrants are openly described as mainstream. It's a pity that parts of India are colonizing other parts in broad daylight, and attempts to stop such colonization and uphold life and liberty are being described as fringe.

Now, there is no point in going to the two "solutions" which Mr. Raghavan proposes to stop the migrants vs natives argument. I will gloss over them only briefly, since the very attempt to stop that argument is colonial in nature and therefore unethical.

The first "solution" given by Mr. Raghavan is to go by the book, that is, the constitution of India - as if the book is sacrosanct and immune to amendment. That itself is childishness to begin with, especially given the fact that an amendment is certainly due which strips Hindi off its sole official-language status. It's only a matter of time before this amendment becomes a reality. According to Mr. Raghavan, since Indians have the right to go and settle anywhere, nobody has the right to stop anybody from settling anywhere. So far so good, and all correct. But does the constitution give the right for migrants to destroy the local language and culture? Does the constitution give the right for migrants to go about openly denigrating the sentiments of the natives? Or does the constitution deny the right for natives to organize themselves against such crimes? The answer to all these questions is 'no'. So much for the "first solution".

The second "solution" that Mr. Raghavan gives to that non-problem is to convert Bengaluru and Mumbai into city-states, because, he argues, that gives them the "necessary" economic and geographical independence. Now this is the exact claim of a colonizer: "Give me this piece of land and make it economically and geographically independent from the rest of your property"! This also openly betrays a serious lack of concern for the natives because of which Mr. Raghavan wants a separate colony for the migrants.

Neither "solution" is worth anything, nor can the migrants vs natives argument be eliminated. The real problem is the atrophy of the urban Indian mind and the growing indifference to nearly a billion of our brethren - the natives who stay put in their own states, speak their own languages and are steeped in their own cultures; a majority of whom never have the need to cross inter-state boundaries ever in their lives. It is this atrophy which needs to be eliminated.

Truly, it is the collection of atrophied urban Indian minds which is the fringe, not what Mr. Raghavan from that fringe describes as such. The KRV and MNS have legitimate goals in front of them - of upholding the rights of the natives. They have the democratic right to protect the interests of natives, and are directly fathered by the historical neglect of natives in the Indian political system. It is high time the atrophied urban Indian mind realizes this. It is high time the growing gap between educated urban Indians who really care for the natives (who form a majority in India) and such organizations is closed by a process of mutual understanding.


Deepthi said...

There is no law to punish these migrants who express their so called "opinions", no matter how harmful they are. Being in a democratic setup doesn't mean that migrants have the right to divide Karnataka in to pieces.

Looks like people like E.Raghavan want to malign institutions representing the natives so that natives never get united. With these kind of people in prominent positions I guess they will never allow natives to prosper in their own land. :-(

Priyank said...

Good thoughts nicely put forward.
I will be happy if Mr. Raghavan ever reads this article. It will certainly give some food for thought to Mr. Raghavan.

Deepthi said...

"Which strips Hindi off its sole official-language status"

English also is the official language right?

Kiran Batni said...

Deepthi, you're right. I meant that Hindi is the sole Indian language which enjoys official status.

Chandu said...

Nice Blog. I enjoyed reading the article there are lot of people who have started learning hindi just to impress their NI counterparts? whats going on?

Unknown said...

"the KRV and MNS as fringe groups"
The MNS bags only 5% of the votes in an assembly election which is fought on local issues. And gets 13 out of 288 seats then they cannot be more than just fringe group....

elango said...

hundred persant correct baratheeya.these people are not expressing the feeling of the majority kannadigas or marathas.

ವಸಂತ said...



The whole English media is talking about the MNS factor and how it has dented the BJP/SS chances and here you are talking about MNS being fringe.

MNS contested 125 seats, won 13, made an impact in 35 seats.

Please read these articles:

Unknown said...

@Pakkada mane huduga, yes MNS dented the prospects of SS-BJP. But that will prove that they are good enough to be spoilers. But 5% of the polled votes going to them shows that they don't have far fetching appeal. I doubt KaRaVe will fare any better if they contest elections in Karnataka.
It is this which make them fringe... DMK, AIADMK, SS, NCP, TDP, BJD(all of which are regional representatives) will never be fringe because they have appealed to the people.

ವಸಂತ said...


MNS is a 3 year old party and in 3 years, they sent 13 MLAs to vidhanasabhe. Now, remember your favourite BJP and it's rise in KA. 25 years ago, It started with a 4 seat tally and now they run the state. Atleast, MNS have had a decent start compared to BJP in KA.

MNS will do the same in the days to come. Wait and watch it for yourself. This is not my gut feeling. This is the opinion of my Marathi friends.

About KaRaVe's chances. Wait, they are not even a political party. Let's not bother about it right now.

Phantom said...


"yes MNS dented the prospects of SS-BJP. But that will prove that they are good enough to be spoilers"

Firstly; I don't see the difference between denting someone prospects and being a spoiler here in this context.

Secondly; Its simple math for you.

SS-BJP minus MNS (13 won)+ 35 (destroying the prospects of BJP and SS) is 91.

If MNS had not contested, BJP & SS would have got 139 (91+13+35)seats plus or minus 2%)

This would have stripped Congress and independents of 35 seats. And definitely by the numbers BJP and SS combination would have been the single largest party needing 4 to 10 seats. And that wouldn't be too difficult I suppose.

Now, don't you see MNS as a spoiler/denter?

-Ramesh Rao

enpleinjour said...

Thanks for a very interesting article and discussion. I was wondering whether you're familiar with the work of Animesh Rai, a scholar who is studying various aspects of cultural influences in India. He's got several entries in a multicultural blogspot, as well as Edouard Glissant, who you might know as the great thinker of multicultural exchanges.

Kiran Batni said...

@ enpleinjour,

Thanks for your comment. No, I had not heard of Animesh Rai or Edouard Glissant before you mentioned here.

Encouraged by you, I tried to do some research on both, but I couldn't find much on the net. Glissant's book "Poetics of Relation" is there on Google Books, but unfortunately I'm currently in an area where my internet speed is too low to be able to browse online!

I went to where Arabella Hutter has a couple of articles on the two gentlemen - but I need to dig deeper to appreciate their work. I would appreciate it if you could suggest a link to summary of Glissant's "Poetics of Relation". Whatever I have read on the net sounds inviting enough. Thanks!

ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ said...


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