FDI in retail and a not-so-small detail


Get on to any news channel debating about FDI in retail, and one point makes itself stand out if you’re a discerning Kannadiga. And that is: the entire debate is conducted in such a way and by such people that we Kannadigas are not even part of it.

We are not even deemed necessary in a debate whose pre-decided outcome—viz., the ‘coming’—is going to decide our existence on the planet. This is the how genocide works: it starts by denying any effective role to the victims in what matters to them, i.e., by removing them from the scene. Kannadiga Removal - akin to (Red) Indian Removal during the European colonization of the Americas - cannot but be lucrative to those waiting to come to Karnataka for much needed room. The colonizer always fantasizes about empty colonies which his ilk can milk. Until the last native is removed, he even speaks of his unyielding concern for them.

One may find some solace in the fact that the final call on FDI in retail is to be taken by the State Govt. and that the BJP, which heads it, is opposed to the move. But such is the depth of political insignificance to which we Kannadigas have allowed ourselves to sink in India that it will be naïve for Kannadigas to claim authorship of this opposition. Its authors are the Nitin Gadkaris, the L. K. Advanis and Narendra Modis with our own B. S. Yeddyurappas and Jagadish Shettars nodding their heads in silent reverence and cultivated awe at everything authored by them. But what we are not the authors of, we cannot expect constant benevolence from. Therefore, in the ultimate analysis, Kannadigas do not have the power to stop the BJP from changing its stance when it appears politically lucrative—which it will appear, going by the definition of politically lucrative, very soon.

The Congress government at the Centre is selling FDI in retail as an employment scheme. That it sure is, but for whom? For the more populous and more closely packed North Indians, who else? And where are they going to be employed? All over India! Retail outlets in Karnataka’s cities are already teeming with them; they’re even found blatantly refusing customer service in Kannada. We Kannadigas are not even being requested to martyr ourselves to employ the northerners; it is assumed that we possess the ‘good nature’ to lay down our lives for what is being described as the ‘national interest’. “You’re good boys and good girls,” we’re told, “so be good Indians and make way for your brethren from the North.” Anyone who has dug deep into Karnataka’s history realizes that not a few centuries have elapsed with us making way for the northerners in every field imaginable. So much so, that there must arise no doubt in the mind of the discerning thinker that an Aryan Migration to Karnataka is happening right under our noses.

It is prudent, on the whole, for the Kannadigas to recognize that the BJP cannot be expected to uphold their interests when push comes to shove and a politically meaningful decision has to be made about FDI in retail. The Congress has already let us down. In India, political advantage to the so-called national parties comes from placing North Indians at an advantage. And the overall scheme of things is such that this advantage cannot come but at the disadvantage of politically insignificant peoples like the Kannadigas. It is high time the Kannadigas make themselves politically significant at the all-India level. And how is this to be achieved, save by indulging in a process which draws quite some bad press today—the so-called politicization of the Kannadiga identity? And how is this process to be made possible, if not by staying away from both the BJP and the Congress?

(Pic: http://www.outlookindia.com)

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