Whether you are on a diet, looking for a pocket-friendly breakfast option or simply looking for a hot, tasty meal, “Madrasi” food floods our breakfast options.
Upma, Uttapam, Idli, Dosa, Appam, Sambhar and Rasam are household names for fulfilling breakfast options. We have also mixed them with other foods we like, for example, Chinese Dosa and Idly Chilli. If we have adopted their food so lovingly all over the country, why don’t we treat the people, i.e., Madrasi the same way?
Perhaps the biggest cause of our treatment of Madrasi is the way that Bollywood films portray them. They are very often portrayed as one-dimensional stupid or villainous people. Bollywood is an industry populated by people from the central and north regions of India. These people take the stereotypes they grew up with and add them to their movies. Therefore, making the masses also unconsciously follow them. Don’t believe us? Recollect the film Padosan from which the song ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ became famous? Think of how Mahmood was portrayed as a Madrasi music master. Now compare this to the favourable light in which the leading Mr. Dutt was portrayed.
There has been some theological research on some of the scriptures of the north. These were written by sages of Aryan origin, the famous among them being Valmiki and Vyasa. These may have a very negative and put-downing portrayal of dravidians. The roots of these can be traced to the Aryan invasion of India. Harappa and Mohenjedaro, one of the most ingenious, industrous civilizations of the world was a product of dravidians. However, they were driven out by the Aryan invasion. According to history, Dravidians then moved down south, while Aryans took up all the regions from Sindh to Kashmir. Some experts claim that the “vanars” in Ram’s vanar sena is actually a racist reference to Madrasi. (Also notice how badly Ravan is portrayed because he was a Sri Lankan, and therefore, Dravidian).
We have copied the racism introduced to us during the British rule. To look down upon a darker person helped people to identify with the powerful British. Therefore the person feels more in control. Madrasi are the direct aim of such racist comments. It’s as bad as being circulated as jokes on whatsapp.
Over time, with the ingenuity shown by Madrasi in fields like science and maths, the country as well as the world has been forced to take notice. However, we look at this as an exception to the overall perception. So our thoughts are on the lines of “they are very smart yes, BUT..” and so we continue to think of them in a derogatory way.
Because of a North Indian-heavy Congress party which was ruling in the eve of independence and because Madrasi too needed jobs, Madrasi have just adjusted. They have either ignored people’s remarks or formed communities internally to look after their own interests. If on the other hand, if they had actively called out the bad attitudes of their fellow countrymen, we would perhaps be in a better place today.
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