Come to think of it, 'Mangalore is a Glorified Village'!
I was chastised for this statement way back in 2003. I was addressing members at the local Rotary Club. The alacrity with which some of the old (as in age) members moved surprised me, they went for my jugular. They were hurt. I was shouted out. Ridiculed. Mangalore was the most happening city. I had chuckled saying 'THE CITY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE CITY IS GETTING!. My stand was vindicated when riots broke out 15 days ago, taking the city by surprise and leaving Mangaloreans shell shocked. I wasn't surprised, I was expecting it. We had been sitting on 'explosives' for the past few years and smoking our 'beedis'! One wandering ember and 'Ka-boom'!
Media has been giving a fair doze of what did and what did not happen on those 5 fateful days. Now, that hardly matters. What matters is how to prevent it from happening again...and again...
Here is my take on the subject. The main players in this riot were, not necessarily in that order, politicians, leaders, police and the rioters. I have observed the politicians closely. They are opportunists. More about them in another blog! Majority of the Police Force pay respects to the ruling politicians. They have no morals or scruples. I have often referred to them as uniformed 'Veerappans'. Of course, I know of Policemen who are honest; but they are a miniscule minority. Out here, I am more interested in the rioters. These, I believe,are the stars of any riot! Ignore the fact that they have affiliations to various organisations religious or political. Concentrate on the age group. They are in the age group of 15 - 30 years. WASSUP? 15-21 should be in educational institutions; 21 - 30 should be working; raking in the moolah for the family hearth. The vast majority are from the surrounding 'ghettos' of the city - erstwhile villages now brought under the jurisdiction of the City Corporation, not necessarily poverty stricken.
Mangalore 'boasts' of educational institutions. Post 1980, Mangalore has seen a proliferation of educational institutions: the routine Engineering Colleges; Medical Colleges; Hotel Management Colleges, Physio Therapy Colleges, Nursing Institutes; even Fashion Technology and a few B Schools. All run as business establishments - except maybe some Engineering and Medical Colleges. Majority run by people of dubious credibility. Admissions are based on 'donations'. Education is passe. Students are subdued by 100% attendance, threat of rustication and the usual 'fundas' that are employed to stifle even a whimper of protest. Mangalorean students aren't normally encouraged. 'Outsiders' swarm the place paying 'through their nose'. Many are from K-land. There are also the 'Chaak Chaar Bra' from Manipur. The 'Maja ma Che' from G-land.... all in all a potpourri of cultural diversity. WHERE DO THE YOUTH OF MANGALORE GO?
We Mangaloreans are careful with our money. (Bah.... my friend, D. Nair,calls us stingy!) Hence we established banks. Of course we also made tiles (from dies stolen from the German Missionaries), we owned estates (some of us were supervisors under British Owners - when they moved out we took over as owners), we have our cashew nut processing factories (we do undercover processing of the fruit too - in Goa the brew is called fenny; out here 'country'). A few of us run buses that have a very 'good strike rate' of killing and maiming the 'aam janata'; managed by drivers who will make Mr. M. Schumacher have a permanent drop jaw! (He races on a track - these blokes do it on dirt tracks; what with all our roads having developed lunar craters.....) Have I covered all enterprises? There are a handful enterprises set up by corporate bodies - but they do not need these under educated youth.... even as attenders. Can you believe if I told you that there is a severe shortage of barbers in Mangalore. Jobs that are being done by youth from Mysore, Mandya etc. No Mangalorean youth comes forward even to be a coiffeur! Not many employment opportunities for the youth. WHERE DO THESE YOUTH OF MANGALORE GO?
So there you are. Ill-educated youth; proficient in Tulu and profanities. Well fed by doting mothers. (I have not yet come across any youth looking anorexic)Dressed like film heroes. No good, hitched around refugees in their own land. Easily disturbed by sentiments - and if those sentiments are religious, so much better. Putty in the hands of scheming politicians. Some of them well on their way of becoming juvenile scamsters. Each one of them with plenty of time on hand to do nothing productive. WHERE ARE WE HEADING? WILL NOT RIOTS OCCUR AGAIN?
AND THE CITY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE CITY IS GETTING!
Riders on a storm
Riders on a storm
Into this City were born
Into this world were thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on a storm
Theres a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin like a toad
Take a long holiday
Leave Mangalore today
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
Killer on the road!
(with due apologies to 'the doors'....)