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Updates from Kerala

I have been travelling extensively in Kerala, both to the North and South. Everywhere there are posters asking people to boycott American and British products. There are also posters saying that we don’t need globalization. There is no poster which tells what Kerala needs.

There was an extensive and violent campaign against Coke and Pepsi. Today I read in “The Hindu” that for the first time, since its entry into India, Coke has registered a ‘modest profit’. So the only benefit of the Communist campaign has been that, lots of poor people who made a living selling Coke, Pepsi and other soft drinks, lost their daily wages for some time.

11 Responses to Updates from Kerala

  1. Niraj June 4, 2003 at 10:32 am #

    Though Kerala may be one of the most literate states in India, it is also one of the poorest. Development has been hampered by state government’s refusal to create an atmosphere conducive for industry by imposing draconian labor laws and environmental laws.

  2. JK June 5, 2003 at 12:55 am #

    I dont think Kerala is a poor state. The people are well off and you will much less beggars compared to other states. Due to land reforms, most people have a home. But all this money comes from remittances by NRIs, mostly Malayalis in the Gulf Countries. If this lifeline is cut one day, Kerala will be in chaos.

  3. Srijith June 5, 2003 at 4:27 pm #

    I agree with JK that Kerala is not a poor state. It is the mentality of the people that works against them. As one of jokes go, a Mallu works best outside Kerala. That along with the wide spread “belief” in the value system of Communism (without understanding the interaction between these beliefs and the changing society) has rendered Kerala a heaven for unscroupless politicians, dumb followers and people with a wrong sense of political awarness.

  4. Srjith June 5, 2003 at 6:34 pm #

    Just to substanciate my claims about Kerala not being one of the poorest states:
    http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/india/percapitaincome.htm

    http://www.kerala.gov.in/ataglance/ataglance.htm#pop

  5. rj June 7, 2003 at 5:04 pm #

    PHONEY IS THE KEYWORD

    Internet: A place where we, the educated Keralites and fellow Indians (many of us after finishing our schooling in our poor wretched homeland and escaping from there at the first chance we get) post fiery criticism about our state and country for its lack of many things which we expect to exist. Most of us do this from the comfort of our homes/digs in mostly western countries or USA. Most of us are intellectuals. Quasi intellectuals we are? May be. May be not. Then again may be. We deride our homeland’s politicians for good, yet we ourselves do not want to participate in the political arena. We would rather vent about how bad things are from the coziness of our living rooms faraway from our beloved country and state.

    Oh! We listen to western music along with Indian music, but we have western musicians like “pink floyd” and Yani as our favorites. Many are experts in American and western politics. We like transparency, quality democracy, and good roads to name a few. Mostly great things one cannot find easily in India. In search of these and other great things we fled India. We found these great things in Europe and America. We liked what we saw and decided to stay. Then the creative urges took over. We designed nice little blogs and posted our frustrations about how bad things are in our homeland. We have great ideas about how things “should” be in India.

    A country is made up of its people. It achieves progress with the effort of its people.It takes qualified educated people to make this happen. But especially in kerala and India in general, qualified educated people flee the place at the first chance they can find.

    Many of us would argue that the condition in our homeland is not conducive for us to have a career and life of our likening. We would rather flee the country than stay home and work to improve the conditions. We blame the politicians for the bad state of affairs but we ourselves do not want to enter politics or public life and work to make any progressive changes. We create web logs. We discuss esoteric books. Tough books they are. Mostly we do this faraway from India. All these are creating dialogues, one can argue. Dialogue is a good thing? Isn’t it? . Better than monologue we assume.

    So the life goes on and on and on. Phony is the keyword. Red wine and steak have an affinity for one another. Hopefully cricket will lose its support in India. Let the rain begin.

  6. jk June 9, 2003 at 9:51 am #

    rj, mahatma gandhi stayed away from india for a long time. then he came back and was one of the influencing forces due to we have indian flag to salute. maybe, some of the people who discuss esoteric books and write weblogs might do something radical. don’t get so sarcastic about it.

  7. Shanti June 9, 2003 at 3:34 pm #

    Oh, for the love of God! Don’t these guys get tired of bashing NRIs already! Why are we not supposed to say anything if we are not living there? Does that mean that anyone living in India should shut up and not say a word about US’ “imperialistic” policies? Get a life, dude!

  8. rj June 10, 2003 at 2:47 pm #

    hi jk,
    “some of the people who discuss esoteric books and write weblogs might do something radical” : i hope so. we shall see

    hi shanti dudette :)
    Did i hit a raw nerve? Bashing NRIs: I’m one. But NRIs are no holy cows. Ideally less holy than RIs.
    Dual citizenship=joke.

    “Get a life, dude!” : how about “don’t mess with Texas” next time.

  9. Shanti June 10, 2003 at 3:00 pm #

    RRJ, you hit a nerce, because it seems to be an in-thing to do that these days – I am just tired of listening to the same-old crap over and over again. No one claims to be a “holy cow”, whatever that means. We just don’t want to be dismissed outright just because we are NRIs. So you are one – what is that supposed to mean, exactly?

    “Don’t mess with Texas”? I don’t know what you are referring to here – if it has to do with the fact that I live in Dallas, I still don’t see how that is relevant to the discussion at hand again! Right back atcha!

  10. JK June 11, 2003 at 1:39 am #

    “But NRIs are no holy cows”

    I dont understand. You assumed NRIs are holy cows. so you wrote all that stuff to say that we are not holy cows. what a waste of energy. If the democratically elected GOI decided to grant dual citizenship what is wrong ?

    Shanti, every day i have been reading malayalam and english papers here. most of them are full of conspiracy theories supposedly run by the US. The impression you get is that the entire white house is sitting discussing how to ruin kerala’s economy (which makes an assumption that kerala has a thriving economy).

  11. Shanti June 11, 2003 at 4:54 am #

    Oh, but it is all about Kerala, don’t you see JK? “No blood for coconuts” ­čśë

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