Feeling extremely sad while I am writing this blog and there is a big reason behind it. The main and only reason is that I am a Gujarati, obviously a proud Gujarati as well. But in the last few years, I have seen plenty of hate towards Gujaratis in our country. My confusion is that being a Gujarati I know that almost all of us are not at all willing to insult any other community or race but yet this extreme hate towards Gujaratis is really baffling me. Although I am also aware that this hate is not new and we tasted this many years back in Maharashtra and especially in Mumbai.
My elders used to tell me that the late Bala Saheb Thackeray and his Shiv Sena had run a campaign against Gujaratis to give the ‘lost pride back to Marathi manus’. What I have gathered from that era is that the entire campaign was actually political and to help Shiv Sena gain prominence in Mumbai and Maharashtra politics. Recently former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has once again played the hate card against us the Gujaratis.
On the face of this insult, it looks like Siddaramaiah is trying to ignite the Kannadiga pride just like Bala Saheb tried to do in the past century for Maharashtrians. But actually, it is again a political tool just to gain more votes for Congress in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections 2023. But by pushing this hate towards Gujaratis Siddaramaiah has actually injected venom in the minds of the Kannada people and this will have very farsighted conclusions.
Amul the world-class milk marketing federation is collaborating with the local milk federation KMF and the brand Nandini. This issue has been made by Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress as Gujaratis vs Kannadigas. I am not much aware of Karnataka politics but I am very much known of Gujarat politics and how it stands today. If this Gujarati-hating propaganda was brought by any regional party of Karnataka, I would understand the reason, but this hate has been spread by the national party Congress’ big leader who once was the CM of the state.
Despite getting thrashed in the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022, Congress is still visible in the state. Amul was established in Gujarat when Congress was in power in the state, but now that a week has passed and none of the top Gujarat Congress leaders has come out in open and has criticized whatever Siddharamaiah has said about Gujaratis and Gujarat. By keeping mouths shuts just because the high command has not given any instructions ultimately the Gujarat Congress will suffer more in coming elections, especially in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.
The BJP will certainly raise this issue in the Lok Sabha Elections campaign that Gujarat Congress leaders kept mum when the hate campaign against Gujaratis was at the top in Karnataka. This again shows the bankruptcy in the top Congress leadership, because to win a state where it is strong the Congress will further make itself irrelevant in a state like Gujarat where it needs a turnaround, and that too pretty soon.
But this all is about political agenda to spread hate towards Gujaratis all-in-all there is hate in the air towards Gujaratis if you see the social media during the last few years. I am ignoring the example of Samajwadi Party leader and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav’s comments on why there are no or very less Gujaratis in the Indian army because it will again bring the political flavor and now I want to concentrate on overall hate towards Gujaratis that is increasing across social media platforms.
Just recently an alleged conman called Kiran Patel impersonated himself as an officer from PMO India (Prime Minister’s Office) and got Z+ security other facilities in Jammu & Kashmir got caught by the state police. This was enough for the hatemongers on Twitter and elsewhere to portray all the Gujaratis as frauds just because Kiran Patel is Gujarati. Plenty of hate was thrown towards Gujaratis for almost an entire week and we were mocked round the clock, just because Kiran Patel is Gujarati.
This is one example, but each and every habit of Gujaratis is now being looked through a microscope. I can quote one simple example. The traditional Gujarati food and especially Gujarati dal is a bit sweeter than the other cuisines of India. People have problems with that also. Why does Gujaratis put cheeni (sugar) in every food they eat? Brother, did we ever ask or complain why Punjabi, North Indian, or South Indian food never has cheeni in it? It is our tradition and we are following it, either you have our food or don’t.
Another example is the overuse of cheese in the street food of Gujarat that is also getting mocked across social media for last many years. I have been a regular watcher of food Vloggers and travel Vloggers on YouTube and I have noticed that the overuse of cheese is everywhere in India and not limited to Gujarat. But because one has hate towards Gujaratis he or she has to show that only Gujarati street food vendors use cheese over the ‘prescribed limits.’
Why this hate towards Gujaratis has spread so fast in the last decade or so?
Being Gujarati I know that we are the race who always mind our own ‘businesses.’ Maybe that is the reason why India’s top three business groups are run by Gujaratis. In other words, we actually don’t give a damn about these insults being thrown at us and that is why people keep on insulting Gujaratis, day in and day out. Because they know that these people will not give us back. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know what is happening around us and how people mock us every day. This blog is also to let those people know that we know what’s happening dudes, but we are busy with our own jobs, work, and business and we don’t have spare time like you to respond.
Yes, like in any other subject here also can be exceptions where a few Gujaratis are not similar to the Gujaratis I am talking about, but then these exceptions must be in small numbers. But overall my impression is that because Gujaratis don’t reply to this hate in a big way others like to spread this hate towards them again and again.
The second reason I feel for this hate towards Gujaratis is like on the Indian business map, the raise of Gujaratis in the political map of India. We all know that the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the Home Minister Amit Shah both are from Gujarat. They and their party the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP in the last seven to eight years have become ‘the party to defeat’ in both Lok Sabha and state elections. So the political hate towards these two has now transferred into hate towards Gujaratis.
The leaders like Siddaramaiah or Akhilesh Yadav think that actually by hating Gujaratis they hate Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and will gain political mileage. But they are not aware (or probably are aware) that they are dividing India into anti-Gujarati society and that can be very dangerous in coming years. Although I have full faith in my fellow Indians that they will not allow this hate to spread till the roots of our culture because I know and I have experienced plenty of love from non-Gujaratis towards us whenever I have traveled outside my state.
Hating for me is a very huge feeling to have. I can dislike someone easily but can’t hate that person quickly. Maybe for politicians, it is totally reversed as they can hate someone easily but can’t dislike that person quickly because of their political motives. The only reason behind writing this blog is to let know the people who are not Gujaratis that we are also normal people like you.
We may have achieved greater heights in the political and business spectrum of India but that is not our fault. Whatever we have achieved is ultimately is the achievement of India. Just like before us some other race was prominent in these two categories, we are enjoying that privilege now and some other race will take over us in the future. That is a natural way of transformation and we all have to experience it and accept it. That doesn’t mean we start to hate our own people, our own countrymen.
That’s it from me today.
Till we meet next time it’s Aavjo from my side.
12th April 2023, Wednesday