This post pertains to my earlier one where I had shared my problems of being a minority –a resident of an independent house in a neighborhood composed predominantly of flat complexes and belonging to a mixed religious family in a upper caste neighborhood. I had given vent to my frustrations about being unable to solve some of the civic problems surrounding my existence here.
As is my usual practice, I had posted it on various forums – one of them being the Chennai Bloggers Club of which I am a new member.
I was quite open to critical comments because I had ,after all brought up something about a city that people from here would be ready to defend. I was not wrong. I got a lot of interesting comments from suggestions about owning dogs to frighten away unpleasant people to those who also pointed out that prejudice is not limited to Tam Brahms but also exhibited by other communities. There were those who empathized and those who were non committal. But overall, it was not something that I was not prepared for.
But what shocked me was a comment from one person. His words were really vicious and judgemental. He told me to put myself in my neighbor’s shoes-that cars cost a lot of money and if they complained they had the right to do so. Agree but they are complaining about something that I can do nothing about!
And then he made a really nasty comment which I am pasting below
“The problem in Chennai is from root level, people like you have been well off from those days and what your see in the new generation is "pudthu panakaran". They have worst attitude problems than you.”
I still cannot get over the anger and hatred that is simmering here. This person has not defended his city but made some really judgmental comments about me and my family. He has assumed that as an independent home owner I consider myself superior to those who live in the apartment complexes around my house. While I responded to him explaining that ownership of an independent property is no longer a symbol of wealth I am still not past the shock!
I realize now how people like Mr. Mody build their constituency! Such constituency is built on hatred like this-hatred against minorities ( I am presenting myself as a religious as well as a residential minority) for perceived comfort and wealth!
I think I may be very naïve but my understanding about why people blog is to share personal experiences, raise issues and create a forum for a healthy debate on things that they believe or do not believe in. I guess I have been very lucky about the people who have commented on my blog until now. We have had serious arguments about many issues but nothing was personal. We argued about what we believed in and I have enjoyed them and admired some of those who argued. They continue to comment on my blog and I visit theirs.
But what surprises me is that someone should do this in a forum for bloggers and get away with it! When we write or blog we do more than express ourselves. We connect with people. Giving vent to hatred like this is not the best way forward in terms of establishing and retaining connections. I wonder if I should bring this comment to the notice of the site administrators of CBC? But I am not very sure that they can do anything- afterall it is a free country. As a nation most of us do not know what is meant by freedom and this person who made that awful comment is just a strong case to the point.
If he thinks that he is defending his city by attacking me he is mistaken. It has only strengthened my negative attitude towards the city!!