I have made it a point to avoid television (Though I do watch dance shows, Chutti TV). In fact I have even stopped viewing songs on TV. One reason being I hate to watch some XYZ person droning on and on and on about useless things. But I do download and watch episodes of Naruto (Japanese Animation) almost everyday.
But there's one show which is not overtly emotional like other talk shows in Tamil. I am of course talking about VIJAY's Neeya Naana. Though it is a debate the host, Gopinath ensures that the discussion doesn't up as a heated argument. (Probably the arguments are edited. But for a channel that seems to advocate controversy, editing sections to avoid conflicts of interest doesn’t sound true). This week the topic of discussion was - "People of the state of TN vs. People of other states" (continuation from last week's episode) It is a very touchy subject. Every person invariably roots for his home state. It is only natural that they do so especially when a person is questioned about ethics and integrity, it is highly unlikely that they will be entirely truthful.
I reserve my judgments and hopefully the blog readers too reserve their judgments as I don't want to change this post to turn into a political case.
What I felt while seeing the show was just this
1) Should a controversial topic such as this be discussed openly and be aired. Will it not hurt the sentiments of groups of people?
2) Few were hostile and admitted their distrust of people from other states. India's strength lies in its ability to embrace different culture. Aren't we weakening the foundations by advocating open hostility towards certain sections of people because of our own prejudices?
3) Personal experience doesn't warrant group behavior. I do agree that society moulds a person's belief, character and customs. But a person’s individual nature is far apart from these generalizations and shouldn't be used as a biasing factor.
In the end Gopinath wrapped the show saying that "hopefully this show breaks the barriers and have made people to be more forthright in their opinion". I hope this happens and my cynicism vaporizes into puffs of smoke. While I do agree that being open about one’s opinion is a good trait and is commendable when followed in nurturing interpersonal relations I fervently believe that generalizations such as "people from XYZ state are not trustworthy" ends up creating distrust and disrespect. (Let the cynic in me die)
To wind up the post, I agree with the statement made by Gopinath that all people as Indians must transcend the barriers and appreciate each others culture. We are striving hard to promote Italian, Spanish and other foreign cultures. We can take little time and effort to study our neighboring state and the rest of India. Let us learn to appreciate each other better.