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Old 14th January 2008, 14:24   #1
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Angry Why are some people so HOSTILE???

I have read and heard of a lot of incidents wherein people have endured hostility to a large extent... in workplace, new city/state, etc.

I am originally from bangalore, born and raised there and have had lots of friends irrespective of race/religion/caste etc.

Read through this post of mine, it can be a tad long, but i have to get this out of my system. Many of you might have been in a similar situation, some worse....

I moved to Chennai around 2.5 years back. This was not a planned move but i landed a good job in Chennai and hence decided to relocate temporarily. Chennai is not new to me. My mum was born and raised here, i have an aunt and an uncle who have also been here since their birth so I had visited chennai plenty of times.

But little did i know what a rude shock i was in for when time passed in chennai. While work atmosphere and peoples' behaviour was confortable with me, i had a very tough time with the local population.

Very few locals were willing to be of help - whether it was asking for directions or even buying groceries from a store. Hostile stares and rude behaviour was what i endured but didnt take it to heart. My friends from Chennai, most of them who are bhpians said it was my skin color (i am fair), and i look like a north indian. Usually everyone mistakes me for one and starts a conversation in Hindi (even in Blore) although i am from Karnataka.

So why am i posting this? Read on and you'll know....

When i moved here, my cousin advised me not to converse in Hindi (remember the anti-hindi riots in the 80's in TN?) as locals hated the hindi crowd. I had also seen reflective signboards on the highways wherein the name of the city etc in Hindi had been smeared in black paint.

All the above mentioned behaviour (and more) did not deter me and i settled down, gradually learning and conversing the local tamil language. Got married to a pretty iyengar woman too.

Incident 1 : This happened about a few months back. I got my car out of my garage and was slowly proceeding towards the main road (read - 30kmph or lesser). Bang in the middle of the road, a guy on a tvs 50 stops to answer his ringing cellphone. What did i do? Instinctively looked in my RVM's and swerved right while simultaneoulsy honking at him.

The guy gets irritated for some reason and stops alongside my car at the signal (which was red) and says something. I put my window down and politely tell him to pull over to the side as he could have been hit be me (in tamil of course). The guy sees my northy lookin face and fires abuses. I had my wife with me and didnt want to create a scene and asked the guy to behave and went my way. Both wifey and me were disgusted with so many such incidents and i am toying with the idea of moving back to blore.

Incident 2: This happened yesterday. And this one takes the cake.

Wifey and me finish lunch at pizza hut (gandhinagar, Adyar) and i want to drive along the beach. Decide to go to besant nagar and probably to ECR then on. Stopped at the traffic signal which was red. Vehicles are in front of me. An auto gets behind me, starts yelling "Po Po" which means go go. I look at the signal which is still red and before i react he rams his auto on the rear bumper of my car. I wanted to get out and see whats the rush about. Initially thought its an emergency or so. But lights changes to green, i see the auto guy speed away with a male passenger in the rear of the auto.

Chased the bugger and he knows he is being chased. The guy in the passenger seat leaned out of the auto and invited me for a brawl. The auto pulled to the left next to a bus (at the next traffic signal). I stopped at the extreme right. Got off to complain to the traffic cop. (Thank God for the cop). My wife was frantically yelling that the passenger guy was running in between vehicles towards me. Luckily for me i had asked my wife to note the auto regn number which i passed onto the cop. The guy retreated into the waiting auto and they sped away at the sight of the cops approaching them (i think one cop chased the auto on his bike but not sure).

If not for the cops the situation would have been worse. But in no way has this incident made me hate this city. My wife was equally shocked with the incident and she is disgusted. I have family here, good friends etc. I only am wondering what provokes people into hate crimes like this.

I have only 1 choice now. Move back to blore ASAP. This will take some time as I moved to a new company 2 months back. Leaving them so soon and getting another job in blore is going to be tough. I am thoroughly disgusted with the constant hostility and so dont see any choice but moving back.

Mod's : I dont intend to make this thread a political issue. Just want to highlight my case, and maybe some can advise what can be done in such situations.

Last edited by n_aditya : 14th January 2008 at 14:28.
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Old 14th January 2008, 14:47   #2
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My two cents: I'm a tamilian living in Chennai, and I've taken my share of hostility and ill-will too. My Swift has been battered by innumerable side-swipes in just 2 years of ownership. I'm not saying there's zero hostility targeted at Northies, but it ain't that bad. There're good people and bad people everywhere. I dont find Chennai too different from Delhi or the other Metros.
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Old 14th January 2008, 14:50   #3
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Hi,
I for one agree to every bit of your assessment. The only correction is that it is not because of your looks that they behave like this.More than half of the two wheeler riders and auto drivers are RUDE.It can happen to any tamilian .Being a tamilian myself i find the same behaviour all over chennai.I shamefully agree to it that chennaites in general have very little respect for the fellow human beings.I feel that this could be because of the political scenario in the state.In that respect i will rate Coimbatore as the best city in Tamilnadu where even the dialect is more respectful.Chennai Tamil at the local level has always a few tags!! added with it.Even students can be seen talking the same way.Growing slums only add to this problem.
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Old 14th January 2008, 14:50   #4
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I am shocked to read this !! I now recall that even I faced non-cooperative people when I asked for directions (in Engish, however) near Sterling road. Even I am fair-skinned and most people mistake me to be a North Indian.
Only after I asked some people in Telugu did someone respond. I had to clarify to him that all south Indians do not need to resemble those from Vavuniya forest( no offence meant).
I have never accepted job offers from Chennai owing to the attitude of the people there.
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Old 14th January 2008, 14:54   #5
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Hey Aditya,

I can understand you situation. The reason why I chose never to go to Chennai even though I have never ever been there was because of such biased views that I have heard against the rest of the country. Not trying to create a political situation here (There are some genuinely good people there), but it seems like fanaticism (Religious / Regional) is taking over every nook and corner in India.

Though saddening, I do see that one is left with no choice but to return to the friendly cocoon where you can nurture your life safely. Wish you a successful job hunt & a safe journey home.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:04   #6
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Yeah...same here. But when ever I go on visits to chennai, the auto drivers tend to take us for a ride. Nowadays, I prefer to go in a taxis tough...

Last edited by snaronikar : 14th January 2008 at 15:14.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:05   #7
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I lived in Chennai for 5 years before coming back to Bangalore. I did not know a single word of Tamil when I went to Chennai. Believe me, I never felt that people were targeting their hatredness towards me. They knew for sure that I was not a Tamilian going by my looks, but I was of the opinion that people were pretty helpful. In general, their mannerisms will make you feel that they are rude, but that is the way they are. I hope people will excuse me for saying the above statement. Maybe, I am not able to convey things better.

OK. I will try: just think of people from North Karnataka. Their Kannada is pretty brash (I am originally from North Karnataka too, but have spent most of my life in South Karnataka). The way they speak looks pretty rude, but they are not. I think similar is the case with the general Tamilian populace.

I do not know how Chennai has changed in five years. I have not been there after I left my previous job 5 years ago.

Yes, your two incidents do convey some kind of hatredness shown towards you, but I do not think people in general are that bad. I am sure these will be some incidents here and there. Please take these incidents off your head and start to live afresh. I am sure you will enjoy Chennai as much as I did.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:11   #8
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The treatment that you got has nothing to do with your colour IMO.

I have many colleagues from the north working here. They don't seem to complain about the treatment.

The difference in cuisine is another matter altogether.

Last edited by Proxima : 14th January 2008 at 15:12.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:23   #9
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Well, this is nothing new. I have faced several times hostility in Chennai ( mostly when going in for my visa) right from auto fella to hotel folks are downright unhelpful and auto guys take you for a royal ride-they took me for a ride around the railway station and charged me 50 bucks ( since i don't know jack**** about Tamil).

Therefore, chennai/TN is nowhere near my radar either for a job consideration or as a holiday destination. No offense to any chennai folks, its just my opinion.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:24   #10
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@n_aditya
The psychology of auto rickshaw drivers are same from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari! You seemed to be in just wrong place in wrong time dealing with wrong persons!

Regarding communication (neither Hindi or English), yes - I faced same issue during my short visits to Chennai few times. Also, the food is bit different in all Southern states

PS: As a tourist I visited all over the Tamil Nadu. Can't say I received hostile treatment from local people. They were quite helpful.

Last edited by sbasak : 14th January 2008 at 15:27.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Well, this is nothing new. I have faced several times hostility in Chennai ( mostly when going in for my visa) right from auto fella to hotel folks are downright unhelpful and auto guys take you for a royal ride-they took me for a ride around the railway station and charged me 50 bucks ( since i don't know jack**** about Tamil).
Chennai auto guys are from a different species. I do not consider them when I refer to commoners in Chennai.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:31   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxima View Post
The treatment that you got has nothing to do with your colour IMO.

I have many colleagues from the north working here. They don't seem to complain about the treatment.

The difference in cuisine is another matter altogether.
well mate, sometimes color does matter. One of my close friends from Kolkata, a fair-skinned guy has been a victim to many-a case of physical abuse on the Bangy roads late at night. Now he doesn't travel alone always makes it a point ot have one of the localite friend in the group.

No offense meant, but why the barrier between North and South. Go to an onsite and will not all of us refer ourselves to be an Indian - or will it be "I am from North India/South India"? Answer this and you get the solution to this never ending problem.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:31   #13
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Lets keep Autorickshaw drivers/taxi drivers out of this.

Cos i believe whenever someone outsider goes to a place,he's taken for a ride.

it has happened with my south indian friends in delhi and it has happened with me so many times in bangalore.

As these guys are totally short on morals and never miss a chance of earning an extra buck by cheating someone helpless in a foreign land.

but yes if the native people are like that then the situation is bad
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:38   #14
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This reminds me of my family visit to chennai almost 20 years ago.. In all the shops that we went we realized that they were selective in understanding English\Hindi i.e. the responded only to that part of conversation which suited them.
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Old 14th January 2008, 15:39   #15
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Well Auto drivers seem to share the same genetic structure all over the world.

My intention was not to flame any community or the like. I have said earlier, i have lots of friends, family and am comfortable here apart from incidents like this. No hard feelings still. Just toying with the idea of moving back for peace of mind.

P.S. given2fly, Thanks for the kind wishes. I hope it comes true soon.
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