Mangalore’s Lame Blame-game

Feb 16, 2010

All of us are not sportspersons. But if there’s one game most of us excel at, it is the blame-game. We love to find a scapegoat for every little happening – if Tendulkar loses his wicket blame it on the maid who just walked into the room; if you get up late, blame it on the alarm clock; if you are late to office, it’s the fault of the auto fellow who drove so slowly; and if there’s no one to take the blame, catch hold of the poor stars and planets...this way a whole day passes by in pointing fingers.

But there are more serious issues where the blame-game has gone just too far and for too long. I speak of all the disturbances that Mangalore and India as a whole have gone through in the name of religion, politics, and of course, moral policing. Every time something happens, the first thing we do is look for people on whom we can dump the blame (like politicians) or go into the past and scrutinise the action-reaction or ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’ phenomena. I am not totally negating the importance of scrutiny of cause and effect or investigation of the propagators of crime, but only stating that to blame is easy, but what we need to do is to focus on the right areas which would help alleviate problems.

To take a case in point, the present tensions in Mangalore have evoked a great deal of debates nation-wide. At least one person in India will never ever forget the insult he was meted out: the ‘attack on democracy’ that he was made to suffer, regardless of the fact that attacking girls too is not sanctioned by our Constitution (now at least we know why we need Constitution in the school curriculum!!). We all know who is right and who isn’t, even if our rights and wrongs may not always match. I shall not go into this debate, but move on to the point I am trying to make.

If we were to take the whole chain of blame-game it goes something like this – Muthalik was insulted because of his infamous agendas and actions – his party blames these agendas and actions on western culture that the Indian youth have inculcated - the youth take refuge in their parents who allow them to be so - the ‘protectors of culture’ blame it on matters like conversion – while those who are actually converted shake off this blame. There are others too – blame on the media for bringing western culture, and media blaming the youth for wanting it and so on. In the bargain, what we lose is the focus on those young people who are brainwashed by either side – the western culture as well as the fanatics. We are left merely with a bunch of theories and ideologies, on which we simply debate without reaching any conclusion.

An acquaintance of mine who is doing research on communalism especially in Mangalore asked a group of students, which included me, whether we felt that the 2008 attacks on churches took place with a hidden political agenda, seeing that elections were due in April 2009. Reflecting on this point made me realise the futility of it all – it is easy to blame politicians and the government, but to do so is to simply wash our hands off the matter. The most we can do is not to elect the same politicians and the government – but how much will this help? A political party with agendas to create trouble will do so even if it is in the opposition. There’s nothing we can do about the politicians (the choice to vote being between ‘bad’ and ‘not so bad’), so it’s time we changed our focus.

For instance, take the pub attack in Mangalore in January 2008. Those who actually executed the attack were young people probably in their early 20s or even less. There were no politicians around, and what we saw was a bunch of youth merely carrying out orders. What is it that made them do it? Was it just the so-called need to protect our culture, or was it the lure of money from some quarters or something deeper, like jealousy or frustration? Or was it simply an ‘employee’ working for an ‘employer’?

There is a new fission taking place in Mangalore, and it is deepening every day. It is the fission between the haves and have-nots, those who can spend thousands at the mall in a day and those who can do no more than look at the mall from a distance. The latter cannot afford to seek entertainment in malls, so instead they seek it in pelting stones and creating nuisance. Each group blames the other when something like a pub attack happens, but neither is willing to introspect on their own actions.

Unemployment, illiteracy and poverty have been forever the cause of most of India’s problems, and it is no different in Mangalore. The need of the hour is to educate the youth who are every day becoming victims of political agendas or giving in to temptations of job and money. Their helplessness makes them vulnerable to promises of employment and money. Religion and culture are an added attraction, for such rhetoric touches their very core and evokes an emotional response which makes them incapable of thinking independently. They become like cattle willing to be led, without even stopping to consider that they are being given poisoned fodder.

On the other side of the coin is the fashionable MTV generation, the pub-going lot which only wants to enjoy and lead a relaxed, fun-filled life. It doesn’t matter if it goes against the values dear to their parents and grandparents, doesn’t matter even if they know that their actions may ruin their lives. This group lives for the present, where appearance and stylish gadgets matter more than anything else. There is a constant flow of money. They live a highly individualistic life, totally independent and enamoured with all the negative elements of foreign culture. Their fodder too is poisoned, but the difference is that it’s ‘imported.’ While the first group looks at the second with jealousy, the latter is indifferent or even patronising.

Neither group will accept that it is on extreme ends of the culture pole, each concentrating on its own end. What we need is the balancing of this pole – a middle ground where neither fanaticism nor addiction to unhealthy practices of western culture will rule - a position that is tempered with the best of Indian and Western cultures, and the right values, holding on tightly to what is ours while also accepting what is not ours but with discretion and sound judgement.

It is time the youth wake up from their trance and take in their hands the responsibility of cleaning up the city and the country of all its negative influences. It’s easier said than done, for it needs courage, unshakable will power, a heart of steel and an openness of minds and hearts. And most of all, it needs an end to the blame-game.

More from Anisa Fathima:


by Anisa Fathima
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Comment on this article

  • Vinod Uchil, Mangalore/Mumbai

    Sun, Feb 21 2010

    Dear Vik sharp, mlr/dxb, Manish, canada, The author with all her sincere efforts is trying to elaborate the process of blame game in incidents of violence happening in and around our beloved Mangalore city, rather than accusing anybody. The heading of the article itself is self explanatory and the subject is Mangalore-centric. Discussing matters which are not concerened with the core subject is very much uncalled for and reveals our prejudiced mindset.

    Anisa, thanks for your realistic analysis with a broader vision and unbiased view especially on todays majority of misguided young generation existing in all communities.

  • safwan, kasargod

    Fri, Feb 19 2010

    A/s sis good luck..Fortune favours brave. U being brave dont need my wishes. Still Good Luck :)

  • manish, canada

    Thu, Feb 18 2010

    We from the same original land of Bharat but we want to keep her intact, they want to break it into thousand pieces.

    Our ancestors happen to be the same. We acknowledge and adore the heritage but they abhor and decimate whoever is available in an attempt to wipe out the link.

    We are culturally the same. We have created the culture over centuries what they dream to destroy in moments.

    Ours is a 10,000 year old civilization, theirs is a 62 years old country undoing whole human civilization.

    We extend our hands repeatedly to promote friendship and amity they give us ISI, Lashkar, Harkat, Kashmir, Kargil and 26/11 in exchange.

    Do you think that the Indians nationals who died in all the above wars, the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in cross-border ceasefire violations or the Indian civilians who are killed by the ISI trained Islamic terrorists and their affiliates, in all those serial blasts, all over the country, willfully sacrificed their lives as a friendly neighbourhood gesture?

    Can you face the families of the victims of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or the martyrs of the Kargil war and try to explain to them that "They are good neighbours. Let us love each other."

    Can you explain why the two gunmen at Cama hospital, during the Mumbai carnage, asked the man who gave them water, what his religion was, and shot him dead when he said he was a Hindu?

    If you cannot, then perhaps you understand why the majority of India does not consider Pakistan as a good neighbour to have.

    Perhaps you believe that the peaceful religious co-existence that you created in your home (and we appreciate that) can be extended to the large world outside. As you rightly said, we Indians trust and do accept everybody but what you did fail to mention was that it is the Indic tradition, essentially coming out of its pre-Islamic Hindu ethos.

    If you think otherwise, show us a single Islamic country where the non-believers enjoy the same equality as the believers. Since partition, the Hindus left over in Pakistan and Bangladesh has suffered terribly. Strictly Islamic countries, like Saudi Arabia, do not allow any other religions to exist. Hindus working in the Gulf countries are not allowed to practice their religion in public. Saudi Arabia insists that India sends only a Muslim ambassador. Hindu Muslim unity by and large has generally been a matter of Hindus trying to please or accommodate Muslims. One cannot forget when Vajpayee was extending his hand for peace Musharraf was planning the Kargil insurgency.

    Let us remind you, your own statement "I am a Muslim in a country called India .We"ve never been made to feel this is a Hindu country."

    Can you find me a Hindu in Pakistan who can reciprocate that sentiment?

    Some years ago, another Mr. Khan, first name Feroze, from your fraternity was banned from entering Pakistan for saying, "India is secular unlike Pakistan".

  • Latif, Dubai

    Thu, Feb 18 2010

    Towards dawn from darkness,
    Dear Anisa no doubt you inspire the next, Almighty God bless you.

  • Mushtaq Hasan, Mangalore, Riyadh

    Thu, Feb 18 2010

    Great Words Anisa Fathima..It is a beautiful massage we mangalorean should wake up and think how to overcome.....
    Keep writing, your concern for humanity highly appreciated.

  • Nirupam uncle, Tina

    Thu, Feb 18 2010

    Nirupam uncle where ever he goes
    Wears his spectacles on his noes
    Carries a stick with a silver band
    And a silver box in the other hand.

  • Lancy, Jeppu/ Pune

    Thu, Feb 18 2010

    Hi Anisha, i am the brother of ur classmate Loy Fernandes who expired 3 years ago. i really enjoyed ur piece of writing. You seem to enter deeper into realities of day today life, which when analysed seem silly. they actually can be avoied but be cannot but stop without it.

    Keep writing similar insightful articles.

  • Mohammed Shareef, Kasaragod

    Thu, Feb 18 2010

    Well Done Anisa Fatima. If all People think same way there will be no problem at all Quate from Quram You have your religion ,they have have their religion . keep good relation with every one


    Thu, Feb 18 2010

    Well said Anisa Fathima.

  • Anisa, Mangalore

    Thu, Feb 18 2010

    Thank you dear readers for your wonderful comments. Vik Sharp, mlr/dxb, I would like to clarify that not even once have i mentioned or even hinted at any particular religion or political party. I am sorry that you have got such an impression from my article.

    Such groups as I have mentioned exist everywhere irrespective of religion. When I say the rhetoric of religion I mean all not just Hindu or Muslim. I feel its time we go beyond all that and see humanity as a whole and scrutinise where we are going wrong instead of highlighting only a part. Thank you once again.

  • Vik Sharp, mlr/dxb

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Nice article....but why is it that u only have to talk about hindu groups and hindu political parties?
    Why is it that during communal disturbances only one side is taken to task?  Its not as if the Jihadis and crusaders are saints  A few sentences on combating the growing religious extremism among muslims fermented by misguided mullahs and on the next door evangelist who are equally responsible for spread of hatred would have been much appreciated.

  • Pavan, Karkala

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Hi Anisa

    I first visited this site only about a month or month back and since then I visit and enjoy the news regularly. Today I just happened to read your article. Well written. May I know if there is a link on your profile? After reading some of the articles, I am really impressed by the talents and the hold you have in the language.

    Best of luck and wishes
    Pavan, Karkala


    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Nice articLE.   wish u all the best.

  • zeenath Banu A .Hameed., Kannur karnataka/Dubai

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Thanks Anisha, nice article, I always used to spend time with ur article.

  • Ashraf Hussian, JUBAIL/ SURATHKAL

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    nice and a perfect article.. We need more personalities like u in this generation.

  • Alwyn, Mangalore/USA

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Beautiful piece of writing. Thanks.  Dil maange more!

  • Imraan, Mangalore

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    awesome article anisa,keep it up

  • Mohammed, Kankanady

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Indeed eye opening very thoughtful article from Young Brigade of Namma Kudla. Usually media avoid this issue afrade of backlash from the socity. But this one put forth so nicely that nobody can deny it. Sincearly request with Daiji to Publish it in all local news papers in and arround Mangalore, Print & Tele media alike. Good Luck Ms. Anisa, May Allah Bless You with more wisdom.


    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Nice to read your articles. Keep it up.

  • Shareef, Kuwait

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    A thought provoking article, good job.


    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Sister, thanks for your meaningful article.

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Anisutide yako indoo,ninu modalu bareyalila yeke yendu! Great Flow

    Tiny TOT!

  • Shafie Mohammad, Bellare, Mangalore

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Mind Blowing article keep it up

  • sunil, Mangalore/Newzealand

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    Fantastic article, keep it up Anisa, true facts. wish u all the best.


    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    People Take Time To Think Before Ink, Good article, good thought, keep writing FATHIMA
    May Allah grant you more wisdom and courage and may you scale all heights with simplicity and honesty. Ameen Ameen.Summa ameen

  • Appucha Dammam, uppinangady

    Wed, Feb 17 2010

    where are you fathima?a long times after you enter daiji.write more articles and bring the talent out.keep it up.


    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Well said Fatima , we should see more personalites at the present younger generatoins who have similary power like the one you have, then only the game might end. Good luck dear and God bless our beautiful coastal land.

  • S.M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, udupi

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Mind Blowing article keep it up

  • Irfan DXB, Dubai

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Dear Anisa,

    First of all,I would like to Congratulate you for your Wisdom and thought provoking article. It is the fact that most of the so called educated mangloreans (including me)have just tried to put the blame on others without even analysing the actual reasons for these disturbances. Its high time that we understand the motives of the attacks (as clearly and beautifuly put in words by Ms. Anisa)and spread Love, peace, harmony in the society and not to get brain washed by these so called protectors of the indian culture.

    May Allah grant you more wisdom and courage and may you scale all heights with simplicity and honesty. Ameen Summa Ameen.

  • Antony Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney, Australia

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Good article Anisa. You have raised and discussed quite a few important and worthwhile issues, but sadly, it is hard to find satisfactory answers and solutions. Yes, as you rightly say, we carry on the blame game to the extreme end. For instance, when a accident happens on the road and in the process some lives are lost, we straightaway blame the Politicians and the Government in power for not properly maintaining the roads, without even realising a minute that the accident could have happened because of the excessive speeding and/or carelessness of the person at the wheel. (By the way, sometimes, the bad roads are a blessing in disguise, for, if there were good and smooth roads, there would have been quite a few more accidents and loss of lives, because of excessive speeding of some maniac drivers!)

    Similarly, any untoward or bad event takes place, we tend to immediately jump on the Police Force, the Politicians and the Government authorities, being slack in their duties, and once again, we never sit back and even think a minute to assess the real cause! Anyway, you have broached quite a few issues and something good will come out of it. Taking this opportunity to wish you well Anisa, in your future writings.

  • salman Mlore, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Indeed it is the good piece of writing by Ms. Fathima. Once gain you have proven good skill and talent. I believe that the essence of writing a good and interesting article is simplicity. I can see the clarity and simplicity in your writing with simple diplomatic manner. As a young writer you really managed to acquire complete talent of writing. Anyhow, your article was really EXCELLENT but as i believe it did not touch all the facts and of course there are so many things to be said which cannot be done at ones. Wish you good luck and May Allah bless you!

  • Clifford Fernandes, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Very thought provoking article Anisa. Keep it up

  • Kabeer, Haleangadi,Bollur

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Waaw... what a msg,Supurb. keep it up Anisha. keep writing these type of good msgs.

  • A.D'Cunha Shenoy, Mangaluru

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Dear Anisa. YOu are right the blame-game goes on and on and on without putting a perspective in thinking and judgement. Lets live with our values and excersise discretion and caution in accepting/ going with the flow with other imported values that are casing controversies and violence.
    Your articles are extremely intelligent and well pointed.

  • Khursheed, Karkala/Abu Dhabi

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    The blame game comes immediate after any incidents is natural whether it focus on right area or wrong. Positive thinking and good article but what you are talking about cleaning up is next to impossible.

  • razayish, mangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    very nice article as always fathima you are an eye opener to the youth and thier parents. hope mangaloreans read this and change their mind to bring normal and peaceful mangalore and india. (india is peace loving nation)

  • Rakesh Dsouza, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    One more good article from Ms.Anisa...realy a provoking thought on burning issue...keep it up.....wishyou best of luck...keep on writing....

  • M.Akbar, Jeddah-saudi arabia

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    assalam alaikum
    hi fathima,
    thanks for this article,its one of the good article-especially mangaloreans we should read this article becouse than we undestand for the situation in mangalore.

    if u need any help pls contact on my e-mail

  • Sandeep shetty, Gorigudda/bangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010


  • Nazia,dxb, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Well said. Anisa keep it up.Really a eye opener

  • D.M.D' Souza, Bantwal

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Anisa Fathima-good article with good inputs.We all inherited it from Adam & Eve, isn't it. Again I'm playing the blame game Too.


    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Very inspiring article. No philosophy, just bare facts. I wish most of our unemployed youth read this article from a daily newspaper and get some kind of awakening, if they want to. They need, of course!

  • sa,adi, ujire

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    keep it up anisa fathima,very good article.continue ur writing.

  • Ibrahim, kinnigoli/dubai

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Asalamalaikum,Fathima. This is what happening in Mangalore. Every one is blaming each other.Keep it up.

  • shaheerzain dubai, mangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    well said sister Fathima i hope this will help our youth and will make them to think twice before they act...GOD BLESS U SISTER keep going........

  • Sunil D'Souza, Mangalore/Qatar

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Good one Fathima. This is what happening in Mangalore. Every one is blaming each other.

  • Allen, mangalore/bangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    very nice article keep it up fathima. very thought provoking

  • Saleem GH, Abu Dhabi/Puttur

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Remarkable article.. THx Fathiama keep it up

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    So the whole matter boils down to one point that is class conflict and not religion that what is causing tension in the city.We have on the one side the rich, who can spend and enjoy and the poor who can't.The vested interests make use of this situation to spread conflict.The pub attack,V-day ban all these are just at the surface level.People hate others because deep down there is desire in every one to become like the one whom they hate.Good article.....on a burning issue.

  • Neil, UAE

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Good article, good thought, keep writing Anisa, best of luck

  • Harold menezes, mangalore/dubai

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Super Artical!!!!!!People Take Time To Think Before Ink.Comeon Keepit Up Fathima!!!!!.

  • Thanzeel Moosa, Kuwait

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Good Article...Keep it up.


    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Indeed a nice article, and factual.The so called MORAL POLICE, should try to uplift theier goons for their well being.If they are well off they wil never try to throw stones , or beat women in public.I feel this is mere jealousy not being on the other side.

  • yogeesh kumar, dubai

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    Salute to Anisa was a beautiful massage to daiji readers. People please wake up and think in positive way.

  • khaleel ibrahim, addoor/al jubail

    Tue, Feb 16 2010

    wow what an artical!!!!!!!!!!eye opener for youth, keep it up fathima

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