Monday, September 7, 2009

And why did they die?

When I read the news that 67 people died upon hearing the death of YSR, I wondered if such an incident can ever happen in Kerala. It did pain me to note that precious lives were lost due to some reasons.

In Kerala we do have ardent supporters who will kill another for the party’s sake (and get away!) but never have I heard anyone committing suicide or of anyone who has even died of a heart attack upon hearing about the death of a political leader. (They may commit suicide if the State announced that liquor is completely banned!)

1- Is it because the state is 100% literate?

2- Is it because the caste system is thinning out and also many social norms have been thrown out? (women are more empowered)

3- Is it because the state is more developed?

4- Is it because the state does not have good political leaders worth dying for?

While the 4th is true at the moment for Kerala, the first 2 counts even more. Kerala is also a smaller state and hence the poverty level could be lower when compared to AP. And while I think that the needs of the state of Kerala are not as severe as that of AP, the state does have suicides among the farmers.

I assume that in some states when the desperate needs of its people are met even in the barest level, they tend to elevate their leader to the status of God. So much that when one saw the live telecast of the funeral on TV channels and the news that so many even died for him, one wonders how a leader who has been accused of corruption and accusation in the highest level got into the hearts of the common people.

23 comments:

  1. May be because Kerala is more forward looking and Congressism is missing.Congress believes in hero worship.It is disgusting.

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  2. I think people in Kerala are definitely more informed.. and hero worship is certainly not present.. if anything, I think Kerala has quite an anti-establishment feeling, doesn't it -irrespective of who is in power :)

    I still find it difficult to believe that so many people died on hearing of YSR's death.. I had no idea that he was such a popular leader..

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  3. AP and TN is famous for hero worship. I have read about temples being built for actors.

    The proof that this will never happen in Kerala is that Prem Nazir lost elections whereas MGR and NTR became CMs of their respective states. People don't blindly vote because someone is so n so. Also, the attitude that I am better.

    I haven't seen nepotism working too much either in the state.

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  4. I was shocked to hear that people committed suicide because YSR died ?? Agree with BK Chowla - its disgusting alright.

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  5. Kerala is clinically different from the other South Indian counterparts with regard to this kind of hero-worship. The one reason why even Mammooty or Mohanlal hasn't got even one temple for them in Kerala whereas in TN even guys like Vijayakanth is considered God!

    Literacy is certainly a reason but I believe the 4th one is also one worth considering ;)

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  6. boss! you said really correct...

    I support all the points and the liquor one, full support.

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  7. I think they all died in unrelated circumstances and ended up being martyrs !!

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  8. BKC: The hero worship is disgusting but I doubt if it is reserved for only Congress. NTR was equally worshipped. And every party occasionally gives seat to someone who can get the support of the people or who already has a mass appeal, even if they have never been politically active. But what is disturbing is that in some way these people are helplessly indebted to some political leaders. It is like these leaders are throwing enough crumbs to keep them indebted while keeping the better part for themselves. In Kerala and many other states, this dependence is not there right now.

    Smitha: Yes.. our ego just won’t allow us to worship another :) nd yes we are better informed.. and thanks to our mimicry artists no leader can stay unruffled.

    Solilo: On Mgr’s death 30 followers committed suicide and lakhs of people had their heads tonsured. (as per Wiki) and I hear the same happened during Kamaraj’s death too. But then Kamaraj was a great leader and did much to TN and I think even MJR contributed in his own way. As for nepotism, I am not sure why it is not there in Kerala .. fear of “Para”?

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  9. 2B’s Mummy; Even I was shocked and hence wanted to know why even at the present times when everyone wants to say that India is developed… guess only some part of India is being developed while the rest of the development fund goes to the privileged.

    Scorpio: Can we ever imagine a political leader being mourned thus? But then the recent fans associations and its related actions does make me think that we may end up having temples… but then instead are we not bestowing better honors? Major Mohanlal and maybe Mamooty will be inducted into the CBI although I do feel his role in Nair Saab was good enough for other honorable posts.

    Abhilash: oh yes the Keralites will die for their daily spirit.

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  10. KK: what u said could be true too.. none has verified the numbers.. but u dont have to see them die to know how they are worshipping them.. my colleague is from AP and even he thinks his ex-CM was great.

    nd yes it serves better for the Central govt and the state govts to keep it thus..if a state is literate, then getting votes will be harder :)

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  11. First of all i think it is just a rumour,Because none of the major news channels and newspapers reported it(now a days if a celebrity sneeze also ,they will show it as a flash news.In that case, if this incident happend,then they would have celebrated it for 1 week).
    yeahh literacy rate of andhra is pretty bad compared to kerala.They worship and built temples for actors and politicians.Same is not in the case of kerala,high literacy rate is one reason and another major reason is we are selfish(like we just bothered about the wellbeing and happiness of our family only)

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  12. Anish: if it was only a rumour then the following NP's which are major (I think so) should not have reported it...nd so did most of the TV channels

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/homepage/hyderabad/67-die-after-YSR-s-death-bereaved-son-appeals-for-patience/450131/H1-Article1-450173.aspx

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/homepage/hyderabad/67-die-after-YSR-s-death-bereaved-son-appeals-for-patience/450131/H1-Article1-450173.aspx
    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/23315/67-die-ysrs-death-bereaved.html

    think the media should also check the truth before it reports.. not just shock the readers..

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  13. BKC: am not able to view your blog... it goes blank soon after the page comes up..

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  14. I feel many of them were based on genuine feelings towards the leader, rather than just an aftermath of hero-worship, as mentioned in some comments. Probably, as you said, the state and its people were looking forward to satisfying its needs and hunger through this leader that when he was gone, it shocked them all. My mother in law who is a malayali living in hyderabad also said it was a deeply saddening event. I read a lot of levelheaded people, and educated youngsters, write about the loss the state has faced.

    On comparison, probably kerala doesn't need/depend as much, or doesn't have such leaders.

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  15. i read on some newspaper that around 122 died due to ysr death, out of which 99 were due to shock/heart attacks. may not be exact, but yes the numbers are high and dramatic for sure.

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  16. Try again,I have not received such complaint from elsewhere.Would you like to try again please?

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  17. rocksea: they might have died of heat break if the news is true and this is what disturbed me...

    If India was still ruled by Kings and when the subjects were entirely dependent on their whims and fancies then one may expect these kind of emotions.. but this is happening in India which celebrated it's 63rd day of Independence.. nd oblivious to stark realities we enjoy reading about the dreams and predictions that India may become the next superpower (!).. something is just not right and this is what is evading our policy makers.. or the truth is that a part of India is still dependant on the whims and facies of the politicians including the top most...

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  18. i think the only time our state has seriously mourned the death of a person was when EMS passed away..i think the grief that was out in the streets were genuine...but ofcoz people are level headed not to do extreme acts like suicide!

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  19. Mathew: yes including EMS Kerala did produce some very good leaders.. yet as you said none died of heart breaks.. level headness is there in this case but not in other cases... and also the rich poor divide is not that severe in Kerala..

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  20. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&issueid=111&id=61917&Itemid=1

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  21. Thank u KK... u r right as usual :)

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  22. "I assume that in some states when the desperate needs of its people are met even in the barest level, they tend to elevate their leader to the status of God." - You have hit the nail right on the head. You are right, though the only way to get our guys to kill themselves would be to ban liquor. Thanks for your comments on my blog :)

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  23. Its fortunate that Kerala does not follow the same level of hero worship as the other states. I'd hate to see the day one of our movie actors becomes a CM or minister :)

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