Politics And Culture

Gaurav Sabnis, in the course of an email conversation, points me to this superb speech by Pu La Deshpande, and kindly provides a translation. An excerpt:

Maharashtra and Karnataka are political entities, whereas Marathi and Kannada are cultural entities. What you have between political entities are borders that keep each other out. What you have between cultural entities are meeting places and common grounds where cultural exchange takes place, enriching each other.

Politics divides us; culture brings us together. So obviously there’s always a simmering conflict between the two. And while the likes of the Thackerays may have louder voices and big dandas, I hope a voice like Pu La’s will find more resonance in the long run.

Am I being too optimistic?