Shashi Tharoor has two part article on Kerala which lists all the virtues of Malayalees and we get to see what a brilliant man he is in the following paragraph
Keralites never suffered from inhibitions about travel: so many Keralite typists flocked to stenographic work in Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi that “Remington” was thought to be the name of a Malayali sub-caste. In the nation’s capital, the wags said that you couldn’t throw a stone in the Central Secretariat without injuring a Keralite bureaucrat. Nor was there, in the Kerala tradition, any prohibition on venturing abroad, none of the ritual defilement associated in parts of North India with “crossing the black water”. It was no accident that Keralites were the first, and the most, to take advantage of the oil-fuelled employment boom in the Arab Gulf countries; at one point in the 1980s, the largest single ethnic group in the Gulf sheikhdom of Bahrain was reported to be not Bahrainis but Keralites.[Questing spirit]
He glosses over the fact that militant Communism prevented the growth of any industry and people had no other option, but go abroad to make a living. Tharoor makes it sound as if Malayalees were doing a favour to the nations of the Middle East. Since Communists resisted globalization in Kerala, Malayalees had to rely on the globalization of labor to find work in Arab countries and live like slaves.
Now modernization and competition in Qatar has caught these immigrants by surprise and many Malayalees are expected to be jobless.
The community suffered a massive setback more than two years ago when the mushrooming hypermarkets threatened the smaller provision stores by waging a fierce price war. Community sources estimate that out of about 125,000 commercial registrations (CRs), some 25 per cent of them may be small grocery stores run by Kerala Muslims.
Known in the local parlance as ‘baqalas’, the small-time owners of these outlets ran for help to community leaders. A committee was set up to study the problem and suggest ways to tackle it. One of the proposals made was that ‘baqalas’ form consortia, meaning that some 10 to 15 of them from one broader locality come together and make purchases of saleable goods collectively, so that they could buy and sell things cheaper to survive the price war. But the proposal never worked as it proved to be impractical and difficult to implement. The result was that many of these ‘baqalas’ continue to exist, albeit with difficulty, as jobs and profits have nearly halved.
According to him, considering the trend in Qatar that points to small businesses being replaced by bigger ones, community elders have long been warning those in catering an grocery trade to use foresight and diversify into other areas in vain.[Muslims from northern Kerala worried about future in Qatar]
If this were Kerala, there would be people shouting Inquilab in front of the hypermarts, but since Arab countries are big on human rights, the only thing you can do is swallow the bitter pill. You can run all you want from globalization and modernization, but you cannot hide.
Update: I Prefer That You Kiss My…