28 February, 2021

The Wave Is Modi

Mangalore, and coastal Karnataka, is a BJP stronghold. Over the past three decades, dominant communities such as the Bunts have largely shifted to the BJP.

The Wave Is Modi

In the years that Pranav Pandit was away from Mangalore as a young professional finding his feet elsewhere, the city had changed dramatically. From a small town, where practically everybody was a familiar face, to a bustling city touched by an IT, education, real estate boom and overseas remittances. The prosperity brought a new dimension into Mangalore’s multi-cultural milieu which now colours the city’s public persona—communal polarisation. An us-versus-them mentality has seeped in.

“There’s much more to Mangalore than what is being portrayed. Much of it is hyped up,” says Pranav, 39. The city’s social fabric is a complex tapestry—a place that stands for enterprise; a higher standard of living, and literacy, than elsewhere; and ulturally vibrant. Various tongues—Tulu, Konkani, Beary—garnish the platter. Yet, it is caught in a bind of conservatism and modernity. There are instances of cattle smuggling that make the locals angry, says Pranav. And, there are mischief-makers putting a religious tinge to events for...

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