ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Few Good Men

The perception of a Haryanvi culture of boorishness and misogynist chauvinism may be a stereotype that is reflected in other parts of the country too.

The web version of this article corrects a few errors that appeared in the print edition.

In this piece, I will use “Haryanvi” as a label with implications that are unlikely to make a citizen of that northern state feel good. But unlike the former minister from our national capital city, who uttered those infamous words about women with dark skin (“They are not like you and me”), I will not deny that I am committing a crime.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, I had to frequently travel between Chandigarh and Delhi at night. Typically, I would reserve a ticket for a sleeper-class berth in the Kalka-Howrah Mail and try to catch a few Z’s while battling the small squadron of mosquitoes. The train leaves Chandigarh at nearly 1 am and reaches Delhi at 6 am. There were only five stops in between. As soon as the first station, Ambala Cantonment, arrived, a horde of male commuters would troop in. Even though the reserved compartments were not meant for them, they would seat themselves wherever they wished. This nonchalant occupancy would continue until the last stop before Delhi, Sonepat.

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