VIJAYAWADA: With big universities like VIT, SRM set to open campus in the capital from the next academic year, the conventionally-traditional region is going to witness a cosmopolitan culture as students from all over the country and from abroad will come to study here, which might lead to some unpleasant encounters sometimes.
Recently, African nationals studying at KL University clashed with locals of Vaddeswaram village. The incident, which started with an exchange of gestures, took an ugly turn at the slightest provocation. Later the locals raised multiple objections regarding the African students. Most of them said students coming from other places behaved intemperately.
A local from Vaddeswaram, V. Satya Kirti, said KL University students sleep late, drink and drive rashly. Their mode of dressing was also different from the locals, he said and added that many such incidents had happened recently.
Retired director general of police and United Nations security consultant Mr K.C. Reddy said the frequency of such clashes would depend on the interaction between outsiders with the locals.
“A common cause for a conflict is language. People tend to misunderstand gestures and body language. These aberrations will have to be addressed in advance,” he added.
“The villagers are finding others’ lifestyles strange and peculiar. The conflict between traditional lifestyles and the cosmopolitan culture that comes with the big establishments will build a gap, unless addressed,” said director of Centre For Human Security Studies Dr Kanneganti Ramesh Babu.
State should take change management seriously: Reddy
The cultural shift and the influx of new lifestyles that comes along with the development of capital will have to be addressed with sensitivity towards locals, UN security consultant, Mr K.C. Reddy has said.
“The government and institutions should have a road map in dealing with these clashes,” he said and added that a detailed study over the possible scenarios should be done taking into account the cultural differences.
“The sudden exposure to multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan culture will develop a sense of inferiority in the locals which is not at all desirable,” said director of Centre For Human Security Studies Dr Kanneganti Ramesh Babu.
The government must take up the clash of cultures as a point to address in short-term and long-term basis to curtail and contain the possible scenarios. He said the government should prepare the locals about the possible outcomes of development well in advance.
“Otherwise, a small incident can become a larger issue, an international issue even, that can hamper the development,” he added. Vijayawada police commissioner D. Gautam Sawang, who also worked in the UN peace mission, said: “We have to prepare the locals for the change that is likely to unfold in the times to come, particularly, when we are talking about world-class capital city.” He observed that the change management in all domains would be a significant part of our engagement.