Gujaratis as a community thrive on generalization. Gujarati journalists, even more so [Read this before proceeding]. Gujaratis have generally been traders in independent India, to which some attribute their inherent nature to generalize. Brahmins and kshatriyas were never known to generalize and hence are not  successful traders. This is not a claim I made out of thin air — statistics prove they are not good traders.

The phenomenon extends beyond the obvious. For instance, look at Gujarati surnames. You might recall that BSNL phone books always had Shahs and Patels as the most occurring last name. Gujaratis tend to have fewer surnames — they don’t believe in specifics as a community. It is the generalizations that matter: the Shahs, the Patels. The origins of this peculiar behaviour can be traced back to their ancestors who did not follow any caste system — they instead preferred to be identified as just Aryans.

Likewise, in the 90s all pop-albums by Gujaratis were named Patelscope with numbers suffixed to differentiate them. When the time came for the Gujarati community to offer India another pop-star, they did not offer a female and increase diversity. We got Falguni Pathak instead.

However, one cannot generalize this behaviour. Contrary to what you might expect, India has never had a Gujarati general. At the same time, do you ever recall a Gujarati ever seeking admission in a reserved category? It would surprise me if you did, because Gujaratis always seek admission in the general category.

Across the border in neighboring Pakistan, it is clear that most Gujaratis are bloggers and also appear in my chat list. This might be based on one Gujarati blogger, but it is obvious to see how this is plausible. For specifics, refer to Ramchandra Guha’s excellent book India After Gandhi.

[Deepak Iyer is a successful blogger who writes for News You Can’t Use! Unlike Aakar Patel, he is not a Gujarati. Please take his generalizations with a pinch of salt.]

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