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Madrassi or Madrasi is a demonym and frequently an ethnic slur used for people of South India (then the Madras Presidency), mostly by people of western, central and northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. It also used to make derogatory reference to south Indian dark skin colour.[1][2][3] Although the term borrows its name from Madras (the former name of Chennai, Tamil Nadu), it is used generically to refer to any person from South India.[4] The term originated during the British Raj to designate people from the southern parts of India, which were then in the Madras Presidency. During the early 1990s, the terms lungi hatao pungi bajao[5] and Yendu gundu were coined by Shiv Sena in the Maharashtra state of India to ridicule languages from south India.[6] South Indians were derisively referred to as "yandugundu walas" and "lunghi walas".[7][8][9] Bal Thackeray, the Marathi politician and founder of the Shiv Sena, lampooned the Madrassi in his writings and cartoons.[10]


  1. ^ David Theo Goldberg, Ato Quayson (2002). Relocating Postcolonialism. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-631-20805-1. 
  2. ^ Dimitris Eleftheriotis, Gary Needham (2006). Asian Cinemas: A Reader and Guide. University of Hawaii Press. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-8248-3085-4. 
  3. ^ Historia y Sociedad , Volumes 4-6. University of Puerto Rico (Río Piedras Campus). Departamento de Historia. 1991. p. 92. 
  4. ^ Das, Veena; Kleinman, Arthur; Lock, Margaret M.; Ramphele, Mamphela; Reynolds, Pamela (2001-06-04). Remaking a World: Violence, Social Suffering, and Recovery. University of California Press. p. 214. ISBN 9780520924857. 
  5. ^ "Shiv Sena On The Threshold Of Disintegration". The Indian Express via Retrieved 2006-07-22. 
  6. ^ Know your party: Shiv Sena
  7. ^ "'The General' in his labyrinth".
  8. ^ Know your party: Shiv Sena
  9. ^ "Strokes of a genius". The Hindu. July 29, 2001. 
  10. ^ Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi, p. 430.