This is not a Political blog and neither does it aspire to be one.. I usually write bout things that affect my life or of those close to me in some way. If Politics turns you off, please dont read this post, but if you are remotely interested, go ahead!
"Akkra rupaye zaale", said the conductor while punching the ticket
"matlab..? hindi mein boliye na..kitne rupaye hue?", the man(most probably from up) asked while accepting the ticket..
"marathi yet nahi kay? mag ja na parat bihar la" (Dont know marathi? Then go back to Bihar)
I was travelling with a few of my office colleagues in a state transport bus..Everyone in the bus gave the man a dirty look, some even echoed the conductors sentiment in hindi so that it was clear to that him that he was not welcome in this part of the world! I looked at my colleagues, it seemed that they supported the conductor instead of feeling sorry for that guy...and thats what this post is all about..
I have these 2 friends who close to me, both of them are non-marathis(and NOT non-maharastrians, coz everyone whos born and brought up here is a maharashtrian). Lets call them Deejay and Sally.. Both of them did their schooling from a community school, needless to say they were protected and identified with the culture there.. When they shifted to a bigger college, they had their own problems getting used to the culture.. Deejay complained that he felt left out when even in a group everyone started talking in marathi. Sally was frustrated that even the office staff talked to everyone in marathi..(and looked down on the people who didnt know their language)
The irony here is that she is a supporter of the Thackrey 'Raj'.. influenced by his ideology of kicking the "outsiders" back to where they came from, in this case UP or Bihar..
"But they are taxi drivers, carpenters, construction workers! How can we ask them to leave?", I reason.
"So what, I am sure we have enough people here to do those jobs"- Sally retorts..
I say - why not ask the south Indians to leave too? And the Gujratis, the Marwaris, why should they stay?
I am sure we have enough educated youth here to do the high end jobs that South Indians are involved in.. We dont want Marwaris and Gujratis coz we have enough of our Marathi businessmen to take care of all the businesses.. We dont want Punjabis in here coz we have enough marathi people who can run hotels and auto maintainance garages... All of you, go back to your respective states!!
The chances are, if you belong to one of the said communities, you would wanna scratch my eyes out...
And only I know how amazingly stupid and increasingly unconvincing I sounded when I said the those things..
Just like these communities play an important part in the functioning of the city, so do guys from the northern states.. Just like you go to a Punjabi restaurant for the best Chole bathure, you go to a bihari carpenter to get the best deal for your sofa.
But that said, it should be noted that its not acceptable to come to the city and live under a pipeline. These kinda people(and not any specific community) put a lotta pressure on the already strained city. Its these freeloaders that should be kept out of the city.
Time to resurrect the images of my friends..
Why do they hate the UP-Biharis? Its not that they have to compete against them for jobs or anything! Nor do they have to interact with them on a day to day basis.. so what makes them mad?
Its the freeloaders!! Its the people who think its okay for 7 guys to live in a 10X10 feet shanty in Dharavi..But Dharavi or for that matter any slum town in Mumbai has a quite a mix.. There are Gujratis and Punjabis, Christians and Muslims, marathis and south indians.. So why are Deejay and Sally mad at the northerners only? - Well, thats coz Raj wants them to! We do what we are told to.. More so when we are frustrated and want change bad. I dont blame them.. Crowded trains, bad roads, encroached footpaths do that to people... seeing their tax money not being utilised properly, their money used to provide electricity and water to the slums.. it sucks! Its similar to the sentiment people in the US show towards people who live off social security..
Now to the big question- Why is Raj mad at the northerners only?!
Well, a quick scan through Shiv Sena's history shows that through different time frames they have been mad at different people.. First it were the Gujratis (because they controlled most businesses and not the "sons of the soil"), then in the 80s the South Indians (coz they got the best jobs and not the "sons of the soil" ) and now for the last two decades, its been northerners..
The reason why most people dont know bout the 70s and the 80s is coz the "tigers" back then were "cubs" whom the congress bred to keep the marathi vote from going to the communist CPI. But then the cubs grew to be tigers and joined the saffron bandwagon to beat congress at its own game. Once in power in the 90s, the sena guys have added "value" by renaming every 3rd street to Chatrapatti Shivaji Maharaj and city has been rechristened Mumbai(which I support, btw)
Raj, who must have been in his late teens back in the early 90s, saw how his uncle worked up his charm. And now, his time has come to do what the Thackreys do best - implement the "us against them" doctrine. Then it doesnt matter who "them" is.. Afterall, this is tried and tested formula that has worked for ages.. Hitler used the same tactics...In that case, "them" were the Jews(and the rest of the world in general). Imagine less than 4 crore men ready to die for their leader and for a unbelievable dream of ruling the world! ... Some brainwash that must have been!!!
This tactic is super successful in the short term since it works for all classes who are on this side, but it does not help much in the long run... it brings a section of the society closer, at the same time, letting other sections drift away...
PS 1:- Raj is a great orator. Hes pretty charismatic. He appeals to the masses as well as the educated classes. Who knows? He might make a great leader someday.. When he does, he will unite the state, but in the bargain, end up dividing the nation..
PS2:- Deejay is still getting a hang of the language, but is comfortable with the idea of speaking the language. Sally has worked hard on the language and now, speaks excellent marathi.. The clerks at her college are proud. Her work gets done faster at all govt. offices simply coz she tries speaking the their language... Is that surprising? Nope! Its just human nature... Thackrey "Raj"
Editor in chief arshat chaudharyCurrent Issues: friends, life, politics, raj thackrey, shiv sena