MNS - The Menace

Friday, October 31, 2008

India counts diversity as its uniqueness. I wonder whether it is really something to boast of in the current times. Even as people in Kashmir spill over on streets in hordes to burn Indian flags and shout pro-Pakistan slogans, we see the Marathis (a handful lot) brutally assaulting Biharis in Mumbai. Can we, in such circumstances, even claim to be united in our diversity?

MNS, just like Shiv Sena is hoping to gain ground in Maharashtra politics by flaring up regional sentiments. Shiv Sena was up against South Indians in late sixties and it is the turn of MNS to repeat the act against Biharis. In the last BMC elections, MNS suffered a near washout securing just 6 seats out of 221. When Thackeray realized that his MNS could face annihilation in the upcoming general elections, he came out brandishing swords against the hapless north Indians. His purpose has been half served with him getting proper prime time slot on all news channels. For once it seems that Shiv Sena has had to settle playing second fiddle in extremist politics.

Why is the protest uncalled for?

North Indians comprise of a quarter of Mumbai’s population. Amongst these, you have people ranging from renowned artistes, businessmen to the taxi drivers, auto drivers and snack vendors who are the lifeline of Mumbai. How can anyone push these people out as per their convenience? Mumbai is known for its cosmopolitan set up. Disturbing the social fabric is going to mar the supreme status that Mumbai has earned over the years. While Parsis, Gujaratis and Marwaris have dominated the business scene in Maharashtra, the north Indian migrants mostly took to working as mill workers, and small time vendors of daily need items. In the age of globalization, it is a fact that even the Maharashtrians are dependent on the non-Maharashtrians at every turn of their daily lives. People move only if they sight an opportunity. What can the north Indian do if a Maharashtrian offers him a job? Refuse it? If indeed Raj Thackeray wants to fight for the self-coined supposed Marathi Maanoos Asmita, let him fight against them. Why beat the hell out of hapless students who go over to appear in an ALL INDIA examination for railway services?

What the motives are?

Raj Thackeray formed his party with a secular agenda. His political flag has different colors to symbolize his support to the dalits, muslims and the hindus. He fought the BMC elections on a secular agenda and suffered defeat. He then went back to pick the same text book that his uncle got educated from. Bal Thackeray rose in political stature fighting against South Indians (Shivsena’s war cry in the late sixties was a funny – “Bajao pungi, bhagao lungi”). Raj tried to repeat the feat against the north Indians. Raj failed to see that despite the strong polarization that happened decades ago in favor of the Sena, it never mustered enough majority to form a Government on its own steam. He probably thinks that he can be one up on his uncle!

Raj Thackeray is intelligent in the sense that he has always raked up issues that garnered media attention. He chose to attack Amitabh Bachchan and then cut loose to flex his muscle power against poor taxi drivers, auto drivers and vendors in Mumbai. C’mon Mr. Thackeray, we have heard a lot from you regarding your pain and anguish at seeing north Indians stealing jobs from under your nose. What is your take on the Vidarbha issue? Did you say that you toured the region recently to understand their grievances? Hmm..let us see what you spoke of when you toured the region in September:

Thackeray's Vidarbha Tour

Mr. Thackeray, it seems you read out from a wrong speech. Vidarbha faces the problem of suicides. It doesn’t really care to know if you protested against Amitabh Bachchan or how north Indians have tarnished your culture.

Quite evidently, Congress wants to divide the votes that Sena earns. MNS can be a spoiler for Shiv Sena in the upcoming elections and the only one to gain from this is Congress. So, while it kills a youth who can at best be called an amateur limelight seeker, it remains tight lipped and lethargic when it comes to curbing violent agitations against north Indians.

BJP has tried to maintain a moral high ground by siding with the north Indians. But it chooses to remain mum on Shiv Sena’s stand against non Marathis which is more or less similar to Raj Thackeray’s.

Some facts:

· Mumbai has 22% Gujaratis as opposed to 17% north Indians as per 1991 census. Figures might have changed by 2001 but even then the ratio of north Indians Vs Gujaratis won’t be much different. Logically speaking, Gujjus too should have been on target. Why doesn’t Raj attack them? Because they are more powerful economically and Raj would need the money power in the upcoming elections?

· Bombay was not an ancient city. It got its name in 16th century when Portuegese chose to name it so. It later changed to Mumbai in 1995. Raj Thackeray’s father hails from Indore. Who granted Raj the exclusive proprietary rights for Mumbai in that case?

· Raj Thackeray’s lawyer is Akhilesh Chaubey, a north Indian. Didn’t he take away a Marathi’s job? Why not boot him out before going all out against others? (Akhilesh Chaubey)

· Raj’s kids study at Bombay Scottish. Did he go and get the school name changed to Mumbai Maratha as part of his “display Marathi signboard” campaign? And by the way, the school is not Marathi medium. Charity begins at home. Get your kids into a municipal school near your home. They’ll learn more about the culture. Why westernize them in an English medium school? (Bombay Scottish School)

How much of support that these goons enjoy is summed up by the reaction of an average Mumbaikar who chooses to carry on with life away from the petty political games being played. What matters to him is how his daily bread is earned and not whether the person who delivers it is a Marathi or a non-marathi. I just hope that the people of Maharashtra don’t let Raj Thackeray mess it all up as Laloo messed it up in Bihar.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely OK with the way you have out up the issue at hand. I only need answers about two questions in this respect:
1. Has any non marathi really looked at what exact stand Raj Thakrey is having? Has any one else ouestioned the change made in 1987-88 in the rules for Railway board exams. If not one neds to look in this and then comment:)
2. Gujarathis and North Indians in Mumbai have been compared. Has any body ever compared the Municipal Tax payers amongst these? Talking about gujarathis in Mumbai, almost all of them are paying taxes today!! Not to mention this status of all the here mentioned people in different professions from North India. I ma trying to compare the amount that these people pay I am comparing the percentage of number of people paying tax!!
---A Marathi with Gujju surname:)

Anonymous said...

having mentioned all this, no doubt the way Raj Thakrey and his men are following to prove the point is very wrong and should definitely be condemned!! There definitely are better way to find a solution to this!

Sensible Garbage said...

@anon: Appreciate your comments on the issue. As for my answers to the two points:
1. I honestly don't know abt the amendments of 1987-88 but I know for sure tht the people beaten up had nothing to do with it. I tried to google but cudn't find a relevant link :( wud u mind sharing it here?

2. Tht smacks of opportunism! Do you decide who lives based on how much he/she adds to the state coffers? Thts like doing 'hafta vasooli' ;) The % of gujjus paying tax is high and thts a sign of the prosperity of this productive breed of people..But note that the north indian community work on low income jobs. They don't evade taxes..they simply can't pay them! But that doesn't mean that they don't contribute to the society. So, in my opinion looking into the stats to count the number of municipal tax payers here is like 'digging the wrong grave' (excuse my Siddhuism and wrong usage if thts the case).

Having said that, I too am against mass scale migration. I won't like to have people flocking arnd the street in front of my home even though the street is not my private property. But, I will not come out brandishing a baton against them or push some of my next door neighbours out on the pretext of securing space for myself or my kids. The issue of migration does need a debate and a resolution..but the need of the hour is to condemn the hidden agenda behind the propaganda launched by the menace..i mean the MNS.

No Mad Explorer.... said...

Nice analyis....and facts have made uor point quite powerful. it true that all this crap is for political mileage...."DASH DROSHI" although not a typical masala bollywood movie has many more facts tht would make a common man understnad what all this bullshit carried on by MNS stnads for...It is common man who needs to understnad the develish politics...anf its side effects which are not at all in the interest of the nation...

but U have put uor thoughts is very effective way....

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