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Do local Mumbaikars resent ‘outsiders’?

February 6, 2008

I wasn’t going to write about this issue of Raj Thackeray’s MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) taking to violence on Mumbai streets. It was when I read this silly poll that I decided I had to write something, even if it was just a bit. The poll concluded:

NDTV’s exclusive opinion poll has discovered that the overwhelming feeling amongst Mumbaikars is – Mumbai is for everyone.

They say that the poll has taken into account people from all backgrounds…but for god’s sake, this is not an issue about people of all backgrounds. It’s mainly about poor people! Just walk into any slum and you will see it. It’s an overwhelming majority of poor uneducated Maharashtrians who resent the outsiders. But not all outsiders. The resentment is primarily directed at people from U.P and Bihar and those from Bangladesh. Why? Because uneducated labour from these areas have put the poor Maharashtrian at a disadvantage.

Let me clarify in case people think I like the Sena. I am anti the Sena. I am anti all divisive politics and frankly any kind of violent protests are anathema to me.

But who am I to rant and rave in righteous indignation at a poor uneducated driver who lives in a small dark hole along with 5 other people when he tells me that drivers from UP are not welcome because his younger brother is out of a job? Who am I to throw my ideals of national integrity at? A poor maid who lives next to a stinking drain in a shanty with a leaking roof? Am I supposed to give her a moral lecture when she tells me that there are a group of people from Bihar who have cornered the best jobs as maids in the colony and it is because of that she can’t get a job? Do you think they will even understand anything bbc1.jpgabout my ideas of national integration and justice and opportunities for all?

If the Shiv Sena’s politics has a broad based support today it is because people do resent the influx of ‘outsiders’. And how does any party gain political support? By cashing in on the vulnerabilities of poor uneducated people, by playing on their emotions. Why, in the slum behind my house, there are two camps. The North Indians who call their area ‘Raj Wada’ and send all their children to Urdu or Hindi medium schools and speak only in Hindi and don’t mix with the locals and the Maharashtrians who send their children to the municipal Marathi medium schools and speak only in Marathi. There is no communication between these two groups, they resent each other.

The Maharashtrians feel threatened, they feel their jobs are being taken away and are constantly grumbling and complaining What kind of jobs? Those of cooks, maids, drivers and labourers! That’s what they resent. Their bread and butter is threatened and a man can go to any extent to protect his daily bread. We cannot sit around and give them moral lectures. We need to try and help them. But a political party will use them. Use their hostility, their resentment, their anger. Mumbai can become very volatile if people like Raj Thackeray are not controlled. And also if the reality is ignored.

This resentment is not against Gujaratis although the Gujaratis are the most prosperous ‘outside’ community in Mumbai and Maharashtra. One of the reasons is that Gujaratis know the local language, mix with the locals. The other, more important reason, is that we don’t see Gujaratis coming here in droves trying to become maids and drivers.

What shocked me was this inaccurate statement in a leading newspaper:

These migrants from UP do not threaten Marathi culture, nor are they taking away jobs that Maharashtrians in general aspire to.

I don’t know which Maharashtrians they are talking about. I have lived in different areas in Mumbai and have friends all over Mumbai. The story is the same in all the slums. Unauthorized migrants are taking up the jobs. Whether these migrants are threatening Marathi culture or not I don’t know. And I am ashamed to say that I do not care enough. But I do know hordes of poor uneducated people from all over Mumbai resent the influx of their brothers and sisters from wherever they come from, because their very livelihood is threatened.

I abhor the divisive politics that Raj Thackeray is playing at. But let us not deny the fact that resentment does exist. And it’s about time we stopped mouthing moralistic platitudes about nationalism when it comes to this issue. That is an elitist way of thinking. Elitist people who are writing and manipulating the news. Let’s get down to the basics and try and see a solution to this problem.

Let us never ever forget that the poor exist in large numbers. That poverty and desperation are very strong drivers. That political parties can easily manipulate these people. We all will suffer eventually if we bury our head in the sand and think of this in an elitist way.

As for Raj Thackeray the latest news is that 200 members of the MNS have quit to join the main Shiv Sena under Bal Thackeray.

Update: 7th February 08 An article in today’s DNA (back page) talks about how the Kolis are upset that north indian fisherman have eaten into their livelihood. They say:

dna.jpgThe association of fisherwomen passed a resolution to revive their earlier agitation against north Indian fishermen in the district. The association has alleged that the fishermen are flouting the rules for selling fish. The fight between local fisherwomen and north Indian fishermen had taken an ugly turn two years back, when fisherwomen from Thane beat up north Indian fishermen whenever they were spotted in the fish market. According to the norms set by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) fish should be sold at designated areas only…but north Indian fishermen flout this rule by selling them door to door and at open places…

I could not find an internet link for the article and therefore have quoted the important part above. The previous agitation was reported widely and the link is here.

rajthackerayarrest2.jpgUpdate, 13th Feb 08: Raj Thackeray has been arrested and to read more about Raj Thackeray’s arrest you can check out these links. Anyway, the latest news is that he has been granted bail. Much drama over nothing.

Raj, a commentator, has provided a link to a balanced analysis by P Sainath on this issue. Sainath analyses the political ramifications. Now that Raj T has been arrested Sainath’s piece is very relevant.

(Pictures have been linked to the originals)

Update, 12th July 2008: Raj Thackeray has criticized Maharashtrian officials who help people to get fake fake domicile certificates and driving licences and rations cards. He has admitted that the corruption in state’s government has led to an escalation of this issue of inter-state migration. He has asked officials not to “bend rules for petty benefits”. Well, at least he has taken the responsibility of unchecked migration on to his own government!

Related Reading: The language Issue in India
The diversity that is India
Racism against North Easterners
Will English surpass other languages of India?
Marathi “chauvinism” not liked by foreigners

277 Comments leave one →
  1. Raj permalink
    February 18, 2008 9:07 pm

    Nita,Sangeeta,Vivek,

    Is there an English translation of Raj Thackeray’s article titled ‘Majhi Bhumika,Majhi Ladha’ on the web?

    I did try (maybe not hard enough),but was unable to find a translation of the full article 😦

    I have totally lost what little faith I had in the biased,useless mainstream media 😈 and their stupid,dumbed down articles that criticise his article without even providing the full translation of what he had written in ‘The Maharashtra Times’ 😡

    If a translation exists,could you provide me with the link,please?

    (Please send me an e-mail if you do not wish to paste the link here)

    Raj, I doubt that there will be an English translation, but I don’t know. Perhaps Vivek might. – Nita.

  2. Raj permalink
    February 18, 2008 9:47 pm

    Nita,

    Thanks.Does everyone see how biased the so-called “mainstream”,so-called “cosmopolitan” media is?

    A broadminded,patriotic,unbiased Indian is unable to find an English translation of an article written by a fellow Indian.Is this not a method of crushing the freedom of expression that the mainstream media scoundrels so proudly claim to uphold?

    Or are the notorious linguo-nazis scared that other people in non-Hindi states will get inspired by Raj Thackeray’s article?

    Any speech or article by a Hindian politician made/written in one particular regional language (Hindi) is widely available in English as well as other languages.Why the hell should a Maharashtrian politician be denied the same right in his own country?

    Is this not a case of double standards by the stupid,useless,ignorant,notorious,so-called “mainstream media”?

  3. February 18, 2008 9:47 pm

    Phantom, We are discussing whether it’s right or wrong or correct or incorrect to try and blend in, but if we just leave that be we will realise that no one can tell anyone whether to blend in or not. It’s up to them.
    Sure, I too believe that it’s those people who try to blend are better accepted by the average man. In fact even in those places where it appears as if one is getting by not blending in, dangers lurk below the surface. That is my view.
    An intellectual and a liberal might be able to accept someone who has maintained his identity but the common man doesn’t do it easily.

  4. sangeeta permalink
    February 18, 2008 11:05 pm

    Nita,

    I think people like Abhi are the one of the very reasons we are having this discussion.Someone who is imposing and not understand the other persons point of view.A so called nationalist(haha!!)who doesn’t care a damn about the other
    50-60% of the population in his country.
    More Than Raj Thackeray,people like him are the cause of all the disturbance and problems faced by the country.

  5. Raj permalink
    February 18, 2008 11:17 pm

    Sangeeta,

    Yes,I agree with you ! I am glad that Nita banned that racist from this blog !

  6. sangeeta permalink
    February 18, 2008 11:47 pm

    Nita/vivek/Raj – Are there any other ways by which we can get our message across to the Center.

    The mainstream media,esp is out of question as its the most biased!!

  7. sangeeta permalink
    February 18, 2008 11:52 pm

    sorry for the typo!! I meant to say mainstream media esp the English media

  8. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 19, 2008 1:05 am

    @Nita:

    //An intellectual and a liberal might be able to accept someone who has maintained his identity but the common man doesn’t do it easily.//

    I don’t think that maintaining one’s identity and mingling have to be mutually exclusive. Especially in modern India, where most of us, whether highbrow or lowbrow, upper caste or lower caste, princes or paupers have plural identities. The only exceptions are the rare homogeneous social groups living in remote and nearly inaccessible interior areas, and cpmmunities which are determined not to mingle; the latter either to preserve their imagined “purity” or to assert their imagined superiority.

    //…I doubt that there will be an English translation, but I don’t know. Perhaps Vivek might…//

    I don’t know. Probably there isn’t. But if someone knows whether the Marathi version is on the net please let me know. I’d be happy to have a go at translating it if I am convinced that it adds value to this discussion.

    @Raj:

    It is “majha ladha”, not “majhi ladha”. Possessive adjectives in Marathi take the gender of the noun they qualify. “Ladha” is masculine, whereas “bhumika” is feminine.

    Vivek, can’t argue with you there! – Nita.

  9. Raj permalink
    February 19, 2008 11:04 am

    Vivek,

    Thanks for correcting me.I apologise for the incorrect usage.But since the two main languages that I know happen to be Tamil and English,I assumed that Marathi was like them.How foolish of me to assume things ! Ofcourse,now I realise that Marathi is like French ! Or maybe French is like Marathi ! I am learning so many things about our own country by being a part of this blog ! I would have never known this if I relied only on the stupid,biased mainstream media.

    And here is the Marathi article titled ‘Majhi Bhumika,Majha Ladha’ (or should it be Mazha,but ofcourse that would mean a different thing to a Tamil or a Malayali,as you clarified in another post):

    http://maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2768664.cms

  10. sangeeta permalink
    February 19, 2008 11:09 am

    “don’t think that maintaining one’s identity and mingling have to be mutually exclusive. Especially in modern India, where most of us, whether highbrow or lowbrow, upper caste or lower caste, princes or paupers have plural identities. …

    Totally agree with you on that

    Vivek -The Marathi version is still on Maharashtra Times website.I can send you the link or maybe you can do a search on their website by putting in the name of the article.
    Let me know

  11. sangeeta permalink
    February 20, 2008 10:44 am

    Nita/Vivek

    An interesting article in todays esakal regarding how many languages in the world are on the wane due to English or the dominant language of that country.
    Somehow I can’t seem to paste the link to it,so I am pasting the whole article here.
    I thought it was relevant to what we are discussing on this blog as well as the the North-South blog.

    जगातील निम्म्या भाषा अस्ताकडे

    न्यूयॉर्क, ता. १९ – जगभरात सहा ते सात हजार भाषा अधिकृतपणे बोलल्या जात असल्या, तरी त्यातील निम्म्या भाषा अस्ताच्या मार्गावर आहेत.
    इंग्रजी ही ज्ञानभाषा किंवा त्या त्या प्रांतातील इतर भाषांच्या वर्चस्वामुळे अनेक ठिकाणच्या मातृभाषा अडचणीत आल्या आहेत.

    येत्या २१ तारखेला “जागतिक मातृभाषा’ दिन आहे. मातृभाषांचे महत्त्व वाढावे, या दृष्टीने “युनेस्को’ने हा उपक्रम सुरू केला आहे. युनेस्कोने दिलेल्या माहितीनुसार, सध्या जगात सहा हजार आठशे भाषा बोलल्या जातात. खूप पूर्वीपासून भाषांचा अभ्यास करणाऱ्या “एथनोलॉग’ या संस्थेने २००५मध्ये तयार केलेल्या यादीनुसार जगात ६,९१२ भाषा बोलल्या जातात. अनेक भाषा बोलणाऱ्यांचे प्रमाण अतिशय कमी असल्याने त्यांचे नावच या याद्यांमध्ये नसल्याने जगभरातील एकूण भाषांची संख्या दहा हजारच्या घरात असल्याचे भाषातज्ज्ञ मानतात. “एथनोलॉग’ने दिलेल्या माहितीनुसार, मॅंदरिन ही चीनमधील भाषा जगात सर्वांत जास्त बोलली जाते. एकूण ८३ कोटी लोक ती बोलतात. तिच्याखालोखाल स्पॅनिश भाषेचा क्रमांक असून, ही भाषा ३३ कोटी लोक बोलतात. इंग्लिशचा क्रमांक जगात तिसरा असून, ही भाषा बोलणाऱ्यांची (प्रथम भाषा) संख्या केवळ ३० कोटी इतकी आहे. अरेबिक, हिंदी (प्रमाण), पोर्तुगीज, बंगाली, रशियन, जपानी, जर्मन या भाषांचा त्यानंतर क्रमांक आहे. या भाषा बोलणाऱ्यांचे प्रमाण जगाच्या लोकसंख्येच्या जवळजवळ निम्मे आहे. या प्रत्येक भाषेची प्रांतवार वेगवेगळी रूपे आहेत.

    युनेस्कोच्या आकडेवारीनुसार, मुख्य दहा भाषांव्यतिरिक्त इतर २०० भाषा बोलणाऱ्यांचे प्रमाण जगातील लोकसंख्येत ४४ टक्के इतके आहे. सहा हजार भाषा बोलणाऱ्या लोकांची संख्या दहा लाख किंवा त्यापेक्षाही कमी आहेत. म्हणजेच जगभरातील एकूण भाषांतील ९५ टक्के भाषा एकूण लोकसंख्येतील केवळ पाच टक्के लोकांकडून बोलल्या जातात. मात्र, या भाषा बोलणाऱ्यांचे प्रमाण दिवसेंदिवस कमी होत चालले आहे.

    बोलीभाषांबरोबरच मूकबधिरांसाठीही जगभरात वेगवेगळ्या भाषा आहेत. मात्र, त्यापैकी केवळ एस्परांतो ही भाषा तग धरून असून, करपल्लवीद्वारे संवाद साधणाऱ्या ११९ भाषा अस्ताच्या मार्गावर आहेत, अशी माहिती आहे. भाषिक संपन्नतेची घनता सर्वांत जास्त असलेल्या प्रांतांत पापुआ न्यू गिनी सर्वांत पुढे आहे. बोलीभाषेत मॅंदरिन पुढे असली, तरी संगणकावर वापरल्या जाणाऱ्या भाषांमध्ये मात्र इंग्लिश सर्वांत पुढे आहे.

    मातृभाषेतच शिक्षण द्या
    मातृभाषेत शिक्षण घेणे अतिशय सोपे जाते, मात्र त्याकडे दुर्लक्ष करून इंग्रजी किंवा त्या प्रांतात वर्चस्व असलेल्या इतर भाषांमधून शिक्षण दिले जात असल्याने लहान मुलांना ते त्रासाचे होते. शिक्षण, विशेषतः प्राथमिक शिक्षण मातृभाषेतूनच मुख्यत्वेकरून दिले पाहिजे.
    – युनेस्कोचा अहवाल

    Sangeeta, you need to provide a translation. It is not fair to those who do not understand Marathi. I know your intention was good, and therefore published this comment, but others may not take to it kindly. I have allowed comments in other languages once in a while, but the problem is the issue here is a sensitive one. – Nita.

  12. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 20, 2008 11:39 am

    Raj,

    “Maazhaa” is a more correct transcription than “maajhaa”. I did not split hair on that one since, for you, “zh” already has a quite different phonetic value. However, since you have brought up the matter, please note that in the feminine gender, at least in “standard” Marathi, it is “maajhi”, not “maazhi”.

    A further phonetic complication in Marathi is that the class of consonants which can be transcribed as “ch”, “chh”, “j” and “jh” (ignoring the fifth nasal) is pronounced in two different ways (with the exception of “chh”, which is pronounced ony in one way). This peculiarity is shared by Konkani and, I think, at least northern Kannada. These two ways involve different placements of the tongue against the palate. And no one has thought of evolving a way of presenting the distinction in the script.

    The broad thumb-rule is that “tatsama” and “tadbhava” words, i.e. those borrowed or adapted from Sanskrit, follow one kind of pronunciation, whereas words “native” to Marathi follow the other. But there are exceptions (such as “maazhaa” and “maajhi”).

    So ultimately it is familiarity with the language and context of use that determines the pronunciation of what you read. This may sound complicated, but it is much less so than the case of Tamizh, in which each set of consonants (“k”, “ch”, “T”, “t”, “p” — note: “T” represents a hard sound, “t” is soft) is represented by a single grapheme, and the phonetic value is determined by the user’s mastery of the language.

    To a non-Tamizh this can be alternatively bemusing or amusing. Many years ago, in Pune, I had a Tamizh colleague who spelt (and pronounced) her name as Gandhimathi. It took us some time to figure out that it was what we would write as “Kantimati”. And I also remember a senior bureaucrat in Colombo, a Tamizh called Paskaralinkam, which it took me a while to figure out was what I would recognise immediately if it had been spelt “Bhaskaralingam”.

    However, unlike a certain group of Indians whom you do not like to name, I do not insist that mine is THE right way. To each his own.

    In a computer keyboard perspective I find a lot of sense in the Tamizh reduction of each class of consonants to just one in the script. The basic distinctions within the class are: unvoiced-unaspirated, unvoiced-aspirated, voiced-unaspirated, voiced-aspirated, and nasal. Indian languages other than those employing the Perso-Arabic script (and of course Tamizh) have a distinct grapheme for each phoneme, which require inordinately unwieldy keyboards and commands to enter. Just imagine if all languages had a basic alphabet similar in logic to Tamizh, then about 30 keys (or 15, if you consider the SHIFT utility allowing each key to serve for two consonants) could be eliminated by substituting four different permutations of CTRL-ALT commands.

    Anyway, all this is way off-topic. It was inspired by your innocuous query about Marathi pronunciation.

    Sorry, Nita!

  13. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 20, 2008 12:04 pm

    Sangeeta,

    The UNESCO report on which this article is based is rather dated. I assume eSakal’s motive in publishing it now is the immenence of Language Day. It would have been better journalism to give it a present-day context. BTW I suppose you know that the original idea of Language day is intimately linked to the split-up of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh in the early 1970s. One of the issues underlying it was language, and the domination of Pakistan’s equivalent of our North Indians (the Urdu and/or Punjabi-speakers of W.Pakistan) in the politics and economy of the entire country as it was then. The people of East Pakistan decided that their language identity was more precious than their religious identity, which had been the ideological basis of Pakistan.

    I agree with Nita about the unfairness of posting in a language which many (most) visitors to this blog will not understand. For a similar reason, I refrained from posting Raj Thackeray’s “Maajhi Bhumika…”, which I found on the net yesterday but did not have the time to translate. Here’s the link:

    http://maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2768664.cms

    I have not been able to locate a full translation of this article, and unfortunately do not have the time to do it immediately. If you feel up to it, that would be a great service, and not only to this blog.

    A couple of other links (to articles in English) which may be of interest to people visiting this thread, are given below:

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mag/2003/04/13/stories/2003041300240300.htm

    http://www.downtoearth.org.in/cover.asp?FolderName=20021231&FileNAme=anal&sid=1&sec_id=9

    The latter is of more general interest, and could be relevant to the S vs N post too.

  14. Raj permalink
    February 20, 2008 6:01 pm

    Sangeeta,

    Though I do not know Marathi,I want to thank you for pasting that Marathi article.I would love to see the face of a person from a particular region of the country when they see that.At first they would be delighted to see something in their regional language,but later they would realise that they do not understand a word of it,even if they can read it ! A good way to teach them about India’s linguistic diversity ! 😀

  15. Raj permalink
    February 20, 2008 8:02 pm

    Vivek,

    Thanks for that explanation.I am learning so many things about our country by being a part of this blog.The linguo-nazis and the stupid,useless mainstream media would never have allowed me to learn such things.

    Thanks a lot for explaining the consonant sounds of the Tamil language.I would have confused people if I had tried to explain it.At first sight,some people may think that the Tamil alphabet lacks certain consonants (ofcourse it does,even after the inclusion of the Grantha consonants,but this is true of almost every language).But yes,the same consonant is sometimes used to express different consonant sounds.This may sound strange,but as you have explained,it is actually a boon when it comes to adapting the language to new technology like printing,typewriting,computing,mobile telephony,etc.And yes,the way of writing Tamil names in English differs on the two sides of the Palk Strait,sometimes within Tamil Nadu itself.Yes,we should celebrate this diversity unlike the people from one particular region of the country who want to develop a stupid,homogeneous,so-called “composite” culture and a ‘nazi’onal language to represent that “composite” culture.Shame on those linguo-nazis !

    Thanks for the links.They were enlightening and at times,entertaining as well.

  16. sangeeta permalink
    February 20, 2008 10:04 pm

    Vivek/Nita/Raj and others,

    Sorry! for so insensitively posting the Marathi article,i was just so elated to find something related to our discussion in the Marathi media that I couldn’t resist pasting it.,actually I wanted to paste only the link,but somehow couldn’t do it.It won’t happen next time.

    Vivek -Thanks for enlightening me regarding the rather dated article, I was unaware about it.You are right when you say “it would have been better journalism to give it a present-day context”. (should have realized how could Sakal be so unbiased).

    I will definitely try and get a translation.Ashamed to say my Marathi is not high standard.But i will ask someone.

  17. Raj permalink
    February 20, 2008 10:40 pm

    Sangeeta,

    I think you misunderstood my previous comment.I REALLY want to THANK YOU for pasting the Marathi article !

    You know,there are some people who would like to think that the article is in “the first official language of the central government”.But on reading it,they would not understand it.They would then realise that it is in Marathi.This way,they would realise that there are so many other languages in India apart from their regional language.So they would become aware of India’s linguistic diversity.

    Please do not be ashamed to say that your Marathi is not of a high standard.IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT ! It is the fault of those who impose the regional language of one particular region of the country on others.IT IS THEY WHO SHOULD FEEL ASHAMED,NOT YOU ! IT IS THEIR FAULT,NOT YOURS !

    SHAME ON THOSE WHO IMPOSE HINDI ON OTHERS !

  18. sangeeta permalink
    February 20, 2008 11:27 pm

    Raj,

    I did not misunderstand you,infact What you wrote was pretty amusing,and right!!”A good way to teach them about India’s linguistic diversity ! :-D”

  19. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 21, 2008 12:45 am

    Sangeeta,

    //…will definitely try and get a translation…will ask someone…//

    That would be really great. Although I do not have much sympathy for the Thackeray brand of street politics, I do feel that this article shows up Raj in a somewhat more positive light (a feeling perhaps strenghtened by Sudheendra Kulkarni’s IE piece, though I don’t share the political ideology that Kulkarni is coming from either). I do think the injustice done to Raj’s article by the mainstream media deserves to be corrected. The important thing is not so much linguistic elegance as capturing the letter and the spirit of what he has written.

  20. sangeeta permalink
    February 21, 2008 11:35 pm

    The mainstream media has definitely done injustice to Raj which is in keeping with their reputation of being biased.

    I don’t belong to the intelligentsia,I am a layman so idon’t want to comment much on political ideologies.
    All I know is that, he is fighting for a cause about which I feel very very strongly!(whatever his motive be),whoever stands up for protecting the rights and identity of Maharatrians,be it the Thackerays, or anyone else will be my “hero”.I don’t mind being called a chauvinist,because who isin’t
    I really detest it,when I go to Mumbai and I have to speak in Hindi with right from the vegetable vendor ,shop keeper to a taxi driver (and worst be fleeced by them!!) look at their audacity!!
    Violence has to be condemned,and I did find his tirade against Amitabh stupid.But in our country the issue does not come into limelight unless you make noise.And with such a spineless State government(it has failed to protect the rights of its citizens)it never will.

  21. sangeeta permalink
    February 21, 2008 11:45 pm

    Its not that I don’t like Hindi.Infact I like Hindi songs/movies .I just don’t like the attitude of these people who think its birth right to impose on us.

  22. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 23, 2008 5:02 pm

    All those interested:

    The Indian Express website has today carried Raj Thackeray’s reply to Sudheendra Kulkarni’s column in that paper on last Sunday, for which I had provided the link and to which some of you had filed responses. To read the full text of Thackeray’s reply, see the following:

    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Do-political-movements-need-to-obey-the-law-What-about-Advani-rath-yatra-Modis-Godhra-outrage/276266/

  23. February 23, 2008 7:39 pm

    Interesting article…there are some good points he made, about how politicians from UP and Bihar are trying to get a foothold in Maharahstra through the migrants. He has touched upon the root of his fears. However I don’t agree with the way he began his article, by saying that other political parties have done worse than him. Maybe that’s true, and maybe it’s even true that other political parties have indulged in violence and have gone unpunished, but I don’t see this as an excuse for his behavior. If he is saying that the media blew up his issue only, I am not sure of it and frankly I think he wanted it. There is no doubt that Raj T wanted publicity, nationwide publicity. But where violence is concerned, it’s to be condemned. Migrants are essential to maharashtra’s economy.

  24. February 23, 2008 9:16 pm

    Nita,

    I have a solution. The problem is directly linked in all metros especially Mumbai to unauthorised shanties and people on footpaths. These need to be cleared and people sent back -whether to UP,Bihar . One could start with Mumbai. Lets say 30 Lac people in Mumbai ( 30% Maharashtrain) live in an unauthorised manner. A subsidy of Rs 5000/person to be paid to each person in a bank account will cost Rs 1500 crores. Then each state should open refugee camps in their respective states and through these camps find a way to rehabilitate them in 6 months.

    if the MSN or Shiv Sena insist on this, they will become heroes in Maharashtra or at least in Mumbai and the impact on the city will be transformational.
    What says? Why not forward this to the MSN?

  25. Raj permalink
    February 23, 2008 9:30 pm

    Vivek,

    Thanks for that link ! At least now I get to read a whole article by Raj Thackeray ! I always knew that the stupid,useless,biased mainstream media was spewing lies about him ! I have given up on the so-called “mainstream media”.They are notorious for their half-truths and plain lies ! Shame on them ! They have failed miserably in their duty as they always have ! Let them take a cue from the Australian media and the Australian civil society who know how to stand up for the rights of everyone despite serious intimidation by the “dada” governments in some countries ! 🙂

  26. Raj permalink
    February 23, 2008 9:47 pm

    Nita,

    I have a slightly different opinion about Raj Thackeray seeking nationwide publicity.Please forgive me for saying this.I am not a supporter of any form of violence and certainly I am not a member of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena or any other political party.

    But I know that the “mainstream media” has been very,very biased about this entire issue.Even my favourite mainstream paper ‘The Hindu’ failed in its duty to be neutral and unbiased on this issue.Ofcourse,it seems to be more neutral than some other papers.The guys at ‘The Hindu’ are normally unbiased but sometimes they are not.I know this becuase I have been reading the paper for a long time.

    I do not think that Raj Thackeray wanted nationwide publicity.Maybe he wanted votes and publicity within Maharashtra.If he had wanted nationwide publicity,I think he would have invited journalists from the local media in other states.Of course,the so-called “national media” cannot be trusted and Raj Thackeray knows that.But he invited journalists only from the Marathi media,not from any other media.So I think that Raj Thackeray is not interested in nationwide publicity but only interested in standing up for the rights of Maharashtrians in Maharashtra and maybe a few more votes for his fledgeling party.

  27. February 23, 2008 9:54 pm

    Hi Ranjit, well the issue is complicated. I do want the pavements of mumbai cleared and in fact suggested this somewhere, that people be sent back regardless of which state they come from. But actually this isn’t quite right as people are starving and they have come here to work. It’s a dilemma. They cannot be sent back to starve and commit suicide, that’s for sure, whether to Bihar or to any other state.
    In any case, it won’t work because Raj T is not interested in clearnign the footpaths of mumbai. It will lose him his votes, a huge chunk of bangladeshis are voting for his party (non-Indians!!) as I am sure are the maharashtrians who are the migrants from rural areas. All that Raj T wants is to ensure that the political parties of the north do not get a toe-hold here, nothing else. That’s why he wants the UP ies and Biharis out.

  28. February 23, 2008 10:15 pm

    Raj, I agree that the English media misrepresented this whole issue. None of them at the start seemed to realise that there is a deep resentment in the poorer classes and this issue is about them, not us. This kind of ivory tower thinking isn’t a good thing for our country at all, not from mainstream media.
    Whether Raj T wanted it or not, he has got nationawide publicity. Everyone in India knows him today, so whether he wanted it or not, he’s got it!
    So while I do agree that migrants should not show contempt or indifference for the local culture, I also don’t have much faith in Raj T! We need a greater leader than him!

  29. Raj permalink
    February 23, 2008 11:07 pm

    Nita,

    Thanks for the correction.Yes,the Indian “mainstream media” cannot be trusted much for all their self-praise and proclamations about standing up for the freedom of expression.They are only interested in advertisement revenues from the government and other sources.They can be “bought” easily.There is no doubt about that.They do not really stand up for the people and their rights.Shame on them !

    I do not know much about politics except for fulfilling my democratic duties as a citizen.But I do have an inkling about how grass roots politics works.And I must say that Raj Thackeray seems to be an expert at this.He is a grass roots guy.He knows how to win hearts and get the votes.I would not be surprised if he gets to occupy the main chair at Mantralaya one day . . .

  30. Sicilian permalink
    February 25, 2008 3:19 am

    Raj Saheb,I support you , before the UP/Biharis start making Ranvir’s sena’s and massacre people (and the government keeping quite), before the same kinds start aborting girl fetus (and the government keeping quite) , before the likes start scams of “chara” and making others “la-char”, cheer up for sati (and the government keeping quite) , let there be revolution against what is wrong , in favor of right, let there be revolution against hypocrites who oppose bangladeshis for the same reason for which they support low wages migrants from their regions, let there be revolution against the wrong in favor the right…

  31. monechee permalink
    March 10, 2008 7:35 pm

    HI All,
    I have time to time posted our issues in NE and would do the same this time sorry for that, But we in NE are in a very delecate time. I fear its only time we might end up in a big civil war. As raj as already told the local population in Assam , Tripura are reduced to minority and situation is getting worse.
    The problem for us is that most of the tribes are only 1 million strong in each state, we can not handle 20-30 million immigrants coming to our place, it will destroy us, the demograhpics change are already taking place, with the some what voting power we had going to the new immigrants ,both Bihari and Bangladeshis,and yea true we do not see much of a difference between them, for us both are a threat to our existance.

  32. monechee permalink
    March 10, 2008 7:40 pm

    HI all,
    I have usually posted views that are related to NE, I am again doing so because the issues that have been bought up are more accute for us.
    Given that the tribal population in NE states are only about 1 million strong in each state we are right now facing a huge influx of population from Bangladesh and Bihar. For us they are same as they threat our very existance, we can not survive a 20-30 million migration of people , our local cuture ,economic and ecological system would be destroyed.
    In some states like Assam and Tripura the native population has been reduced to minority and those states have seen most of violence because of this.
    Not to mention the 20 odd seats that we represent in the parliament are now getting into outsiders hand as the demographic changes to their favor.
    To tell you the truth we are fighting for survival, I fear we are going the american native way very soon and that is extinct.

  33. March 10, 2008 7:59 pm

    monechee, I understand and you have my heartfelt sympathies.. but what is the way out? To stop outsiders from coming in means that economic development stops. What you said about bangladeshis is sad and the politicians being corrupt do not bother. But I don’t think violence is the way out. Yes the indigenous people of India (tribes) are suffering all over the country and are being margilinised and the way out for them is to get into the mainstream. There is no way out. China is not an alternative as you know what happened to Tibet. And nor is independence as the NE will not be able to survive on it’s own, not politically (China is waiting) nor economically.

  34. monechee permalink
    March 10, 2008 9:02 pm

    HI Nita,
    Well there is way out ofcourse, the chinese system of worker permits in NE is would be a good idea, well already they are in place in some state, Mizoram. But sadly the system is not respected.
    Ecomomically we acutally do not lose much as the workforce that is entering is in the low end of the market mainly labor force, instead most of them are setteling on rural areas and are competting for the same land and resources as fish in river and cutting forest .This has created animosity among the local people. Most mainland Indians do not understand the nature of the problem and yea in the name of nationalism we are being made sacrifices.
    Also does not help the fact that the marwari traders are not investing the profits that is earned in the NE , its usually send back as remitence. We are not getting educated people who can make a difference.
    I actually would welcome qualified people who have education and would like to start grass root development work.
    // Anyone interested in Marketing goods from North East India are welcome to contact me. my email is monechee1 (at) gmail.com. We are starting to produce spices ,pineapple, banana and also I am trading in various handicrafts//=)

    But yea to tell you the truth , I even resent the mass migration of labor force(thats one sector that I am not looking for jobs =P but there are thousand of us who need to work as labor ), we have enough trouble ourself feeding our own people.
    And no we do not want to be in China, that was never an issue.

    Moneche, your idea is a good one. Please copy this comment on the NE post. thanks – Nita.

  35. monechee permalink
    March 10, 2008 9:36 pm

    HI all ,
    The debate will hopefully make people aware of the problems that all of us will face in the future. Its foolish to brush them off under the guise of nationalism. Its a ticking time bomb which could take the whole country down. I am nutral , I do not pledge loyality to any country. Countries came and went , even the roman empire colloapsed , the question is about the people.
    No nation is greater then the people, not the other way round. All the issue about nationalism is only a polictical agenda to herd the masses.

  36. March 10, 2008 9:59 pm

    Monechee,

    I am aware of the time bomb that is ticking away.And I am sure that it ticking away,the only question is when it will explode.And it will explode if steps are not taken to defuse it immediately.It should be defused by putting out the fuse and not by firing a bullet at it.Firing bullets at a ticking time bomb is the most foolish thing to do . . .

    Nothing,absolutely nothing in the world is greater then human rights !

  37. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    March 16, 2008 8:01 pm

    Here is a different take on this issue. Interesting.

    http://www.tehelka.com/story_main38.asp?filename=Ne150308raising_cuckoos.asp

  38. Alok permalink
    March 30, 2008 7:08 pm

    This was easily the most satisfying ,mentally,social-aceptance wise blog to read.As sangeeta said in her previous comments.I found a vent for my frustrations and feelings without being termed as a regionalist. Thanks a lot.Please let me know if you do go ahead with the petition idea.I will whole heartedly support it.Please feel free to contact me.I am planning to publish a similar blog looking at each and every aspect of this whole “problem” soon.I am currently gathering data and peoples opinions.Thanks lot once again !

    Thanks Alok. Best of luck with your writing. When you do write, do pop in here and leave the url. – Nita.

  39. April 10, 2008 6:41 pm

    Mocking celebrities and gaining cheap publicity is such an old trick. I wonder if any of these “sons of the soil” are going to object to Reliance Group. Its is owned by “non-maharashtrians”. They occupy a huge chunk of land (obviously for industrial purpose and in legal way). Last I checked they were not handing out jobs to sons of the soil but were an equal opportunity employer. But then I guess MNS people have a particular dislike for taxi drivers and people with daily wages. Basically a mob, who can only terrorize and hurt helpless people.

    I wonder what great things they have done in terms of providing employment (other than beating up random people) to Marathi people. How about improving the situation for Vidarbha’s farmers? How about education sector? Does anyone know where Thakrey kids study and what are the chances of them being from a vernacular school versus “Bombay Scottish”? How about taking a look back at Jhunk Bhakhar Kendras and getting more people to improve their life? How about fighting the rampant corruption in BMC? How about getting all the angry mob of MNS and constructing a hospital (after all they are Nirman Sena)?

    The questions can be endless. The fact remains, Nirman Sena has done less Nirman (construction) and more destruction. The money lost due to loss of business, by harming public property, by making our already stressed police force work doubly hard to make sure people of a certain political group do not destroy the city.

    I do not agree with Nita that outsiders (and I am not counting Bangladeshi migrants) are taking over the jobs from poor Marathi’s. Bombay is a metro and life is tough in a metro. No one serves a job to outsiders on a silver platter. They work just as hard for earning their bread and butter as anyone else. I will not be tipping a taxi driver depending on which state he came from, I will tip him based on how good a service I got. I will not employ a Maid if her quality of work is inferior, she can be a Marathi or from UP. It just does not matter. The culture of blaming others for our own lack of effort needs to go. It is simple, you work hard, you get rewarded.

    xnegvx, It is not a question of agreeing or not agreeing. It is something called hard facts.🙂 One cannot deny figures. There is absolutely no doubt that migrants are taking over the jobs of the locals…it is the absolute truth and denying the truth is going to get us nowhere. It is this being in denial that causes problems. If you try to tell anyone that the migrants are not taking the jobs they will think you don’t know the hard reality on the ground.
    However please don’t put words in my mouth by implying that I am against people from other states coming here and taking the jobs. I am all for the migration and let the best man (or woman) win. I have said time and again that it is in the interest of Maharashtra to let people from all over India come here as the competition is what will do Maharashtra good. So before you say I said something, kindly quote any place where I have said what you claim I have said. Thanks – Nita.

  40. vivek mittal permalink
    April 17, 2008 1:00 pm

    Nita

    At the response by you at the latest post, you say that “outsiders” are taking away jobs of the locals………..it may be true but at the same time, it’s also true that Jobs in mumbai is being created by “outsiders” only; particularly by North Indian business/entertainment magnates.

    so the resenment against “outsiders” is utter selfishness

    Following are my points on this debate

    Another interesting debate

    1)You points out that the NDTV poll is wrong, and people of Mumbai think , Mumbai is only for maharashtrians.
    Here I have an interesting point, if marathis think Mumbai is only for marashtirians then they have to accept that Delhi is only for North Indians….then WHY DO THEY PAY TAXES TO DELHI???…….after all Delhi is “other” place of “ other people”. It has only one meaning, if other place of other people is able to extract taxes from marathis and decide about their fate then, they are the rulers and marathis are under their control.

    But as above is not correct, truth is that marathis pay taxes to Delhi, because it’s the capital of their country, similarly Mumbai is a major commercial hub of this country, and a poor taxi driver should not be beaten because he went to a major commercial hub of his country in search of better living.
    Bottom line remains, if Mumbai is only for marathis, then they are slaves of “other people” called north Indians.

    2) Why to single out people of Bihar and uttar Pradesh only, they are people from all parts of country(except Punjab & Haryana) doing small jobs in Mumbai….also I have seen end number of marathis serving as watchmen and as a waiter in roadside dhabas in Bhopal, and Indore.

    3) Why to attack “outsider” people who belong to upper middle class/middle class or are among the elite of the city, like Amitabh bachchan, what harm he has done to Mumbai?
    I feel sorry for a particular politician when he “threatens” saying that he has a video clip in possession in which amitabh says that though he has lived in Delhi , Kolkata and Mumbai, but his identity will always remain that of a “chora ganga kinare wala”
    Perhaps Mr Raj doesn’t know that his strature is not even of an insect if compared to amitabh….anyway he is using amitabh to get attention in the national media, as he was never highlighted in national media until he took the name of amitabh.

    How about following??

    Lata Mengeshkar should never utter a word in marathi, as whatever she is today, that’s because of Hindi only, even she should never point out that her mother tongue is marathi, it will be considered against her loyalty for Hindi.
    What she has done for Hindi, which has given her every thing, ..she is not loyal to Hindi-“Jis Thali me khati hai us hi me ched karti hai”

    I know anybody, including me would not like above statement about the great singer, but it’s the same thing which is being done by some people against amitabh.

    4) How many people care whether Mr Birla or Mr bajaj have learnt Marathi or not???
    I know they will never ask such questions because the day business/entertainment magnates of North leave Mumbai, there will hardly be any jobs left in Mumbai for marathi people and the GDP of maharashtra will be at par with Bihar and Mumbai shall be not much different from Vidarbha which is real maharashtra

    Vivek, I am sick and tired of answering all these baseless accusation against what you all imagine I think. Kindly read my post again. I do not support this agitation. The fact that you are twisting my words shows that you and those others who like to twist words simply want to come here and pick a fight with me. I am not interested, as I am busy. Any other comment from you twisting my words will be deleted. Thanks – Nita.

  41. vivek mittal permalink
    April 17, 2008 1:26 pm

    Nita

    How can i fight with you, in fact i regard you highly as you have been very impartial in the debate despite being inclined towards one side

    But you have agreed that there is a resentment in locals against migrants who dont respect local culture ie dont learn local language, you gave example about a slum…..but again is it not an enforcement to expect everybody goint to mumbai to learn marathi…..you are against Hindi imposition but not against marathi imposition on people coming to mumbai.

  42. April 17, 2008 6:42 pm

    Vivek, the only reason I published your above comment is because you are a long time participant of this blog and I thank you for that. However you have twisted my words again and frankly I think you are demeaning yourself by doing it. Please read my comment here: And quoting from it:

    And I agree that no one should force you to learn a language, any language. It is wrong to even expect it! I am with you a hundred percent on that. One can always manage even if one goes to say France, by talking in sign language or by getting help from those who do speak your language. It is possible to survive for a short while by not knowing the local language. However if you can survive forever (say 20 years) in a place without knowing the local language I think it speaks something for the place where you live.🙂

  43. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    April 17, 2008 8:54 pm

    Nita,

    The only reason I am reacting to V Mittal’s comment is that it is on this thread and not on the N vs. S thread which I have effectively boycotted.

    VM says:

    “…but again is it not an enforcement to expect everybody goint to mumbai to learn marathi…..you are against Hindi imposition but not against marathi imposition on people coming to mumbai…”

    What, pray is wrong with that? If most non-north Indians living in Mumbai and Pune can voluntarily learn Marathi, what is so special about the Hindi imperialists that they must be spared. As a matter of fact, just because of their arrogant and high-handed attitude in this matter they MUST be made to learn Marathi under duress — with insult, humiliation and (if necessary) violence. If the hoodlum culture of the cowbelt is going to infest urban Maharashtra, the least the Maharashtrians can do is to participate in it as equals — give as good as they get. And if they don’t like it, kick them on their butts and send them back to where they belong. Maharashtra will continue to prosper with contributors from the rest of India, who have made it a rich, cosmopolitan place.

    BTW, I don’t know about the Birlas, but in the Bajaj family (as well as the Walchands and several others) at least the last two generations have been fluent in in Marathi.

    And I would request V Mittal to stay out of things he doesn’t have a clue about — Lata Mangeshkar’s career — and also get the spelling of her surname right: it’s the least he can do for a celebrity who has done more than anyone else since Independence, to promote the unity in diversity of India.

  44. vivek mittal permalink
    April 18, 2008 11:48 am

    Dear Mr Khadpekar

    “As a matter of fact, just because of their arrogant and high-handed attitude in this matter they MUST be made to learn Marathi under duress — with insult, humiliation and (if necessary) violence.”

    after seeing above comments from you my sincere request.. kindly dont use words like “unity in diversity” in any reference

    anyway i didn’t know that Mr bajaj is able to live in maharashtra only because he has learnt marathi…thanks for information

  45. Jeevan permalink
    May 5, 2008 6:01 am

    Not even 3 months have passed, there is another spate of violent speech by MNS.

    The whole issue actually based on cultural classes, NOT on development. I mean whom Mumbai belong to?

    Reliance, Tata, Software companies are all outsiders. What the problem with MNS? What is disheartening is the public support. Otherwise, how they can do it?

    It is really time to put these kinds behinds bars and all should oppose it in every possible way in every possible medium. I came across these lines at this blog : mns again in vandalism against fellow

    Quote:


    Martin Niemöller wrote about the inactivity of Germans, when Nazi rose to power in Germany.

    “When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

    How true? The inspirtation for Raj, to quote rediff has come from Tamilnadu politicians.

    Quote:

    “In a book on Tamil superstar Rajnikant, the author has quoted Ramadoss as saying that no non-Tamil and non-Dravidian must be allowed to occupy the chair of the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Raj said.

    “All these people, including (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi who had criticised me, are sitting along side Ramadoss who has been quoted to have similar views like me, then why must only I be criticized?”

    Next day:

    A Tamil against a Marathi, A Marathi against a Kannadiga, a Bihari against a Kasmhiri, someone from somewhere in the country is killing another one. Good lord!

  46. Jeevan permalink
    May 5, 2008 6:05 am

    Missed the link from Rediff:

    specials rediff.news

    As you can see some crazy individuals claiming to own the culture. A proud culture accepts other with open arms.

    It is not about Bachchan, Lalu or Maya. It is about some egomaniacs.

    Jeevan, as far as I am concerned Maharashtrians have accepted others with open arms and the evidence is there for all to see. Today Maharashtra is developed for this very reason – because talented and intelligent and hardworking people from all over the country have come here and joined up with the locals to bring the state to what it is today. One of the reasons that some other states are less developed (some Hindi speaking states) is because they do not welcome others unless the other speaks their language. I am proud to be Maharashtrian as we have always welcomed others. Therefore I am not sure what you are talking about. Oh, I get it! You are talking about Raj T and the Shiv Sena. It is by their antics that you want to tarnish a whole culture. – Nita.

  47. Jeevan permalink
    May 5, 2008 9:48 pm

    Nita,

    As I referred it about a bunch of egomanics. It is not about you. I respect that you have heart and guts to publish the article in the first place. It shows your character.

    I can feel you are hurt. Are not you (by their antics)?

    All I am telling is, this should be stopped at any cost.

    Jeevan

    Okay, thanks for the clarification.🙂 – Nita.

  48. Ghanasham permalink
    May 13, 2008 3:36 pm

    If we do not stop North Indian coming to Maharashtra then we have to change our culture one day and loose our identiy as marathi Manus.

    These elements criminalizing our peacefull society and taking undue advantages of our hospitality. If you have a glance at north india you will find all mafia’s has captured socia-political institution like goverment becomming MP and MLA’s. They are making there money white by putting them in real estate in Mumbai and Maha.

  49. Paul permalink
    May 14, 2008 11:10 am

    We all are wasting time and energy in this democracy.
    For a moment, think that,who is going to tie a bell on the neck of an animal such as cat?
    ( Billy ke gale me ghanti koun bandhega? )
    Just wait and watch- I am sad and worried about our Maharastrian brothers and sisters.

  50. May 14, 2008 2:35 pm

    Vivek Mittal, you make weird points about everyone paying taxes to Delhi and being “slaves of the other people”. You tried to communicate something about Lata Mangeshkar which you and you alone understood (and you managed to spell her name wrongly too!)

    Do you seriously call it Marathi “imposition” if someone coming to Maharashtra is expected to learn Marathi? It would be imposition only if someone in Bengal is expected to learn Marathi.

    We complain about Hindi imposition because people OUTSIDE the Hindi belt are expected to know Hindi, either for certain government jobs, or simply for being in the good books of the Hindi imperialists.

    If all else fails, you accuse Nita of all sorts of wild things.

  51. May 30, 2008 4:15 pm

    Well reading the post and the comments. I feel totally defeated. And fear for my family who live there.

    If i face any sort of a racial bias in the U.S then i think I as an Indian would totally deserve it.

    Indians have no right to complain. You see Indians know differentiation too well. Tamils v/s malyalees, tamils vs kannadigas, assamiyea versus hindi speaking people. ethnic conflicts between the locals in the north east.
    Muslim versus Hindu. Christian versus Hindu.
    Indians have no right to complain. India might be reduced to Tito’s Yugoslavia in some time.

    I would agree partly with Nita, but not entirely. The poor might resent. But quite a significant chunk of well educated people hate outsiders too. Not just the poor. Well educated hindus taunt muslims too.
    It will go away with the creation of more jobs that ofcourse will take a lot of time. However fanning these sentiments would lead to anarchy.
    It is a viral mind virus or meme that would not die so easily if made a political issue based on hate rather than on the real issues.

    I pledge that i am never looking at any such posts again. All this really distracts me from my research.
    I’d better be selfish.🙂

  52. vivek mittal permalink
    June 16, 2008 10:37 am

    Nita

    i request you to delete point No 2 and 3 (not the entire comment) from my comment on 17 april 2008 1.00 pm…
    hope you would consider the request

    Vivek, I’ve done the other one, but this one I need to think and right now am a bit tied up. Let me see. But I think the best way is always to apologize for any remark that you feel is inaccurate. We all make mistakes Vivek, and there is no harm in taking your words back. Greatness lies in admitting a mistake! – Nita.

  53. vivek mittal permalink
    June 16, 2008 11:11 am

    Nita,

    Of course you take your time……..and i am not going to request you to edit any more comments……… but plz bear with me in this particular case………..

  54. vivek mittal permalink
    June 18, 2008 6:33 pm

    It’s the real face of Thackerays

    Mr Bal Thackeray now want Hindus to turn into terrorists to fight with muslims….and he literally mean it

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/jun/18bal.htm

    Below is what he wrote in his newspaper

    \\ In a controversial editorial in the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray said “The threat of Islamic terror in India is rising. It is time to counter the same with Hindu terror. Hindu suicide squads should be readied to ensure existence of Hindu society \\

    true, they are working to divide india…on regions and religions.

  55. Chirag permalink
    November 5, 2008 11:20 am

    Nita, I know I am really late but here it goes.

    I am a bit surprised to read this post coming from you. No, I mean i understand the underlying point. “There is no point telling a farmer if he works hard our GDP will increase, why will he care” but what I did not understand was

    a) You did not give a solution to this issue !
    b) Are we solving the wrong problem here?

  56. November 6, 2008 7:34 am

    Chirag, when I wrote this post, I wasn’t thinking of any solution, just trying to set the record straight. The media was reporting wrongly. And even now I am not sure what the solution is!

  57. Chirag permalink
    November 6, 2008 5:36 pm

    Got it. Biased media, is a problem everywhere. That’s why, I read your blogs than newspapers in most cases🙂 .

  58. November 6, 2008 11:40 pm

    Everybody is biased. Almost everybody, why blame the media. Even Nita is and even I am. Only thing some biases might suit you and some might not.

  59. November 24, 2008 5:42 am

    Great discussion.
    I can only say what I believe..
    You get what you deserve, by hook or by crook, you always get what you deserve.
    If “migrants” are coming and taking up all the jobs of Mumbaikars, then probably they deserve the job better.
    Oh, come on, Mumbai is Mumbai because of outsiders, if outsiders wouldn’t be here then Mumbai would be like any other place like Nagpur or Nasik. Another example, Pune didn’t develop unless outsiders started buying land over there…

    Sandeep, I urge you to read this post of mine about why MH and Mumbai developed. Also Pune has always been a centre for education and many other things. The city has a great history but as you have probably studied ICSE or another central education board you and many others are not taught the great history of Maharashtra. That is why people make statements like that, that Mumbai is developed by outsiders. Also your logic that “by hook or by crook, you always get what you deserve” applies both ways. But yes I do buy your argument that the migrants work harder and for lower pay. – Nita.

  60. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    November 24, 2008 10:50 am

    @ Nita:

    To add to your response to Sandeep Bali, Pune has, over the last 40+ years, emerged as a major industrial centre. This began initially as a spillover of manufacturing that Mumbai had become too saturated to accommodate, but within a decade the Pune urban agglomeration (which includes Pimpri-Chinchwad etc.) had become a major centre of engineering industries far more sophisticated than those in Mumbai. More importantly, this led to a significant growth of ancillary industries (set up almost entirely by “unenterprising” locals). These units, subjected to stringent quality control by the major industries to which they were suppliers, evolved into sophisticated (though relatively small) units in their own right.

    These developments, too, attracted a lot of people in search of work from all over India, and Pune became a fairly cosmopolitan city. But unlike Mumbai, the inflow of workers did not generate tensions. The immigrants assimilated themselves fairly well into the local culture. They did not try to browbeat and bully the locals into speaking their language (though the locals did voluntarily speak it).

    The cultural “threat” to Pune commenced when, in the 1990s, as in Bangalore before it, the BPO influx began. Interestingly enough those who feel disturbed by this phenomenon are not the unskilled, less-educated workers but the educated middle- and upper-middle class. This class may or may not subscribe to the SS/MNS ideology, but it is certainly not comprised of hoodlums who indulge in physical violence against “outsiders”.

    As to those who run down Maharashtrians for their lack of enterprise, it would do well to remember that the major industrial players based in Pune include “ghatis” such as the Kirloskars and the Garwares, besides the less well-known but equally pathbreaking entrepreneurs behind the Praj group and several others. The fact that the latter do not feature on p.3 or in advertisements does not diminish the worth of their contribution or their importance to India’s development.

  61. Dnyanesh permalink
    November 24, 2008 12:08 pm

    Sandeep Bali,
    Nice attempt!
    In case you are educated and studied some history of India then you can remember some Ghati names like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, GK Gokhale, Mahatma Phule, Maharshi Karve are very few of them. Pune has given many leaders (political and social). Peshwas from this city ruled India for many years. It played major role in freedom movements, social movements.
    It attracts maximum number of foreign students than any other city in India because, I guess it has that strong magnetic field🙂 Actually there are many ones about Pune. You might want to find out yourself.
    Anyway, I like your humour! Keep it up!

  62. sangeeta permalink
    November 25, 2008 8:39 am

    Mr Bali
    “Oh, come on, Mumbai is Mumbai because of outsiders, if outsiders wouldn’t be here then Mumbai would be like any other place like Nagpur or Nasik. Another example, Pune didn’t develop unless outsiders started buying land over there…”

    Wow!!! what kind of an air headed statement is this,I hope you were joking!!
    First of all I don’t find anything wrong with Nasik and Nagpur,they are much more developed than many large N.Indian cities.
    You are talking of Mumbai ,Pune as if they were some backward cities of the Wild Wild West,with uneducated and uncivilized locals ,which were developed by the “enterprising outsiders” for the benefit of Maharashtra ,well then why did the enterprising outsiders fail to develop their own states.Obviously “entrepreneurship” although the most important ,is not the only quality required for growth and development.Besides you need to read Nita’s other article “Give Maharashtra some credit”,to be more informed about Maharashtra

    Just for your information Pune was known as the ‘Oxford of the East”much before the outsiders started coming.

  63. November 28, 2008 10:09 am

    I feel sorry to see that some people took it personally here. I appreciate their replies, but am sure it could be more polite. Anyways…

    @sangeeta, dyanesh & vivek
    you are right to say outsiders like me know less about history of Maharashtra, but then I would leave history to historians. One person may travel hundreds of places in lifetime, you can’t expect him to read history for all of them.

    And boasting about Maharashtra’s contribution to freedom?? I guess one shouldn’t brag about fighting for rights…noone did a favor to noone… Everyone fought for freedom all over India… and no single contribution was more important than the other, all are equally important, so lets not go there.

    @Nita
    I never said that migrants work for lesser pay, lol, and I have no idea whatsoever about it. Maybe you were talking about blue collar jobs?? But in the companies I came across, most maharastrians are working in executive posts while CEOs and all higher management staff was either north or south indian.

    I find communal discussions (like the one going on here) to be pointless and waste of time as noone agrees with the other, and I personally don’t prefer to participate. I have friends from all regions and cultures we never found any difference even after MNS junkstuff or whatever. If everyone start doing their job sincerely, I don’t think there will be any problem. I personally appreciate and welcome any kind of competition, even if its a threat to my career, I hope maharashtrians should have that spirit too.

    BTW, i read your other post about maharashtra.. tht was gud… i learnt many things i didnt know.. I like ur blog..

    I won’t be commenting on this topic anymore. No offense taken, none given. Cheers

    Sandeep, you are welcome not to join in the discussion as it probably is disturbing to you. But let me assure you that I have friends from all communities too and 90 percent of my friends are from the north. So please don’t think that just becaus we are discussing this issue, we are communal. A discussion is never communal, some people are. And yes I am talking of labourers etc, because that is what the MNS agitation is about. But probably you don’t know that either. You, probably influenced by the propaganda from some media, believe that the resentment is about the higher level employees? You think its people like you who are resented? I am so surprised that I don’t know what to say. By now it is well known that the resentment is against the class IV employees. I don’t even agree with this fully. – Nita.

  64. November 28, 2008 11:10 am

    Sandeep, as you have accused this discussion of being communal, may I point out to you that you have made some communal remarks in both your comments. In the first one you have made a false statement about Pune, which shows your bias against Pune and which I think shows your communal attitude or we are superior than you kind of thing. Also in your second comment you have said:
    //But in the companies I came across, most maharastrians are working in executive posts while CEOs and all higher management staff was either north or south indian.//

    I am sure this has happened in the companies you know, and though you have not said it, you are implying that there are no MH ceo’s or higher mgt staff. I can tell you of many names, the people I have come across but I don’t want to as it would be a communal thing to do. Maybe I am being over sensitive here, but do you really want to do a break-up of all the ceo’s and find out their home state? Surely the point you made about freedom fighters is also valid here?

  65. Shweta permalink
    November 28, 2008 4:37 pm

    I dont want to be judgemental by taking sides. But if oppurtunities have to be created, why dont governments of those communities try to create oppurtunities for their people. Why dont they create oppurtunities in their own states and prove to ppl like Raj that “Come maharashtrians work in our state, its as safe as yours”.

    I am a maharashtrian myself, i think one state’s government is responsible for creatign opurtunities. I in no way support the gunda behavior of Raj but support the main idea of accusing the politicians of UP and Bihar.

  66. December 19, 2008 10:43 pm

    Hi Nita,
    Nice post. I have been trying to look for an impartial post for a long time. The moment you say to anyone that mass immigration of any type is a problem, people jump on you like you uttered a blasphemy. The people from the north immediately think that you are a supporter of MNS. No one is ready to look at the real problem. Because that will mean acknowledging them. I am tired of telling people that I do not believe in violence of any kind but that does not mean I am going to turn a blind eye to the fact that there is a problem and at the root of it are the failed states (slang BIMARU). But I do not blame my fellow countrymen (that is if they still think of us as their countrymen). It is our problem in general. It is difficult for us as a people to understand someone else’s point of view. Heck, we don’t even bother to pick garbage on the street in front of the house. As long as my house is clean, I’m good. And in this case it will probably be, it is not my state or city that is facing the issues, who cares. Then lets blame it on regionalism, narrow mindedness etc. Have you realized, that anyone who tries to stand up and protest against something very logical but which goes against the majority population is either a whiner or someone intent on breaking the unity of the nation. Minorities (of any kind) have real tough issues voicing their problems in our country. We are 10% of the country (maybe a little more or less). How much effort does it take to drown our voices? And even if we do voice, who will listen? The biased media or the centre at Delhi? I have heard arguments like we are not competitive enough! Seriously? Competitive enough for what? Low wages! The basic rule of competition is to provide the same platform for it and use the right benchmarks. To this day, I haven’t figured out how can so many people come up with such a moronic argument.
    The other problem, the language and culture problem. Honestly, there was a time in my life, when I loved Hindi. I still like it. But now every now and then I think of it, I twitch. I speak to my wife in it sometimes because it is her language and she has been an exeption to the general rule followed by native hindi speakers but then that’s it. Had my wife’s native tongue been Tamil I would have learnt bits and pieces of it and spoken it too. And the reason for my twitch, it is because I realize that most of the native hindi speakers who have settled in Maharashtra for decades don’t care about marathi. It is a burden for most of them. I learnt hindi in 1 year (even less) flat. Honestly, how much effort does it take to learn marathi. It is so obvious that there is no will to learn it. Who wants marathi when there is hindi. That is the attitude. And add to it the arrogance of hindi nationalism, mass migration and we have the recipe for our identity extinction. The worst part, they all think we are crazy when we express our fear about losing our centuries of culture and language and they also feel that there is nothing wrong with doing away of all of this. I am sorry, but I am not sure this is what we signed up for when we believed in the idea of India. The idea of India was that of all encompassing, that we all had our heritages and our differences in culture and language but we loved our motherland with equal passion. That we would respect each other’s identity and that’s what made our country special. And believe it or not after this post there will probably be a few morons who will start saying that I am suggesting a separate state. Believe me, I have heard that too. After all the centuries of sacrifices and all the hardwork this is what we get. However, I am not surprised, innocent Sikhs got it, innocent Indian Muslims still get it, South Indians are scorned at once in a while. On the positive side it has helped me to empathize with other minorities or various forms in our country better.
    At the end of it I am an Indian too, I realized how important my identity of being a maharashtrian and preserving my language and culture is to me only after I felt it was threatened. Until then, even I used to be confused when I saw the people of the south resist hindi so much. Now I understand what they feel. And yes, it does not make you any less Indian, if your identity is important to you. Like I read someplace (maybe one of your posts) nationalism and patriotism are two different ideas.
    Thank you for your patience with my disconnected talk.
    Aditya

    Thank you for your comment Aditya. I guess I might as well admit that I too used to enjoy Hindi at one time, maybe it was because I loved Hindi movies and maybe it was because I grew up in a pan indian westernized atmosphere. However in the last decade or so I have had some bitter experiences and basically it is scorn towards Marathi by those settled here for decades. I realised that there was something illogical going on here, something parochial. However anyone who wanted any kind of equality for their language was considered parochial! I was supposed to speak Hindi not marathi in my own state! My nature is such that I do not like to ordered to do things and that is why the resentment started to build up. It was so illogical and wierd on the part of the hindi speakers! Even now, it is so clear to anyone that if there are any people who are welcoming and meek towards those from other states it is maharashtrians, much more so than many other regions but it is us who are maligned (as you said by the english and hindi channels) because of an illogical and selfish attitude.
    Thanks for writing in Aditya, and your comment is not at all disconnected. We all need to understand that each state has a dignity which needs to be upheld. – Nita

  67. vasudev permalink
    February 10, 2009 10:48 pm

    if you say ‘mumbaikars’ then all those (irrespective of maharashtrians) who have been in mumbai for a long time or born in mumbai will be included. so do they detest outsiders?

    would a up/bihar mumbaikar detest another ‘up/bihar’ new arrival? needs pondering quite seriously since it could be detested if you go by ‘survival of the fittest’ or it could be welcomed if you go by ‘bhai-bhai’ stuff.

    yes and as you did point out, a mumbaikar maharashtrian might detest outsiders precisely due to reasons you explained.

    the objection of raj is more to do with ‘staying at my place, sharing my food, not understanding a word of what i speak but emphasising on your culture, language and ‘dada-giri’…or stuff like that.

    but that might just be an excuse…the real reason being…yes…there is a job shortage and you guys are cornering us. anyone would fight back when cornered and in this respect i think maharashtrians have shown exemplary patience all this while…till the going got really tough. maybe some hardliner stand is required at least temporarily till there is yet another industrial explosion.

    i would strongly advocate maharashtrians to go work in other parts of the country instead of localising themselves to ‘amchi mumbai’.

    • vinod permalink
      January 14, 2011 7:15 pm

      Are their as many jobs in other parts of India as there are in Maharashtra? Can you answer my question with numbers? Statistics? Let’s put this talk aside & tell me why can’t Maharshtrian have a first preference over a job created in Maharashtra regardless of who it’s created by. So, you simply ask maharshtrian to leave his/her state, work elsewhere because he has to think about his countrymen who’s state has failed to create opportunities for them that they can come over to Maharashtra & work while natives have to go away because it’s Maharashtrian who has to prove that he puts of his countrymen first & his preferences last. How does this look to you vasudev? I still would buy this but why is this not seen in other states? Why are other states so backward why can’t they progress they way many of Maharashtrian cities have & I I am not referring to Mumbai here. Migration is taking place all across Maharashtra today & our last resort is not stand up for what we deserve but to go away to find jobs where they might not exist in the first place. Bravo.

  68. vinod permalink
    January 14, 2011 7:08 pm

    I think, Aditya in his comment has certainly hit the nerve & attacked the very underlying cause of this whole anti-outsider campaign started by Raj. Come on, guys it’s become kind of a fashion to demean raj’s activities whether it is celebrating ‘Marathi Language’ day or insisting on having an ALTERNATE ‘Marathi’ board right beside your favorite one. For me, it’s always been the language problem. Like Aditya very well pointed out, I’ve been a victim of “Hindi is our national language naa!” argument & have had nothing to say as a come back because it’s said in such away that it directly questions your patriotism & your belief on your constitution but at the same time what we don’t realize is that some stubborn Hindi speakers have always been troublesome in this regard. They say this foe their convenience. As for myself, I have stopped buying that crap & have returned my land where ‘Marathi’ is given a first preference & everyone is expected to understand & speak.

  69. nilotpal permalink
    April 19, 2011 6:16 pm

    There is no problem if mrathi ask outsider to leave their cities. The only things they need to take care is that they should stop selling what is made in mahrashtra outside maharashtra.
    Thne there will be prosperity all over india. Marathi bureaucrats in central government have been blocking funds and projects to rest of india for nearly 45 -50 years since independence. Why are they inviting companies to mumbai when they cant cope up. it is the greed to have everything good for themselves.

    It time they are made to realize that hard way.
    The big brands that bring huge money into pune and mumbai will move out and poverty will reign in the maratha, then we can see how decent thye will behave and how they will not respect rest of indians and we will see they will the sweetnees of other languages and need to be repectful to other indians.

  70. Vivek S. Khadpekar permalink
    May 4, 2011 8:39 am

    I know India has different standards for Mumbai and for other metropolitan cities, but here is a link to a three years old take by CNN-IBN on Bengaluru:

    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/antioutsider-voices-gain-pitch-in-bangalore-too/59005-3.html

  71. Vivek permalink
    August 18, 2011 1:50 pm

    Mumbai has jobs and people from all over the country are coming here since modern times to work and earn a living and have made it their own.Marathi or non marathi,we love mumbai…Mr.Raj Thackeray is missing this point.In his fascist views,only a marathi person has the right to live and earn in Mumbai.
    since the last two centuries people have come to bombay and not left and they are proud to be here…but Mr thackeray can’t see that.
    And about the point that Mumbai was only built by outsiders is as wrong as the statement that Mumbai was built by marathi speaking people.
    Entrepreneurship of the Parsis,Marwadis and Gujratis and workforce of the south indians and maharashtrians has made mumbai what it is today,so i will agree with sandeep bali that Mumbai wouldn’t have been the most important city in India if not for the combination of both cultures and Mumbai was always known as a multi cultural,multi lingual city where people had no problems with each other till these nazi thackerays entered the political scenario.
    If a UP/Bihari is working for less pay than a maharashtrian then who are we to stop them.This is not a case of UP bihari vs Maharashtrian.It is a case of who benefits the employer and do what you can,the person who works for less pay will get the job.
    And Mr.thackeray never addresses the influx from villages and other cities of maharashtra into mumbai.
    What right do these people have more than these Up/Biharis to come work here as this land was not developed only by the maharashtrians.
    And by development,don’t go back to the 17th century to the peshwas and the kings,I’m talking about business enterprises and infrastructure of the modern society which started with the british invasion.

    • January 29, 2012 5:01 pm

      indian states are formed on linguistic basis ,and on that basis mumbai became part of maharashtra,thats what gives maharashtrians from interior maharashtra right to come to mumbai than those from any other palce in india

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