I’m an Indian first, Marathi later

“Beg, borrow, Steal or snatch!” Remember this sentence, it is the theme and I will use it again in my post.

There have been huge mud slinging debates making rounds in the news papers, blogs, television channels, emails and even the lunch time discussions. So when my friend and a fellow blogger decided to eek his thoughts on the issue, I thought let me also pee some more. Why not? Afterall thats the mantra these days.

Raj Thackeray and his MNS have lately been on the rampage, breaking rules, disobeying court orders, losing moralities and literally kick butting the north Indian population out of Mumbai. They have an argument that Mumbai belongs to the Marathi junta and others should not be allowed to dwell here in peace. Unlike his uncle who, in his youth and early days (Late 60s) attacked the South Indians in Mumbai, Raj chooses to do the same thing with the north Indians. To be very frank, there is more hostility than substance in his claim to fame.

Lets go back in time just a bit. Try to find the history of Mumbai. You won’t be able to go much deeper, because there isn’t any. Mumbai was inhibited by fishermen who speak konkani and later by Parsi community who came to India via Gujarat. Britishers found great value in building ports here as it was on the west coast and moreover it never had a ruling family. They made Mumbai. The Marathi population was existent in parts and a bigger chunk jumped in later, near to the independance. Post independance, due to some shrewed politics from local leaders, Mumbai became part of a larger state ‘Maharashtra’. In fact, even Maharashtra has an interesting story behind its name. If you observe, almost all states are  either named after their religion (Ex. Karnataka) or their location (Uttar Pradesh). Maharashtra, on the contrary have been named without much logic. It wasn’t the biggest state (remember Nagpur and other adjoining parts were first part of Madhya Pradesh) nor it was a nation (as the name suggests). It was born out of some Marathi protagonist faux imagination and vacuous pride. Quoting Sudheendra Kulkarni, an article from Indian Express Maharashtra, which means ‘Greater Nation’, is an exception; its self-identification is national. It is, therefore, distressing that certain local political formations in Maharashtra succumb to the temptation of parochialism every once in a while by projecting non-existent antagonism between ‘natives’ and ‘outsiders’. Invariably, it is Mumbai, India’s first and still the most cosmopolitan city, which bears the brunt of their insularity.” That should sum the MNS intentions. But let me remind them, I can name at least 4 other cities outside of Maharashtra where sizable population (if not majority) is of marathi speaking people. They are Indore and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Vadodara in Gujarat and Hubli in Karnataka. If they are kicked out of the cities, will Raj do some thing to accomodate them?

Whether you like it or not, we are what we are because we have build this city together. The burgeoning business in the city largely deserves a creditable mention to most of the non-marathi speaking community residing here. Lets face it, Marathis suck when it comes to business. If you have stayed long enough in Pune, you will now. In fact, read our history (specifically about Peshwas). We were best at pulling some one else down rather than advancing up ourselves. Unfortunately that is what MNS is trying to do. Shoving the north Indians away won’t do much good for the job hopefuls here in Maharashtra. In fact that reminds me of yet another thing. About 10 years back, I remember Raj and Uddhav Thackeray had summoned a meeting with leading industrialists in order to facilitate employement for local youth. I don’t remember the name but it was some Sena. It even had a website and claimed to have given jobs to a handful of people. But it might be election time and all was buried later. Now thanks to the feud between Raj and Uddhav, he can’t possibly lay his hands on the issue again. So he is making good use of his muscle power to win back the lost people. “Beg, borrow, Steal or snatch!”

All said and done, peobably the north indians are migrating to Mumbai for opportunities, for the glitz and glamour or simple for the love of the city. Whatever it is, there is a large influx coming here every day. Without doubt it is inded increasing the problems of the already exploding city. SInce we may not be able to fulfil the requirement of so many people, it might give rise to joblessness, crime and terror. And for that small reason, some where… Raj Thackeray’s fight looks for a cause. But the means and the political angle is certainly gone awry. Its only makinghim a watch dog, wanting to guard his territory in the name of a regional cause.

Not done Mr. Thackeray! If you really want to fight, gun for a national cause. Bullying around your den is useless.

28 thoughts on “I’m an Indian first, Marathi later

  1. What about that? How active is MNS in rest of Maharashtra? Forget MNS, even the ever vocal Shiv Sena did nothing for the people except threatening them. Never did I hear Shiv Sena doing any thing for good of the whole of Maharashtra. All they care for is Mumbai.

    Why do you think they lost miserably in Konkan?

  2. The only thing I wonder when this Raj/MNS controversy comes up is what is Raj Thackeray’s stand about non-marathi *rich* people – Ambanis, Tatas, Bajajs, Kirloskars – residing in Mumbai and Pune. And what about the foreigners heading multi-national companies’ offices in Mumbai – they aren’t Marathi either.

  3. @K: I was going to say that… you were faster.

    Anyway, Amit as far as I see it, Raj and other Thackerays always cared about being bullish for a stupid cause. It was to win people by brain washing them and win their votes. Otherwise I don’t remember any good thing they did. Or for that matter, any other political party. As Big K says, politics in India is in really bad shape. Even if we start doing some thing now, it will take another 15-20 years to refine it easily

  4. Well, it won’t take 20 years. Just 1 month would be enough. Have you seen Nayak starring Anil Kapoor? Don’t laugh at me for quoting a movie here.

    “Zukti Hein Duniya, Zukane Wala Chahiye”.

  5. I would like to contribute to Politics in India. I would like to help improve our present divide with regionalism. But I dont know where to start and who how much can be achieved alone. Does there exist a group that is working with fresh ideas on this issue that I can join? Are there young people involved in politics right now in India that are doing a good job?

    Best Krupali

  6. I have been waiting for months for a Marathi Maharashtrian to speak out !! Sadly, I haven’t seen many.
    It was heartening more than anything else to read your post.
    Being a Maharashtrian, I hate to see this these recent incidents.

  7. @ Son of Soil: 😀 I pity you for pitying me.
    @ Krupali: Best movements start from homes. You make a start, others would join.
    @ Deepak: Thanks buddy. I’m a true blue Maharashtrian and a Marathi too. But I HATE politicians who mingle their personal gains with religion and make an issue out of it.

  8. I think the day people can look beyond politicians and their intentions, we will be a better country.
    In one year of violence and chaos that MNS created, I myself could have come up with some honest schemes to promote Marathi culture/theatre/music and the language, ensuring implementation of the quota for locals in the class 4 jobs and all this could easily be done without any violence.
    Now the situation is such that the MNS keeps changing its focus from language to culture to jobs, with absolutely no plan for anything whatsoever. All they want is to come into the power to implement it. And weirdly, for the things they are fighting, they don’t even need to be in the government !!
    Does Mr. Raj Thackeray know anything about Vidarbha ? Does he have any plan apart from the governmetn bashing ? Does he have any plan for the power shortage ? Has he even heard of a place called Khairlanji ? Does he know the plight of Dalits in the eastern Maharashtra ? Does he know about Naxalites ? Does he even know what their demans are ?
    It is really a sad state of affairs. And I wouldn’t mind if a politician says such things. But I do care if educated people think in a similar way without being able to see the obvious.

  9. @K

    Sorry about the error. It wasn’t intentional. I really did not know much about the Kirloskars. But the point stays, would like to see responses to what I said. 🙂

  10. DEAR,


  11. [quote]They have an argument that Mumbai belongs to the Marathi junta and others should not be allowed to dwell here in peace.[/quote]

    You are fundamentally half-wrong.You havent understood what Raj has said.Please watch his speeches carefully.Do some more homework on what Raj has done in his career.

    People arent fools to support him in such huge amounts (marathi youth). There must be something that struck them when Raj spat out his views.

  12. @Guwran Pundit:
    [Quote]People arent fools to support him in such huge amounts (marathi youth). There must be something that struck them when Raj spat out his views.[/quote]

    Well then what about Mullah Omar of Taliban or Osama bin Laden, more people support them than Raj Thackeray. There must be something good and important in their messages that so many people support them.
    Remember sir, 99% of the world population can be brainwashed into believing anything. They do not think for themselves but instead follow the leader like a flock of sheep.

  13. what a foolish post.
    Mumbai’s original residents are Marathi (NOT konkani) speaking fishermen. If sum1 who can claim mumbai bcoz ‘they developed it’, they are Englishmen not parsis, gujjus, marwories et al. English developed this island into city.
    And for argument, even if non-Marathis have contributed to Mumbai’s economy, its only becoz their own state DOES NOT provide them the opportunity. English ppl politically unified the India, they started railways, modern education etc that doesnt mean they own India. In similar way, even if Marathis are not business oriented, lets assume they contributed ZILCH to Mumbai, they are the ultimate owners of this place. Its the matter betwn goras and Maharashtrians not other Indians who are nothing but ‘aaytya biLavar nagoba’!
    And as for creater of this blog, u seem to be the black sheep in Marathis.
    And about me, Marathi first, everything later.

  14. for me always marathi first and everything later………..u said if marathis from indore nd gwalior kicked away then wat they will do…..u fool marathas have ruled those cities…..we have nt gone there for begging…..those people were slaves of moughuls…….we made them free……u r jst a blot on marathis…….

  15. Its sad verry sad
    @son of the soils @ vijay @Proud Mumbaikar
    Tumhi loka gadhav ahe
    My father was a true maratha ,you ppl are just mouthpieces who dont have any balls,My father was an Major in the army ,he died protecting his country in kargil,He always taught me that politicians are criminals and the true future of maharastra was in a unified India,Maybe your parents didnt teach you but my father always told me shivaji maharaj always stated ,fought andvoiced for a unified India,He took the gujjus ,ppl from karnataka(they are also marathas)and MP to form a country called akhand bharat ,he never aimed for an Akhand Maharashtra .He wanted to topple the mughal ruler from the Indian throne
    And yet you ppl in the 21st centuary take shivaji’s name form a political party abuse non marathis and forget the same chatrapati shivaji ‘s legacy which is revered in all of India
    You shame him, you shame me ,you shame my father and countless others who are the true Marathas who would rather die then let anyone talk ill about their motherland,yet here you are destroying everything these great ppl stood for

  16. Im not a marathi but to me raj thakre seems the best man to run maharashtra. Sadly hes not in the position. And i really believe being an indian first got nothing to do with what shiv sena and MNS says ‘marathi asmita’ and r not contradictory. Maharashtra needs to preserve its marathi character. Interesting read btw

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