One Year After Attacks, Have We Moved On?

In another 4 days, the dreaded terror attack on Mumbai will complete one year. A night when a handful of gunmen from across the border held the city at gunpoint will be remembered again. It was an incident, which changed the life of many people. But has any thing really changed otherwise?

As an after effect we saw both CM Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy CM & Home Minister R R Patil being removed from their posts. The ruling Congress party was flayed, the intelligence agencies were questioned, other political parties were criticized, Raj Thackeray was ridiculed. The people of Mumbai gathered together for a solidarity march at the gateway of India. The protests arose, the cause was raised and gradually every thing died a slow painful death. Is it an irony? I don’t think so…

The only terrorist captured alive is still living in the Arthur road jail without much discomfort. The perpetrators and conspirators are freely roaming around in Pakistan. We are (still) waiting for US to help us.  Congress came back to power both at the centre and state assembly. Vilasrao is enjoying his stint as the union minister for heavy industries, R R Patil is back at the helm of home ministry, Raj is back and busy fighting for the Marathi ‘language’ rather than the people, conducting gheraon and angry protests on issues as trivial as debating on ‘Why Hindi is not a national language’. Shiv Sena, now led by a much mellowed Uddhav Thackeray is criticizing the legendary Sachin Tendulkar because he put India ahead of any one else. It looks like they are coming back to the vandalizing best. The men who could have, should have and must be protecting us from the possible attacks, the Police are busy pointing fingers at each other, one year after we were attacked.

Nothing has changed for a normal Mumbaikar like me… and nothing ever will. Terrorism, in my opinion, is a secondary problem for us. We are battling more than that every day, every month… the ever increasing population on roads, trains and buses, the sky rocketing property prices, the water and power crisis, substandard infrastructure and a slowly retreating ghost named recession. Every day journey to the office seems like a solidarity drive.

I think Mumbai is ready for another attack. Any takers?

Well Done Raj Saheb

Raj_ThackerayMaharashtra has witnessed exceptionally grand swearing in ceremony yesterday. We have had fire crackers that could beat the best of hooliganism from Bihar and UP. 4 MLAs from the coveted Maharashtra Navnirman Sena created ruckus in the house by stalling the swearing in procedure and actually beating Samajwadi party MLA Abu Azmi. Reason? He was taking an oath in India’s national language.

Who were they? Ramdas Kadam- he had been arrested earlier for disrupting the electoral procedures on the polling day. Shishir Shinde- The famous man who dug up the Brabourne stadium pitch as a Shiv Sainik before an India Pakistan match. Ramesh Wanjale- a former NCP guy who had nothing to do with the ‘Marathi Manoos’ agenda, but changed factions just for a ticket to contest. Vasant Gite- one who lead to the revolt against north Indians in Nasik.

Best… nothing like it. This is how a ‘troubled Marathi manoos’ will be thoroughly honoured. This is how all his problems will vanish. And Raj Thackeray has congratulated his men for doing so. Wonderful! Well done Raj saheb.

Yes we ought to respect the language. Yes we need to care about our people. But no… a complete NO to hooliganism and utter stupidity. Raj Saheb, I think the ideology needs to change. Please work for the betterment of a Marathi Manoos, not to bereave him from respect and harmony.

What Does a Marathi Manoos Want?

… a question that goes unanswered in all the elections. From wherever and whenever the Thackerays started wooing the Marathi junta, I dont really remember one good initiative taken by any one to ask the real ‘Common Marathi Manoos’ as to what his real demands are.

In fact, in between the digging of the cricket pitches, the riotings and the banishing of the so called ‘Bhaiyyas’, the real cause of concern has been getting lost time and again. The situation is that now the real common ‘Marathi Manoos’ doesn’t know where to start and what does he really need from the innumerable political agendas being manifested and bulldozed on his own name. May be he has accepted the silent corrupt (read Congress) over the shouting bigots as his and Maharashtra’s saviour for a better future. Yes, Raj Thackeray has won 13 seats in Maharashtra. We have seen all the talking he did. May be we can see things improving on the ground level too. May be…

Anyway, I’m not spending too much time on who has done what and who wants to do more. I’m just addressing the plain question asked by a ‘common marathi manoos’ and I want you (YOU the reader) to answer it for me.

PS: In my opinion, all a Marathi Manoos wants is better opportunities for him, better living conditions in his own motherland, greater financial stability and peaceful dwelling. And of course he doesn’t like some one else dominating his life. But I’m sure he doesn’t care who sits next to him in his office, whether a Gujarathi or a Bihari.

A Comment on Mi (ani) Marathi

An angry Mr. Vijay Matkari commented on my post Mi (ani) Marathi probably because he thinks I’m demeaning the Marathi people. Here is what he has to say

tu marathi mansala durusta nako karus aadhi swatacha ‘holier than thou’ avtar band kar. what an idiotic post, once again. What do u think of urself? Dont make an ass of urself by such uncool posts. ur seriously an liability on Marathis. I mean look at ur attitude…who the hell are u!!give us a break.

I’m sorry Mr. Matkari but I dont understand. Where the hell you get that anger from? I know you will come back to my blog in search of what my reaction was. If you think I’m a liability on Marathis, please explain me what a true Marathi is and I’ll issue an apology plus delete my posts.

PS: For the non-marathi readers, the first two lines in the comment means dont you try to improve Marathi manoos first stop your ‘holier than thou’ avataar.

Mi (ani) Marathi

mi_marathiOn my last day at Hurix, some people had a startling revelation that I’m a Marathi. In fact I was surprised to know that many people thought I was a Gujrathi. One of them was quick to point out that none of my habits (including speech and command over Hindi) resembled a Mumbaikar Marathi. Well, I dug deep into it and here is how it was concluded.

Lot of Marathi Mumbaikars are absolutely loyal to the Thackeray family (may it be Balasaheb-Uddhav or Raj). However despite being a staunch supporter of BJP, I have always opposed their ideologies. So they immediately thought I was not from Maharashtra.

Being a Thackeray loyalist, a Mumbaikar has to compulsorily call every North Indian as ‘Bhaiyya’. I refused to do so, and when I did… it was out of brotherliness. So people thought even I was a North Indian Brahmin.

My Hindi is better than many of my North Indian friends, another reason for them to think I was one of them.

All my Marathi friends talked about salary hike, bonus, LTA claims and cursed the Marwaris and Gujjus for capturing the business circle whereas I always spoke about new business, the up and down going stocks, entrepreneurship. So they thought I was not one of them.

Duh! What the …  ! Mi Marathi ahe. Mala Marathi honyacha abhimaan ahe. Mazi bhasha, mag ti Marathi aso, Hindi aso ka English aso… ti uttam prakare durusta ahe. Prashna ha ahe ki samanya Marathi mansala kasa durusta karta yeil.

The Regionalism

I remember a small but unimportant incident that happened few weeks back. I have recently bought a flat. So while finalizing the deal, we happened to get into a friendly chat with this guy from the builder’s office. In the process we inquired about each other’s home towns. He quickly retorted by saying he is actually from no where. I was surprised, but the reason he gave was right. If you are from Mumbai, you must have read or at least observed a supplement that accompanied today’s TOI. It is about the people and the unique ways of the descendants of the Sindhu Valley, the Sindhi community. Some one probably came up with this ‘novel’ idea of promoting and making every one aware of a community by publishing widely about them. Nothing wrong in it though, I just dont get the big need behind doing so. May be because, like the guy I mentioned above, all of them think they are actually from nowhere? (Since the state of Sindh is now in Pakistan).

Anyway, this post is not about Sindhis. Its about the fact that regional and religious boundaries still divide the minds of people in India. Look at the way the ‘Marathi Manoos’ agenda is driven by the two ‘Senas’ in Maharashtra or the way Mayawati runs the party solely for the backward classes. This is an aboriginal hypothesis. The difference actually egresses from our own mind.Ask a person who he is and he will say he is a Punjabi or a Marathi or a Gujrathi. Thankfully at least the ‘South India’ is united in the eyes of all others above Maharashtra.

I have been talking about it very openly and I keep saying it that division on the basis of religion is an abhorrent deed. We can not grow as a nation till we grow out of our regional bounds. Often as a Maharashtrian I have heard this that since all Patels help a fellow Patel, all Joshis and Kulkarnis should all but support another Joshi or a Kulkarni or a Deshpande. Believe me, this way neither the Joshi will grow nor the Patel… let alone the country.

People, please! Grow out of your regional boundries. The country needs you.

The native touch

Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city.In my bay in the office, I sit in the midst of a crowd with varied backgrounds and cultures. I have a mix of population from almost all the parts of the India. So understandably, we speak in a dialect of India… Hindi. I like the language and there is absolutely no qualms about not being able to speak in Marathi, my mother tongue. But as an after effect, I’m beginning to lose touch with Marathi (I have to sadly admit that as even my wife is a North Indian). So whenever I meet a native, especially some one from in and around Nagpur any where, I make it a point to speak in Marathi.

I ended up speaking a couple of Marathi sentences with a person who interviewed me today (I’m NOT looking for a job!)

What is wrong in this?