I think Uddhav Thackeray…

… has lost his mind.

Yes, Shiv Sena is an emotional party. Yes, they are very radical with their political and religious views. Yes, their means are violent and forceful. Yes, they have been losing ground since the advent of MNS. But what is the Thackeray junior doing here?

Alright I take the argument of targeting Shah Rukh Khan because he ‘hurt’ your sentiments by showing some courtesy to the Paki players. Thats what the sainiks have been doing since the reign of Balasaheb. But whats with the ‘now I oppose’ and ‘now I dont’ agenda? I dont know what the senior leaders of Shiv Sena might be thinking of this confused leadership.

I personally admire Uddhav Thackeray as a person. I think he had the right qualities to make Shiv Sena as a national party. But a competition with his brother Raj and the MNS has left him high and dry. I think Raj and more so the other Congress leaders must be enjoying watching Shiv Sena fall apart in tatters.

Deva Deva! Kay honar mazya Maharashtrache!

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?

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.