The Raj Conundrum

23 10 2008

The Raj Thackeray’s episode has been rankling for the last few months now. The governments, both central and state, are doing precious little to address the fissures Raj is so hell bent upon on creating. The decisiveness of those who matter is again conspicuous only by its absence.

Mumbai, a truly cosmopolitan city and the melting pot of India, is under threat of becoming a regional bastion because of one man’s tryst with power. The common Marathi Manoos is safe and forward looking. Of all the people I have met of all the regions, Marathis are probably the most progressive of the Indian lot. They are intelligent, they toil hard, and they receive just rewards. Then how so suddenly are they in such a grave danger, that a taxi driver from a remote Bihar village can tear their collective lives apart.

This unsavoury and unethical game of whipping up the regional sentiment for one’s personal gain, without regard of the effect it may have on the integrity of the whole nation. Maharashtra has always been a very important part of the India. This polarizing of communities is not going to help anyone but provide Raj Thackeray his temporary political gains.

Besides, the violent nature of the party workers is a clear indication of what is going to be the mode of implementation of the party manifesto. You tow OUR party line or you suffer. Its not suprising in itself then that the first casualty of the violent elements of MNS was not an out of state Bihari or a UPite or Orriya or Jharkhandi but a hardworking Marathi citizen – Ambadas Haribhau Dharrao.

On the flip side, the polarizing effect in other parts can also be witnessed. The indications coming out of Jharkhand and how they are now ready to target Marathis, is clear indications that things have come to a head. Even though Marathis had nothing to do with it.

Even as day before Raj Thackeray was put behind the bars, his goons wreaked havoc on Mumbai and non-Marathis. And the subsequent bail today just points to the laxity of our system in curtailing influence of people who openly promote sectarian violence.

Are we seeing a Bhindranwala all over again and aren’t we again turning a blind eye, hoping that the situation would somehow resolve itself. It will not and if government does not start taking absolute decisive action against people or organization who think they can hold the society at ransom by violence, we are going to see a whole new Punjab and repercussions of this would be felt across the country.

Lets not confuse the issues. Raj Thackeray is not a visionary; if anything he just has the next elections in his sights and a vision to overturn Shiv Sena and his cousin Uddhav Thackeray.  He does not even fall in the category of “one man’s terrorist, another man’s revolutionary”. He should be held accountable for any deaths resulting from his “rule of the sword” politics and inducing violence.

In the age, where India is already dealing with region and religion based terrorism across the country, we do not need the most important state in India to become embroiled in regional violence.

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3 responses

29 10 2008
Harshal

The basic issue is socio-economic. Caused by mass scale and uncontrolled migration of unskilled or skilled labor from one place to another. Migrants will always take jobs from locals simply because they will work for less, live in temporary or shared shanties and work 24 hours. Their costs in their hometowns are much lower than in urban cities. This is exactly what needs to be addressed. Average Maharashtrian cannot afford to work for less because he stays with his family and sends kids to school and pays for higher costs in Maharahstra. It is simply not true that the North Indian workers are getting jobs because they are better, what is true is they are willing to work for much less and much longer because essentially things are much worse where they come from.

Maharahstra has been highly industrialised for decades because the locals have always been disciplined, skilled and highly dedicated workers. To ignore this fact and say they are not good enough and cannot compete is insulting to Maharashtrians.

Some pople are quick to compare the situation with migrants in the USA, convenienty forgetting that any visa based migration is basically a controlled one and aimed at filling the vacancies. What is happening is Maharashtra is simply unacceptable to Maharashtrians.

To simply view the violent situation from a law and order or communal point of view is ridiculous. These are just the symptoms.

People in Maharahstra are not communal, if they were then Shiv Sena would have ruled for more than 5 years out of 60 years post-independence. But the anger and frustration in Maharahstra is rising as they are being equated en-masse with MNS and labelled as, good-for-nothing, fascists and making un-fair demands. Their contribution to Mumbai is being rubbished with typical Indian arrogance. Gun toting mad men are being hailed as martyrs. Leaders in the North are ganging up and talking of punishing Maharahstra. The national media has resorted to a completely one sided reporting dictated by commercial compulsions. the entire country in general is up against Maharashtra.

Quite frankly the Maharashtrian people are feeling alienated from the rest of India like never before. Many are beginning to question the wisdom of remaining a part of India. The concept of one country works as long as people feel they have a common future and benefit from it. If these issues are not addressed sensitively and if interestes of Maharashtrian people are ignored at the cost of others, there is likelyhood that you will see a situation like in Kashmir, Khalistan and North East. If Raj is being seen as the new Bhindranwale then Indians need to understand and address the causes so that we do not have a new Khalistan. The only difference is even at the height of Khalistan problem I did not see the Sikh community being insulted and labelled like the way Maharashtrians have been in the last one year.

30 12 2008
Anshuman Dimri

Hi Harshal

Its good to hear comments from the other spectrum. I am sorry I was caught up so could not respond. But really, I do not agree with what you are saying. When you distinguish between controlled or uncontrolled migrations, you miss the uncontrolled outsourcing work. Why should we have a God given right to have more H1Bs to US or Britishers/Americans should feel duty-bound to outsource to us.

ECONOMICS work exactly same everywhere, but we make it a selective problem where we deem fit and to suit our stand.

“It is simply not true that the North Indian workers are getting jobs because they are better…”

“Maharahstra has been highly industrialised for decades because the locals have always been disciplined, skilled and highly dedicated workers. To ignore this fact and say they are not good enough and cannot compete is insulting to Maharashtrians.”

This is just the kind of useless tripe that was being circulated to whip up the fervour in Mumbai. Notice I did not mention anywhere North Indians are more talentend than Mumbaikars/Maharashtrian. However, you perceived as if I was favouring North Indians. Infact, I never did even get into who is better. My blogpost was about narrow minded politics played by our leaders.

Togadia/Sadhvi polarises Hindus, Maulanas polarises Muslims, CPM – the Unions, and now we have Anti-region stuff flaring up. We would soon be country with no common land if we go on like this. we would be back to Ancient History where they taught you Jambudweep was a collection of independent principalities.

“People in Maharahstra are not communal, if they were then Shiv Sena would have ruled for more than 5 years out of 60 years post-independence. But the anger and frustration in Maharahstra is rising as they are being equated en-masse with MNS and labelled as, good-for-nothing, fascists and making un-fair demands.”
Harshal, again my blog is not about People of Maharashtra all being MNS. My post is about bringing Raj Thackrey to justice, or see a repeat of Bhindranwala and Punjab happening all over again. Its good that he is now under so many court cases that he can not preach his separatist philosophy.

Also I do not know where you get your news from. All I have seen MNS being targetted by Media and all people. I have not come across anyone who says anything about Marathis. And really the kind of separatist thing you are speaking makes no sense. Because Maharashtra has always been developed by not only the Indrustrialist all over India – (read Reliance from Gujarat or Tatas from Bihar or host of other companies) but also by the subsequent Central government. And Marathis being ignored? Get over it…

You would prefer a country which requires VISA when you would like to visit a part of it (your controlled migration), I would prefer an India which in essence grows together.

30 12 2008
Anshuman Dimri

By the way the question that everybody was asking and which I ask for earning brownie points. Where was Raj Thackrey when Mumbai was burning?

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