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Dedicated to “Bharat” and “Dharma”

An open letter to BalaSaheb from a Marathi Manoos

Adarniya BalaSaheb, Pranaam.

I would have written this letter in Marathi but most of my blog readers are Indians.

I have never done a survey to find out how many of them are Maharashtrians – nor made any attempt to block non-Maharashtrians from reading what I write. Indeed most of my writing is in English. This is not because I am ashamed or embarrassed about my mother tongue. On the contrary, I am grateful to my parents for cultivating in me a love of languages and for helping me learn a language which – if they had not taught me – I might forever have remained ignorant of. That is because unlike most Maharashtrians, I was neither born in Maharashtra nor have I ever lived there.

It would have therefore been very easy for me to remain ignorant of Marathi – or even forget it. But I am not ignorant of my mother tongue neither have I forgotten it. And yet, I chose to write this letter in English – and hopefully I will post a Hindi translation soon. That is because Hindi and English, unlike Marathi or Oriya – are India’s official languages.

I was not born in Maharashtra but I consider myself Maharashtrian. Unfortunately your son Uddhav, your nephew Raj and many of your supporters may not consider me one. For I have not lived in Maharashtra – ever, and I was born in Madhya Pradesh.

BalaSaheb Thackeray

BalaSaheb, this is where my problems begin – and this is where I need your help. You see, as a child and later, when I was growing up, I have never stayed in any one place in India for long. No, I was not born or brought up in a foreign country (in fact, I had not ventured beyond our borders until I was well into my twenties). I was born and brought up in India.

And while I was being born and brought up, I was always told that we are one nation…from Kashmir to Kanyakumari we are one…From Somnath to Sibsagar, this is our country…these are our people…we are free to go where we want and where we like…because we are all Bharatiyas…This is our land, our nation…we are one nation.

And so Balasaheb, while I grew up in many different parts of my motherland and learnt many different languages, never once did I consider I was a Maharashtrian first and an Indian second.

When I was a child, I read about the stories and exploits of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and when I grew up, I sometimes used to wonder why “Maharashtra” is  not called “Marathi Pradesh”.  Later on, I realised why it was not…because it would have been an insult to the vision of Chhatrapati. It would have been an insult to the Chhatrapati who dreamt of a united Bharat, a united Rashtra. To name the region where his lived and breathed as “Marathi Pradesh” would have been an insult to his memory.

BalaSaheb, you are a learned man – far more knowledgeable in matters of culture and language than me. So I am certain you know that “Rashtra” is not “Rajya”. “Rashtra” supercedes “Rajya” – not today, not yesterday – but always. And “Bhoomi” trumps “Kshetra” – always.

So while I can understand that Maharashtra is a “kshetra” where “Maharashtrians” live (and belong to), I cannot understand how Maharashtra “bhoomi” can belong to anyone other than all Bharatiyas and all the citizens of “Bharat Rashtra”.

I was therefore dismayed – and pained – to read your son’s comment reiterating what he had said before, namely, “Mumbai belongs to Marathis“.

BalaSaheb, Mumbai is a city that we are all proud of – we who are from Mumbai, we who left our homes and came from afar to settle here, we who have never lived here but dream about it – and we who don’t live here but feel proud of its achievements and accomplishments…of its citizens, of its artists and of its industry.

Please do not take Mumbai from us BalaSaheb. Mumbai belongs to Bharatiyas, it belongs to Indians. A Naga from the north-east has as much claim on it as a Maratha from Vidarbha.

Do tell Uddhav, “Mumbai does not belong to Marathis, it belongs to Indians“. It belongs to Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan. It belongs to Aamir Khan. It belongs to Amitabh Bacchan, it belongs to Mukesh Ambani, it belongs to Sachin Tendulkar – and it also belongs to me – me who has never stayed there…me who was not even born there…but me who is a Bharatiya.

Mumbai belongs to me…us, BalaSaheb…It belongs to Bharatiyas. Don’t try to take it away…and please remember, There is a “राष्ट्र” in “महाराष्ट्र”……but there is no मराठी in there.


Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!

Related Posts:

No longer funny…

After Maharashtra, it is the turn of West Bengal

There is a “राष्ट्र” in “महाराष्ट्र”…

Also see:

“BiMaRUnomics” Examined and finally…

Exclusive to the SatyamevaJayate.FanPage: A few slides from a presentation I made to young Maharashtrian professionals on this subject, almost exactly two years ago in London. To be uploaded tomorrow.

Image courtesy: http://www.shivsena.org/graphics/BS_BD.jpg

February 2nd, 2010 Posted by | An Indian Identity, Debates & Discussions, Indian History, Modern Indian History, Politics and Governance in India | 111 comments


  1. From Cool Rahul loses temper:

    During the interaction followed by his speech, a student asked: “Rahulji, please explain why the students and workers from Bihar and UP are being targeted in Maharashtra?”

    Visibly miffed, Rahul quipped: “OK, leave this question and move ahead.”


    I had a deja-vu feeling when I read the above…From my twitter feed:

    Big B on IPL, Pakistan, BalaSaheb etc: “These are sensitive issues..best to not comment” Amit-ji, we expected better http://bit.ly/cCHlf2

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 2, 2010

  2. Shiv Sena in its formative years(60’s) was ‘helped’ by CONgress governments to counter the growth of ‘communists’; just like they supported J.S.Bhindranwale to counter Akali dal in Punjab
    This fact is not widely appreciated or known. It should also be noted that the same ‘players’ since 2004, have started their ‘same old games’ with their ‘same old pawns’ in both Punjab & Maharashtra

    Comment by Bharat | February 2, 2010

  3. Dear Shantanu,

    An excellent post – from the heart, really heart rendering. I can feel the pain and the agony you are in!

    It is really a sad state of affairs. How can people do this? And, why does the media have to highlight all this? Do these people ever realize that if all Indians start doing this – Punjab only for Punjabis, Gujarat only for Gujaratis, Chennai only for Tamilians, Andhra only for Andhrites – what would be the state of the nation? A scene several times worse than whatever happened during the Partition of India in 1947 would be seen. Is this what these educated illiterate people want? For what – lust for power? Would they ever be able to come in power by this ‘Divide and Rule policy’ of theirs? If they spend even 1/4th of their energy in educating the people of Maharashtra and making them self sufficient, they would become immortals.

    Where were Raj and Uddhav when Mumbai was burning? Nowhere to be seen. Probably hiding like a ….
    Do they realize what would have happened if the likes of Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan, etc had said – let the Marathis take care of their Maharashta? It is painful and disgusting. And, Shivaji, I don’t think they even know what Shivaji stood for?


    Comment by Ajay Anand | February 2, 2010

  4. I believe we all are Bharatiya and I’m proud to be.

    But how do you justify the migration from one state to another not due to natural problems, but because of the political inactivity.
    A simple question,
    Is a common man in Maharashtra responsible for under development of UP/Bihar?
    Political leaders come from UP and Bihar and field their candidates here not because they want to do some good to this place but because they see lots of UP/Bihari votes in Maharashtra. Sanjeev Nirupan went to claim that minimum 40 seats be allotted to Hindi speaking candidates. why?
    If such is the attitude of immigrants then clashes are bound to happen. Because people from Maharashtra also suffer the unemployment and basic amenities problem. I condemn any target of common immigrant but yes the politicizing it in such a cheap manner by UP/Bihari politicians from outside is not at all accepted. They better go and improve UP/Bihar so that people will live happily in harmony there as well.

    It wasn’t just Maj. Sandeep, there were top cops (Maharashtrian) named Shahid Kamate, Karkare, Salaskar, Ombale and many others…
    So it is unwise to use such words. I’m too against the attitude of MNS and Shivsena in the handling of matter in this manner. They target immigrants and I ask them to target the political class from UP/Bihar. This will resolve the problem. Otherwise such disputes are bound to happen.

    जय भारत!

    Comment by संदीप नारायण शेळके | February 2, 2010

  5. Beautiful letter. Very well said. Hats off!

    All those who wish to divide or subdivide the Indian identity into tiny bits should remember this: the world sees Indians as one community. But there is yet another level as well: of each of us as a human being; a resident of this lonely but beautiful blue planet.

    Being nice to each other can’t harm anyone: it can only bring out the best in each other.


    Comment by Sanjeev Sabhlok | February 2, 2010

  6. I am with you on that . I cannot believe that in 2010 we are heading towards autocratic rule in Mumbai.Surely that will keep a lot of good people away from working and investing there.
    Well written Shantanu

    Comment by sachin prabhu | February 2, 2010

  7. Though I am not a Marathi,I admire Balasaheb hard line Hindutva. I still think that the stand taken by RSS is wrong and RSS should have first discussed the issue with Shiv Sena, being a fellow pro Hindu party. RSS and BJP always complain about media being unfair to them, and this time they themselves are falling prey to the biased media. It was Shiv Sena who defended Narendra Modi after the Guj riots, otherwise things would have been totally different in Gujarat now.

    It is a soul right of an Indian to settle anywhere in India but one should also respect the culture and language of that region. But one should be Roman in Rome. There is nothing wrong with what Shivsena is doing. If India belongs to India then Maharashtra should belong to Marathis. Parties like SP are openly promoting Hindi in Mumbai. Any Marathi will be frustrated when he sees that he cannot use his mothertongue in his own state.

    Comment by Abhinav | February 2, 2010

  8. I completely agree with Abhinav here. I love Maharashtra and Marathi and it pains to see it slowly degenerating day by day. I think slowly and gradually this problem will emerge in cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore as well. Immigrants are sure that they will get away with speaking in Hindi in Mumbai and Maharashtra. That is why there is general apathy to learn Marathi. The administration does not help either to encourage activities in Marathi or to introduce initiatives for migrants to learn Marathi. It is a duty of every migrant and local citizen to respect, learn and deal in the local language of that state. Contrary to people’s understanding,Hindi is another official language just like Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil or Kannada. So Hindi speaking population should make efforts to learn the state language where they migrate and government should introduce initiatives for people to learn the local language. Just as any Indian has every right to settle anywhere in India, every Indian has primary duty to respect local people, culture and language. In the case of Maharashtra, migrants have remembered their rights and forgotten their duties.

    Comment by RG | February 2, 2010

  9. @RG..
    In the case of Maharashtra, migrants have remembered their rights and forgotten their duties.
    Well said.

    I as a Marathi Manoos (being Bharatiya first) respect each and every sect, region and culture of this nation. But why the people from different region and sects don’t want to respect my language and culture? Why they decline to accept that Maharashtra has offered food, shelter (basic necessities) which are unfulfilled in there own region? They forget to come out on road to celebrate Maharashtra day, without forgetting UP/Bihar day while staying in Maharashtra.

    The leaders(???) like Shri. Azmi request leader of assembly that him to be considered as special case and will be allowed to take oath in Hindi. Why? What would have caused him problem by speaking in Marathi? This land gave all that he needed, what has he done in return?

    Simple question:
    If one of your relatives comes to your home as guest and request to let in because of his posting in this region. And slowly starts forcing (changing) culture of your home as per his needs without bothering about your culture and rituals, then what would you do?

    जय भारत!

    Comment by संदीप नारायण शेळके | February 2, 2010

  10. Dear Shantanu
    I simply agree with your views. It needs magnanimity and a great heart and little bit of “Common sense” to call ourselves as “Bharatiy” than Marathi, Gujarathi, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamilians, Kannadigas or Malyalis. I am not sure when our so called selfless (?) leaders will realize it.

    Yes Sandeep Unnikrishnan belongs to Bharat as much as to every state in Bharat.

    You do have an art of putting my views in words. Keep it up.

    Comment by Dr. Ambekar | February 2, 2010

  11. A good one Shantanu! I appreciate and agree with your views.

    Comment by Manish | February 2, 2010

  12. There is a subhashita which ends with “Ati sarvatra varjayeth” which can be crudely translated as “Anything in excess is bad”

    This is exactly the case with SS-MNS in Maharashtra, KaRaVe in Karnataka. They always talk about Marathi pride, heritage etc., But why cannot a north Indian carry the Marathi pride if he lives in Maharashtra(he can carry it even by not living there)?

    I’m a Kannadiga, born bought up in B’lore but I’m proud about Maharashtra because its the land of Shivaji, I’m proud of Rajasthan because it gave us heros like Rana Pratap, Pruthviraj Chauhan etc.,

    We have seen many times in our history that vyashti has been sacrificed for samashti. Good that RSS came out with clear statement that they don’t subscribe to Sena’s arguements(guess who is disappointed by RSS stand? answer is Barkha :))

    Comment by Vishwa | February 2, 2010

  13. @ Sandeep:

    It wasn’t just Maj. Sandeep, there were top cops (Maharashtrian) named Shahid Kamate, Karkare, Salaskar

    – although there were many and many of them from the whole country, but, somehow – the three names you have put above – I do not know how their contribution is praiseworthy. If dying is the only criteria, then there are tens of soldiers dying everyday in Kashmir. And, had there been anyone else too in their place, I would be saying the same.

    The govt. went ahead and gave them medals for their bravery, I don’t know for what. Why did the govt. not recommend Mr Karamveer Kang or the hundreds of employees of the two hotels who are untrained to handle such situations, and, still going ahead and saving hundreds of guests that day. Mr Kang could have easily saved his wife and children, but, he chose his guests – Duty before Dishonour.

    Also, your comment about UP/Bihar – obviously, something does not seem right. If the people from UP/Bihar can take away jobs from the locals in Maharashtra, or, in any state, then obviously they deserve them. It is just survival of the fittest.

    Comment by Ajay Anand | February 2, 2010

  14. Mr Shantanu,

    What an excellent piece……..
    I have forwarded to hundreds of my friends and they are one with you
    in your thoughts…

    As you have rightly said, When Chhatrapathi Shivaji spoke of
    Maharashtra, he had the entire Bharatmata, undivided, ancient Bharat
    in mind..not a piece of land extending from Ratnagiri to Nagpur
    or Bheed to Bhusaval..

    Maharashtra, in Shivaji’s concept was Maha (mega) Rashtra (Nation)
    That is mighty Nation.. extending from Kanyakumari to Kabul
    From beyond Kutch to Kamrup..

    I thank once again for the excellent piece..

    Comment by Hemanth | February 2, 2010

  15. @Ajay,
    – although there were many and many of them from the whole country, but, somehow – the three names you have put above – I do not know how their contribution is praiseworthy.

    I think you missed the person Shahid Tukaran Ombale, he is the person responsible for catching Kasab live. While disarming Kasab he died of his bullets as he threw his body in front of the AK-47 barrel and saved life’s of more than 3 cops. Isn’t that praiseworthy?
    Please check the facts before you make a statement.

    Also I’m not against UP/Bihari coming to Maharashtra or anywhere. But the “survival of fittest” is not applicable when a nation and humans are concerned. This is not a war. Even if that is true and very fit against Maharashtrians (Very progressive in ideology comparitively) then why they fled from their hometown and villages?
    I wont say they are cowards, because the handicapped also deserve good life as a human.

    My whole angst is not against common man (so dont care whether UPian or Bihari) it is against the political class in that region. Instead of stopping the immigration by creating better opportunities there they are saying “Mumbai belongs to whole Bharat” (no second thought about it), “We will give lathis(wooden stick) to fight”, why????

    If they believe that whole Bharat is open to all Bharatiyas then why not to improve “UP/Bihar/any under developed state”, why so love for Mumbai only.

    The simple reason is people of Maharashtra are very accommodative and understanding. But there is always a capacity and limit to everything immigrants of any region to any region has to mind this and respect the local culture and heritage.

    Also please answer my question in comment#9.

    जय भारत!

    Comment by संदीप नारायण शेळके | February 2, 2010

  16. Just a quick question. Would these linguistic loyalties and the resulting problems not arisen if Sanskrit instead of Hindi had been chosen as the official language? My understanding is that most Indians who object to Hindi is that it is seen as an imposition of the “north indians” for whom Hindi is their mother tongue on the rest of us Indians. This was the argument in Tamil nadu and the reason why most Tamils probably don’t speak Hindi especially if they went to State Board schools.

    Comment by kharapriya | February 2, 2010

  17. “That is because Hindi and English, unlike Marathi or Oriya – are India’s official languages.” shows how ignorant the writer of the post is! MARATHI IS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF INDIA. I didn’t feel the need to read any further.

    Comment by Piyush | February 2, 2010

  18. Dear All: Thanks for sharing your thoughts…A few quick points and I will try and respond in more detail later…

    1. @ Sandeep. The issue has socio-economic aspects to it…there is no denying that…(See for example BiMaRunomics Examined

    2. @ Abhinav: This is *not* about Hindutva. And there is no denying that immigrants should respect the culture and language of the regionthey are in- and *always* follow the law of the land.

    3. @ RG: I agree that every Indian has primary duty to respect local people, culture and language.

    4. @ Vishwa: “guess who is disappointed by RSS stand? answer is Barkha :)” That was funny!

    5. @ Sandeep: “We will give lathis(wooden stick) to fight”, why???? Agree. This is unacceptable.

    6. @ Harapriya: Would these linguistic loyalties and the resulting problems not arisen if Sanskrit instead of Hindi had been chosen as the official language?” Thought provoking…perhaps deserves a separate post.

    7. @ Piyush: Vide Art 343 of the Constitution, Hindi is the official language of the Union of India. Art 343(1) and 343(2) provide for the continued use of English in official work. Marathi (and indeed Oriya) is one of the 22 “officially recognised” languages. It is also the regional official language of the state of Maharashtra. I hope you decide to read further.

    Thanks all… Pl continue to share your thoughts below.

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 2, 2010

  19. @ Sandeep, I am aware of Mr Ombale’s contribution and martyrdom and, also, I have my facts right. It was a specific note in reference to only the three people there…

    About your question in post#9 – I feel it is a bit different. First of all, when it is my home – I would be owning it, and, when I am owning it, I have the right to decide who stays in my home and who doesnot. Secondly, I would till a certain level allow any guest to follow his practices and beliefs, as, long as they do not start causing a problem for me and my family. Plus, since he is a guest he would be welcome for only some time…

    On the other hand, the residents of a state are not it’s owners. They are like any other fellow Indian. And, here lies the difference. If any community wants to practice/promote his culture, rituals and beliefs, he should be free to do so. If your beliefs and culture is deep-rooted and strong enough, nobody can cause any harm to them…

    Comment by Ajay Anand | February 2, 2010

  20. I’m not sure I’d agree with all of what you said. Protectionism and free market go hand in hand. Just as one group benefits from a free market, the businessman and immigrants, the natives and locals often suffer. This is something evident across the incidents occurring across the globe. Sena and MNS might not be suave in explaining their logic, but they play to defend their core vote bank from being diluted.
    You claim to fight the rights of the immigrants, but what stopped Sunil Dutt from importing lakhs of Bangladeshis into Mumbai and giving them ration cards? Or Lalloo from exporting goons from Bihar into MH?
    Its easy to play the India for Indians or survival of the fittest card but the ground realities need to be analyzed as well.

    Comment by Dirt Digger | February 3, 2010

  21. Good letter Shantanu.

    People like the Thackerays and KCRs show what is the real problem with India. We are so easy to divide. Politicians hardly have to do any work these days. Pick up some differentiating issue, feed the media monster, pay some hooligans to make some noise in the streets and poof, out goes the feeling of being Indian and basic respect towards fellow humans becomes abhorrent.

    I was in the middle of a similar controversy – the Telangana-Andhra issue. Now I don’t know how justified the demand for a separate state is; outside of Hyderabad, I don’t know much about Telangana. But the way the agitation was carried out both in the Telangana and Andhra districts was truly sickening. Forcefully shutting down shops whenever they please, bringing the transportation system to a freeze, vandalizing public and private property. It was like living in an anarchist state. I had no peace of mind. Is it that simple to make people turn against each other? Is our civilization that thin? A few politicians can shut down a state at their whim? Our ancestors fought so hard for the freedom of India. But how much freedom do we really enjoy? I feel so helpless.

    Comment by Chandra | February 3, 2010

  22. One more thing, people from the Southern states used to migrate to Mumbai and Delhi few decades back. Now the numbers are drastically small given the plethora of opportunities in their home states. However the situation of those coming from the Bihar, MP, UP states has not improved primarily because the opportunities, law and order and governance in those states has not improved after decades.
    Why is there no root cause analysis to identify and take to task the people in charge of governing those states?
    (I’m not a Maharashtrian :) )

    Comment by Dirt Digger | February 3, 2010

  23. A few slides from a presentation I made to young Maharashtrian
    professionals in London on the subject of identity…and the stance taken by MNS (then) and Shiv Sena (now) have now been uploaded to the Satyameva Jayate Facebook group.

    The slides are from almost exactly two years ago.

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 3, 2010

  24. Shantanu, what a thought provoking article…For what its worth here are my thoughts on the subject:
    Having born and brought up in Maharashtra, I not only studied in Marathi school but also in Marathi College. My mother tongue is Konkani and yet I consider myself a Maharashtrian, as I lived there most of my life.

    Not only can I speak, read and write in Marathi but I also consider that as my Native Language. Hence I never felt like an outsider in Mumbai and was never told by anyone, that I do not belong here or that this place does not belong to me. On the contrary, it gave me many facilities like home, friends, free schooling and good college education, job and an opportunity that was equal in every sense.

    According to me, it doesn’t matter who you are by birth, there will always be your Janma Bhoomi and Karma Bhoomi. For me, they both are equal and I respect them both but by no means will I consider my Karma Bhoomi any less than my Janma Bhoomi. Even though I do not agree with Balasaheb in believing that Mumbai belongs to Marathi people only, I certainly do believe that Mumbai belongs to Maharashtrian people no matter where they are living. So it could be a Punjabi who has accepted Maharashtra as his Karma Bhoomi & gives it a due respect it deserves or a Marathi who doesn’t live in Mumbai but is respectful towards it as it is part of his or his ancestors Janma Bhoomi.

    The problem I think arises when a person who is living in a particular state, denies the identity that comes from living, earning and being a part of that state. Why comment on things like this is my language and I will not accept any other or that this is who I am etc etc? As, then the whole argument comes in picture wherein people are right to say, if you believe this is who you are then what are you doing in this part of the country. Instead, everyone should say, I am an Indian, I have a right to be in any part of my country and in return, I will accept that part as my own and will make myself a part of natives.

    This includes learning the native language, not differentiating native people by calling them names, giving back or adding value to the place and overall truly considering it your own. After Raj Thackrey’s interview, I learnt that even in India, just like some other countries, there are Interstate Migration Laws, wherein it says that if you going to move to another state there is a legal procedure because otherwise anyone will come and go as they please and how will the law and order be followed. Some people come to Mumbai, live on streets, earn their living, do not contribute to the economy by paying taxes etc and yet complain about things done against them, well how do you think natives feel about you when you are stealing their electricity, water and place to live without paying anything for it whereas they are struggling to make ends meet. So even though I do not fully agree with his views, I do believe that one should be legally employed in the state they are living and should pay taxes and follow any rules and regulations of that state and should never in any case belittle natives. The united front should be implemented throughout India, not just in Maharashtra.

    But instead here is what we see happening:
    Successful actors like Amitabh Bachchan, earning and living in Mumbai yet adding value only to other states. So who do you think is differentiating them from Maharashtra? They themselves are doing a good job of it. Jaya Bachchan makes ignorant comments without realizing the fact that their whole family lives in the heart of Mumbai and enjoys all the priviledges of any other Mumbaikar.

    Maharashtra is supposed to accept Hindi as Rashtrabhasha then why are other states like Karnataka still do not agree to even accept that language to respond. Try talking to people native in Karnataka and you will talk to them in sign language but they will not talk in Hindi or any other language except their own.

    Why aren’t politicians like Chidambaram, Karunanidhi, Jayalalita using this Rashtrabhasha instead of their own? No one is denying that English and Hindi are main languages but the rules have to be the same for everyone right? Then why are we complaining if Maharashtra wants to retain their language and asking people coming to Maharashtra to accept it as one of their own too.

    Most of Film Award Functions are organized and held in Mumbai, yet the only films that participate in them are Hindi films, how is that for fair? Why not invite Indian Cinema instead of only one regional language films? Are we being fair then?

    Majority of bollywood films show the families as only Gujaraties, Punjabies etc, why not Marathi, Bengali, Kannada? They show movies like Sarkar and for a change they have shown a Marathi family, but alas…not only the actors do not know how Marathi families live but they all speak in Hindi at home in the movie. The only actor who took pains to learn the language was Kay Kay who spoke in Marathi but Amitabh and Abhishek both spoke in Hindi, wow…try going to Marathi families and see what they speak in their homes. Why the sudden ignorance when it comes to other regions except those which are usually portrayed in the cinema?

    Maharashtra Day is celebrated in Maharashtra, its made legal. So why is Amar Sing, celebrating Uttar Pradesh Day in Maharashtra when there is no such thing? This is the question that Raj Thackrey asks in his interview, can we truly say, he is wrong? Or should we say, why should we care, let anyone come and celebrate anything anywhere? One nation is certainly an ideal but is it possible in all practicality when everyone is still trying to fight for their own identity? I would much rather have different identities but under one umbrella of Law and Order than supposedly one nation wherein no one is happy and no one can relate to each other but is forced to act as one.

    Rashtra certainly comes before Rajya, then why is this rule not being applied to all the states? Why is our country’s president not announcing this over national television so that the whole country listens and understands what it means to be one country, one nation. Why are we only responding to what the politicians are saying in Mumbai? Look at what the people are thinking…Is not caring any better than asking their own identity? There are people who say, what do I care, anyone can speak in any language or come and go as they like, oh great, then how do you suppose we follow law and order and protect common man?

    I can only dream of a country wherein everyone can keep their identity and yet come together as one nation when the need arises. This way, we would truly be an independent country in every sense. As you can’t talk about one nation to someone who is not surviving, so for them its Roti, Kapda, Makaan and then Desh.

    We all are talking about it today because we are all well fed and have the basic necessities fulfilled. I wonder what would our views be if that weren’t the case…

    Comment by Priti | February 3, 2010

  25. Hi Shantanu,

    I am a Marathi speaker, but I was born and brought up in Telangana. In my views, I am very close to what Sandeep says.

    Please have a look at this very relevant debate (after about 1 minute into the clip) from the teleserial Chanakya (some appropriate substitutions like Takshashila = Mumbai, etc are necessary):

    Comment by Kedar | February 3, 2010

  26. Firstly i would like to congratulate the writer of keeping the post a great one.

    “INDIA is my Country.All Indians are my brother’s and sister’s.I respect my country.”
    This I think is the basic PLEDGE which is taught in 1st standard to each and every child going to school.This pledge actually means a lot.It never says Punjab is my state ,Hindu is my religion, I believe is sects and We are divided into various regions in the country and wont allow anyone.
    Maharastara we believe is a Developed state ,but how this means that the people in other parts of the country or say the abroad nation’s cant come to any city of Maharastra.
    India is merging all around and still the people are not allowing the people of their own country to Develop.
    Feel proud that Mumbai belongs to us.and try Improving it.
    When their was Flood in Mumbai didn’t the money came from all across the country(specially mentioning BIHAR and UP) or the Grains/food came from Punajab and UP.
    They might have also thought that Mumabai doesn’t belong to us.Why should we support it?? But the Answer was “WHY NOT”. They belived that Mumbai is part of INDIA-and it is their motherland. Whatever comes we will face it together.

    Guys @ maharastra.. Please show some RESPECT. Mumbai should believe in EQUALITY.
    What Mumbai every city in the Country should do that.I think most of them does too..
    Recently there were attacks in Australia to Indian resident’s there.But were their any News that the Ozz’s are attacked in INDIA. Noooo!!
    This is because India is not a racist country. Why should we???

    Further i would like to tell the people who think UP and Bihar are the poor.
    Check your history book’s. Bihar was the most economical state and most developed state in the ancient India. From Mugal’s upto the ENGLISH all looted them. Still ,the State along with the neighbouring states has good agricultural background.
    Check the maximum number of IIT’s,CAT’s,IAS and IPS accross the country,most of them form Bihar and UP.I guess IAS and IPS are good competitive exams.You cant say a state is”POOR” because it lacks Infrastructure and has low literacy rate.

    The politicians work more hard in UP and Bihar then in any other state. Up and Bihar share boundaries with Bengal,MP,Punjab,Haryana they all come and respect the culture in UP and Bihar.
    We respect the MAHARASTRIANS then what is their problem with them???

    Speaking about the “jobs” I think that everywhere in the world their is survival of the fittest.
    I got placed in “google” but didn’t worked there then who will keep me.They can give me a chance to improve but if they find a better man,certainly i would be replaced.
    “TRY HARD–every where their is Survival of the FITTEST”
    try to be better than other’s rather than killing the Fittest so that you are the only one so called “retarted fittest”.!!!

    Comment by Sukhmeet | February 3, 2010

  27. RG, I agree with you here. Everyone is willing to migrate to Mumbai and earn the perks but no one wants to take responsibility for the problems arising here or give it the respect it deserves. Sandeep, I also agree with you that there are various cultures being respected in Mumbai and there would have been nothing wrong with it if everyone else respected Marathi culture in the same way but people are very happy to just come here, ignore the native culture, language and just do what they want to do. As for the guests in the house example, lets for a debate say, we do not own Maharashtra but at least we are the legal residents who are paying tax like a person renting a home would be. But what would you call the people who are coming and just living on streets of Mumbai, then claiming they should get home here and all the other facilities like any other tax paying person? I personally love the Shivaji Park area, always have but so far have not been able to afford to live there but just like other people migrating to Mumbai, should I just go and start living on the park itself by putting a tent on it and then demand that they give me a home because I am a resident too? This way, we are just saying to everyone, you all are welcome, no bars held and you can come and do anything here, we will just take it quietly. Well I think the people of Mumbai (not just Marathi people) are getting fed up of that. And when I mean people of Mumbai I mean all the people who are legally employed, paying tax, paying rest or own the property acquired legally and are contributing towards the economy and not just grabbing all that they can get from Mumbai. So it could be anyone from Bihari to Punjabi to Gujarati or to Konkani like me. As far as we are giving back as well as getting the facilities, I do not have a problem but I for one am fed up of the respected residents of Mumbai suffering in the hands of those who do not respect Mumbai but still want to come here because they have so much to gain from the move.

    About Hindi being our Rashtrabhasha here is what Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, C. N. Annadurai said

    And isn’t it true? But we all know why English will not be the main language so at least lets not force Hindi down everyone’s throat. Its time we stopped doing everything because that’s what people before us decided was going to happen, its time for a change and I for one, want these rules changed to reflect the true picture of India.

    Comment by Priti | February 3, 2010

  28. To all those who believe what’s the problem if people are moving to Mumbai, think about this.
    I know one of our neighbors (from my childhood-they lived in the building next to ours) who was a widow, had four children plus her three sisters all living in one room kitchen flat. When we would get bags of milk delivered to our house, they would walk to the dairy and buy small pot of milk (for 8 people). All the adults worked in the candle factory which was about 35 minutes walking distance. One of the sisters had a cancer so she could not work but she would cook and take care of the children when they got back from school. They didn’t want the children in the family to bear the same fate so sent them to public school. The children worked in the evening by making packages for toothpaste etc. They would earn 5 paise per package they made. They would try to make at least 100 per child in one evening. They had a ration card but at least 5 times out of 10, they would not get the basic things like Wheat, rice or daal. Many a times, their dinner would consist of just chapati and bhaji or sometimes just chapati because the vegetables were expensive too. The children would play with us and were often invited for a snack as we all knew their situation and knew for sure that they didn’t get one most of the times so biscuits and cakes were a novelty for them.
    When the building they lived in was bought by another builder to make a bigger building, they were moved to Transit camps (they moved because they were told that they would get a one bedroom flat in the new building and they thought that at least the children will have more space to sleep at night) Well, that was at least 14 years ago, till this date they are living in the transit camp because there is a problem with a particular permit that the builder has not been able to get. So they have to travel for 1 1/2 hour to get to the candle factory now. The children had to move school and now they live in even smaller one room which has common bathrooms for everyone. The children always fall sick because the gutters are open and run in front of these so called transit camp homes. Power cuts are a daily routine and they have to stand in a line to get the water . How do you think they feel when another person in the same city, moves from another state. Decides to live on any street by building a hut and then actually are given a proper home to live in. What do you think runs through their mind? The idea of united nation and how we are all Indians or the fact that how by being honest about their living conditions and trying to earn their living through legal channels, they have just been forced to live through sheer hell. What do you think their children will learn? That honesty is a virtue or that they should do something about this injustice?

    Hence, it is very easy to talk about logic and ideals but the fact remains that when the injustice happens with you, when you are the one bearing the brunt of it all, somewhere you forget about all the values and bookish logic and say, enough is enough. That’s what is happening in Mumbai. About someone else getting my jobs because they are better at it, no problems, yes I will be annoyed but at least it will be a fair fight. What would you call whats happening in the above example? Today we are all lucky that we are not at that grass route level and that is why we can manage to talk about these things, if I were in the situation mentioned, I can’t even think how much angry would I be right now…

    Having lived in a predominantly Marathi area all my childhood, I had no problems walking back home (as a girl) even late at night. I felt safe and there have been times when someone accompanied me home because it was getting dark. That’s how close knit a community we were. Today, my friend who lives in Borivali complains about not being able to go out after evening time alone because they get the bad looks and comments and if they are walking then even get pushed or shoved by people, why do you think that is? Which group of people do you think live in that area? Again I do not have a problem against people coming to Mumbai and willing to be a respected resident of it, but I most certainly have a problem with anyone coming over and making me feel uncomfortable in my own surroundings just because they can and no one is going to stop them.

    Comment by Priti | February 3, 2010

  29. Dear Friend,

    An excellent article, criticizing division of India on linguistic or religious lines. As an Indian, i certainly agree that, there shouldnt be any bias based on caste, creed, religion and language in terms of job opportuniities, services or any such matter.

    Still, summing up my viewpoint, I am seeing your views as PSEUDO-SECULAR.

    Please cover the following points in your articles

    1. Letter to people of Bengal
    Few years back, Sourav Ganguly wasnt selected to the national team, and the people of Bengal booed the Indian team and supported South Africa. Now where is the point of “national integration”

    2. Letter to the people of Tamil Nadu
    Shri MGR was offered a Bharat Ratna, which he refused as it was written in Devanagari script. Again it amounts an insult to the very prestigious honour which few get.

    3. Letter to people of J&K
    Why does that state has a state flag, none of the other Indian States have one. I have never read any article about persecution of Kashmiri Hindus, the only community in the world to get 100% literacy, at the hands of separatist

    4. Letter to Indian Government
    Legalising Bangladeshi Muslims in Assam, for votes

    5. Letter to Christian Missionaries
    Open conversion of tribals in Mizoram, Nagaland and bombing of Hindu temples.

    6. Letter to Shri. Bainsala
    Opposing his stance on Gujjar Community

    7. Letter to Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad
    Seeking clemency to Afzal guru, mastermind of Parliament attack

    8. Atlast letter to a billion souls, perhaps being a part of only country where, a terrorist comes and massacares, men, women, children, cops, foreigners, still enjoying his Birayani in Arthur Road Jail and learing MARATHI. As a matter of fact, hes the safest amongst us.

    I know you wont reply to this blog, as you dont have any answers.

    With a little practicality,

    Mayur Prabhu

    Comment by Mayur Prabhu | February 3, 2010

  30. @all those opposing stand taken by MNS and shivsena are the one. Who do not have impact of dirty bihari populating maharashtra….

    I only want to say the Marathi proverb ‘Jyache Jalte, Tyalach Kalte’.

    so those not with the stand of MNS, first go in North East and dare to say same thing to our brothers of Asam. Why they also do not want people from UP’n Bihar in Asam. It is simple they do not like to stay in stable(Maharashtra) environment. They are used to like in un-stable area like UP and Bihar :)

    Comment by Pinakin | February 3, 2010

  31. Dear Satyameva,
    This is a solution for problems of Mumbai and other regions in Maharashtra.


    Comment by Abhinav | February 3, 2010

  32. Dear All: I have been overwhelmed by the number of comments on this post (and in separate, personal emails to me).

    The post has also appeared on rediff now…and has already attracted 300+ comments…

    Clearly this is a *very* emotive issue.

    However few points by way of request:

    1. Pl try and stick to the point.

    2. Pl. read other posts on this blog before forming an opinion about me.

    3. To comment on some other topic (unrelated), please use the “Search” box below or have a look at the “Categories” drop down menu.

    4. Pl keep to polite, civil language. Pl avoid personal remarks and/or insults.

    5. Pl read my comments policy here

    Thanks all.

    P.S. I will try my best to respond but promise that EVERY comment on this blog will be read.

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 3, 2010

  33. Dear Mr.Shantanu,
    What a thought pathetic you would hav never said what you have written in the article if you have some sense of love for the city in which you are born. Imagine a city which has British era infrastructure and water body options and the amount of people walking in and using the city like a prostitute and the returns to the city is zero.Think about your own house which has 2or 3rooms and you have an average capacity of 10 people and suddenly you have 55 people staying in that house with same infrastructure. You are giving all big ball talks about Kashmir and Kanyakumari.

    Are you aware that till date Kashmir is governed by Article 366, which ideally means no outsider can buy a inch of Kashmir other than the Kashmiris,go to Nagaland and Eastern parts of the country and not a single Assamese will sell an inch to the outsiders and you are talking about India as a whole country.I doubt if you have ever been to Southern states. Tamilians in Chennai and Keralians in Kerala are not even ready to pay any heed to any other langauge other than English and thier regional langauges.Which part of India and country are you talking about.UP and Bhiaris are born to come to Mumbai and Maharashtra,Is it that thier ministers are making big money in thier state like a Laloo, Madhu Koda and these bhaiyas are thriving on Mumbai like parasites they dont pay a single rupee as Tax and invest all thier money in thier own state. Then what is Mumbai a prostitute for all these people.

    Outsiders are coming to Mumbai and investing thier Black money buying property at unprecedented prices and earning rent of it. Where should Mumbaikars go?

    It is so easy to sit outside and say I am a Bhartiya and give all big ball talks about country which is already disintegrated. Rahul Gandhi is giving big talks about Mumbai His own great grandfather Nehru and grandmother Indira Gandhi had urged people not to migrate to Delhi. Why Delhi was not part of India? Delhi is thier paternal property.

    Check your facts and figures in place before you write Jai Bharat.

    Comment by Mithun | February 3, 2010

  34. Dear Shantanu,
    Nice post and a logical argument, which all rational indians understand. However, I don’t agree to your tone used for bal thackeray—“please don’t take mumbai away from us etc”… He is nobody to take mumbai away or deny it to anybody. All part of india belongs to indians… He, raj, uddham thackeray and such scum-bags retort to only such tricks for their personal petty political reasons. Anybody so concerned with the benefit of the city should do something constructive (health, infrastructure, sanitation, education etc) and not destructive.

    Please be stern in your messages to such cowards (in heart they also know they are doing wrong)


    Comment by Samresh Kumar | February 3, 2010

  35. Mr Shantanu,
    thanks for posting this good article in this time.. but according to me we the citizen of India is fully responsible for this type of situation.

    Because we Indians are supporting the political party who talks about local language, jatibad, dharmbad etc.. and getting votes from us. if we will not vote these people then i dont think any Mr Thackeray or Mr ABC, XYZ will talk like this..

    Comment by Praveen | February 3, 2010

  36. Dear Shantanu,

    A very true and nice post. I also fall in that category somewhat of though being a thoroughbred Maharashtrian, and feel proud to be one. But before that, as has been said by sensible people, India comes first.

    You will recall me, I was also with you in Tokyo. Hope you keep up the ideas and through this forum and such othe fora available to all of us these days, bring alive the Indianness in all of us, irespective of the diversity which exists in not only our rich cultures. Having travelled a lot all over, I also feel that we Indians are damn good. Only we need to be reminded of this again and again. I am sure, all of us can join to say one day……WE CAN BRING A CHANGE..

    Comment by Ajay Shinde | February 3, 2010

  37. Hi,

    I just read your open letter on rediff. As a proud Maharashtrian and Marathi, I congratulate you for writing this letter. You are absolutely right that Indian is for Indians. I would go on to say that if a particular person refuses to acknowledge that every part of India is ever Indian citizen’s right, then that person should be prosecuted.

    I know so many people who are non-Marathi but speak Marathi fluently, follow some of our customs, and participate in our festivals. And some of them are not even Hindu, which most Marathi speakers are. The statements made by the Thakareys would definitely hurt their sentiments, which in turn hurts me as well.

    But friend, have you ever lived in south India. I have spent close to two years in Chennai and have seen the amount of expletives which north Indians spew on non-Hindi speakers. Sometimes, the expletives are so horrible that I felt like blasting my ears. I have faced problems in Chennai as well, but that does not mean you abuse them.

    I was told by a north Indian, that he was SUPERIORto Marathi speakers because he SPOKE HINDI. Now isn’t that a joke? Is that not discrimination? And this person was from Uttar Pradesh, not Madhya Pradesh or some other state. And there were many like him at the Chennai office where I used to work.

    If India preaches Unity in Diversity, then why do we not practice it? Why do most of the North Indians in Mumbai and Pune form ghettos and do not mix with the local population when most of the people from other states do? It is not only me but also the North Indians who have settled here as Maharashtrians want to ask this to the migrants.

    We all love this country of ours and love every region on its soil. But if a Mulayam Singh or Abu Azmi would come to our state and talk about picking up lathis, then expect Raj and Uddhav to launch an attack on them. If the person in front of me does not respect my culture, then he has no place to live on my land.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Nimish Goray

    Comment by Nimish Goray | February 3, 2010

    “Shri MGR was offered a Bharat Ratna, which he refused as it was written in Devanagari script. Again it amounts an insult to the very prestigious honour which few get.”
    You got facts wrong here. Bharat Ratna given to MGR was Posthumous, which he could not have refused even if he wanted to.
    The award which MGR refused would most possibly be the ‘Padmasree’ award.

    Comment by Bharat | February 3, 2010

  39. @Sukhmeet
    “Check the maximum number of IIT’s,CAT’s,IAS and IPS accross the country,most of them form Bihar and UP.I guess IAS and IPS are good competitive exams.”
    Truly, there are very intelligent people in UP/Bihar, agree 100%. Why they are not helping UP/Bihar to improve infrastructure, law and order. Because they are not using there talent for nation or state but for their own good.
    “You cant say a state is”POOR” because it lacks Infrastructure and has low literacy rate.”
    Who is saying state is poor. The state is poorly governed and under developed causing immigration. Which needs to be controlled otherwise such disputes are inevitable.
    As Priti said, no problem with migration, but that has to be legal. You can not go to other states and stay in slums in illegal tents by stealing electricity, water. You need to pay taxes in order to maintain law and order and better administration.
    “The politicians work more hard in UP and Bihar then in any other state. Up and Bihar share boundaries with Bengal,MP,Punjab,Haryana they all come and respect the culture in UP and Bihar.”
    it is not even worth commenting. What is their achievement in recent times? come on open your eyes and see the root cause. :)

    I share your angst.

    Rahul Gandhi said Biharis saved Mumbai.
    So who to blame for Bihar/UP underdevelopment and lawlessness Maharashtrian or Gujratis or Kannadas or Punjabi?

    जय भारत!

    Comment by संदीप नारायण शेळके | February 3, 2010

  40. It is people like you due to whom nation is not abusing Maharashtra as a state … otherwise These three idiots, Bal, raj and uddhav is creating a hatred in nations mind for maharashtra and marathi … I am a Bihari and reside in Bangalore … And i can proudly say that there are states like Karnataka where u never feel that u are out of ur home even having so much difference in culture language food habits and all … Hope to see the entire nation in one color soon …. otherwise the souls of Major sandeep or policemen like karkare, ombule, salaskar cant rest is peace even in heaven ..

    Comment by Ramnish Kumar | February 3, 2010

  41. They are repeating the history divide and rule.

    Comment by Prashant | February 3, 2010

  42. All of these and more similar problems shall manifest when people start putting too much of load on the resources of a region.

    There are 2 core problems here:-
    1. People are not educated. And by education we don’t mean having some skills to do a job. By education, we mean moral and ethical values as well, which are required to co-exist in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-coloured environment. People do not have the understanding to accept what others might be preaching or doing or following because they have never tried to stop and think whether it affects them or not.
    And it has been a basic nature of human beings to compare themselves with others – what others are getting paid, what others are doing, what others are watching, what others are reading, what others are eating. And when they see others getting better things in life, they simply don’t have the maturity to accept it and move on.
    People in this world are not sad because they don’t have the good things in life they want, they are sad because they don’t have the bad things which their neighbours own!!

    We see people fighting because they don’t speak the same language, don’t follow same culture, don’t follow the same religion and so on. Till we start enjoying the diversity of mankind, we cannot live in harmony.

    2. Over population which no one is interested in solving because the more the population, the more the number of fools living in this country. And the more numbers they have to exploit. Believe me, if US or any other country, at some point have such a huge amount of pressure on their resources, then even there we shall see all these kind of scenarios happening.
    The basic instinct of survival requires people to kill when the need arises. And when they get above this basic necessity, then the basic instinct changes to be better than others living around! Till these things are solved by one and all, problems like these cannot be tackled.

    Every one in this game is trying to outsmart the other to live longer, be happier and enjoy the best in life.
    And this problem cannot be solved by a political party or by a government.

    Each one of us has to start reading, learning and progressing – in thoughts and actions. Then we can end these issues.

    Comment by Ashish Mohan | February 3, 2010

  43. Hi dear,

    I agree with you, and I really proud of my nation India.

    British already aparted us into many pices on the basis of Language. from last 2000 years we are trying to save our culture. Right from chandragupta Morya till date. Every state has paid unrecoverable price.

    To save hindusm Maharashtra has devoted. Many people come to india and visit to maharashtra as well. Maharashtrian also present in many parts of the world. not only in india.

    But as part of unity, Maharashtrians never put any pressures on local government. We are united in many parts of the world.

    But If you will found No Marathi person in maharashtra then?

    then it will be only story that ‘My Maharashtra’ and ‘My fore-fathers was marathi’. It will be story ‘Jai Jai Maharashtra Mazza’. Our hairs would say ‘Jai Jai Maharashtra Mera, Tha Maharashtra Mera’.

    Definately All indians are welcomed to Mumbai and Mahashtra. But there should be some firm action from government for native. (Might be our bad luck that native political parties except shiv-sena and MNS are not looking into it. nither they are trying to increase the standard of living for native) Non-Maharashtrians are coming to Mumbai and growing the national income.

    at last – We are indians. We should take care of each others culture without overriding each others filling and cultures.

    Jai Maharashtra, Bharatmata ki Jai, Hindustan ki Jai HO.

    Comment by Mahesh | February 3, 2010

  44. Just superb! Well done mate, hope BalaSaheb gets sum sense now!

    Comment by Pritam | February 3, 2010

  45. All i can feel is a mind-boggling numbness at all this farce. Udhav & Raj are just beginning their career in regional politics… they are nevertheless on the right path.. paved by their political father/mentor Bal Thackeray (i refuse to call him ‘sahib’)…. In fact these clowns resorting to such tactics so early in their career, only betrays their eagerness to reach the iconic (or should i say Demonic) position the BT reached. This also goes to show how WEAK n INCAPABLE our constitution is…. that such atrociously anti-democratic remarks have been made n repeated (publically) by the father n now the sons over the last 4 decades! What is this going to culminate into?? Sena asking for autonomous power and declaring themselves a new country??!!! Wah India! How long does it take for such a fascist political party to be declared a terrorist group just like Al Qaida!!!!

    Comment by Vinod | February 3, 2010

  46. *** COMMENT EDITED ***

    Another article written without verifying the facts. The media, especially the hindi and english media is keen on doing one and only one thing….make people live in fear. And articles like this are examples of ignorance or written under the influence of media. Truth is to be based on facts and not on what you feel is the truth.

    Honestly speaking, you know nothing about the formation of states post independence. You know nothing about the constitution.

    May be you should read this http://www.languageinindia.com/june2009/jhumpalinguistic.pdf

    What is wrong if a person migrating from another state is asked to learn the local language.

    How can a person sitting in Delhi or any other city have an equal right on commenting about the problems of Mumbai, development needed in Mumbai et cetera especially when he has never experienced those prolems.

    Migration is necessary, but the constitution doesnt allow mass migration.

    Lastly, there has been a mass migration to Mumbai from the states of UP & Bihar. The SS or MNS are against the mass migration from these states. Just these 2 states dont make the entire of north india.

    This migration and its surrounding issue came in limelight because of the apathy of the migrants from UP & Bihar towards the local language, culture. Had they accepted the same, this issue would have probably never taken up by anyone.

    Why doesnt anyone go after the politicians in UP & Bihar?

    Since you were not born in Maharashtra, its very obvious that you might have turned a blind eye to the formation of mumbai and maharashtra and about 102 martyrs who laid down their lives at that time.

    So next time you write an article, make sure your truth is based on the facts and not because you think something is the truth.

    Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    Pl. be brief. Pl stick to the point. Thanks.

    Comment by Sameer | February 3, 2010

  47. If the Author of the above article does not seem to have any issues with lega or illegal migrants. Then he also should not not have any issues for migrants from Pakistan/Bangladesh.. I would like to know his great views on that part as well…

    Comment by Nilesh | February 3, 2010

  48. @ Shantan

    Cool Rahul loses temper is not a true story, Its student who lost his temper an Rahul has to vanished from the venue. He has to apologize for it.


    In media it was changed see this links. It was actually Gujarat not
    Maharastra as a slip of tongue.


    Comment by Indian | February 3, 2010

  49. @Sandeep, thank you for understanding. It pains me to see that people want to have the freedom to go anywhere in the country because by birth the country belongs to them but do not want to take the responsibility that comes from being a resident of any country. And then some people are commenting without knowing the common man’s problems. Having witnessed them first hand (I have lived in Mumbai for more than 22 years) I do feel like there are people who are being crushed because of what’s happening around them. I feel sad for them because I have spent my childhood around some of these people. I have seen how difficult it is for them to fulfill the basic needs that we all take for granted. Imagine having to stand in the monsoon of Mumbai for more than 3-4 hours in a line just to get some clean water for your children. Imagine 7 year old’s trying to help their family to survive by working. Imagine a 6 year old trying to take care of a one year old. This is what I am talking about, and this is not happening in some remote part of India, this is happening in Mumbai.

    I will give you another example, one of my friend (from area where I lived) never used to call us at her home, she would just come over to our building to play for an hour every evening. We could see from her clothes that they are not very well to do. But well, we were not rich either, most of us belonged to middle class families, so it didn’t matter. Well, one day she didn’t come to play and her absence continued for next 10 days. So we all asked around exactly where she lived and went to see what happened. She was 9 years old just like most of us. She also had 3 other siblings aged 7 years, 4 years and 1 year. Her father had lost his job having injured himself at the factory where he worked as he could not perform the manual duties anymore. So her mother was cooking and providing dabbas for people in the area. All the people in their house except the 1 year and 4 year old, would start cooking from 4am for the morning shift workers. The 7 year old sister was responsible for making the dough. My friend would then make chapaties for next 6 hours (our school started at 11am) then after school, she would come home and start making chapaties for night shift people. Her mother would make the rest of the food and father would look after the younger ones. She couldn’t come to play for 10 days or so because her mother had burnt her right hand while cooking so my friend had to cook the rest of the food under her mother’s guidance. All of us realized two things that evening, that we were all soooo lucky that we were not in that situation and secondly we felt guilty because we had something that we took for granted without even realizing that others didn’t get it, like the freedom to study and play without worrying about money or basic survival.

    This is the other side on Mumbai that’s not shown in the media. People talk about areas occupied by bollywood celebrities like Juhu, Andheri and such. Well try going to areas like Parel, Lower Parel etc to see how the people live, it will be an eye opener for everyone.

    Comment by Priti | February 3, 2010

  50. Your noble concept of ‘Rashtra’, ‘Rajya’ etc. is admirable. What seems to have been overlooked is the old story of ‘Arab and His Camel’. Or have you forgotten the fable?

    We have a similar situation in Mumbai. The camel has almost evicted the original Mumbaikars (I include Maharashtrians, Gujaratis, Kannadogas – all who have been living there for decades if not centuries). What is more, the ‘camel’ is leaving its mess in the tent and is making the original resident to clean it. Every day there are trainloads of people even from Bangladesh converging in Mumbai.

    What is ‘Rashtra’ doing about it?

    What is your solution to it?

    There is a saying in Marathi (by the way, I am from Gujarat): When sky bursts at its seams, who can mend it? Mumbai is the sky which is shattered now.

    The Thackeray clan and hundreds of thousands of original Mumbaikars (the same, Maharashtrian, Gujarati, Kannada et al living there for decades) want a solution. Only the Thackerays have come out with a surgical option because no one else has the courage to tackle the problem in a meaningful way. All the politicians (who want to hold on to their power base) have a vested interest in ignoring the reality. What interest do you have? Interest of the ‘Rashtra”? What is Rashtra comprised of? If it is not the core community, son of the soil community, which goes on to make a Panchayat, town council, city corporation and the state, what is? If the core community is inundated by hordes of people who know only to plunder, create mess and not contribute, what is the core community expected to do? Original Mumbaikars (Maharashtrians, Gujaratis (Parsis, Bohras and Ismailies are also Gujaratis), people from the South, Rajasthanis, Punjabis – even the Jewish people who have lived in Mumbai all their lives, have built Mumbai to the level it was before the influx started.

    It is easy to castigate someone, join the frenzy and cacophony against those who are vocal and want do find a solution. The first step to their mind is to stop further influx till the shattered sky is mended, infrastructure is created to meet the needs of the original community and then accommodate those who want to come to earn and contribute to the host community. Every one says that what the Thackerays are doing is not right. Pray, can anyone tell us what is right?

    I was hoping that you would offer a solution rather join the rest.

    Comment by Gypsy | February 3, 2010

  51. It’s unbelievable – how some of the comments on this forum actually talk in support of Bal Thackeray. Good intentions alone do not suffice – and even if Mr. Thackeray’s intentions are good (which we
    know are politically motivated), his approach is totally goonda-style. For those who do believe he’s doing good for the Maharashtrians, and
    you do accept the goonda-style, beware – no government or society has
    ever escaped the clutches of the goons they have helped create. It’s
    part of world histoy and a few lessons will prove that point. If you
    do believe in goonda-style administration, then, why don’t you and I
    and other Indians take up arms every time we see injustice? Why don’t
    we finish arguments using knives and guns? Why even have something called a peace summit? Please – keep aside your ‘I am a Marathi’ or ‘I am a Malayali’ attitude and think – is it really worth it? If you do see folks from Bihar and UP ‘spoiling’ Bombay (public desecration, vandalising etc.), talk to them sternly. It’s your inability and lack of guts to talk to them to their face that’s turning into anger and hatred towards these folks on such forums. We have a mouth and a tongue, and that is for conveying ideas and emotions. Do it, as and when you feel. India is a democracy and we have the right to do so, all of us.

    Comment by Funny | February 3, 2010

  52. India needs a change. You are going in the right direction. I felt frustrated too and penned this: http://indiegenous.blogspot.com/2010/02/to-dogs-no.html

    Do not know if it’s a violation of policies. Please feel free to delete.

    Jai Hind

    Comment by Sajish | February 3, 2010

  53. Here is a letter I penned on the Shiv Sena site but it did not get through … readers, please send this to any Shiv Sena leader you know:

    Namaskar, As followers of Sanatana Dharma I thought you guys were above and beyond narrow, partisan politics – but sadly you sound like a blot on our traditions and faith. Whatever happened to the Vasudevo Kutumbakam? Whatever happened to Athithi Devo Bhava and the many exhortations from our saints, seers and scriptures?

    Come on Shiv Sena – you can actually change your stripes – setup a bhaitak, LISTEN to the voice of India and try to become a leader not a narrow, partisan regionalist. I am not naiive and I understand the pressure of politics – one would hope that you dont take our nation and its people down an eternal path of self desctruction!

    I hope you see saner sense and realize that your politics of division and hate are nothing but vestiges of British Raj – not worthy of any Indian’s playbook on politics.

    I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply.
    Cheers, RK Sharma

    Comment by RK Sharma | February 3, 2010

  54. @ I wasnt able to get who is the author of the letter but i guess its Shantanu.

    I was therefore dismayed — and pained — to read your son’s comment reiterating what he had said before, namely, ‘Mumbai belongs to Marathis’.

    जसे कोल्कता, डेल्ही, चेन्नई भारताचे तसेच मुंबई ही भारताची पण मुंबई वर भारतात पहिला हख हा महाराष्ट्राचा व मराठी मनासचाच

    Shantanu maybe you must have forgotten but after laying down lives of 105 marathi Martyrs, Mumbai was given to Maharashtra by the congress govt headed by PM.Pt.Nehru . Hence मुंबई ही महाराष्ट्रा चीच .

    Further Since you say Mumbai is of all bhartiyas.. and belongs to everyone equally!.. now instead of ‘Mumbai’ lets substitute it with your ‘owned resident home’.

    Why dont u say all your money, property, wealth belongs to all the Bharatiya?.. I doubt u would let anyone lay a claim on your wealth other then your family 1st..

    Similarly if we mumbaikars and marathis have fought and shed blood for Mumbai, we have the right on it first”.



    जय हिंद जय महाराष्ट्र

    Comment by महेश पाटील | February 3, 2010

  55. Dear Shantanu –
    I agree with you in whatever you have said in the above letter.
    This is capitalism, where there is money there will be people coming to own it. Mumbai is undoubtly a rich city and like Marathi’s everyone in India has a birth right to come there and work.
    There is however a big problem when there are 10 lac locals unemployed and the immigrants are getting those jobs just because they work for less money. The crime rate increases due to poverty and unemployment and thus makes the normal life of any individual unsafe.

    We do not want Mumbai to be converting into UP or Bihar, instead we will love to see Bihar or UP turning into Mumbai.

    Mumbai belongs to Indians, agree, but how will you feel if someone comes to your house, eats your food mistreats your family ?
    Staying in Mumbai all my life, I still support Thakarey’s idealogy about 50%. I am ready to welcome everyone and anyone to Mumbai, but please don’t step on my toes.

    Live and Let live.

    Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.

    Comment by Me Mumbaikar | February 3, 2010

  56. Remember the title of Hillary Clinton’s book – It Takes A Village. The community is as important as the family. If the language of the home is the mother tongue, language of the land is the ‘Father Tongue’.

    Balasaheb doesn’t know what he wants. But if he had the ability to think clearly, this is what he would want: A migrant living in Maharashtra may opt to learn or not learn Marathi. But his children growing up there have no excuse not to learn Marathi. We need Common Schooling at primary school level, so that everyone in Maharashtra, rich or poor, will study in Marathi medium in primary schools. No more ‘Education Divide’. Marathi will be their ‘father tongue’. They will grow up calling themselves Maharashtrians.

    Disclaimer: Like you, I am not a Maharashtrian nor did I ever live there. And here is my gripe with you guys – you say the right things about all Indian languages being great and all that. But when it comes to taking a stand on the place of Marathi in Maharashtra or Assamese in Assam, you have nothing to say.

    Comment by Macaulya Must Die | February 3, 2010

  57. *** COMMENT EDITED ***

    Mahesh Patil writes:
    “Similarly if we mumbaikars and marathis have fought and shed blood for Mumbai, we have the right on it first”.”

    You are allowed to say such nonsense when (you)..do not have anyone working or living in the rest of India…until then just realize that the rest of India will rip you…if you try to screw with Indians in Maharashtra.

    If you want to go back to the times of Shivaji, just sell your computer and buy yourself a horse and a sword. Eejit.

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    No personal insults or abuse . Pl. maintain a polite tone. Thanks

    Comment by P. Vengaayam | February 3, 2010


    This foolish statement basically says “All Marathis own all their wealth in Maharashtra”. The statement only proves that the writer is a narrow-minded bigot, but then which Shiv sena follower isnt?

    Comment by P. Vengaayam | February 3, 2010

  59. I am not a part of this blogosphere, but have only one question to ask. Is this the India we are giving to our children, what fun we are showing them, as a young mother I always tell my little ones,’ sharing is caring’ and if we are not following the same, what is the point. Look, I don’t know what Nehru or Gandhi did. For me it is that if, my son goes to Mumbai or any other city to pursue his dreams, would he be allowed to spread his wings. We have all been given this chance, so why not them? Just because one knows that Mumbai offers opportunities, one cannot monopolize the situation. Lets not forget the contributions of all the non- maharastrians in the evolution of these mammoth cosmopolitan of today. Let alone sending a Big thank you to the world, who has stood by Mumbai through thick and thin are you not being a tad bit SELFISH Mr. Thackeray. If anybody thinks what is happening is justified, please don’t ask your child to share his favorite dish, a chair, an eraser, a book, with his sibling or friend ever again…
    A worried parent…

    Comment by Monica Anand | February 4, 2010

  60. @Mr Mahesh Patil: The society has a structure, if you want to change that and are able to do it, you would be the next big hero for the mankind. But living in the real world, everyone has to earn his home, the rules are not different for Biharis, Marathis or any other clan. If you are worried about the state of Mumbai, do something constructive to change it, teach the illiterate people about the government, their duties and their responsibilities but saying that Maharastra or even Mumbai is for Marathis cannot be tolerated. If Mumbai is for only Mumbai’s old residents, then even the marathis from Pune dont have anything to do with Mumbai. Trying to create barriers of entry into a state is not the solution, if that’s the case there should be inter-state passports and immigration measures. But then people like you would say why not create separate countries ? If you love Maharastra/Mumbai then spread the word but not the venom!
    Don’t you think that its a boon that Mumbai provides employment to so many people and you should be proud of that. But dont forget if Mumbai provided employment, the people who took on that employment opportunity gave their life to it to make MUMBAI the place of opportunities. If nobody would have gone to Mumbai, then may be people would not have even heard about it. Take Bangalore for example, its India’s sillicon valley not only due the reason that it has host of opportunties in the IT industry, but also because IT firms know that there are lot of talented people that they can hire in Bangalore. Now if Bangalore decides not to allow anyone to immigrate, then why would firms be interested in running their business from Bangalore. I hope you can see that there are always two forces to make something a success, stop seeing only one of the forces, think about the other force too! And remember that People make places great not that Places make people great!!!

    Comment by Sitesh | February 4, 2010

  61. I dont get what Uddhav Thackrey’s points are in this debate? Rajiv sirdesai Vs Uddhav Thackrey,for those who has not watched it link is below, very interesting. I think Rajiv Sirdesai is the true face of Marathi Manoos so please don’t get incited by the hate speech of Sena. They are just waiting for few bad step by migrants in reply to these hate speech in Mumbai, so lets keep peace. This same Sena attacked IBN lokmat which is Marathi channel so we cannot trust Sena protector of Marathi either. Its all politics!


    Comment by Indian | February 4, 2010

  62. Such an amazing response, after reading each comment, I felt my feelings towards the
    issues were covered by others.

    I love Mumbai, a city I grew up in. A city that provided me with education. A city that is now
    reeling under heavy flow of migrants from other UP & Bihar. So I share the angst and views of
    Sandeep,Dirt-Digger,Priti,Mahesh Patil.

    But I find myself in a dilemma. The concerns, issues raised by Sandeep & co. are very real.But
    I also share Shantanu’s fear on how this affects India.

    @Shantanu and other concerned Indians on the blog.

    I wanted to raise my concerns as questions and gauge your thoughts.

    a. The general outcry emerging from MNS & SS ( I will say Mumbai) is the “Oust with Illegal Migrants from UP & Bihar). Having been fortunate to visit certain Defense locations, I know that a major
    portion of our Defense personnel are from these states. 9 out 10 personnel I came across were either a Yadav,Tiwari or Singh. So how does this affect our Indian forces?.

    b.Aren’t we caught between the devil and the deep sea. If the central government decides to squash the resistance in Mumbai, it’s going to get worse. We don’t want an Assam situation developing in
    Maharashtra. On the other hand, if MNS & SS carry on, we can certainly expect more wide-spread violence within the country, which may cause a rift within the defense forces?. While, I don’t for once question the patriotism, valour,dedication of our brave soldiers.One has to remember,that they too are humans.Just made off a more braver heart than us.

    c. The Central Government or the Home Minister,can’t just issue a statement saying “Mumbai for all” without addressing the residents of Mumbai on its plan to resolve their greviences.Shouldn’t the
    Prime-Minister in such a situation address the people of Maharashtra?

    D.Instead of an “Open letter to Balasaheb”, Should we be writing an “Open letter to the PM of India”.Maybe each concerned Indian reading this blog, should print and mail the letter.


    You may find these questions foolish or childish, for I don’t have answers to these and I am concerned.I am concerned for my Country, I am concerned for my Mumbaikar’s. Enough of comments and name calling
    let’s put some thought’s together on resolving these issues.

    @ महेश पाटील


    A very real outlook. But you ended your post with “जय हिंद जय महाराष्ट्र”. So Nation did come before Region.(was that intentional).

    Comment by vijay | February 4, 2010

  63. Yes We marathi think all Mumbai and Maharashtra belongs to us and its our property which we inherited as a culture. And we are proud of that thinking… maybe u must not be proud/thankful of your own orgin so be it!.

    Anyways for starters No need to teach Marathis about lessons of regionalism and nationalism , please look into your Southern states… where no one speaks our National Official Language Hindi! please go and teach your lungi friends first!

    Karnataka there is a law made by the govt that no land under irrigation would be sold other than to a kanadi!… please go and tell CM.yedurappa to show his nationalism and cancel this law over there.

    As Chidambaram to speak in Hindi first !
    As the TN and AP govt not be make a compulsary learning tamil and telugu to the IPS and IAS cadre officers …

    Stop teaching, preaching us, go and preach your roots first.

    @Satish … exactly thats whats the point is which i have conveyed to the author of the letter.(The society has a structure, if you want to change that and are able to do it, you would be the next big hero for the mankind. “But living in the real world, everyone has to earn his home, the rules are not different for Biharis, Marathis or any other clan” )

    Hence by writing a open letter which would selectively preach the owning rights sounds hypocracy. If the author of the letter was Mahatma Gandhi who had no personal possessions we would have understood his feelings.

    Again you are right…. “people make great places”… Marathi people have made Mumbai what it is.. and UP- Biharis are spoiling it and ruining it!.

    Comment by महेश पाटील | February 4, 2010

  64. Dear Shantanu,

    You have said it right, Mumbai is for every Indian. Just for their petty gains these opportunists (read Politicians) spread regionalism, casteism. They are present in every party. Now, it depends on the masses to understand the mentality of their so called care-takers.
    It is the right time for us to take necessary steps so that we can put them aside and take decisions to remove poverty, corruption and problems existing in our country.

    Comment by Sudhir Tewatia | February 4, 2010

  65. Bala Saheb Thakrey & Family,
    People of India needs Your Accounts to be Audited. How much & What have you done For benefit of Maharshtra & How much and Whatnot you have done to spoil the image,industry, business, livelihood of Marathis by your so called Siv sainiks GUNDA RAJ.
    Everything is apparent.
    People were illeterate 40-45 yrs back and they use to trust whatever is being told to them But now people of India are no more fools they are quite Educated and Entire world shower praises on them these can be verified by any layman and it will vouch for all Indian.
    Now these Marathi Manus will Teach you a very good lesson. Just Wait and see your Fate.
    Ravi Pugaliya

    Comment by Ravi Pugaliya | February 4, 2010

  66. For all those who are saying anyone can come to Mumbai, here are some of my questions, and please feel free to correct me or answer these:

    If you have an income of Rs 100 which is enough for you, your wife and kids. Suddenly, your family is increased by two more people, would you then not try to find extra income to support the increasing family or may be will try not to increase the number to make sure the income provides for the expenses, well how do you think Mumbai or Maharashtra as a state should provide for everyone coming over? Are other states going to give a portion of their income also because large amount of people are migrating from those states?

    How would you now provide facilities like electricity, water, trains, roads, schools etc, where do you think the funds will come from if the population increases but the tax income does not because lot of people are evading tax by earning illegally?

    What should we do if tomorrow we start seeing migrants in front of our house, living on streets? Should we invite them in our house, or ignore that they are there or just accept the fact that Country belongs to everyone so anyone can come and stay anywhere? Or just curse our politicians for not doing anything?

    Are we planning to address the problems that people in UP and Bihar are facing and find a solution so that they need not migrate in the first place or are we just going to say, hey you have a problem, come over, this country is yours? If that is the case then would Mumbai be enough to house all the people migrating, because may be tomorrow, we can have people coming over from other states too, so how would you solve problems like housing or traffic or number of schools available etc with the increasing population. Or may be you would like to see the people who have lived in Mumbai for years move out to make place for newcomers?

    If anyone has answers to these questions, I am listening and then I will be the first one to say, let anyone come to Mumbai, Mumbai belongs to everyone (well I still say Mumbai belongs to India and all of those who live in it, I just feel we should think about Mumbai too because there is only so much it can accomodate with the current infrastructure.)

    Comment by Priti | February 4, 2010

  67. Very well written Shantanu Ji!

    I am wondering why are so many people in Mumbai (and elsewhere) so easily mobilised by such divisive ideas. Perhaps because their identity of being a ‘Marathi’ is stronger than their identity of being an ‘Indian’. This may also hold true for the immigrating Biharis etc.

    Which one of our identities becomes dominant within us at any point in time – our caste, region, nationality, profession, religion,.. I guess depends on our experiences since childhood, educational circumstances and give-and-takes with the communities linked with these identities.

    We need to create circumstances which further strengthen national identities of common Indians above their other identities, especially in times when they need personal help. What tangible benefits does a poor peasant or worker see in attaching herself to India and keeping this affiliation above her village/state/caste …? How can we ensure harmonious co-existance of these identities ? For those on the edge, how can we resolve the clash within among their conflicting identities ?

    Comment by Dipinder | February 4, 2010

  68. Dear All: Thanks for a very thought-provoking debate…I finally managed to read all the comments that have been posted…Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.

    It is going to be very hard for me to respond individually so I am drawing out a few points that I would like to highlight.


    1. There is not denying that while celebrating “Bharatiyata”, citizens from other states should a] respect and celebrate the local culture, traditions and heritage and b] participate in the local community

    2. However no “sons of soil” policy should be encouraged. This will ultimately lead to further fragmentation of national identity. Note that I am not against such policy only in the case of Maharashtra – but everywhere, including – and specifically – in Jammu & Kashmir which is in a different “league” altogether when it comes to integration with the rest of India.

    3. All those who feel aggrieved by the sitaution in Bihar and UP – and still consider themselves Indians/Bharatiya first, should try and do something about it rather than blaming the landless farmers and unskilled workers who make their way to this city (Mumbai) after a lot of hardship to earn a decent living.

    4. Not paying taxes and creating a disturbance is a law and order problem – Hardly unique to Mumbai or to “Bhaiyaas”.

    5. There is no harm in having pride in your local culture and to where you belong – but think for a moment about the “matrubhoomi”. The “matrubhoomi” is not Mumbai – or Maharashtra – It is the “Rashtra” – Bharat.

    6. Pl bear in mind that economics (and development) impinges on this argument but it should be recognised as such – and not mixed up with other issues.

    7. I agree that anti-migrant bias is neither limited to recent incidents nor concentrated only in Maharashtra.

    I liked Vijay’s suggestion re. writing an “Open letter to the PM of India”. There is plenty to write about. Perhaps I will attempt it.

    Finally, ideas on resolving the situation…what is the way out? Please give this some thought…I look forward to continuing the discussion.

    Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!

    P.S. Pl also read: Dividing India: one bit at a time

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 4, 2010

  69. I think a social issue has been made political by our popularity-hungry politicians and celebrities… Shiv Sena is not know for its articulation… they are crude in their comments. But, the underlying issue of social sidelining of marathis cannot be ignored. Perhaps, someone with oratary skills can put the issue where people from all sides are made to see the problem, which i repeat is essentially social and involves bread and butter of marathi manoos (and of course, other indians that are settled there). Do you think Mr. Azmi would have made his legislative assembly speech in Hindi in Tamilnadu assembly or in kerala assembly? Karunanidhi’s civilized men would have torn Azmi’s clothes into pieces… (karnunadhi has forgotten anti-hindi tirade his party let loose some three decades back.. is Hindi not a national language?.. why doesn’t karunanidhi provide hindi education in his schools thereby making tamil businessmen ineffective in the national stage and making them incapable of having a decent conversation with rest of the Indians). Try putting up a sign board for shops in Hindi in chennai… or for that matter, Kerala. Let Mumbai be city for all Indians and let us make the marathi manoos get the share of the cake as well… there must certainly be a way to this without politicising and name calling.
    Would all south-indian states teach hindi mandatorily and accept hindi language of conversation in their legislative assemblies? TN is know for blackening out hindi letters from train station boards… A north indian not knowing english would get down in the wrong train station… such is the hatred for national language oozing from tamilnadu.

    Comment by 2bornot2b | February 4, 2010

  70. SHANTANU..
    YOU should have readthe staements of UDDHAV THACKREY carefully before writting this letter…

    He never said that Mumbai doesnot belong to Indians..He has only said that the First right on mumbai is of Marathis and which is the fact..

    as a result of BHASHAVAR PRANTARACHANA.. mumbai belongs to MARATHI speacking people first..
    so your your emotional letter is baseless..

    Comment by harish | February 4, 2010

  71. I totally agree with you, B.

    I’ve been watching this ongoing drama for the past few days and it’s made me weary of even turning on the tv. This is why India has been invaded so many times. Because our people are not united internally. Our stupid communal differences break us up and weaken us.

    If all the non marathis (like you *wink*) were to leave Mumbai then the place would be virtually empty. These people are talking no sense.


    Comment by Jai Joshi | February 4, 2010

  72. Our honorable Shri. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Shri. Rajendra Prasad and others, have made it clear, in the constitution, the states to be created on linguistic basis. So why so called congress or the national leaders of that time did not oppose the whole idea?
    Simply because to keep the culture and local harmony intact.
    If the states are created on linguistic basis then the state’s resources should be utilized for the local people first and then the surplus for others. its a simple logic. (USA, the leader of globalization, also cut-off the tax exemptions to the big companies who are outsourcing there business.)

    But yes just mudslinging and outrage is not going to solve the problem. Lets talk about some solution to the matter. (the problem can be solved in 5-10 years)
    1. Creating jobs by inviting big companies in the under developed regions so that immigration can be contained.
    2. Adding the basic skills (carpentry, blacksmith, construction, painting) training at school level from 5th class, so that local needs can be fulfilled by the local youth also.
    3. Starting agricultural training at school levels.
    4. Agricultural universities need to be set up in large numbers.
    5. Agri product processing units in local area (would create relief in less than 1-2 years span)
    6. The state government to be held responsible for mass immigration and to be asked to step down if failed to contain the immigration.

    जय भारत!
    जय महाराष्ट्र!

    Comment by संदीप नारायण शेळके | February 4, 2010

  73. @ Shantanu,

    While my initial reaction was against the “Shiv Sena”, I just want people to digest this bit of information from an article in “frontline” issue dated 22/11/2002 before reacting:

    “Now, the Kashmiri Pandit organisations have unabashedly hitched on to the Shiv Sena bandwagon. They remain grateful to Sena chief Bal Thackeray for helping the community out. While in power, the Shiv Sena had instituted quotas for Kashmiri Pandits in colleges in Maharashtra. Pandit organisations in Delhi are particularly sore about the Bharatiya Janata Party not doing anything to revive the registration process for migrant identity cards.”


    The methods may be wrong, the words may be exaggerated. but it would not be fair to ignore the legitimate grouses.

    rgds / sridhar

    Comment by sridhar krishna | February 4, 2010

  74. @Jai,
    “If all the non marathis (like you *wink*) were to leave Mumbai then the place would be virtually empty. These people are talking no sense”

    That is not possible. but the immigration has to be stopped otherwise the situation will be worse. Mumbai or any city for that matter can not administer huge population change in short time.

    Parallel process of containing the immigration has to be started otherwise there would be very bad impact on the state administration as well.
    e.g. recent assembly delimitation
    District N.D E.D Change
    Thane 24 13 11
    Mumbai suburban 26 17 9
    Mumbai city 10 17 -7
    Pune 21 18 3
    Mumbai+Pune alone gives 81 MLAs against earlier 65 MLAs.

    Does the above study means the 16 increased seats are because the population of the Maharashtra except Mumbai+Pune region has decreased or migrated to this region? No answer is clear that due immigration from all over the country the balance of the state is disturbed. The representatives of the other regions are lowered wherever possible by shifting a little load on other constituencies. Why? in order to keep the MLA count intact and accommodating the rise of population Mumbai+Pune region. This is a concerning thing as well.
    If 16 MLAs are more in Mumbai+Pune region compared to 2004 then in just 5-10 years the population has grown by 25% in this region. has the basic amenities and infrastructure been upgraded with that pace that wouldn’t have been a problem. But it is not. So the person staying there all his life is feeling the pinch not you and me (idealists sitting in front of computer and giving gyan. :)). So lets get beyond Thakarye’s or politicians for that matter and think out of box about the law and order problem.
    Such mass immigration would kill any city or region. so need to be contained at any cost otherwise one region would gain at the expense of other and the divide in thoughts would increase beyond control.

    जय भारत!
    जय महाराष्ट्र!

    Comment by संदीप नारायण शेळके | February 4, 2010

  75. Hi Mahesh,

    @comment 63:

    Please mind your words while making the comments. What does this mean – “please go and teach your lungi friends first!”? Thats a pretty cheap way of addressing your fellow countrymen. I hope you are representing yourself and not all Maharashtrians – because I know all Maharashtrians are not like that.

    Marathi people only have made Mumbai? Really? It thought 40% of the people there are Gujaratis? There were Parsis who started lots of businesses? There are a lot of Udupi hotels there? So you see my dear friend the economy of Mumbai has contribution from a lot of different communities. I am sure you are not speaking reality here. May be its an outpour of your strong emotions and sentiments – I hope it is.

    But then I also support your feelings of whats happening to Mumbai OFF LATE. Yes thats the key here – OFF LATE. I am kind of always in a dilemna whenever I think of the Thakerays. I can understand the concern they have in mind. Large scale unregulated migration of people from anywhere to anywhere is always a problem – to both locals and immigrants. And I reserve my comments about them until the point I see how politicians from UP/Bihar would react if there is large scale migration of people from rest of India – Karnataka, TN, AP, Assam, Punjab, Guj, Kerala, Mah etc to UP and Bihar. And these people start practising thier culture, language festivals openly in Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna and Bhagalpur. Also the politicians from these states go to UP / Bihar and try to get their votes and practise the festival publicly with great fervour. I want to see how Laloos, Mayawatis and Mulayams react to this situation.
    Until then I reserve my comments about Thakerays. My only concern is the Shiv Sainiks resorting to violence to solve this problem. Thats definitely not on.

    Friends, by fighting and arguing with each other we are literally playing into the hands of the dirty, filthy politicians, goondas and external forces who are happy to divide and then rule us into further darkness.

    This issue of poor people migrating to Mumbai – or any other city in India in large numbers has to be dealt with and an amicable solution has to be found. Development of Tier 2, Tier 3 cities in every state is the only solution to this problem. But where is the political will?

    The future of India lies in our own hands, the people of India. For the development of India, will require enormous amounts of grit ,determination, will power of the general Indian public.

    Comment by Vikram C | February 4, 2010

  76. Respect every Indian and India. Every inch of India belongs to every Indian. Parochial politics only leads to parochial ‘leaders’ who lack vision to lead India. Rise above this. The right on Mumbai is for all those hard working Indians like the need to protect Mumbai from enemies is for all Indians as evident in Mumbai terror attack. Stop dividing people, stop playing with people wrong sentiments, ignorance and do something constructive for people of India.

    Well done Shantanu!!

    Comment by Bhuvan | February 4, 2010

  77. SUGGESTIONS (As asked by the author on this issue)
    Apart from suggesting on the issue i would like to all add some
    suggestions which the author or any marathi manoos writing against marathi manoos should consider

    a) My suggestions would be ” Dont be Nathuram Ghodse”..
    The only reason the writeup was published in rediff was because the media loves to potray a marathi manoos bashing marathi marathi manoos!

    b)As already there have been so many discussions threads on this issue on your blog , Your open letter has served nothing but adding fuel to the fire n nothing more than that.. By the quantity of comments/views generated in just 2days on this thread in form of hatred n abusive discussion of this delicate issue is all you will achieve from it.

    As far as for Marathi people reading this blog i would like to say and suggest which i also practice.

    महाराष्ट्र मधे सर्वांशी मराठीतच बोला
    १) मराठी मनासनी नोकरी मधे मराठी माणसाला प्राधान्य दया
    २) फ़ोन कंपनी कॉल सेंटरशी, पिज्जा मगव्ताना, मक डोनाल्ड मधे आर्डर करताना मराठीतच बोला
    ३) टक्सी रिक्शाव व भाजी वल्याशी पण मराठीतच बोला
    ४) सरकारी पत्रवाव्हार मराठीतच करा
    ५) महाराष्ट्र दिन जोरात सजारा करा
    ६) मराठी मानुस जर हिंदी मधे बोलत असेल तर त्याला मराठीच बोलायची विनंती करा

    महाराष्ट्रात मराठी अस्मिता जोपासली गेलीच पाहिजे , मराठी सन साजरे केले गेलेच पाहिजे

    मराठी माणूस जर महाराष्ट्रात जगला नाही तर महाराष्ट्र कसा जगेल आणि जर महाराष्ट्र जगला नाही तर भारत कसा जगेल कारण “दिल्ली चे ही तख्त राखितो महाराष्ट्र माझा” .

    And atlast a Song i would like to dedicate who dont understand what is being a Marathi in Maharashtra even after staying for a long time


    जय हिंद! जय महाराष्ट्र!!

    Comment by महेश पाटील | February 4, 2010

  78. Great post Sir..Bravo..

    Fortunately or unfortunately,Thackery’s are out to save my petty city-Cochin..God bless me and my fellow people .


    Comment by Nimmy | February 4, 2010

  79. I admire Shantanu, for his open and broad views, and this letter as well. You have encouraged and supported people like me in your last comment, who always believes in Matroo bhoomi comes first.

    Its not a question of being Marathi or non-Marathi. If someone has a mixed Hindu Parents linage of west, North and south how do you call a person? Of course Hindustani.

    @ Prithi

    I still remember, I knew a person who behaved regionalism in past at work place in India, got a blood donation during his illness from some non-Maharastrian youth, who worked in the same company learned his lesson very well. He learned not to be regardless of others contribution what ever way it is. Just be sensitive to everyone around us.

    In US one old Maharastrian lady who could not speak Engllish, fluently taken a road of Hindi to communicate with other Indians. As she understand Hindi and can speak Hindi better than English. Where will she find all Marathi speaker in her neighborhoods in US? She felt as if she is in India all the time she was there and people also took care that she don’t feel lonely. There is always an other side of the coin. Its very easy to preach just by being in Maharastra.

    Comment by Indian | February 4, 2010

  80. I Strongly feel the same for Telangana and Hyderabad. I am born and brought up in coastal Andhra and when i see aggitations for a division of the state it pains. I have invested my sweat and blood in hyderabad for 8 years now and it belongs to me as much as to others and this seperation pains.

    Comment by vishnu | February 4, 2010

  81. Hi dear,
    I’m also marathi manoos. I have something to discuss with you. You wrote a letter, i loved it. But u know what it is said. JISKI JALTI HAI USKO SAMAJTI HAI. Yes I’m mumbai kar. You said nephew of Balsaheb i.e. Raj said mumbai is of maharashtra. Let me tell you sena said it but not MNS. Let me ask you few things.

    In south very very less college teach hindi but local language is from 1st there. Dont you think to write letter on that issue ?

    Lalu always gives opportunity in Trains as employee to Bihar people (check maximum TC’c are from bihar) dont u think to write letter on that issue ?

    In assam, many biharis where killed. dont u think to write letter on that issue.

    Goa people stopped patna train, dont u think to write letter on that issue.

    Congress makes difference on basis of castes. Minority are given concesations even they are rich and people who are in open caste but are poor have to pay fees. Dont u think to write letter on that issue?

    MNS never says that we wont allow north guys here. They say we wont allow politics on this thing. If you want i have clips of Mr. Raj Thackeray in which he speaks that we never said no to come here.
    In constitution it is said you can go and live in any state but without disturbing the local peoples there.
    Man i daily travel in local train and it has really become difficult for me to survive.
    This guys make mumbai dirty. See they live 10 people in one small room and throw garbage near by rooms and spreads disease..etc. This guys become pain in ass for us.

    See there are other people also live in mumbai like gujarathis, marawadis, bengalis but we never complaint about them as they live in good way.
    I have lot of personal experience’s on this issues. After all jiski jali usko hi samajti hai..

    I saw many like u, who always write negative points. Did u wrote something positive on them ? never right na? But see and listen there bashan’s once you will realise the truth.

    It is always said half knowledge is dangerous.

    Good luck

    Comment by umakant patil | February 4, 2010

  82. I completely agree with your letter. I like your letter , very nicely written. I am a canadian marathi and I completely agree with you my friend. I feel that if MNS / Shiv Sena is giving a threat ? Its already breach of a particular law. I dont know why can’t police beat them and put them in jail. They are not even the ruling party of the state. I feel Congress have to be aggressive here. I loved how Shahrukh took a stand.

    Jay Hind.
    Jay Maharashtra

    Comment by Nehal | February 4, 2010

  83. A wonderful thought and a suitable reply to Bal Thackery. Hope he somehow reads it

    Comment by ashok | February 4, 2010

  84. Hey once more..

    See the comments of Raj on below link
    Raj says

    Rahul’s grandmother Indiraji had appointed General Arunkumar Vaidya, a Maharashtrian to lead operation Blue Star to eliminate terrorists in Amritsar. But we never said that Maharashtra saved Punjab,”

    then how did this rahul says ?

    You better write letter to him dude.

    They say Mumbai belongs to India. When did I say Mumbai belongs to Afghanistan or China? I am not against the country’s integrity. The 26/11 attack was Delhi’s intelligence failure and you are blaming Maharashtra for that,

    Comment by umakant patil | February 4, 2010

  85. Bravo!!!

    Comment by TS | February 5, 2010

  86. Shantanu, here are some solutions that I can think of. One thing is for sure, any solutions we think of are not going to be easy as any change is always criticized by people at all levels. But still, a change is necessary for sure. Whether its what what we all collectively come up with or what our top management (i.e. Prime Minister and his team) comes up with, change will not only take time, but it might rub lot of people the wrong way.

    1.Every state, makes their language a compulsory language in school for everyone to learn.

    2.A system similar to Social Security Number or ID cards should be implemented and not only used to recognize a person but also for everything like electricity, water, getting employment, getting credit, loans etc This will ensure that at any given point, its easy to trace a person and account him or her for his or her actions.

    3.Inter state migration laws to be followed correctly so that no one state will be over populated and yet anyone in the country will be able to go in any part of the country by following legal procedures involved.

    4.All states should put their heads together to help UP and Bihar or such states to solve their internal problems, as at the end of the day, if their problems are solved then in turn other state’s will also be relieved of some of the problems like illegal migration.

    5.Our country’s entry points i.e sea should be well protected so that anyone trying to enter through should be screened, then and then only, things like illegal arms coming in the country will be stopped.

    6.Any politician entering a particular party should be able to give at least 10 years commitment to that party and people he/she wishes to serve. If they want to resign from that party they should be out of politics till the 10 years period is over, because I for one am fed up of watching people changing party more often than I change my pair of shoes.

    7.Every politician should have a basic education criteria fulfilled or may be pass some kind of an entrance exam like most education institutions expect (I know I am not able to convey my thoughts very clearly but I hope you all get my point) and also no person with a criminal background should be able to get into any of our political parties.

    Its not going to be easy as we have been trying to do lot of things for a long long time since independence but have not been able to succeed. Hopefully we get some good ideas from this forum…

    Comment by Priti | February 5, 2010

  87. @All,

    In this forum, many Mumbaikar’s have tried to justify their support for the MNS and SS agenda. For many of the non-marathi speaking people,the MNS agenda has been translated by the English & Hindi media. The translations have always been biased.

    Here is a link from MNS website. Please have a read through. It may or may not change your opinion.But this does provide a better insight into the MNS agenda.


    Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.

    Comment by vijay | February 5, 2010

  88. hey man really very very heart touching. I think that all common people of India including Maharashtra think like this. This problem is only because of these politicians. Because ShivSena know that they exist for the sake of this attitude. I also tried to write something. Please read:

    Comment by Pratik Agrawal | February 5, 2010

  89. My Dear Shantanu,

    I read your write up with interest. I strongly feel that your open letter should have left an indelible mark in the hearts and conscience of the Thackereys. However, I have my doubts if they would be keen to realise or willing to learn or try to go into the depth of the subject matter. It seems the values you have highlighted are beyond their petty minded thinking on the subject of “Indian first and Marathi afterwards” which perhaps most illustrious or otherwise Maharashtrians, whether living in or outside Maharashtra would think or feel. Perhaps, they are more inclined to being rather self centred at the cost of being truly nationalistic, as expected of the leaders of their stature.

    It seems to have become their regular practice, of targetting, insulting or threatening, well known Indian personalities who may be as deserving “Bharat Ratnas” as any other “who remark of being Indians first – as any proud Indian should” is being done mainly to attract undesirable and cheap publicity of being caretakers or owners of the State of Maharashtra or of furthering the cause of Maharashtrians in the National Media – who also seem to take undue pride in highlighting their provocative utterances.

    I also feel that the Governments whether State or National have invariably overlooked their provocative and anti nationalistic statements and utterances, to give an impression to the general public of being impotent in handling the legal aspects as well as far reaching repurcussion of such utterances.

    Anand LK, Indore.

    Comment by Anand LK | February 5, 2010

  90. Dear All: Hurried comment.

    Thanks for some very positive, thoughtful and constructive comments.
    I am distilling a few points made by readers.

    1. This issue is undoubtedly linked to economic development (which is why this link; more specifically to uneven regional development and lack of enforcement of relevant laws/regulations (such as the ones to do with conditions for unskilled workers, taxes etc). The focus therefore must be on development – not just in Maharashtra, but across India.

    2. Mumbai’s problems have been aggravated by an infrastructure that simply cannot cope with the existing (and growing) population. Mumbai needs an *urgent* development plan for its revival. That is something that SS and MNS may like to focus on. Having travelled widely across India, I am embarrassed to say that I found Mumbai’s infrastructure to be the worst amongst Tier-I and Tier-II cities (I may be wrong). This infrastructure has come under further stress due to massive influx of population from rural areas (of Maharashtra and other states)

    3. Hindi is one of the two official languages of India at present. Unfortunately we have no national language. As many of you know, there exists a three-language formula to be adopted by schools. Unfortunately, its implementation has been patchy (and there are some loopholes, I believe).

    A language lives or dies by its speakers. So those of us who are keen to preserve Marathi must start by trying to learn/speaking it themselves and then teaching it to their children. The same goes for Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil – indeed any language.


    @ Sandeep (#72), Mahesh(#77): Some good ideas, thoughts and suggestions…
    @ Nimmy (#78): That poster was unbelievable!
    @ Priti (#86): Change will come in politics only if people like you and me get directly involved. The existing leadership has no incentive to change.

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 5, 2010

  91. Great post Shantanu. Heartfelt sentiments and very well articulated. After reading all the comments (some passionate, some inflamed!) I do wish you would write a follow-up post where you address some of the valid concerns commenters have shared. I completely concur with your stand of Mumbai belonging to all Indians equally, as it should be for other major metros and every corner of Bharatvarsh. Of course, lets not lose focus by dragging Kashmir into the whole issue.

    Sharing my own personal experience here, I’m a native of Bangalore and was first exposed to close contact with a lot of out of state students during my under graduate engineering studies (B.E as it’s called in Karnataka). Students from north India made up most of the class. And believe it or not, in all the four years that we studied together, their treatment of the “locals” was appalling. They would openly make fun of Kannada words and even my closest friends refused to learn a single word of Kannada. Of course they never needed to, because all of us “locals” made every effort to talk to them in Hindi or English. Even the lone Andhra student joined the ‘northies’ in poking fun at local customs, especially the language.

    Whenever I have visited cities in other states, be it on vacation or otherwise, I’ve always been excited to learn the local language however short my stay maybe. Even as a 10 year old on my first trip to Delhi, I relished the idea of speaking to the locals there in Hindi. One of my best friends is from Pune and I’m a great fan of Sandeep Khare and took to learning Marathi just to be able to understand the lyrics myself.

    Last but not the least, I must mention the state of Tamil Nadu. I have only been there a few times and everytime my experience has been the same. They refuse to speak to you in any language but tamil. Whether their pride is misplaced or not, I would not make any judgments.

    Comment by CC | February 6, 2010

  92. Dear Shantanu, very well written.

    Reckon most of us has seen “RANN” the movie & remember the last act of Mr Malik Sr. (Owner of India 24×7 TV) aka Amitabh Bachchan on TV.

    The problem is we all Indians are so pre-occupied with our daily lives, have become so selfish & materialistic that all we want is to make money & material. We have all become morally & physically corrupt. So who cares about Truth & facts. Who wants to dig the truth and challenge it. Reporters like PURAB is real life is very rare.

    Marathi Manoos & Balasaheb’s “gas less” rhetoric has been craftily blown into national significance by vested interests who has a definite plan that sceptics will only term as conspiracy theory. That is what the movie RANN tried to tell us the public (which we though never learn as we dont wish to as we dont want to act for India except just also issue similar rghetoric thatw e are Bhartiyas & indians, etc etc.). How many of us try to see the real picture and WALK THE TALk?

    To demonstrate my point simply tell me just tell me how many thousands of average Mumbai residents (leave alone Indians elsewhere) who READS the SAMNA Newspaper which is published in Marathi by Shiv Sena.

    Probably abt 40-50,000 copies are printed (or even less) which are read by mostly regional Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai and some public in remote areas of Maharashtra which are pro-Sena. Who the hell cares what is written there?.

    What affect does it have on INDIA or 1.25 Billion Indians?
    However if someone can rake up hysteria using the National Media and Press, create this mole into a mountain, just see the rewards!!!

    Gain huge national political mileage that will only & solely propel no one but Rahul Gandhi as a fearless Messiah (just follow how craftily the script was run)who comes & conquers Mumbai (the commercial capital) and goes to peak of populartity. Who is the beneficiary????

    Rahul and thereby Congress party’s TRP now is 200%. Come elections and Congress will sweep through Maharashtra’s otherwise divided average Manush, not to mention how strong the sentiments are all across the Indian public!!!!! We ahve all left everythinga nd discussing only THIS MATTER. Press & News Channels are going GAGA!!!

    RESULT: Rahul Gandhi has now got a second huge dose of national support from public, popularity is at its peak, and he is now ready to step into his aging Mother’s Shoes and take a more National Role.

    Bravo the Spin Doctors…… Master Act! The movie “Rann” in REAL Life (nor REEL)….!

    Comment by Rise Up Indians | February 6, 2010

  93. @Sandeep Narayan Shelke,

    I curse the moment I clicked on the link to your blog and read about the Farmer suicides,till now, I had read about it in the TimesOfIndia, but it never sank in. Something in your writing and today I am a disturbed man. I said, I curse the moment, because “tumne meri neend udadi” ( It’s 2am in NY, from where I am writing this entry).

    If farmers are killing themselves for loans of couple of thousands and we can’t do anything.People spend more on coffee in US & UK in a year.

    I know, you are thinking about “Adopt a farmer scheme” and I also read Sanjeevs comment about how it’s a glassful of salt in an ocean. I agree, But it’s still 1 life or in many cases more than one.

    I was similarly thinking of a “Lottery scheme”(At this hour, i don’t know what else to call it). Where the money flows in via donations and the amount is given to a farmer in need.


    I wrote this entry on your blog, as i wanted to address Sandeep & yourself. Would call upon your experience in VC, as you know the nuances of loaning money to large organisations. Can you
    think of some ways to making this work?. The challenge is to ensure that the money reaches the needy and not into a middle-men pockets.

    If we can define a process, then seeking small donations, will not be a problem. A dollar a day from a family, will surely save a life.

    (Shantanu,you can move this post to a different discussion forum, if required.Apologies for straying from the topic of discussion).

    Comment by vijay | February 6, 2010

  94. Shantanu,

    I applaud the intent of the letter but (there’s always one!) I have a serious reservations about the unstated, though perhaps left-handed, “homage” being paid to Balasaheb.

    It is perhaps because we’ve all accepted the emasculation and gradual atrophy of our institutions that individuals acquire larger than life importance and eminence. How can any one individual or party hold another individual or group, let alone an entire city, to ransom? Where’re the police, the courts to protect and preserve rights? The entire justice system has been marginalised with a parallel justice system at play. Why should Sharad Pawar have to go to Matroshree to seek permission/approval for the Aussies cricketers to play in Mumbai? Why should SRK do the same for his film? What constitutional authority does a Balasaheb have? It is the vote-bank politics and the authority of muscle and money!


    Comment by Sanjay | February 8, 2010

  95. Thakeray may have verbalized it, but it seems that the sense of grievance against outsiders is somewhat prevalent among the Marathis. The interesting question is why. Part of the problem may actually be economic, with Mumbai generating enormous amounts of money for a few, while the rest of Maharashtra is not really doing so well. Was’t this the state that had some of the highest rates of farmer suicide in the last few years?

    What we should be angry about really is the fact that the media portrays this as the worst episode of regionalism or whatever ism they come up with. It was just two years back that Omar Abdullah said in parliment essentially what Duryodhana said in the Mahabharata–“that not a needle point of land would be given” to the the amarnath yatris. I don’t remember one, NOT ONE, protest against that. How about the seasonal bashing of Tamils in Karnataka over Cavery waters–we rarely hear any pontification about how we are all one nation etc.

    There is only one reason for the focus on Thakery and that is he is a self-proclaimed Hindu who is (was?) a political ally of the BJP.

    Comment by kharapriya | February 9, 2010

  96. CC, Rise Up, Vijay, Sanjay, Harapriya: Am swamped in some personal work but will try and find the time to respond by the weekend…

    I am also aware that I have not responded to some other points in the previous comments…Pl. bear with me… Thanks

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 9, 2010

  97. all politicians in maharashtra (and why maharashtra only; every state) , despite the parties to which they belong to, should be taken to a mandatory tour of the countryside, where the poor village folk are *literally* in dire need of food. that might help clear the dense smoke of mindless hatred and mud-slinging created by the nonsense political games played by the ever-rich politicos, that has concentrated over a territory called mumbai.

    the ugly politicians of this ‘great’ country of ‘loud, rowdy and severely indisciplined’ nationals, are in dire need of compulsory and utmost strict military training under the dominance of a hard-hitting baton.
    “wanna enter politics ? ae chhapri porge, lets first drill some sense of discipline and integrity of character in you by giving you a taste of the dirt, lest you go on a rampage in your political career with your pants down, hitting everyone below the belt, and eventually torturing the citizens, as the ex-‘stalwarts’ of your lineage did earlier !”
    thats the way to go for youth who dream of entering politics bigtime in future !!

    but i know thats just wishful thinking in this ‘secular democracy’ called Bhaarat, which incidentally gets packaged with the term ‘mahaan’ owing to the above-mentioned virtue… ==sighs==

    Comment by kilroy | February 10, 2010

  98. In all these discussion few things gets overlooked and I’d like to highlight them:

    First, I have never read and mainstream English media outlet ever praising either Balasaheb or Shiv Sainiks. What I have read are always choices adjectives for them like “Goonda”, “Fascist”, “Ultra right wind”, “fanatics, etc. This I feel was the worst form of violence leashed against them for all these years. (Remember, when threatened many years ago by terrorists, the same media stopped using the term terrorist and started calling them much softer word extremist).

    Second, the media and the so called liberal types keep calling names and call that freedom of speech and expression. Curiously, same courtesy is not extended to Balasaheb when he speaks. Protest is a legitimate form of freedom of expression, and Shiv Sainks have every right to use that right.

    Third, since independence barring few years, Maharashtra has been under Congress rule. So, any problem in Mumbai is directly Congress’s fault. They should be taken to task for this. Why are we even considering portraying Shive Sena as villain here. The real villain here is Congress party, whose (even two bit) netas have become rich (beyond our imagination) by exploiting the state, and who are still pretty sitting comfortably watching this media created fight. Remember, when Mumbai was under water couple of years ago, do you think that the city can deal with such calamity again? Has the Congress govt. done anything to prevent such occurances again?

    Finally, media is exaggerating regionalism when it comes to Maharashtra. If one were to objectively analyze the regionalism practiced by various political parties in their own region one would get a very clear picture.

    Comment by Manish | February 11, 2010

  99. Shantanu

    I totally understand the feelings you have expressed in your opinion letter. However, after thinking a little about your letter, I realized that the reason you don’t understand people like Thackray and their views is that you never lived in Mumbai. I don’t think that you can understand him without living in Mumbai and understanding how the Marathis are treated there. I was born and brought up in Mumbai but I spent most all of my adult life abroad. But I saw what Marathis went through since 1960s. If it was not for people like Thackray, Marathis in Mumbai would have much less opportunities. Marathis are routinely discriminated against in their own state. You don’t see that in any other state in India. Before you start talking about the noble thoughts about Indians as a single community, you need to spend a little time in Mumbai and try to understand first hand the issues and grievances Marathis have over there and then you can re-express your opinion. I have a feeling that if you speak with the Marathis in Mumbai you may have a different opinion on this subject.

    Comment by Prakash | February 15, 2010

  100. Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post, I am from UP. these all problem just seems a big political drama to me. MNS says dont speak hindi in maharashtra or slaps who takes oath in language in which he feels most comfortable. but I dont get one thing that y dont they push out bollywood (hindi film industry) from mumbai?????? AS its a hindi language industry. y not? Y not stars like Amitabh bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and most actors who are from north india are driven out from Mumbai?????? If maharashtra is only for marathis then they shuld not step out from maharashtra, and shuld call marathis back to maharshtra from all over India. I belive dat immigration is a big problm in mumbai, but hatred against a region and its people is simply baseless. I have never got problems if a marathi comes here n speaks in marathi or english, just bcoz I can understand dat he or she may not be comfortable with hindi. Its Ok for me. If he celebrates maharashtra day or ganesh chaturthi in my city i will have no problem but will be so happy to see India as one even in so much diversity. I think in Hindustan every1 is free to speak hindi or their local language anywhere. If u r hindu then u shuld know hindi n shuld not hate it atleast, (hindu=hindi=hindustan). I know india has many languages n i respect all of them but maharashtians hate hindi, I dont know y?????? Idont know all indian language but if i go to mumbai i’ll definately speak hindi coz i think people must be knowing a little bit of it. if not i’ll try to speak in english. it doesnt mean dat i hate marathi or i want to enforce my language on local people. i just dont know marathi…… if a marathi guy in UP doesnt know hindi it doesnt make any sense hating him. I think bal thakrey is himself from MP and he is just dividing people on basis of region and language to draw local attention and vote bank. I proud of Mumbai, as Iam proud of Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore coz all these cities are in our country. They set high standards for them selves at world level. Dont hate any Indian language or region it ur country yaar. Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city and its charm is in the diversity of people from every states.

    If any word of mine hurts the sentiments of any person plz forgive me.

    jai Hind

    Comment by Ranjan | March 20, 2010

  101. Hi Ranjan

    In discussions like this no one should have their feelings hurt. I am a Marathi living in the USA for 40 years. My feelings are not hurt. But like most non-marathis you have not understood the position of Marathis in India.

    First, I don’t know a single Marathi who hates Hindi. Marathis are most fluent in hindi among non-hindi speakers in India. They have a natural advantage. Marathi is the only language other than Hindi to use Devnagari script. Most Indians don’t know that. It is very close in words and so on. Marathi film producers like V. Shantaram and others have produced many hindi films not to ignore the contribution of Mangeshkar family to hindi music. They were the only female hindi film singers for decades. Even in remote villages of Maharashtra they understand and speak Hindi which you will not see in the South or other non-hindi regions of India. I have heard Marathis speaking hindi among themselves especially in Nagpur region. So please remove that misunderstanding. Marathis love Hindi language. In fact the acceptance of hindi in Maharashtra is amazing. Go to the South and see the difference. Tamils, Kannadas, Telugus and Malyalam people HATE hindi OFFICIALLY. They don’t hide it. If you try to speak in hindi in Tamil Nadu you may not get an answer to your question.

    Marathis do have some grudges about non-marathis in Mumbai. Non-marathis came to Mumbai for better opportunities and prospered and then started DISCRIMINATING against marathis and that is at the heart of the complaint. South Indians started hiring other south indians in jobs and Punjabis started hiring other Punjabis. Favoritism by groups is at the peak in Mumbai. There are buildings in Mumbai where Gujaratis will not allow Marathis to buy an apartment. These will never be tolerated in any other state on a mass scale in India.

    I don’t agree with all the things that Thackray did or does but I understand why some marathis support him. All that marathis in Mumbai are looking for is that they are not discriminated against in their own state. Is that too much to ask ?


    Comment by Prakash Donde | March 20, 2010

  102. Hi Prakash,

    Thanx for the reply, But I wuld like to say dat Mumbai today is not about Maharashtra, its about India now. It is a cosmopolitan city and there shuld be a free competetion between all people of mumbai, wich ever region they belong to. If marathi is better let them take the job or if bihari is better than let them tk the job, who are we to interfere, its natures rule “Survival of the fittest”. Mumbai is great City known for its dynamicism and let it continue dat way. wanted people will survive and unwanted will exinct. And Sir MNS leaders do hate hindi as they once slapped a MLA taking oath in hindi, and asked jaya bahaduri to apologize for speaking in hindi. I think state love has no meaning, we shuld only love our country. Problems u mentioned about jobs and flats in mumbai may occur in any of the 4 metros of India, its very common, people with cheap mentality are every where….. I wuld love a neigbhour of different part of India. As I wuld get to know abt them and their culture.
    I dont understand wats wrong with marathi manoos, why do they support a guy with such a cheap mentality as Raj thakray or Bal thakray?
    He doesnt like youngsters celebrating valentines day, he doesnt like any other community in his city, he doesnt like pakistan and australia coming here to play, dugs out pitch in delhi. he is just an old fashioned thinking guy.
    He is a terrorist within India who wants to ignite hatred on the basis of regionalism. He just wants marathi manoos to give him support and keep winning him the elections.
    he has got so much support dat even after provocative speech he is not arrested, and beaten by police.

    Comment by Ranjan | March 20, 2010

  103. Dear Shantanu,

    You are a typical utterly confused intellectual.. Today 90% of entire economic control is in the hands of non-marathi people. more than 75% of central postings in Maharashtra are non-marathis.. and all this is happening under constitutional sanction..

    To believe that entire Marathi population is an incompetent lot compared to rest of Indians is bull shit. Marathi of Maharashtra have suffered and are suffering because of their participation in 1857 revolt.

    Let it be clear to you 1857 revolt was by Peshwas and Muslims. No other nationality or people participated in it. Since then British people never had any faith in Marathi people and did everything to weaken them.

    As a part of this policy British did not allow and support any economic activity by Marathi population. They initiated large scale migration of Marwadi and Gujarati population to Migrate to Maharashtra settle there and start economic activity. Let it be clearly understood that Marwadi spread to eastern part of India was along with spread of Ughal empire and to maharashtra and Karnataka was after 1857 after take over by British.

    For this the Marwadi and Gujaratis received economic support, agencies of British companies, government contracts. In return for this they provided intelligence support to British..

    The same policy continued post Independance and is the main reason for economic backwardness of Marathi people…

    Maharashtra is under occupation of NON-MARATHI People and needs to be liberated..

    Comment by C. Shivaji Raje.. | September 18, 2010

  104. sir mai bhopal sa hu.ami aap ko charin spersh karta hu.aap ki lambi umer ki kamna karta hu.

    Comment by vishal Takey | January 25, 2011

  105. विशाल: धन्यवाद! चरण स्पर्श ना करो. आज आवश्यकता है कंधे से कंध मिला कर साथ चलने वालो की…
    आशा ही तुम्हारा साथ भी मिलेगा…
    जय हिंद, जय भारत!

    Comment by B Shantanu | January 27, 2011

  106. Sh. Shantanu Ji
    Well done
    Its a very clear and successful attempt to convey the feeling of every Bhartiya.
    I congrats all our politicians for theirs effort to change India.It is taking time but consistence effort by all of them will surely have a great results.

    For the empowerment of Bharat.
    Jan Hind

    Comment by Anand | February 4, 2011

  107. The below are a few questions targeted at all the so called hardcore proponents of the concepts of “kick out the migrants from Mumbai”, “save marathi manoos” and “marathas are protectors of hinduism”.

    1.Have you ever read Indian History?
    2.What is Chauth and Sardeshmukhi?
    3.What were the Maratha hordes called in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu (esp. Tanjore, Ginji etc), Karnataka etc?
    4.Can you name a place in the south, east and west which was not plagued by the armies of the maratha chieftains in the late 17th,18th and early 19th centuries?
    5.Who was the maratha chieftain who in 18th century plundered the shringeri sharada temple and descrated the statue of the goddess?
    6.Who was the maratha the maratha chieftain who burnt, pillaged and looted half of bengal, orissa in the early 18th century?
    7.Who was the maratha chieftain who constantly attacked karnataka and looted, pillaged and murdered the hindu populace of mysore and adjoining regions?
    8.To which region do most of the early landlords and their descendants (called DESHMUKHs) who were the chamchas of the erstwhile NIZAM and have plagued the people of Telangana for nearly 250-300 years belong to?

    If you try to find answers for all these questions, then you would realize that it was the rest of INDIANs who have been plagued by the marathas and not vice-versa which led to the downfall of the hypocritical and megalomaniac empire of the peshwas aka the marathas. If so called kicking out of migrants is enforced, then nearly half of Goa, 1/7th of Telangana, 1/8th of Madhya Pradesh and many of the other states would have to come back to their native maharashtra and as per the arguements of some of the above “maharahstra for marathi” writers mumbai, other major cities of the state would become more populous, more dirty because of this influx. then what would the so called proponents do? would they follow hitler balasaheb, gobbels udhav and stalin raj and exterminate the so called influx?

    Comment by bujji | March 23, 2011

  108. Bujji and many others are missing an important point in their discussion.

    First, we are talking about the current situation where the facts are known to us because they have happened in our lifetime. I disagree with Thackerays on many issues and some of their tactics but I understand why he started discussion on this topic back in 1960s. The issue at the heart of the matter is; Marathis are clearly being discriminated in many fields but primarily in the job market in Mumbai for a long time. It is known that the people with financial power usually dominate everything and can easily discriminate against another group of people. Unfortunately,Marathis have failed to acquire that financial power. I will admit that Marathis have their share of faults in getting themselves in that position. But no one has a right to discriminate against a community, especially in their own state. That is what is happening in Mumbai for the last fifty years and it continues. Thackerays pressure tactics have helped Marathis somewhat at the cost of some dislike and anger in the other communities. In frank and open discussions with other non-Marathis who know Mumbai well,I have been told that the kind of job discrimination that happens in Mumbai against Marathis will never be tolerated in other states.

    The last fifty or sixty years of migration of people to Mumbai shows that Marathis, in general, have treated non-Marathis with respect and that is why others have come and lived in Mumbai and have prospered too.

    On the other points made above, if Marathis in Mumbai can learn Hindi and speak that with ease rather quickly, I fail to understand why non-Marathi politicians and celebrities, like Bachhans and so on, cannot learn at least some working Marathi after living in Mumbai almost all of their adulthood.

    Comment by Prakash | March 24, 2011

  109. BT and his party now are nothing better than ransom seeking, rent collecting, Mafiaosi! Sooner, this gang is thrown out of Viraat Hindutva Parivaar, better for pro-Hindu polity.

    Comment by Gopi | November 5, 2011

  110. Hi everybody (whoever posts their views on this website)…………..

    I grew up with lots of gratitude towards some pressure groups who were acting like safeguard towards some practices in the country…….. Shivsena was one of them (though I did not know about them as much as I do now)………… Unfortunately these days everybody is aware of the issues with and within the states BUT no body is discussing about the major thing which is working silently and finishing the country like a termite…………India has become an ORPHANAGE for all the neighboring countries and a major DUMP YARD for China, America and others……………. with no offence to anyone but tell me if I am wrong…….. If these countries can destroy the items (export by India) stating them as the bogus one (where these materials are from the largest brands of India) then why can’t we? why do we prefer to buy Chinese items, electronic lites??? .why can’t we celebrate our festivals with our own light & colors……..????????? why we are allowing other countries to play as an artist for us and on the other hand where they are using the same money to flourish the terrorism in our country…. it’s like we are feeding and inviting them to eat our own country one day????????……why can’t we throw them out rather getting involved fights for the states???????……….these guys are enough to break the country man…………… we don’t need any other issue to divide us in the name of water, corruption, bills, or anything like that…………

    WHY CAN’T WE MAKE A COMMUNITY OF INDIANS rather making it in the name of states….. I salute to the ego of western countries where they can pull the chains anytime they want whether its for immigrants or for students…………. It shows that WE ARE A SOFT COUNTRY and anybody can mould us the way they want………… I am sorry if I have been rude or have offended to anyone but that’s me………I am an Indian and it hurts alottttttttttttt………….. Tell me if I am wrong I would love to improve…….

    Comment by Nimisha | January 4, 2012

  111. @Nimisha

    Coz, its much easier to identify with a smaller unit like the state

    Comment by Indian Youth blogger | January 15, 2012

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