Marathi Manus, Lead Or Misled?

November 05, 2009 Pune, India - A few months back in Bangalore, we found Milan, one of the senior developers in our organization sitting gloomy and disheartened in his cubicle. Known for his loud telephonic conversations among his colleagues, it was somewhat awkward to see him quiet that Friday morning. After a pretty long spell of reticence, he narrated his shocking story that took place in the local BMTC city bus on his way to office. I was beaten up bitterly by three local goons for speaking Gujarati over phone in the bus this morning, spoke heartbroken Milan. His voice depicted the same as his bleeding elbow and muddy trouser did. That was a hell of an incident, an outrage of a bitter hatred for the outsiders intruding into the city, a result of a fickle minded yet strong belief in the regionalist ideology.

I have wandered in the corners of various cities of India, big and small; and it is almost the same all over. I can sniff a strong scent of regionalism in the air of Maharashtra these days. The Vidhan Sabha elections are just over and the results depict how this regionalist ideology is gaining support for false and undemocratic 'Vachak-Namas' of the myopic politicians. It is difficult to say if this is truly a victory of the voters who call themselves the sons of the soil, the most common 'Marathi Manus'. Certainly, it is a big failure of the nation's basic values - democracy and secularism when such political parties get ill-deserved success and undue significance to their ideologies. I am in a no mood to comment on what mission or vision is being beheld by the political parties like MNS or Shivsena in Maharashtra. Whatever might be Raj Thakeray's motives behind forming a new party - his fickle relations with his cousin and other relatives stand no good with the interests of the nation.

The common Marathi-Manus travels in the crowded local trains and buses in Mumbai and other big cities of Maharashtra. He feels meek and ignored when his seat is suddenly captured by a Bhaiyya (a derogatory term for a North Indian in Mumbai) who was standing just next to him. He feels superseded. This Marathi-Manus is harmless and non-violent naturally and hence he feels it okay to surrender his seat to the other. But such occurrences are mundane and the discontent keeps on accumulating with the passage of time. He is unable to vent out his disgust and displeasure until one day he finds a leader who speaks his language. He talks about kicking the *sses and thrashing the cheeks of the intruders. Our common Marathi Manus is motivated by his raging public lectures so much so that he votes for the leader in a furore of unthoughtfulness.

Leaders like Raj might be awesome leaders but their ideology and modus-operandi, if confined beyond a local Gulli, will cause tremendous harm to the state and nation’s integrity in the ultimate sense. It is very easy to gain votes by virtue of an awesomely entertaining, crowd attracting public lectures based on sympathy towards the unlawful rage of the Maharashtrians. The party can be successful in securing a short lived success by means of regionalist methods. It just means that some people have trusted you and it is your duty to live upto your promises. When it comes to power and ruling a state, a party must understand that they are ruling a state or a country and not merely representing a community.

I have a brother who is a couple of years younger to me. I had agonistic feelings when he was born and when Mom paid more attention to him. My young and unfledged mind felt neglected, which at times made me unhappy. That was it, my novice days but today, my brother is one of our greatest strengths. When in school, we pledged saying all Indians are my brothers and sisters a countless times. Certainly, several decades after independence, we are no way a novice country. What is making us so immature to support and preach such ideologies that puts a probable risk to national integrity?

The Marathi-Manus quibbles about being deprived of several things - admissions to reputed colleges, job opportunities or a vacant seat in a crowded bus. But there are reasons and far neglected root causes to all of these problems he is facing since years. The so called intruders are trying to dominate him just because they have the heart to live away from their hometowns, toil and excel in their feats. It often makes me feel sad to see a mere handful of Marathi folks moving and settling away from Maharashtra. Marathi-Manus is undoubtedly hardworking and talented but since years he has confined himself to his age-old taboos which are adding restrictions on his own mobility and growth. Our constitution gives every Indian equal right to mobilize and explore newer dimensions of life, work and opportunities. He can be the next Ambani, a CEO of a multinational organization, a space researcher or a lead vocalist of a death metal band, the world is an open space of opportunities. But that's possible only when he manifests the true meaning of 'Marathi-Manus Jaga Ho' - wake up!

Accolades: This post was chosen as the Best Post from the Indian Blogosphere by BlogAdda - their topmost pick on 7th November, 2009

Who : Neeraj Shinde
What : Marathi Manus, Lead or Misled?
Spicy : This post is a must read for all of us so that none of us get into regionalism. It is important for all of us to realize that we are ‘Indians’ first and then comes our States, where we live. Neeraj has this post with a very strong and relevant message. Neeraj, it’s applaudable for someone to raise and write about it.


  1. True Marathi Manus needs to wake up in the right way.... but he will only dream as big as doctor and engineer.....nothing else matters to him....he will rather put all his money for some worthless rural college then open a business...Well WAKE UP MARATHI MANUS IS ALL I CAN SAY......

  2. I second your thoughts, completely!

    It really takes a very big heart to live away from one's hometown, family, friends, relatives, cuisine, a known and usual way of life... and toil and excel in one's field... in another area/state/country.

    With such kind of people/party/mentality India does not need enemies. Thats why most of our enemies only need to send materials... like money, weapons... and not manpower to destabilize the nation. What a pity!

    The new route to gaining quick political mileage and media stardom seems to be: Making language/community an issue... and threatening MNCs and other organisations belonging to the new economy. Completely overlooking the fact that these companies provide jobs to millions of Indians... which help them to support their families, and contribute to the economic activity that benefits even the last person in the "economic chain".

    Treating English as a "foreign" language... even when it has been spoken in this land for three centuries or more. Ignoring the fact that English has a lot of Indian languages including sanskrit intertwined in it. This was the language that united the nation during the struggle for Independence.

    Referring to people from other states as "outsiders" and being up in arms against them... when no "visa" is required for anyone to travel anywhere within the country... and still proclaim that some neighbouring country is our "enemy". When there is any act of terror or any strike on our nation by any foreign power... these same "outsiders" are the ones who defend the motherland. The so-called "sons of the soil" are found "cowering in a deeply dug rat hole" having perhaps wet themselves...

    I think it was Mrs G who got the police to give the current proponent of this theory's Uncle a sound 'kambal dhulai'... when he mouthed such stuff against the South Indians living there. That 'treatment' shut him up for a very long time...

    Unfortunately, in our country... we have people who utterly distort the lessons from the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita; no one follows the path of "Dharma" (rightousness)... and fight over Gods.

    All hell break lose if girls wear jeans or marry on their own... for love. Conveniently forgetting the ancient tradition/custom of "Swayamvar". Selective memory at its best!

    Any genuine scientist in this country... will be given the "crab mentality" treatment. But all will rejoice and distribute sweets if someone of Indian origin wins the Nobel Prize... after having taken the citizenship of some foreign country... I ask you!

    Think of China... what they have achieved in 60 years. And they are almost thrice the size of India with a bigger population count!

  3. But the folks who destroy the environment, cut trees indiscriminately in the name of 'development', man the municipalities... doing nothing, do nothing to harness the rain water or improve the power situation or law and order..... etc are those very "sons of the soils".

  4. @Nikhil - Buddy, you just tapped on the age old taboos of the Marathi Manus that I was referring to.

    @Roshmi - I agree with some of your points. The issues you are referring to may not be truly the cowardice of the so called sons of the soil. It is a matter of social responsiblity and linked with the duties of an alert citizen. When one calls himself a Mumbaikar, it is important that he understands the true sense of it. Read my article on this topic that was published in the FPJ sometime in 2003:

  5. they are just jealous at the progress that others are making

  6. very well said neeraj, the thing u told abt ur younger brother, tht is how we need to go about the current scenario,they need to be developed, so they will come to maharashtra, but I agree on one thing, that they should start respecting maharashtra's culture, that doesnt necessarily mean speakin in marathi

  7. very well written..when will all get out of all our conditionings..atleast become aware of the ways it works in all of us..

  8. "When there is any act of terror or any strike on our nation by any foreign power... these same "outsiders" are the ones who defend the motherland. The so-called "sons of the soil" are found "cowering in a deeply dug rat hole" having perhaps wet themselves..."

    I am referring to the proponent of the 'MM theory' and his ilk elsewhere in this country...

    Blr too has that breed of 'worthies'. Just check how many from this part of the country join the army/navy/air force/commando teams...

    Who are the ones protecting the vast coastland, our skies and our lands.. from external threats... ??? The vast majority of them, that is.

    Staying away from home and hearth for days on end. If these folks/states start developing this 'MM theory' (albeit with suitable customization) what would be the scenario... ??? I shudder to think.

  9. Wonderful post and very well written. I think this feeling of regionalism is growing at a fast and dangerous pace and if something is not done at the earliest the very integrity of our Nation will be at stake. Who bothers for the nation anyway...politicians are behind power. In a Country where Gandhi Jayanthi has become just another holiday and where you have children asking you who this Gandhi uncle was...I have my own doubts...God bless this Nation.

  10. Nice expression of the status quo in Maharashtra, Neeraj!

    It's not the awesome leadership of Raj Thakerey, it's the awe and hatred inspiring hooliganism of his under-developed psyche that has made what he is, out of him today.

    All thanks to his diseased weaknesses, he now stands head and shoulders with the likes of the indifferent and inhuman underworld dons. If he, at all, had the true strength and integrity required for being a decent leader of the masses, things would have been different, today, and he would have won hearts all over the country.

    What can an ungrateful pervert of a son do for his own mother, when he can't value his very roots and doesn't care for his grandma?

    He needs to be told that we, here, in the far-flung Andaman & Nicobar Islands have named the Port Blair Airport after Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) who was a Maharashtrian and not an Andamani. He didn't stay back in the Andamans after the Indian Independence. But, nevertheless, there's no prejudice anywhere in anybody's mind about the designation of the Airport.

    "Sarva dharma sambhav" and "Vasudhaiiva Kutumbakam" are the peerless values and ideologies that have made the entire world proud of India.

    I reckon, the Maharashtra government needs to forcefully implement adult education in a bid to educate the pathetically ignorant so-called self-proclaimed leaders like Raj Thakerey.

  11. it is not happening only in maharashtra. happening all over the country unfortunately. just yesterday the cm of mp declared that no jobs should be given to biharis but should be given only to locals. the pinch has been felt by the developed states more during recession hence it has come to the fore. a result of the linguistic state formation. unfortunate but true. the centre should assist the backward states to develop on an urgent basis before india disintegrates like ussr.

  12. @Shrinath, Thanks for throwing in your valuable thoughts on this topic Shrinath! I second your thoughts and respect your disgust which is just true and valid!

    @Old Monk & Magic eye, you are right. This disease of regionalism is plaguing rapidly in our country. It is high time that the union looks into the issue lest we might loose our integrity, our identity!

  13. Congratulations on being a Blogadda Spicy Saturday pick :)

    Very well written Neeraj.

    Regionalism (just like communalism) is vote-politics and can harm us in ways we can't imagine today.

    A friend of mine is teaching in a private institute, and she said the number of students who took admission from states from North India has come down drastically this year. According to her in at least one government medical institute (in a small town in Maharashtra)only those students who were low in merit (and hence had no choice) joined from Northern Indian states. I am sure other colleges will have the same scene.

    Construction workers have no choice they need to eat, so they will continue to risk violence, but others who can afford to go elsewhere will turn away from Maharashtra (or any other state that allows regionalism to take roots). I don't think that's good for any place.

    This might isolate the people of one state from the rest of the nation.

  14. I am keen to know your views on my latest post...

    P.S. I have responded to your Q re: my 77-Fiction... "Stranger than fiction"...

  15. Will u let ur neighbour 2 eat food in ur house wen u cnt feed urself properly ...
    Hw will u feel if everyday ur neighbour eats food in ur house n ur kids r left hungry wen u hav limited resources ???

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. You say --- "I am in a no mood to comment on what mission or vision is being beheld by the political parties like MNS or Shivsena in Maharashtra."

    You are actually incapable of understanding their ideology.

  18. @Anonymous, No matter whoever you are! I was just wondering if my words would ever tap the right spot or not! You have confined yourself to a very small scope. Your very scope of family restricts your thinking. It really hurts when I learn why a few people like you find yourselves incapable to compete with the outsiders? You are not impotent in any way! You have not revealed your identity in your comment and that shows up your very attitude towards this issue and lame ideology!

    @greenmang0, Your comment is as green and raw as your name! You need some time to go ripe!

  19. Wake up Neeraj !! Pun intended.Your post is like Karan Johar's film sweet and dreamy.As a Mumbaikar I see lot of nepotism in offices and every part of life in Mumbai.

    Birds of same feathers flock together.

    I agree, all Indians have right to settle anywhere in India but remember Mumbai is a island and has become a mess because of mass migration.
    Wait for sometime and Pune will follow...

  20. @Anand, I agree with you! The mass migration is a serious issue in the recent times. Where there are problems, there are always better ways to deal with them! Nepotism has something to do with the human nature and it is difficult to have a grip over it! The city and it's resources have already crossed it's saturation limit. The authorities can very well restrict new people from settling into cities like Mumbai. The basis for which shouldn't be the language, caste or creed of the individual. Certainly, it is not wise to simply throw off long residing citizens from other states. I am particularly against the modus operandi of the activists due to which they would deserve nothing but blame for ruining the nation's integrity in the long run. This might sound sweet and dreamy to you and many like you.

    You see things; and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

  21. @neraj,
    "The authorities can very well restrict new people from settling into cities like Mumbai. "
    Daa! in democracy you cannot restrict the movement of people by any classification.People move to places where there are job oppurtinities.States responsibility is to create jobs and law and order for public sector to open up new oppurtinities.(remember chandra babu).The northern belt(to be politically correct) is not bothered by civic duties and is more in erecting statues(mayawati).The effect of this is in Maharashtra, more people fight for limited resources and friction is created. Simple ecomomics 101.

    My point is not to subdue your opinion but this has not something to due with Marathi manoos atitude.That was the main reason I commeted your post being "dreamy".

  22. Congrats, Neeraj, on replying befittingly to the self-identified 'Anonymous' and 'greenmang0'!!! Hope & wish they get it registered in their minds before they lose even their current 'identities' for good.


    This blog of mine has plenty to improve your understanding...

  24. wonderful post and congrats on the blogadda pick

  25. I agree with few of your one should hv been beaten..however the points being raised by Raj are correct..e.g. Railway recruitment exam for Mumbai had not been advertised in our local was advertised only in the area where our X rail minister from..and this has been happening since years and years..its not been tolarated..
    local people should be prioritised atleast in Govt. jobs in their area..its very well fair enough..

    Also as you mentioed name of parties like SS and MNS..only because of them some percent of marathi still in Mumbai.

    Only marathi manus can think in broad way as you are doing..but root level problem can be resolved by going to the root and i would never call this as Gulli Politics..

  26. I broadly agree with your views. I think the whole issue, if seen in its proper light, would make one realise that people like the Thackerays are the biggest enemies of the Mumbaikars, the Maharashtrians, and the Indians. We learnt in our early days the stories of how a man teaches his sons the strength of unity by demonstrating how many sticks cannot be broken when together, while a single one can be easily broken.

    The same holds true for us. Just imagine India's fledgeling status on the international scene if each state starts representing itself individually. Can the Karnatakas, Punjabs and the Maharashtras and the Gujarats, etc (great states in their own right!) take on the might of China on the one hand and the threat of our rogue neighbour on the other? Surely not.

    Individual states give a lot to the country as a whole but do they not benefit from being a part of the country as well? Punjab feeds the whole country but does it not owe its prosperity to selling its crop to the whole country? Bangalore & Hyderabad are hubs of technology for the country - but can they provide these services on their own without with getting recruits from all over India? Mumbai is the lifeline of the country's business. But it is only so because it has been accepted as such by the whole country. Imagine the scenario if Mumbai's businessmen did not have benefit of access to the whole Indian market. Mumbai is obviously the beneficiary of the best resources from all over India in business and bollywood, has access to the entire Indian market and is reaping the benefits. Delhi is currently being provided an infrastructural boost for the Commonwealth games. The state is clearly reaping the benefits of being the capital of such a large country. In short we all benefit from each other and need to be pragmatic in accepting it, in our own interest.

    But our leaders would rather have us believe that we are being victimised in our own states by highlighting what our states give to the country while carefully overlooking what we get in return. All we need to do this is to understand this by imagining ourselves as separate from the Indian Union without the benefit of its resources, markets, security and all the benefits of staying united as a large, strong and growing nation. Shame on us, if we allow ourselves to be misled by them.

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