Marathi Manus, Lead Or Misled?
Neeraj Shinde Thursday, November 05, 2009 PoliticsNovember 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 He feels superseded.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.