Monday, November 3, 2008

Language:English; Culture:Cosmopolitan.

This is my 100th post but I am in no mood to celebrate. Yesterday I saw Praful Patel (Civil Aviation Minister) defending Raj Thakre in Devil's Advocate (CNN IBN), even Karan Thapar, who had beautifully shamed Modi about never expressing any regret over the killing of thousands of Muslim citizens, did not ask him the right questions, he seemed unsure himself. The message a viewer got was Raj Thakre is right, his means are err... not completely right but... And that Congress supports RT. And one must respect Marathi culture.
Here are some questions Karan Thapar did not ask.

1. What about mutual respect and intermingling of cultures in every part of the country?

2. If Bihar belongs to Biharis, Maharashtra belongs to Marathi speaking Marathi Manoos, if Punjab belongs to Punjabis, where do Christians and Muslims go? Since we are dividing states, shouldn't they also have a state of their own, where no one can throw them out from? And what about those anti nationals who have committed the sin of marrying outside their region or religion? And their tainted children and grand children?

3. Praful Patel admires the way Bengali and Tamil thrive in Kolkatta and Chennai, he also cites Mamata Banerjee's good, people friendly example when defending Raj Thakre.
So do we want Mumbai to become like Chennai or Kolkatta or Auragabad, Jalgaon or Nagpur? No offense to these cities, just that they are not as COSMOPOLITAN as Mumbai & Delhi). Mumbai and Delhi (and soon Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Noida) have long been considered the most Cosmopolitan cities in India. We love to rant about 'not knowing our neighbors' in Cosmopolitan cities, but it is this culture which also gives us the space to belong to any religion, region, caste and even gender. The two cities (despite Delhi's crime rate) have thrived, grown and evolved because of their Cosmopolitan culture. A single mom, a gay couple, live in relationships and unmarried daughters are not judged in a Cosmopolitan environment. We live and let live. It is not correct to say that people do not help you in these cities, the way they do in smaller towns and villages in India. Cosmopolitan cities give you the choice of mingling or not mingling with your neighbours. That's perfectly fine. Yes Bombay and Delhi do not give us the freedom to keep an eye on the boy who drops our neighbour's young daughter home. Yes the neighbours are not interested in our Investment Banker son's job in America, nobody cares how much we spent on our child's Birthday Party or why our married daughter lives with us. It's Cosmopolitan cities, and not local cultures that show us the way to create an open minded (and open -hearted) civilization. If we are to grow, evolve (which every living community must), we need to change with times. Culture is fine. Language is fine. Use them for harmony and communication, do not get too emotional about either. Get emotional about human values. Humanity is above all cultures and languages.

We should learn from the British, their language thrives in many accents, versions and grows with use -not regulations and force. In India it is common to complain that our languages are dying, every language (including North Indians' Hindi) has it's ardent defenders. And yet, English, without anyone ready to die for it, is the language that is loved by all Indians, and gets us the best jobs.

And culture must change with time too. In a Cosmopolitan city you have people from various parts of India living in perfect harmony, Idli for breakfast does not make you Tamil, anymore then a love for ma-ki-daal means you love Punjab.

Today my immediate neighbours are a Kashmiri couple, a Marathi manoos married to an 'outsider' and a Parsi family amongst others. We communicate in English. I wouldn't have it any other way.

58 comments:

Aneela Z said...

yes it is interesting when you bring up ethnicity and religion...I realise that in certain states an Indian Muslim will be comfortable introducing themselves as Bengali Muslims or Assamese Muslims..and in other states it is an oxymoron to be labeled as Punjabi Muslim (as in Punjabi reads Sikh)...We have Pashtun Sikhs and they were always seen as 'Pashtun' first...of course the jury is out on this issue in recent times. I guess we are 'socially' or 'genetically' programmed to think in terms of ín-groups' or 'outgroups'...the part of the world I come from we might be all Muslims but our 'radar' is always picking up surnames to slot people in particular sects/ethnicities and what the rules may be in breaking bread et falling in and out of love/hate with them..I wish it were not so, yes it might be human nature to 'group' but I would rather it were interests, political alliances or anything which is fluid (rather than mandatory)....of course it was not always so.

D said...

There is no justification for what Raj Thakre is doing - none at all! If we have to divide people on the basis of regionalism, what's the point of saying we belong to a nation? We might as well do away with the concept of a country. And what's the difference between the Divide & Rule policy of The Raj that Indians fought against a century ago and the Divide & Rule policy of Raj (Thakre) that they are now giving in to?

As to question # 2, technnically speaking, it's not necessary for you to be a Hindu or Sikh to belong to any particular state. For example, the people in Bangladesh are also Bengalis even though they are Muslims. And Tamilians are not just Hindus, lots of them are Christians too, and no less Tamilian because they are Christian.

Raj Thakre's politics is not so much about religion, it's about parochialism. The Biharis and the UPites he wants out of Maharashtra are also Hindus. So the question of where Muslims and Christians belong doesn't arise here at all.

Pinku said...

good questions...

I would like to add a few of my own: do ask Mr. Thakre that does his definition of the Marathi Manoos include the Parsis living there for centuries, the anglo Indians, and the Muslim and christian Marathi speaking population?

Also while at it why doesnt he attack the moneyed Gujarati and Marwari populace of the City of Bombay?

Why are those asking for the lowest of jobs like taxiwallahs, flower and milk sellers bearing the brunt of this Maharashtra for Marathis campaign?

Does it matter said...

Absolutely true.
Bombay (after months I got this urge to call it thus, only because Mumbai sounds right when spoken in Hindi/Marathi/Gujarati) is unique in its cosmopolitan nature, and there is no city even remotely near this - not even Delhi.
It is as much about non-nosey neighbours, as the ability to 'make one's life' -- the rags-to-riches stories, and the anonymity of teens being able to hold hands without worrying about the reports reaching home -- and as much of parents who probably would not be scared of society if such reports even came in.. :)

More importantly, Bombay has remained a city where atheists and agnostics can exist peacefully without having to either explain/ justify/ fake their beliefs to live a peaceful life.

Tolerance (even celebration) of differences has been Bombay's defining nature, thus far.

'Thus far', for obvious reasons.

manju said...

"If Bihar belongs to Biharis, Maharashtra belongs to Marathi speaking Marathi Manoos, if Punjab belongs to Punjabis, where do Christians and Muslims go?"

Bihari and Christian/Muslim or Marathi and Christian/Muslim are not mutually exclusive terms.:)

I agree with most of the rest.

Does it matter said...

And here is my second comment, missing out what is possibly turning out to be my pet theme: Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

And the roots of this remain in the violent Samyukta Maharashtra movement. That movement however was condoned by the Indian public mainly because the Gujarati community was (then atleast) a laid-back, non-violent community. But it has set the roots for what we are seeing today.

This is an article in the Indian Express, no longer available on its original location (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/whose-father-does-mumbai-belong-to/376835/2). But google cache has its advantages, so here is the entire article for those who missed it.

Whose father does Mumbai belong to?
Vinay Sitapati
Posted: Oct 23, 2008
Even today, Marathi speakers, at 53 per cent, are barely a majority in Mumbai. Of this, an overwhelming majority reject the Shiv Sena, as recent elections show. Even the Maharashtrian intellectual elite has repeatedly locked horns with Bal Thackeray. Of the small remaining percentage, an even smaller number actually vote with their feet, storming roads to shut down the city. Yet, when Bal Thackeray was arrested in 2007, it took just a couple of thousand Shiv Sainiks to make this dazzling metropolis of 14 million people grind to a halt. The numbers simply don’t add up. How was Bal Thackeray, how is Raj Thackeray, able to shut Mumbai down?

The answer goes back to 1960, when, amidst the teeth of opposition, Mumbai was given to Maharashtra. It has become a lose-lose situation: impoverished Vidarbha farmers have now to compete with BMW-driving Bandra boys for political attention; and Mumbai continues to be shaped by factors outside its shores.

Pandurang Desai is the face of that paradox. Babudom in Mumbai is made up of Maharashtrians who are recruited from other parts of Maharashtra. Yet the citizens they govern, including urbane third-generation Marathi migrants, could not be more different. The Shiv Sena itself came of age feeding off the anger of working-class Maharashtrians left unemployed when the mills collapsed. But that anger alone cannot shut Mumbai down, without the support of even otherwise fair-minded cops like Pandurang. A former Maharashtra director general of police told me: “it is an open secret that the reason the state Government won’t take on the Sena is they fear the police will revolt”. It is tempting to trace the original sin to the Samyuktha Maharashtra movement: had Mumbai been a union territory, authority would have been indigenous, i.e., urban Mumbaikars who understand the competing inequities that define this modern megapolis. But that would be missing the point. India’s complex federal structures may have successfully contained its competing sub-nationalisms. But at some cost: a democracy in which the governed and the governing have no relation to each other.

The ‘image’ of the Thackerays differs from reality on two counts. The first is that far from being street-fighting bravehearts who take on the mighty state, both the Thackerays derive their power from that state’s low-level functionaries. The other is that the Thackerays piggy-back on the angst of the migrant hoping to...

Priyanka said...

Yup, my neighbors in Bombay were Jews, Marathis & Bengalis :) Thats what I love about B'bay, I hope it doesn't lose it essence.

manju said...

BTW, congratulations on your 100th post.:))

Z@ki-R said...

I think English language could help us breaking narrow boundaries to some extent. The language should not belong to privileged few. At the same time, the children should learn the mother tongue as well ( am I burdening them too much? ). Above all, they should be thought to respect diversity - in school, in family. But sadly we do have all wrong kind of examples in front of us.

Can not help but to quote few lines from a blog (http://www.anindianmuslim.com/)
-------------------------------
nahi chuni maiNne ye zamin jo vatan Thahri
nahi chunaa maniNne voh ghar jo khaandaan banaa
nahi chunaa maiNne voh mazhab jo mujhe bakhsha gayaa
nahi chuni maiNne vo zabaaN jismeN maaN ne bolnaa sikhaaya
aur ab maiN in sab ke liye tayyar huN
maarne, marne par.
-Fazal Tabish
--------------
I didn’t choose the country where I was born
I didn’t select my family, my clan
I was given no option to decide upon my religion
And I didn’t choose my mother tongue either
But for all of them I am ready
To kill...
-----------------

Mavin said...

Congratulations on reaching 100 posts. Having started blogging only recently, I fully understand the effort it takes to generate a full hundred. I am already huffing and puffing at 22. Great effort and great achievement.....

I missed seeing this program and therefore cannot comment on the interview as such.

Just an observation on your reactions.

A Muslim or a Christian is not one single distinct group on a pan-India basis.

We often make this mistake.

A Christian in Goa has little or no social or cultural affinity with a Christian from Mizoram or Tamil Nadu. Similarly a Muslim from Konkan in Maharashtra has little in common with a Bengali Muslim. They cannot be lumped together and labelled Muslim. A part of our identity is from our roots.

Now let me look at cosmopolitan culture. i believe that a cosmopolitan culture takes root and thrives in a liberal atmosphere and a tolerant home culture.

This is the reason that Mumbai was the first, biggest and a truly cosmopolitan culture. Others are now adopting this and are changing. Good for us, but the argument of a tolerant and liberal base still remains. (I am not sure about Noida and Gurgaon as cosmopolitan centres - cannot comment on these cities as I do not have much idea abt them)I would even say Pune is cosmopolitan or should become one soon.

"Get emotional about human values. Humanity is above all cultures and languages."

Well said - IHM. Perfectly agree with you.

Does it matter said...

@ Pinku
"Also while at it why doesnt he attack the moneyed Gujarati and Marwari populace of the City of Bombay?"

The first target of Bal Thakre was the Gujarati community, then it shifted to the South Indians (larger identifiable target, and the Gujaratis were actually large enough to be a good vote bank). It then shifted to the Muslims, because the Hindu vote bank is an even bigger bank.

If one speaks in marketing lingo, One starts with a niche market segment, and then starts expanding your market to make it a mass appeal product. Thats the essence of a successful marketeer.

But now here comes Raj and messes things up by re-segmenting the market.

In mktg lingo, Competition has arrived for the same target audience.

Serious topic, and flippant tone - my apologies.

But, sometimes, the only thing one can do is laugh (or cry).

Usha Pisharody said...

Somehow it seems strange that we call ourselves secular, democratic and yet expect just regionalism and more regionalism in our own little spaces!

The media isn't helping any, other than just giving them more steam through publicity! Cosmopolitan is now becoming an obscene word, it would seem!

And congrats on the 100th! Always great to read from you!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Aneela Z What I meant was that there is no exclusive place where Muslims and Christians are the rightful owners, a place in India, where they can behave like the saviors of Marathi Manoos are behaving in Maharashtra.

@D I agree...but I must send you some links to hear their side of the story. Many marathi manoos are convinced that N Indians are actually responsible for all their problems, and that their culture & language (and according to my driver, their jobs) need to protected from N Indian influences.
If only everyone else felt the way you (and I) do there would be peace and progress.

@Pinku Gujratis and Madrasis have been attacked in the past. Remember you said, 'the one who sleeps while his neighbour's house is being robbed, should know that his house will be next'...?? I remember that when I see all this. It will be some other community next.

myheadtrip said...

"If Bihar belongs to Biharis, Maharashtra belongs to Marathi speaking Marathi Manoos, if Punjab belongs to Punjabis, where do Christians and Muslims go?"

How does religious classification feature under geographical/linguistic classification?

I do accept that Mumbai is very cosmopolitan and takes pride in it. I do want to tell you that Madras is pretty cosmopolitan. Yes, the politicians take the tamil is best stance. I am from Chennai and know people from so many different states, talking different languages living here. I don't know about the other cities you have mentioned;but being a Madrasi - I do know that Madras is cosmopolitan. Many here talk more than just english & tamil. Yes it is also seen as a very conservative city. One should come here to know that Madras follows its tradition/culture but also embraces many "modern" aspects of life. IMHO, I feel that Madras & Kolkotta too must not be featured along with cities like Auragabad, Jalgaon or Nagpur!!

Indian Home Maker said...

@does it matter - I agree Bombay is the best :)))
Yes I agree about the freedom anonymity gives you too. Celebration of differences is why it's been the best. 'Thus far'.
Let's hope this never change.

indyana said...

When all this hatred first started I was still living in Mumbai then!I remember how almost overnight, the city I loved (and still do)had either taken off or donned,whichever way one looks at it, a mask that I had never ever seen in all the years of my growing up there! I am sad to see that there are still upheavals of this kind going on,and seems to be getting worse over the years,with new targets each time! It is essentially such a wonderful place and I hope that despite all that is happening it holds on to it's core sense of tolerance!Things may yet change with time...I hope upon hope...

Ritu said...

Today the Bhojpuri Movie Industry which employs a whole lot of Maharashtrans is wanting to pack up and leave Mumbai. Its ultimately harming the state itself. Sad

Indian Home Maker said...

@Priyanka & Indyana I feel the same, love the city, let's hope the culture survives all this trouble.

@Manju LOL Thanks :)

@z@ki-r I have read children can pick up to five languages without difficulty, if they live in an environment where the languages are being spoken. But not all children are the same.
Beautiful lines ... :)

@Mavin Thanks. Actually time just flies and before you know you'll see 99 posts published :)
What I meant was that Muslims and Christians have no safe haven in their own country. I don't mean that any of us should require any such havens, I meant the changing times might force all of us to look for safe havens. Hope not :(
And yes, Pune is a Cosmopolitan city, just like Mumbai, no doubt :)

@does it matter - Absolutely. Very well explained :)
'Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.' is becoming my pet theme too.

@Usha Pisharody Yes, I have the same fears. Agree with you completely.
Thanks though the hundredth post came at a sad time:)

@myheadtrip I think you are right, Chennai is different and that is why it has joined the list of the best Cosmopolitan cities in India, if the situation remains the way it is, maybe it will beat Mumbai before long ... hope not:(

Indian Home Maker said...

@Ritu Hi, you were away? No posts!! Didn't know about the Bhojpuri industry but yes it can happen, and I almost wish it would if that is the only way we will learn!

Reema said...

Congrats on 100th Post. So many hits and such popularity in short time and that too on blogspot is wonderful!!!
The most important question to ask RT is "please cite the fundamental rights of an Indian".

Reema said...

Oh btw I use this id to comment on blogspot but i can be found at
http://opinionsandexpressions.wordpress.com

Kislay said...

Ordinarily I do not credit the Brits with doing anything good , but I must say this grudgingly, that India should be grateful for the English Language . Most importantly , it has become the de-facto common language for the educated . If a gujerati and a tamil both speak english , I guess they will stay away from linguistic chauvinism .

Indian Home Maker said...

@Reema Democracy and Fundamental rights are being challenged by common citizens - we seem to not know what we are talking about, Indians are heard saying we are Punjabis, Gujratis, Marathis before we are Indians. Do they realise what that means ....and where that takes us?

Indian Home Maker said...

@Kislay Yes! Imagine how bloggers from all over the country can communicate, thanks to English.
And it also brought the much maligned Western Open mindedness to us.

Vikram said...

I understand your opposition to Raj Thackeray, but I have to disagree that everyone in this country wants to be 'cosmopolitan'. Do you have conclusive evidence for this ? Just like MNS people dont have right to shove their ideology down our throats we dont have the right to think for the masses.

You and I maybe comfortable being cosmopolitan with a million eastern/western indulgences at our disposal, but for the average Marathi manoos his/her language means a lot more. It is their identity. And we have no right to overlook or overwhelm it.

Yes Bihar belongs to Biharis, Bengal belongs to Bengalis etc. You cant overturn centuries of cultural and linguistic development with a whiff of 'India belongs to Indians'.

Vikram said...

One more thing, you said, "It's Cosmopolitan cities, and not local cultures that show us the way to create an open minded (and open -hearted) civilization."

Really ? Did cosmopolitan cities welcome the Parsis to India ? Has multi-religious Kerala always been a cosmopolitan city ? Is the Indo-Islamic culture of Lucknow not a local culture ?

So keep an open mind about moving to Maharashtra and making a living, but not about giving railway papers in Marathi ? Why do North Indians respect French/Spanish more than Marathi/Tamil, I dont get it ?

Mampi said...

Loved this write up. Shameful that we are sharing space with the likes of these narrow minded leaders who bother to defend imbeciles like Mr Thakre. The world goes forth and further to a global village and he is trying to dig a well and fall into it for the rest of his life. I would say that his efforts are just to hog the limelight-all for the wrong reasons. You are right about the cosmopolitan culture. Without adopting any of its open-ness and positive aspects, these fellows of a fanatic kind are out to spoil the 'unity in diversity' we have been teaching our kids. But then IHM, Raj would do what he saw his elders doing. Shame ! and Shame on Praful uncle !

Indian Home Maker said...

@Vikram Cosmopolitan culture does not mean we forget our individual languages, festivals, foods etc. It means loads of sharing, joining in and celebrating of festivals together. For instances Holi in many Housing Societies is celebrated at a common place, everything from Bhang, colours, beer, biryani and music is provided with voluntary contribution, it's twice as much fun, but it is not a typical Holi in the sense that there is no separate Holi for women, everybody dances to Punjabi tunes and popular Marathi songs (remixes and bollywood hits included), same thing happens in Navratri and Ganesh-Chaturthi, or Janam-Ashthmi, I am yet to see someone object to it.
What I don't feel good about is political presence in these celebrations. You should read Mavin's post on this.
Mumbai was a happy and peaceful and a very safe (is still safe)until first BJP in 1992-93 and then now Raj Thakre instigated hatred. The culture has thrived on this celebration of diversity. The Mumbai example and the spirit is worth emulating.
I read on a blog somewhere how Shivaji is no longer a 'role model', but just a statue and a hero, I agree. I admire both Jeeja Bai and Shivaji, immensely, and wish their values and not self interest seeking politicians' values save this state and this Nation.

Ajit said...

@IHM,
What will happen to the goons of RAJ if Mumbai gets declared a union territory.....
That scenario should be interesting....

Chirag said...

Hey IHM,

Language and culture are such petty issues for blood shed, aren't they. I mean come on. Language is just verbal symbols to communicate, why should it matter if my sound is different than yours? I am fine with language as long as it include English and I can make something of it LOL. I understand Tamil, Telgu, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, Guju, Hindi, and some English now go figure if am I a North Indian or South Indian.

Some how and I don't care how English has become our Father Tongue(Regional language being Mother tongue :))Lets live with it.

Pinku said...

Does it matter...the comparision with marketing was wonderful...and yes am aware of the Senior Thakrey's tirade against Gujaratis and also south Indians...the reason I asked the question is those people still constitute a large number of the population of Mumbai...so why are only the Biharis and Up bhaiyas targetted??

Is it cause the former have money power? which the latter lack? or is there any other reason?

Indian Home Maker said...

@Ajit Although it does seem like a sensible thing to do, because I agree with 'does it matter''s comment above:
'And the roots of this remain in the violent Samyukta Maharashtra movement. That movement however was condoned by the Indian public mainly because the Gujarati community was (then at least) a laid-back, non-violent community. But it has set the roots for what we are seeing today.' Salman Rushdie in 'Midnight's Children' also touched upon this issue ... Chandigrah and Mumbai have this in common.
BUT Ajit it is extremely unlikely to happen. Mumbai will benefit from being made a Union Territory, like Delhi. The residents will live in peace. But I know a lot of people will disagree with this.

Does it matter said...

@ IHM,
Sorry for running a parallel dialogue on yr blog :)

@ Pinku
"those people still constitute a large number of the population of Mumbai"
But you answered it yourself. More people = more votes. These are also folks who are on the voter list. And a few of them might even be active in the political arena. So you cannot risk alienating them.

When you go after the taxi/ auto drivers, or candidates for the RRB exam, they are
(i) more likely to be not on the voting list
(ii) they also have little say in the political circus, and
(iii) are generally soft targets.

Thankfully, I **AM** on the voter list (i), because (ii) and (iii) apply to me as well !!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Chirag ENGLISH is the price we paid for our lack of unity. We can not afford to make it an ego issue, we must make the best of it. I think we are making the best of it :) Right now, while blogging in English too :)
If it wasn't for English, both the language and the Rule; Gandhi; Patel and Nehru (and many others)- we'd still be many princely states constantly warring against each other...we seem to still be doing that despite a common language and constitution :(

Indian Home Maker said...

@Does it matter Your informed comments are a blessing. Thank You!

Nita said...

I saw the interview and thought Praful Patel was balanced. He doesn't even say that migrants to Mumbai need to speak Marathi, he just says respect it! Why should Karan Thapar question that? Surely one needs to respect the local language?
I am surprised that you feel that disrespect towards marathi culture and marathi language is okay. I am sure you didn't mean that. In Mumbai disrespect of marathi is common, and I live here so I know. I have a post on my blog on this issue which has more than 2000 comments and if you have time one day you should go through that.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Nita I spoke of MUTUAL respect. Seeing the 'anti-outsider' sentiment rising in Maharashtra, Praful Patel, since he was speaking on behalf of Maharashtra and the ruling government, should have reassured the 'outsiders' that their lives and safety would not be at risk if some MNS worker decided they were not respecting the local culture.

The issue was whether Raj Thakre was justified in threatening the city dwellers, and the correct answer should have been 'NO'. The same rule that applies to Bajrang Dal and SP etc. And I know (from your blog) that you condemn violence. Language here has become an excuse to threaten and even kill.

Raj Thakre's belligerent hate speeches have created a combustible environment, no different from what Bajrang Dal did in Orissa. I think the ruling government should have simply assured all citizens that they would not be harmed. Do you think the taxi drivers who are attacked were caught (Moral Police in Saudi Arabia/Iran style) 'disrespecting the local language or culture'? Doesn't this give unlimited power to MNS workers to attack or bully anyone they please? It does. I wrote a post on this, here, http://lifeofanindianhomemaker.blogspot.com/2008/06/look-what-raj-thakre-has-done.html

No I do not think disrespect for ANY language or culture is okay. Would you NOT like Marathi to be respected in USA or Bihar? The Marathi Manoos who lives there has the same right to respect for their language as those here. Same rule applies to all other languages everywhere. That is what I meant by mutual respect.

Imp's Mom said...

congrats on the 100 post!

I'm really proud to be Indian, simply because its made up of so many different cultures, traditions and languages. The one binding factor being Indian. And now that seems to be at risk.

Why is it so difficult to live as humans? What does it matter if your immediate neighbor is of a diff religion/creed, language or culture...to me that would be exciting, getting to know and being a part of diff cultures...

why is it so difficult to respect one another?

Indian Home Maker said...

@Imp's Mom It wouldn't be difficult at all, if it wasn't for our various politicians.
But we are tough. Haven't we always gone back to living peacefully again :)

Nita said...

But Patel condemned the MNS violence, he said it was not justified. I heard him say that. He even said that he is against the jingoism of marathi signboards and all that, he just said marathi should be respected. Nowhere did he say that marathi people disrespecting biharis or upites was okay.But yes he did say that if the needs of the local people are not taken into account, they will take the law into their own hands, but he did not say it was right. That is what I got from the interview. In fact I thought his views were moderate.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Nita By saying stuff along the lines of /they will take the law into their own hands/ he gave the likes of Lalu Yadav and Amar Singh a chance to come to the North Indians' rescue. I feel he should have unequivocally and frankly condemned all the hate and fear creating politics. He could have made some statements about living harmoniously, finding legal solutions, about saying no to 'violence in politics'.

1conoclast said...

IHM...

Indeed praful is quite a disappointment, more so because he seemed educated & urbane. I too touched upon it in my latest post.
Congratulations on the 100th post!

pinku...

GOOD questions. There has to be a way to haul thakre-arse to "We the People" and ask him these questions. Would love to see him squirm & fidget & blabber & falter. Maybe a Marathi version of the show that we can showcase to the whole state! Expose the ********!!!

does it matter...

Can I tell you HOW please I am to make your aquaintance? You have provided proof to what I have always believed! Come over to the Mutiny. We need people like you there!
The other good news is that the link you gave still works!!!

nita...

One question for you & praful. What EXACTLY do you mean when you say that? Who in Bombay disrespects Marathi culture? What IS this absurd claim?

IHM again...

Your blog is soon becoming my favourite forum. I should spend more time here with like minded people instead of arguing with right-wing commenters on the Mutiny. You're like a rare blogging soul mate!

odzer said...

@ Indianhomemaker : Congratulations for 100! I will just say that local culture must be respect. People can move anywhere they want to as long as they want to integrate. As for that man in Bombay he is just a Nazi.

How do we know said...

aah! In the beginning, there was one Raj Thackrey.. now, we all seem to be going down the same track.. why is the guy getting so much publicity anyway? One way or another.. why cant we just ignore him.. that is the last thing that he wants, and the best way for us to NOT support him.

Trailblazer said...

Very very well written. Interesting read. I saw the interview with Patel. And he seemed extremely confused about what he intended to say.

ameyawaghmare said...

I can't put in words how much I am in agreement about your point no.3! That's what something which differentiates the West and India. I neve rheard of the West having such riots, or extreme violence that frequently.
Regarding 2) and 1) I don't think Prafull Patel speaks about separating states as Punjabis in Punjab or so. There are many Muslim and non-Marathi in MNS. Read http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-muslim-face-behind-raj-thackerays-antioutsider-campaign/314335/
I, as a liberal Marathi do not support Raj, but I do support existence of the local cultures, irrespective of the place. I hate when people try to abuse the Marathi community as a whole for what is Raj doing. Sorry, but Anti-Maharashtrianism is not cosmopolitanism. It only reflects some uneducated tribal villager native acting cosmopolitan. How so ever globalization will happen, the need for glocalization will also spring up. Observed how ethnic dresses are now coming into malls for sale?
If the law enacted in 1972 for reservation of local workforce in UNSKILLED LABOUR ONLY was to be implemented properly, we would not have faced such cheap problems and issues. IT would have given rise to healthy competition among states for development, and not only the West ( Gujarat/ MH ).
http://www.ameyawaghmare.wordpress.com

Indian Home Maker said...

@Vikram //Why do North Indians respect French/Spanish more than Marathi/Tamil, I dont get it ?//

What made you say that? Do you believe in this propaganda that North Indians don't respect the local culture? I heard the same lines during the 1984 riots in Delhi. Suddenly everybody was ready to kill because Sardars were 'aggressive and arrogant' etc.

Does this also mean that a marathi manoos who MNS forbids from celebrating Valentine's day in Maharashtra, should compulsorily start celebrating it when they go to America to avoid showing disrespect to the culture there? (I have nothing against it, just using it as an example) AND should they stop celebrating their own festivals there? I don't see anything wrong with joining in and celebrating each others cultures. And I have not met any Marathi locals who feel their culture is significantly different from the rest of India's.
About language, how do you expect a poor taxi wala or milk man to learn a new language when he is hardly able to feed his family? Is using the only language he knows disrespectful to the local language? And all this disrespect started only after MNS started their campaign?

But above all this, our constitution allows all citizens to work and settle anywhere in India.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Odzer //People can move anywhere they want to as long as they want to integrate.//
But how is a poor migrant worker supposed to integrate? They barely manage to feed themselves. I really don't think there is any problem with North Indians, it is just vote politics.

Tell me, if they do learn the language and start, as you say, integrating, then our infrastructure problems (MNS's another complaint against them) will disappear?

odzer said...

@ indianhomemaker : First of all I do not think Bihar/UP are North India. I do not know why the media thinks Bihar is in North India!!! Secondly poor or rich is not the question here. I doubt if rich people would have the time to take Marathi or Punjabi classes either between board meetings and kitty parties. The issue is that if you leave your home you need to put in EXTRA effort and lie low. I know it does not sound very nice but that is how it is. If you want it nice and easy, just stay back home. Economic migrants have to pay a price unfortunately, there is no such thing as "free lunch".

Does it matter said...

@ 1conoclast
Thank you; the feeling is absolutely mutual.. and yes, re the mutiny, some day, some day for sure.

@ Krishna & 1conoclast

Both of your comments & views have been extremely compelling - and it reinforces the fact that a good orator can swing the opinions of people. Some of our politicians use it for their advantage, and hopefully, bloggers can use it to influence mass opinion, and the nation will be thankful to both of you for that!

my space said...

IHM--mubarakaan..century maar lee..keep the good work going..
As for Raj T..maan na padega bande ne sahi nass dabochi hain phokat ki publicity ke liye..When will we rise above communalism, castesism?

Mama - Mia said...

isn't it a pity that we consiser oursleves pinnacles of evolution and still religion, caste and language needs to be discussed and debated over?!

i remember when i was a kid one of my friends asked me why dont i speak as much marathi? am i not proud of my mother tongue?

i simply said that the purpose of language is to communicate. as long as what i have said i understood, that is my language!

and then i went on and asked him about his reading in marathi and he couldnt name anything except his texts perhaps where as i had devoured all the books we had at home!

int it decency to speak in a langugae understood by all when in mixed group? we dont even have that much decency most of the times...

i often see people hesitate when i tell them my son's name is Kabir. and i feel terrible...

great post like always, IHM!

cheers!

abha

Nita said...

IHM, my mouth fell open when you said that disrespecting of Marathi is propaganda. If you think this, then really there is no meeting ground here. I don't know if you have read my post on the Language Issue, where hundreds of commentators have given their views. Also there is the reality of living in Mumbai, for a Maharashtrian. I have talked to hundreds of local people about this as well, over the past few years and have written on it as well.
Anyway, it is not necessary that you read my post, or talk to local Mumbaikars. If you have made up your mind what is the point.
As for Patel, I am afraid I do not agree with you at all. He did not incite violence in any way. He did condemn the violence. There is no doubt in my mind about that. I do not see what is wrong in saying that there are real problems in Mumbai, problems that need to be addressed. If we all start denying that problems exist it is a sad day for our country.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Nita There are times we are just not able to agree on some issues :) I am a regular reader of your blog (including the beautiful post on Maharashtra today, which I really loved)... and on most issues I not only agree with you, I have also linked many of your well researched, objectively written posts, to make a stronger statement, to my posts on similar issues!!

I think MNS workers use 'disrespect for local language' as an excuse to get violent. I feel strongly about violence against civilians and feel no excuse can justify such violence. I also think Patel should have talked about living in harmony, and sorting problems through legal, peaceful methods.

And I know you agree with this one, so we do have something in common :)

1conoclast said...

nita...

You didn't answer my question.

Nor did you comment on the link that does it matter posted.

If we have your views on both, maybe we'll be able to see a point of view that we've missed.

Can you please?

Indian Home Maker said...

@ameyawaghmare
//I, as a liberal Marathi do not support Raj,//
Welcome :) It is a pleasure to meet liberal and tolerant citizens, we are the hope of this Democracy. I feel the same way! Proud of you :)

//but I do support existence of the local cultures, irrespective of the place.//
Perfectly fine, but we mustn't let the Moral and Culture Police start killing people claiming they are not respecting the culture enough ... this should not become a reason or excuse for violence by criminal elements in the society.

//I hate when people try to abuse the Marathi community as a whole for what is Raj doing.//
I hate generalisations too. One Muslim terrorist, one Hindu Activist, one MNS workers NEVER makes the whole community violent. And anybody who generalises like this is sadly mistaken.

// Sorry, but Anti-Maharashtrianism is not cosmopolitanism.//
You are right again, because, Cosmopolitanism is harmonious intermingling of cultures, give and take , mutual respect, live and let live. It is not against any culture or region, it is for harmony for all.

//It only reflects some uneducated tribal villager native acting cosmopolitan.//
Even 'uneducated tribals' would prefer to live peacefully, if our politicians let them.

//How so ever globalization will happen, the need for glocalization will also spring up. Observed how ethnic dresses are now coming into malls for sale?//
Sounds nice. Everybody should wear, read, learn, watch, play, buy etc what they prefer, why not? ... I totally support individual freedom, that is what our Democracy is about :)

//If the law enacted in 1972 for reservation of local workforce in UNSKILLED LABOUR ONLY was to be implemented properly, we would not have faced such cheap problems and issues. IT would have given rise to healthy competition among states for development, and not only the West ( Gujarat/ MH ).
http://www.ameyawaghmare.wordpress.com//
I am sure we can find legal, fair and peaceful solutions to all such problems. Like Obama said yesterday, "Yes, we can!"

Please do visit again :)

ameyawaghmare said...

People not respecting the local culture should be an excuse to beat up people. True! I dont think the 30+ Biharis killed in Manipur were disrespecting the local culture, or those beaten up in Mumbai, or the Bihar protests where people are ruining public property.
'Uneducated tribals' would prefer to live in peace if our politicians allowed? The Talibanis, or the Gujjars, or Naxalites from Vidarbha( in MH), LTTE militants, illegal Pakistani residents, are all uneducated tribals. Are they preferring to live peacefully? I used the word 'uneducated tribal' with a negative implication as it's generally used that way.
And sure, for all round development its time people from Bihar push the politicians there for better education and development. The verbal attacks on Biharis by Raj, Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik, Sheila Dixit in Delhi, and teh Manipur/ Assam resentment, has all made people there aware to revolt. Hope, petty politics at places like Bihar, or at other places which are still underdeveloped like Kerala, NOrth-East get their own pie!
And yeah, Obama has convinced poeple of change. I am sure, he is the one who can bring many good things in US as well as the world! Especially research in energy technology is one we all should hope.

Indian Home Maker said...

@ameyawaghmare What I meant was that most people left to themselves prefer to live in peace, but you are right, some don't :(

But still I am sure our Constitution and our Democratic values will take us forward towards a happier society.