The Importance of Raj Thackeray

November 11, 2009
By

Ram Kadam, the mustachioed warrior out to protect Marathi Asmita assaulted Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi while the latter was taking his oath as member of the Maharashtra assembly. The reason was that Azmi refused to pay any heed to the MNS warning to all MLAs to take their oaths in Marathi, and proceeded in Hindi. (Watch Video)

(This same Ram Kadam had been arrested by the police a month ago during the assembly elections for fighting with them. Serves us right for electing goons into our assemblies.)

Later, four of the 13 MNS MLAs including Kadam were suspended from the assembly for four years, a move that critics say should have been stricter in the form of an expulsion. Now essentially their constituencies are going to be unrepresented for four years. Even after the suspension these people remain unrepentant and look at themselves are heroes out to protect their Maratha motherland.

Now people are holding Raj Thackeray responsible for all the nationalistic chauvinism being propagated by his party. I get the feeling that Raj Thackeray is merely showing us a mirror.

Raj Thackeray is in a sense a projection of India’s worst case scenario. Of an India gone all wrong in narrow minded regional glory. Of an India divided by language, religion, region, caste, gender, and what have you.

Raj Thackeray is in a sense a projection of India’s worst case scenario.

Raj Thackeray isn’t the only one who thinks the way he does. Obviously he has support from the people, or he wouldn’t get their votes into the assembly. And therein lies the problem. He is merely giving form to a very dangerous form of nationalism. Already, there is the much talked about north south divide, where the people from the southern states aren’t particularly fond of north indians, and the north Indians reciprocate the feeling through typecast terms and expressions. madrasi, anyone? Message boards on news sites provide ample examples of this attitude.

Following the MNS incidents, go to any related news item and the comments sections are filled by Marathi-non Marathi jibes at each other. bhaiyya references abound. As do the counter examples of how NSG commandos from the north helped save Mumbai during the 26/11 drama. Examples  here, here, and here. The dislike for outsiders suddenly seems quite real. I have lived in Mumbai earlier and found it to be an amazing city, but I probably wouldn’t want to work in the current Mumbai.

What to speak of a rather disgusting  and very vile (and  very badly spelt. What’s with the haters always messing up the grammar?) piece of hate mail that i received following a recent piece on Raj Thackeray.

Deny as much as we wish to, the MNS movement seems to be gaining ground. Karan Johar. Jaya Bachchan. Hansal Mehta. Other lesser mortals before them who had to eat their words to gain favor with the Senapati are all cases in point.

The big problem is that this sort of nationalistic fervor may be good in the short term for these people’s jingoistic ambitions, but it will only break up the country. People from UP will pull out of Maharashtra, and find work elsewhere. MNS will ride on a public wave, win the next elections, and it will be Jai Maratha all over the place. Yesterday there was some sort of protest rally by the Samajwadi Party in Noida. I am pretty sure i heard slogans against Thackeray.  Jai Maratha is fine. But what about Jai Hind? Aren’t we supposed to be one nation? Can Maharashtra live in isolation? Can any state live in isolation?

Jai Maratha is fine. But what about Jai Hind?

This animosity would eventually spread to other states. Punjabis will start beating up people from Kerala. Tamils will beat up people from Orissa. And we complain about racist attacks in Australia? First let’s get our house in order.

Remember those reports about China proposing to split up India into numerous smaller states. Maybe they wont have to do anything there. We will take care of it ourselves.

Maybe THIS is the Chinese plan to split up India into little pieces.

32 Responses to “ The Importance of Raj Thackeray ”

  1. Munish on November 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Very well said. We never stop fighting among ourselves. Thats what Britishers did… divide and rule and now we are doing it ourselves… dividing ourselves and in the process helping others to rule us…

  2. amreekandesi on November 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    @Munish – Thanks. Welcome to Amreekandesi!

    Yes, this has long been an Indian problem. We spend too much time fighting among ourselves to focus on the more important things in life.

  3. uberVU - social comments on November 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by munishlinks: The Importance of Raj Thackeray http://j.mp/pnW5Q

  4. Poonam on November 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I am not surprised you already got hate mails. My favorite lines:

    “Jai Maratha is fine. But what about Jai Hind?

    This animosity would eventually spread to other states. Punjabis will start beating up people from Kerala. Tamils will beat up people from Orissa. And we complain about racist attacks in Australia? First let’s get our house in order.”

    Says it all. Hope sense prevails.

  5. amreekandesi on November 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    @Poonam – Ah. So you mean i should expect some more!

  6. indianhomemaker on November 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Very well written. I also agree that we are only being shown a mirror. We will get the kind of governance(?) we deserve. But will all ‘outsiders’ be able to walk out of Maharashtra? What I do know for sure is that a far lesser number of students have taken admission this year even in professional colleges. Maybe that is what an average voter here wanted?

  7. Harshit on November 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Superb post. Almost everybody thrashes Raj in their blogs but this was a deep analysis. Thanks. Esp for the Hansal Mehta part. Didn’t know it. Read it as part of Blog.

  8. Anonymous on November 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Punjabis will not beat people from Kerela, please rest assured.

  9. Mumbaikar on November 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm

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  10. Mihir Modi on November 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Brilliantly written.

    Yes, the divide exists and yes, it needs to be dealt with. But at the same time, it is necessary to deal with the ‘face’ of it, in this case Raj saahib.

  11. rajan on November 11, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    People from UP will pull out of Maharashtra, and find work elsewhere

    why dont they simply do this instead of threatening that they will leave ..?
    Let them leave and strive towards making UP a better state than the present mess it is now. Let them make marathis want to come to UP …

  12. Smitha on November 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Superb post! Raj T is indeed a mirror! The fact that he has supporters just goes to show how deep-rooted our fear of ‘outsiders’ is. We certainly need to set our own house right. The nation before the state.

    And to me, a total nomad – I wonder which state is mine? – it makes one wonder how different is this from ethnic cleansing, if we start talking of original inhabitants and ‘outsiders’!

  13. Kavi on November 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Everybody is hand in glove. Including the congress ! Well, this is going the wrong route. And i wonder how much deeper into the mess, before we start turning around. I hope we will. I hope we will.

  14. Gaurav on November 12, 2009 at 12:08 am

    plz visit youtube and see all speech, video, press conference of Raj Thackeray bcoz these hindi channel are never showing and iam sure all your doubt,misunderstanding will be clear

  15. Sid on November 12, 2009 at 1:30 am

    The problem with your post is that you indulge in vague generalizations. It’s very easy to say, let’s set aside all our differences and be one happy united nation – but do you have any understanding of the ground realities? The unity of India depends on all Languages and States being granted equal status. But is that the case? For long the national media (Delhi-Mumbai centric) has had an almost condescending attitude towards Non-Hindi speaking Indians. And, yes, ignorant people continue to claim that “Hindi” is the National Language when it is not. The Constitution outlines the official Languages of the country, and Hindi is merely the Language of the Central Govt (along with English). To start with, that was a bad idea, but it was pushed through because of the dominance of Cow Belt politicians.

    People should remember that India is merely an experiment at Unity in Diversity. There have been ups and downs since 1947, but nothing should be taken for granted. We need to ask ourselves if the special status granted to Hindi is the problem? Given that people will be beaten up for speaking in Hindi, in Assam, AP, Kerala, Karnataka, TN, Maharashtra, North East etc. Hindi is just another language, but the condescending attitude of people from the cow belt, has led to the language being hated in many parts of India.

  16. shaan on November 12, 2009 at 4:13 am

    “Tamils will beat up people from Orissa.”

    I can assure you that this will NEVER happen. You know why? Not because Tamils are peaceful souls, but because most of the people who live in TN including north Indians speak Tamil. Why they speak Tamil? Not because they love the language, but because the locals don’t know Hindi. Why north Indians in Maharashtra don’t speak Marathi? Because the locals speak Hindi and there is no need for north Indians to learn Marathi. It means that any state that fails to give prime importance to its own language and not to Hindi will have these problems and tensions.

  17. Philip on November 12, 2009 at 5:41 am

    what else did we expect from chauvinists like the Thuggerays. Its in their name itself. I simply cant believe that there could be people who would sympathise with their narrow and divisive agenda.

    But i think its a fad and would die down. Such small cartoon characters keep spouting up in each city of ours, but its most prevalent in Bombay. Maybe the people of Maharashtra deserve them.

    No wonder i dont even feel sympathetic to them. Morons voted morons to power and now they are getting it back with interest.

  18. Vamsi on November 12, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I dont support the violence perpetuated by MNS, but Azmi should have a little more sense, the official language of the state state should have been the language he takes oath in. Do you see any person taking oath in Tamil or Telugu in UP or Bihar. He was at mistake also. Some years back, a MLA in AP took oath in English and people started wondering if this person deserves to be representing people speaking Telugu

  19. keshav on November 12, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Hi,
    A very good article. So real culprit is not Raj Thackrey but we people who,when go out for work,first look for a house where people speaking their own language stay. Its we who go to bangalore,chennai and crib about wada sambar. Its the south indians who go to pune,mumbai,delhi, and crib about aalu in everything.This list can go long. Hope the people who read it take something from it.

  20. spark on November 12, 2009 at 10:09 am

    #14, #15 Are perfect example of what kind of people vote for MNS, a result constricted world view. So Tamils deserve what they get in Sri Lanka and Malaysia, why don’t they “integrate” and “respect” the local culture. So Sikhs who “disrespect” the local culture by not dressing as other people deserve to be beaten up? In fact in that sense I would say that the people of UP have done quite well for themselves in spite of large population living in Caribbean and Holland they seem to be getting along pretty well with “locals”.

  21. Kiran on November 12, 2009 at 10:20 am

    You’ve been awarded at http://kirantarun.com/2009/11/11/and-the-award-goes-to/…! Claim your loot :)

  22. Sachin on November 12, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Hello Raj,
    I am Marathi manus too. I think fight was personal and nothing to do with Marathi manus. Please fight on points which will not do violation of low ??? order, Abu has upper hand as he is trying t o prove that he was acting within the low and constitutional boundary. I feel “Shakti peksha yukti mothi” you need to play chess by considering Marathi manus who is well educated now. Keep it up.

    I do understand this will force every state to take primary responsibility of native people, I feel very funny when Mr. Amar singh who is all the time with Bollywood, must take some time out for native people and do something for local development in place of giving out provocative comments. People of Bihar should understand importance of properly elected leader. I feel Amar singh and Abu Azmi is just creating more problems for local North indian people in mumbai.

    -Sachin

  23. ramesh on November 12, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    if we had an indian onion one of their articles could be the uncovering of the terrible secret that raj in fact is chinese in disguise and that he reports directly to hu jintao

  24. Sam on November 13, 2009 at 6:32 am

    ‘All of India’s languages have equal status’. Its only north indians or Hindi-wallahs who think that only hindi is the national language when its not. India is a union which is multi-linguistic and multi-cultural. In short India was created when different countries having there own Kings merged to form what we call today India. British India was created by merging different countries Sikh Empire, Maratha Empire, Mugal empire, Bengal etc and modern day india after 1947 by merging independent countries like kashmir, nizam hyderabad, sikkim, tripura, junagadh etc. India is just like Europe different languages and cultures but one currency and this is recent.
    If ur in maharashta, tamil nadu, uttar pradesh, assam or any state for more than 20 years and u want to be MLA and represent that state and u still dont want to learn there language then many are going to be angry. Azmi did it to get support of north indian community from his constituency bhiwandi who still believe they r in north india and MNS slapped him to get support from maharashtrians because many dislike the chauvinism of hindi-wallahs and the way them come and live in slums illegaly. North indians should develop there backward hindi states which will help Union of India grow which will reduce mass migration and all problems we see today instead of been bias and blaming people from west and south.

  25. Elroy on November 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I have never seen such kind of tactics employed in any civil society. Even in the UAE where I currently live all sorts of incentives are given to the local population to come up in life, irrespective of what Emirate they come from.

    That’s how in the span of one generation so much has been achieved here, whereas we
    with our rich ancient heritage and civilisation of 1000years plus are reverting back to the barbaric age.

    Migration is a healthy issue; as long as it is in India.

  26. amlistening on November 15, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I just saw a group on facebook with name ” I dont like/support Raj Thackaray Politics”…

  27. Reema on November 24, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    The situation is going to deteriorate further and something very bad will happen one day..I tell u!

  28. Raj on November 26, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Idiot! Its not Jai Maratha, Its Jai Maharashtra….get your facts right and your reading the newspaper and following the news abilities. Nobody here said outsiders are not welcome, the whole noice is about respect the local language and dont flaunt your ignorance of Marathi, which the anti social Abu Azmi did.

  29. Akshay on December 12, 2009 at 1:04 am

    ***”Raj Thackeray isn’t the only one who thinks the way he does. Obviously he has support from the people, or he wouldn’t get their votes into the assembly. And therein lies the problem.”

    Yes. And it’s for a reason. Marathi speaking Maharashtrians are feeling resentful. Chetan Bhagat makes very interesting observations about the whole MNS fracas here.

    ***”Later, four of the 13 MNS MLAs including Kadam were suspended from the assembly for four years, a move that critics say should have been stricter in the form of an expulsion.”

    Ya obviously, because the 4 constituencies they were elected from will go unrepresented in the Assembly for 4 years. Ultimately it’s the people of these constituencies who are going to suffer. Expulsion, and then by-elections in those constituencies would have been a lot more appropriate, IMO.

    **”Aren’t we supposed to be one nation? Can Maharashtra live in isolation? Can any state live in isolation?”

    Actually no, the constitution defines India as a Union of States. We’re one big continent knocked together as a nation.

    ***”Already, there is the much talked about north south divide, where the people from the southern states aren’t particularly fond of north indians, and the north Indians reciprocate the feeling through typecast terms and expressions. madrasi, anyone? ”

    Well that sort of animosity is because of the insular attitude of a few Northies. And that in part is also the cause of the MNS’ rising popularity. See every state in India has a rich culture, and the attitude of Hindi-speaking people and their attempts to force Hindi down the throats of non-Hindi speakers didn’t go down too well. I wouldn’t generalize, but I’ve experienced it myself. Many North Indians tend to be insular, and tend to stereotype us all the time. “Madrasi”, “Darkies”,etc.

    “Sid’s” comment puts it beautifully.

    My father’s UP driver here in Navi Mumbai always refers to native Agris as “Ghatis”, a very derogatory term. I reprimand him, but he doesn’t listen. So yeah, Marathis should treat outsiders properly, but how about outsiders giving Marathis some respect as well?

    Interestingly enough, my relatives in tamil nadu are becoming more “tolerant” towards Hindi, and it’s because of Bollywood! Pop culture has done what Indira Gandhi couldn’t!

    ***”People from UP will pull out of Maharashtra”
    Don’t see that happening. Indians all over the world-be it the US, Canada,Australia -complain about racism, about missing India, and the “depraved” Western society. But we don’t see people returning in droves, do we?
    Apply the same logic to North India(UP,Bihar) and Maharashtra. Better opportunities in Maharashtra, respect for talent, less corruption, etc.

    Maharashtra itself isn’t getting any better, though.

    ***”Punjabis will start beating up people from Kerala. Tamils will beat up people from Orissa”

    Lol, I don’t envision that kind of a scenario. People are too busy living their own lives, their own problems to worry about hating others. Even the MNS violence is only being perpetuated by a small fraction of the locals, who are by and large ignorant and a bit pissed off with Bhaiyyas. Such angry people are soft targets and get brainwashed by politicians like Thackeray into thinking it is outsiders who are the reason for their problems.

    ***”No wonder i dont even feel sympathetic to them. Morons voted morons to power and now they are getting it back with interest.”

    Yeah, and such patronizing statements are so intelligent, eh?

    It’s high time we stopped trying to be politically correct and tried to examine WHY such people get elected in the first place. But it’s much easier for us to call the voters a bunch of jingoistic pigs, isn’t it?

    Like d’you really think these people are going to call off their stoning campaigns if we call them “morons”?

    Like it or not, people feel inside. And it’s in the interests of all of us to try and examine the reasons why people resort to the brand of politics practised by ppl like Mayawati,or even Raj Thackeray FTM. It highlights certain miserable failures of the Union, and its citizens, things we’re too afraid to examine objectively, so it’s much easier to call the Naxals rabid islamists, BSP supporters low-IQ regressionists and MNS supporters “morons”.

    (something I’d tried to explain in that Gandhiji post a few months back, which led to me being called a mad delinquent by some.)

    Obviously the methods MNS wallahs use to fulfil their agenda are very condemnable, but Abu Azmi is no less a SOB than Thackeray. He’s the richest MLA in the assembly, yet his constituency is the most impoverished in the city, and it’s like the Garbage Capital of Mumbai. Power thefts, water thefts, polio, diarrhoea. You name it.

    Shivaji Nagar has an overall HDI of less than 0.4! Pathetic state of affairs. So he deserved the slap if u ask me, just the timing wasn’t right ;)

  30. Made in china on March 19, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Don’t see that happening. Indians all over the world-be it the US

  31. arunii on March 31, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    First bal thackery did it and now the raj thackery in mumbai. Only the people who think not for just their state but also for the country can save our homeland india. People should cast their vote against raj thackery type of people.

  32. Anonymous on April 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Why not blame the politicians from Bihar/UP who have created a perfect mess in their respective states forcing large number of people to flee their resources rich states in search of livelihood. These very politicians are now giving lectures on national integration(e.g. Lalus, Mulayams etc.) All the so-called outsiders speak Hindi or send their children (or are forced to)to local schools, why can’t the Hindi speaking people do the same when they go to non- Hindi states for work? This would remove much of the animosity between various linguistic groups in India. What Raj Thackeray is demanding in Maharashtra is not very different from what many states have been doing quietly for decades. Even though one may differ from his approach but the fact is that he has been gaining support as the locals have lost confidence in the state govt’s competance to protect their rights. General perception of the local politicians is that they are a bunch of self seeking sycophants serving their masters in Delhi.

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All content on this site is the personal opinion of the writer. It is in no way related to their employer or their official policies. Most of what is written here is in a satirical tone. If it hurts your sensibilities, I sincerely apologize.
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