The Importance of Raj Thackeray
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.