Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Great Indian (read Marathi) Political Tamasha

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen! Yes I am back. You would be wondering what had happened to me. Nothing really. That's right - nothing much was happening which would have inspired me to write. Well I did come to the UK, but then that feeling is very personal and there was no point writing that down. But then, while I was in a bliss being back home after four months and eager to get together with my mates, my brothers during Yash's wedding, one Mr. Raj Thackrey decided that he had had enough time away from the public attention and needed to do something desperately to make people realize that he is still part of the political foray in Maharashtra; and what better way to do it than pick the agenda that his mentor, his hero (read Bal Thackrey) has persued since the inception of his political party.

Much has been said and written about what had transpired, and I am not going to tread that path. However, I have been wondering since the day the news first appeared why Raj had to raise a finger at a certain Mr. Bachchan about his contribution to Maharashtra. Did he forget that Mr. Bachchan had migrated to Mumbai when Raj's mother used to change his dipers? Does being born in Mumbai make someone a better Mumbaite than someone who has lived a better part of his life in that city - or for that matter any city? Why has Mr. Bachchan have to prove to anyone that he has done more for Maharashtra than for UP? For that matter why doesn't Raj say what he has done for Mumbai and Maharashtra. I bet his list would only consist of damage to public property, loss of money for the industry and also loss of life. He has cost the state so much only in these few days that probably all his positive contributions (if any) would have been nullified. His only contribution to the state is a feeling of hatred and unrest. The self-proclaimed messiah of the 'Marathi Manus' has only misguided the innocent public.

I sincerely feel that Mr. Raj Thackrey cannot handle competition and that is why he takes shortcuts. He was the favourite of his mentor, and that is why he aspired to be the leader of Shiv Sena someday when his uncle would decide to hang his boots. But then Bala Saheb's son came to the fore and Bala Saheb decided to pass on the baton to Udhav. Rather than staying with the party and competing with Udhav for the party supremo's post, he chose the shortcut of making a separate party of his own. Political pundits have always said that parties are made and guided by ideologies. So, when the ideologies of MNS and Shiv Sena are the same - to represent and fight for the 'Marathi Manus' - why was the need of another party. The only reason why Raj needed a new party was becase he wanted to be a supremo of some party; after all there is no chance of coming second when you are the only one in the race. Now, in the game of political one-upmanship with Udhav, he again chose to take a shortcut - to attack migrants who have been working in Maharashtra for years now - to gain some publicity and popularity. Don't they say that no publicity is bad publicity? After all who would take up the road of winning the hearts of people by working at the grassroot level. It would take years for him to get to the throne that way and an impatient and ambitious person like Raj would not be able to wait for that long.

Thinking from Raj's point of view, doesn't Udhav have an unfair advantage of leading a party which has a very good setup and reach at the grassroot level, which was also because of Raj to a large extent while he was in Shiv Sena? So why am I calling him the villian if he is trying to find a quicker way of rising high in life? The answer is that there is nothing wrong in trying to prosper and rise higher in life. In fact that is precisely my argument for migrants. My only problem is that he is trying to rise by steping on the lives of innocent and poor people - both migrants as well as the aborigines. The country and the law of the land empowers every individual to travel freely and earn a living in any part of the country. Opportunities are like the cubes of sugar to which one and all get attracted like flies. For some that opportunity could be the thrown of a state or the country, for some it could be the opportunity of earning their daily bread and giving a decent life to their families. The Constitution of India empowers any citizen to choose a place where he wants to live, earn or even contest elections from (otherwise how could Sonia Gandhi contest elections from Bellary).

I agree that resources are limited and the ever increasing number of migrants is taxing them even more, but intimidating people by abusing them, beating them up, forcing them to leave the city is not the solution to the problem. But the question that needs to be asked is if we really want to solve the problem. We, the citizens, might but the politicians certainly don't. They are only interested in making issues out of problems and use them as agenda to achieve political gains. One problem less would mean one less issue to encash on and political parties cannot afford that. Petty party politics takes over the common good of the people. Governance for our leaders means to gain power power and do good for themselves than to use that power for the development of people and the country.

It is only because of this selfishness that one Raj Thackrey could hold the government at ransom and challenge them to arrest him. This is the only reason why government has not been able to check events like Nandigram and now Nashik. The miscreants have looted, damaged public property, killed innocent people and are still walking free. The leaders misguide the youth of today, incite people to fight against each other and still manage to breath in the free air. The governments and those that run them are spineless because retaining the chair is more important than using the position correctly. Every political party is playing to the gallery, to their vote banks.

Having said all this, let me not only talk about the problem, but also try and analyse what is the solution. As I said earlier, sending migrants back to their home states in a rush is not going to solve the problem. On the contrary, it would cause fresh problems, as has happened in Nashik with around 40% of the mill workers not reporting for duty, mill owners and even companies like Mahindra and Mahindra, Mico and Glaxo Smithkline have incurred heavy loses. We would all agree that major cities are already burdened with their current population and something has to be done to stop this influx of migrants into the cities from various parts of the country. But this will not happen overnight. There needs to be a sustained effort from the government, the industries and the public to resolve this issue. The government, on its part, will have to provide the necessary infrastructure and security. The industry will have to show an inclination to set up base in the lesser known areas. On the part of the public, once the former two are taken care of this is not going to be a problem. A person decides to migrate only when he does not get proper means of livelihood in a place where he has grown up. No body wants to stay away from home, parents, family, but the quest for a better livelihood takes them thousands of miles away from home. So if they are given a better life close to home or at home at least, they would never migrate.

My prayers go out to those who have incurred personal losses in this political harakiri and to the nation so that it's citizens come to senses, or else people like me, who were born and brought up in Bihar, educated in Jharkhand and West Bengal, worked in Maharashtra, whose father (an IOCL employee) is currently posted in Haryana and who himself is posted in the UK, will have no where to go in his own country, the country which he calls his motherland.




Varun said...

May all your prayers be answered. I agree with everything you have written. The solution you've talked about is the best one no doubt but with the government changing so frequently I don't see that happening... Best solution would be to arrest all these idiots and keep them locked forever.

Akshat Jain said...

Well said...this guy wants to collect all marathi voters... and kickout the non-voter...

May be someday Bihari guys should beat up some marathi manus(living in Bihar)...then they will realize what they are asking for!

Anonymous said...

Well written...I was just thinking the same what Varun had mentioned...

Ashwini said...

Quite an emphatic blog. I agree with you for once.

Chandan said...

When the issue first came to the fore, even I had the same opinion. But then the fact strikes you that going to jail for a cause, though however concocted. Even I was wondering why the government is so spineless. It could have easily thrown the nuisance creators behind bars and deployed paramilitary forces for a week or so. But then they did not want to make a hero out of him and military does not go hand in hand with democracy.

Marathis beating Biharis and Biharis beating Marathis - the cycle will go on. That is exactly what people like Raj want. Don't you think so? Probably the irony of the whole fracas was that those fighting for the Marathis brought about the death of a Marathi young man. This only strengthens the point that no one is ging to gain from this.

I would have loved to see your name there. If nothing, it helps me to relate with you better.

That comment from you was really helpful. As I had told you earlier, I donot hold ire towards any community. I tried to be non-biased in my writing, and I am happy that I have been able to achieve it.

Thanks for your feedback! Keep them coming.