Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Raj Thackeray: The great saviour of Marathi culture?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Finally Maharashtra Government took the step which many thought it would not dare to take and arrested MNS chief Raj Thackeray after his party workers vandalised Mumbai again. It took less than 24 hours for the state machinery to accept his open challenge and put him behind bars. The government's initial reluctance to arrest Raj was a result of its fear that it would create a political martyr out of him just ahead of the Parliament and Assembly elections.

The reason that leaders like Raj Thackeray can do such things and still get away with it is because the people idolise them to be 'Great Saviours of Culture'. Its true that when two cultures come close there is a lot of exchange between them. Does this have to be wrong Mr Raj? No Sir, protection of a culture and language lies at the grass root level with the families themselves. Protecting cultural values is the job of a society and not of political parties.

Many people might be surprised to know that most of the MNS leaders including their boss send their children to convent schools and not to the Marathi medium schools. Being a liberal myself I don't seen any wrong in that but when such individuals turn hypocrites in the name of culture it certainly raises many questions. Has he ever thought what if Marathis across the country are meted out the same treatment as the so called outsiders are having to suffer at the hands of his political goons.

Mumbai or Bombay as many would call it being the financial capital belongs to all Indian citizens as mush as it belongs to the Marathis. Its like a magnet which attracts people from all parts of the country who go there to make a living. The city's growth is a testimony to the equal efforts of the Marathis and the migrants. Can Raj claim that Mumbai would have been the same if the so called outsiders had not come and settled here.

Right from Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu we take pride in migrant bashing. We forget that the term migrant is very relative and it doesn't take too long to for an individual to leave his ones own state and become a migrant. The problem is I will call myself a 'Bengali Indian' rather than an 'Indian Bengali'. Its not just shifting of two words but changing our mentality which can make us a better nation. Taking pride in one's language, history and culture is good but that does not give us the right to be disrespectful towards any language or community.

Well the root cause of the linguistic divide goes back to the infancy of free India when the states were divided on the lines of language. Jawaharlal Nehru and his close associates had the idea that it will make governance easy. But in the six decades since independence it has done more harm then good. Various political and militant groups are fighting for getting smaller states on the basis of language. This is perhaps the greatest blunder our politicians had made at the time of nation building.

If there is one word in the English dictionary which we need inject into our hormones it is ACCEPTANCE. We need to learn to accept others and vice versa they will accept us. Following leaders like Raj Thackeray and his goons leads us to barbarism which limits our claim to be country with a rich culture.

3 comments:

moffyTOTS October 22, 2008 at 2:19 PM  

I din know Nehru divided the states on the language barrier,u sure on dat??Coz as far as i recall India was already divided into those states based on the languages spoken from the days of the mughals..

Rajeshree November 12, 2008 at 12:00 PM  

Marathi culture....its really great. Before talking much about it,,i would really want people to know something really good about marathi culture
www.marathisongs.org
do share your views on the same..

Nandkishor Wagh June 12, 2013 at 10:34 PM  

attractive piece of information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend arjun, ahmedabad,i have read atleast eleven posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a lot once again, Regards, Raj Thackeray images




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