Friday, November 20, 2009

Shiv Sena defaming 'Marathi Manoos'

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Shiv Sena and its estranged cousin Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are leaving no stone unturned in defaming the Marathi Manoos. Both the parties which boldly claim to be saviour of the Marathi culture and guardians of the Marathi Manoos are only bringing a bad name to the Marathis. Although it might be a politically incorrect statement to make but a hard fact is politically correct statements seldom reflect true picture of a society.

Two decades of terrorism in Kashmir has meant that a Kashmiri cricketer travelling to Bangalore to play a match is seen with suspicion. Years of agitations in North Eastern states has compounded to a problem where many Indians feel that all North Easterners are anti-nationals. These kind of biases are wrong but the hard truth is that they form very easily, more dangerously they are hard to erase. Shiv Sena and MNS's regular acts of vandalism might create such a bias for the 'Marathi Manoos'

The latest in the series of hooliganism is the attack on the CNN-IBN offices in Mumbai and Pune. The reason; Shiv Sena members could digest the criticism that they got from the media after their Godfather Bal Thackerey was clean bowled trying to slam the biggest living Marathi icon Sachin Tendulkar. Where was Sena and the MNS when Mumbai was being attacked that journalist braved their lives reporting the incident. Were these goons scared to hit the streets then?

If this menace is not taken care of soon that day might come soon when an average Marathi migrating to any other state might face hostility. Any migrant is vulnerable and so are the Marathis who migrate out of Maharashtra. God forbidden if a Marathi faces hostility outside his state a large share of the blame will have to go to people like Thackreys who have played the politics of divide for decades now. Today this brand of politics is becoming more militant.

Now what does an average Marathi do? Shuns away from such divisive politics that is being played by these hooligans. They have cut on the support base of such political parties who choose language and regionalism over development and prosperity. This election results have shown that people of the state have stood up against the politics of violence played over the 'Marathi Manoos'. So Marathis should raise up a strong statement against this to make sure that the entire community is not defamed.


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