Thursday, January 21, 2010

Congress-NCP sing the Marathi song

By: Subhadeep Bhattacarjee

Well if you thought on the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are the only saviour of 'Matathi Manoos' they have a new competitor. Well it is none other than the State Government or the combination of the Congress and the NCP. If the migrants in Mumbai (read Biharis and UP walas) thought that the grand old party of Indian politics would stand for their rights it has back stabbed them and played the language card.

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday framed new rules for taxi drivers to get permits in Mumbai. According to the diktat, taxi drivers must have residence proof of 15 years of domicile in Maharashtra. New taxi permits will only be given to those who can speak, read and write Marathi, as per these rules. This in a city where more than two-third of the taxi drivers are migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The The Mumbai Taximen's Union (MTU) said it would move the Bombay (opps Mumbai!) High Court to challenge the government's move as this new rule is undemocratic and discriminating. Congress-NCP's move is simple, its pseudo-Marathi stand means that the Shiv Sena and NCP won't be able to play the Marathi card against the government. Both these parties thrive on the polarity in the state and if the government doesn't back the migrants then Shiv Sena and NCP might die a slow death.

The message from the government is quite simple “We are not welcome to migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bhiar”. Well many might argue that people from Maharashtra go unemployed due to the constant migration but the question arises why can't a Marathi drive the Taxi in the first place in his home state with the Home Ground Advantage while migrants (or better known as Bhaiyyas) can do it coming thousands of kilometres from their homes?

The other side of the story is that migrants thrive in business where the locals don't want to get their hands dirty. Why don't the Marathis sell milk and vegetables in Mumbai? Who has stopped them from competing with the migrants? If still the political parties say that the migrants are snatching the job than then they should stand up and applaud that migrant who has been able to do this thousands of kilometres away from home.

Now the big question is who will stand up for the rights of these migrants with the Congress and NCP also having turned their back on them. Well with Nitish turning the tide in Bihar migration might come down. NREGA has made Biharis stick to their state creating problems for big farmers in Punjab who don't get cheap labour any more. Hopefully the same happens in Maharashtra too for such politicians to wake up and realise the importance of migrants.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP