Tuesday, February 9, 2010

India's 'Bombay' is Shiv Sena's 'Mumbai'

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

In the past two decades many Indian cities and town were renamed to 'Indianise and Localise' them. The grand old Calcutta became Kolkata, Madras turned Chennai, Thivandrum became Thiruvananthapuram, Baroda became Vadodara and Bangalore was rechristened as Bengaluru. All these cities even after the renaming retained their original identity and calling them by their erstwhile name is no crime. But this hasn't been the case with Bombay opps! Mumbai which according to some of its political groups isn't allowed to retain anything from Bombay.

There is a joke which runs around the financial capital of India, What is the gravest crime you can commit in the 'Maximum City'? The answer call it 'BOMBAY'. The Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena can take anything but can't tolerate anybody dishonouring their 'MUMBAI' by referring to it by it's old name. A second joke runs around the city that the Thackeray are willing to pardon Ajbam Kasab as he had referred to the city as 'MUMBAI' but not anybody from any part in India if he refers to it has if he refers to it has 'BOMBAY'

From howling abuses to instigating violence Sena and MNS can go to any extent to protect the honour of 'MUMBAI.' Both the parties have mastered the art of street violence and threatening people in the name of Marathi pride and protecting India's culture. When Pakistanis and Australians come to play in India they take mantle of being nationalists but when a poor taxi driver comes from UP or Bihar they protect the rights of the Marathi Manoos. Both these parties seem to be engulfed in confusion as to whom do they really represent!

When Sachin Tendulkar said he was an Indian first and a Marathi next, this upset 'Sarkar' aka Bal Thackeray and he slashed out a Sachin. When industrialist Mukesh Ambani said Mumbai is for all Indians he had to face the ire of the Sena. The latest victim is Shahrukh Khan who supported Pakistani players for the third season of the IPL. The Shiv Sena has asked him to settle down in Lahore for his comments. Isn't it a joke that this party and it's estranged by-product the MNS claim to represent the Marathi Manoos?

The snubbing that both MNS and the Shiv Sena got both in the Parliament and Assembly elections has shown that the ordinary Marathis have lost their faith in the two parties. MNS was a result of Bal Thackeray's bias towards his son Uddhav Thackeray over his politically sound and capable nephew Raj Thackeray. Had Bal Thackeray not bee so bias there would have been some less violence and vandalism in the streets as both the parties seem to be competing over it. Do Marathis consider them as greater Marathi icons than somebody called a Sachin Tendulkar?

'Bombay' or 'Mumbai' who cares, as long as the city provides opportunities to thousands of people


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