Tag Archives: Bihar

A Nation Divided by Politics

“What’s the difference between north Indians and Indians. All of us are Indians,”  Justice B N Agrawal and Justice G S Singhvi

I have been writing about Raj Thackeray and MNS for a while now. His admirers call him a savior who has brought out what common Maharashtrian is feeling. Some also want him to become the next CM of Maharashtra. On the other hand his critics call him a murderer, a politician who wants to divide India based on “regionalism”. 

Lets first look at what our constitution states:

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

Two things really caught my attention 

1. Socialist – Which means everyone has equal right and opportunity. And

2. FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

Here is what our directive principals states: 

The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.

Why is it wrong for someone from Bihar, UP to come to a better city for a better opportunity? Why would someone beat him just because he is trying to create a future for himself? 

Is Maharashtra the only state facing mass migration of Bihari workers, and middle class professionals? People from Bihar have also migrated to Punjab, Delhi . Why is a Bihari In his own country being treated with the kind of  disdain with which the British treated Indians when we went to England to find employment in the 1950s.

As for the language issue , As per CHAPTER I.—LANGUAGE OF THE UNION

343. (1) The official language of the Union shall be Hindi.

 Get me a law that states

1. “Beating people is OK when a job was not advertised in local newspaper” .  or

2. “It is OK to terrorize prominent people (Read Bachchan Family) based on the language they speak”.

3. “Start beating up people just because they are migrating from one state to another “in their own country”.

M.A. Jinnah had also raised a similar issue back, when he demanded a separate state due to inadequate representation of Muslims in India. India made a mistake back then by giving in to his demands. Though till now MNS has not demanded a separate state but it is working on similar lines.

I always thought that the term “Indian” was a single race, but now we are hearing other races like, north Indian, South Indians. Where did this come from?

We should accept the fact that it is not possible to have full employment. Most economists believe 3-4 % unemployment is about the best an economy can achieve . We as Indians should consider:

1.      Creating more cooperative financial institutions which provide credit at reasonable rates to the unemployed youths and promote self employment

2.      Creating institutions which provide high level skills to the unemployed that would make them competitive.

3.      Creating a state funded unemployment welfare assistance program. Unemployed youth should be encouraged to take up community work in order to receive benefits from the state.  Trust me if our government can come up with money to write off farmers loans, then it can very well come up with money to fund such a program.

4.      Joining the Army. Fight terrorist rather than fighting your own countrymen.

“At times we find that people say that we speak a particular kind of language, we are born in a particular state and so we should be given preference over others. That approach is really a narrow minded approach,”- Shivraj Patil


 

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Filed under Bihar, Delhi, India, Indian Politics, MNS, Mumbai, Raj Thackrey, Uncategorized

Looking for Solutions

I have been receiving a lot of comments these days from people who support Raj Thackeray and his way of handling the migrant issue.

Let be clear on one thing that unemployment is just not limited to Maharashtra . 

 Since 1995 the proportion of people below poverty line stands at 25% (As per Mr. V. Ranganathan, Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra). As of 2007 unemployment rate stands at 7.2% in India.

Unemployment across  major States, 1999/00

       

State Rural Urban
Andhra Pradesh 12.81 11.88
Bihar 9.09 8.58
Maharashtra 10.27 11.46
Uttar Pradesh 08.58 07.91
Kerela 26.30 25.74

Given that Maharastrian youth is facing unemployment , but Is MNS handling this issue in the correct fashion? 

Rather than pointing fingers at North Indians and Maharashtrians , I would rather like to hear possible solutions.

All possible and plausible solutions are welcome

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An Open Letter to Raj Thackeray – By Rajdeep Sardesai

My Dear Raj,

 

My apologies for having to communicate through the editorial pages of a newspaper, but frankly am left with little choice since you seem to have decided to stay away from the so-called ‘national’ non-Marathi media. Let me at the very outset say that I am impressed with the manner you have carved a niche on the political landscape of Maharashtra. I distinctly remember meeting you in February last year soon after the Mumbai municipal corporation elections. It wasn’t the best of times: your party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had been marginalized while your cousin Udhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena had captured power in the city. With many of your supporters deserting you, you appeared down, if not quite out. Twenty months later, I see you’ve bounced back: every local and national daily has you on the front page, you are the subject of television debates and your politics has even united Bihar’s warring netas.

 

And yet, my friend, there is a thin line between fame and notoriety, more so in the fickle world of politics. Bashing north Indian students may grab the headlines, getting arrested may even get you sympathy and strident rhetoric will always have a constituency, but will it be enough to secure your ultimate dream of succeeding your uncle Bal Thackeray as the flagbearer of Marathi asmita (pride)?

 

If Balasaheb in the 1960s rose to prominence by targeting the south Indian “lungiwala”, you have made the north Indian “bhaiyaa” the new ‘enemy’. In the 1960s, the Maharashtrian middle class in Mumbai was feeling the pressure of job competition for white collar clerical jobs. Today, it seems that there is a similar sense of frustration at losing out economically and culturally to other social groups in Mumbai’s endless battle for scarce resources. With the Congress and the NCP having become the real estate agents of the state’s rural-urban bourgeoise and the Shiv Sena a pale shadow of its original avatar, the space has been created for a charismatic leader to emerge as a rabble-rouser espousing the sons of the soil platform.

 

But Raj, I must remind you that electoral politics is very different from street agitations. Sure, round the clock coverage of taxis being stoned and buses being burnt will get you instant recognition. Yes, your name may inspire fear like your uncle’s once did. And perhaps there will always be a core group of lumpen youth who will be ready to do your bidding. But how much of this will translate into votes? Identity politics based on hatred and violence is subject to the law of diminishing returns, especially in a city like Mumbai, the ultimate melting pot of commerce. Your cousin Udhav tried a “Mee Mumbaikar” campaign a few years ago that was far more inclusive, but yet was interpreted as being anti-migrant. The result was that the Shiv Sena lost the 2004 elections – Lok Sabha and assembly – in its original citadel of Mumbai. Some statistics suggest that nearly one in every four Mumbaikars is now a migrant from UP or Bihar. Can any political party afford to alienate such a large constituency in highly competitive elections?

 

Maybe, your not even looking at winning seats at the moment, but simply staking claim to the Sena legacy in a post Bal Thackeray scenario. Perhaps, thats exactly what the ruling Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra wants: like a market leader who gets competing brands to crush each other, the Congress-NCP leadership seems to be practicing divide and rule politics once again. They did it with Balasaheb and the communists in the 1960s, with Bhindranwale and the Akalis in the 1980s, even with the Kashmir valley politicians in the 1990s. A larger-than-life Raj Thackeray suits the ruling arrangement in Maharashtra because it could erode its principal rival, the Shiv Sena’s voter support. It’s a dangerous game, but often when politicians run out of ideas, they prefer to play with fire. It’s a fire that could leave Mumbai’s cosmopolitanism scarred for life.

 

Now, before you see my writings as the outpourings of an anglicized non-resident Maharashtrian, let me just say that, like you, I too am proud of my roots. I too, would like to see the cultural identity of Maharashtrians preserved and the economic well-being of our community assured. Where we differ is that I am a citizen of the Republic of India first, a proud Goan Maharashtrian only later. Fourteen years ago, I left Mumbai for Delhi to seek professional growth and was distinctly fortunate to be readily embraced by the national capital. Like millions of Indians, I too am a migrant and a beneficiary of a nation whose borders don’t stop at state checkpoints.

 

Moreover, I cannot accept that ‘goondaism’ is the way forward to forging a robust Maharashtrian identity. By vandalizing a shop or stoning a taxi, what kind of mindless regional chauvinism are we promoting? Taking away the livelihood of a poor taxi driver or beating up some defenceless students from Bihar reflects a fake machismo that is no answer to what ails Maharashtrian society today. The Maharashtra I once knew was inspired by the progressive ideals of the bhakti movement, by a Shahu-Phule-Ambedkar legacy of social reform. Are we going to dismantle that legacy under the weight of hate politics?

 

When you started your party a few years ago, it had been pitched as a party committed to a “modern” Maharashtra. If that vision still stands, why don’t you take it forward in real terms? Why don’t you, for example, set up vocational courses and technical institutes for young Maharashtrians to make them competitive in the job market? Why not, for that matter, start English-speaking classes for Maharashtrian students to equip them for the demands of the new economy? If cultural identity is such a concern, why not launch a statewide campaign to promote Marathi art, theatre and cinema by financially supporting such ventures? If Mumbai’s collapsing infrastructure worries you, then target the politician-builder nexus first. And isn’t it also time we realized that Mumbai is not Maharashtra, that the long suffering Vidarbha and Marathwada farmer needs urgent attention? Why not use your political and financial muscle to start projects in rural Maharashtra instead of focusing your energies on Mumbai’s bright lights alone? An employment generation scheme in a Jalna or a Gadchiroli may not make the front pages, but it will have far greater value for securing Maharashtra’s future.

 

Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra!

Original Letter

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Response to What Should I Have Done

This post is in response to What should have I done

–         Do you want to talk about Shiv Sena leaders who were named by the by the Srikrishna commission accused in the Mumbai riots of 93?

–         Bal Thackeray who was accused of inciting communal violence with his writings?

–         Or should we talk about the Telgi case which originated in Maharashtra (with the help of a few ministers from maharashtra) which cost the Indian economy 32000 Cr

–         Why would a person so passionate about his home state make a statement  “If Raj is arrested, entire Maharashtra be set on fire”

–         Should we talk about the brutal rape and murder of a Dalit family in Maharashtra?

–         Your so called “Hindi Based Bollywood” is the sole reason why non Hindi speaking Maharastrain’s are getting jobs which they wont get in “Marathi Speaking Film Industry”

 

This can go on and on without ever stopping. The point is MNS actions cannot be justified. If you believe killing of people in Maharashtra is the right solution then I have nothing to say to you

Put Country First

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