The Mumbai disgrace

Amidst the furore over Bal Thackeray’s Mumbai for Marathi Manoos, I would like to share an anecdote I heard from my relative.

The story, as he narrates, brings forth the difference between a UPite, or Bihari and a Mumbaikar Marathi. Before any Marathi wants to throttle my neck, let me make it clear this incident is as told by a Marathi journalist, whom my relative met during a train journey in the US.

A paanwallah, whom the Marathi working with Lok Satta knew, had approached him, seeking a job for his nephew who was coming to Mumbai from a village. Incidentally, the same day, a neighbour, a Marathi again, approached him for a job for his son. Upon enquiry, the journalist learned that an old woman in Baikula was looking for a caretaker. She wanted to convert a part of her apartment as a photo-copying shop and needed someone to take care of it. She was willing to provide the person accommodation in her own home.

The Marathi gentleman took the proposition to his neighbour who turned it down saying, ‘This is not the job I want for my son. He wants a job like yours.’ However, the paanwaallah was delighted by the proposal and immediately wrote to his nephew, who took over the photo-copying shop.

Today, after five years, the old woman, who treats the paanwaallah’s nephew as her son, has planned to nominate him as the legal inheritor of the house after her. The nephew has expanded the business and is doing quite well.

This may sound like a script of some cliché hindi film, but it is true. It speaks for the enterprising nature of UPites or Biharis, who have the courage to leave their hometowns to rough it out in an alien city and make it big. While, those born in the Mumbai soil, Marathi Manoos, as Thackeray and his nephew-foe Raj Thackeray put it, haven’t learnt to make use of the resources, which is at an arm’s reach.

The funniest part about this whole ‘Mumbai for Marathis’ showdown is that the Shiv Sena is doing all that it has opposed or claimed to condemn. Aren’t the Shiv Sainiks against article 370 that gives Kashmir the status of a separate state? By claiming Marathi ownership for Mumbai, aren’t they, ironically, colonising the city?

Today, the Shiv Sena supremo said Mumbai is not for ‘Italian Mummy’ (i.e. Sonia Gandhi). Well, it would make no difference even if Sonia Gandhi was of Indian or Nepal origin. Once you claim Marathi ownership for a city, you have automatically made it an alien state for Indians, too. An Italian is on par with a Madrasi, Bengali or a Gujarati.

Some hundred kilometres away from Mumbai is the Vidarbha region that has become synonymous to farmer suicides. As we talk about Mumbai and its ownership, I am sure, another farmer has ended his life. Well, I guess Vidarbha is too plain-looking for Shiv Sainiks to claim ownership. Or, maybe it is too far for his old legs to make a trip and see the plight of those who live in extreme poverty.

(What callousness, Balasaheb Thackeray & co!  I somehow cannot see Raj Thackeray as anything different from his uncle. They seem to unite like never before on this topic. I can’t help but ask- what did they split for?)


12 Responses to “The Mumbai disgrace”

  1. So true.

    And may I ask, what have these guys done for the development of the city that they so boastfully claim?

    • exactly….they have no right to claim Mumbai… Mumbai belongs to India not to fanatics

      • Awesome….Awesome….Awesome…awesome
        i had lots of thoughts on this toppic infact being a UPite myself..staying in another state…bt won’t spoil the post by mentioning them…
        This is like hitting the bullseye…and should be published…

  2. hey nitin.. was awaiting ur comments 🙂 thnks…

  3. Janani, get this published. Succinct, informative and a pleasure to read, it should go in the edit page of a proper newspaper.
    And I am dead serious.
    Incidentally, even my father-in-law, who resides in Shiridi, echoes similar sentiments. Time and again he says that the native Marathis do not want to work in his fields or take up jobs in hotels and construction sites. Therefore people seek labour who are willing to do so. And hence the influx of Biharis and other North Indians.
    On my last visit to Shiridi I was surprised to find a family from Uttarakhand residing as tenants in my father-in-law’s place. The guy works as a driver or labourer… I am not sure.
    But what these incidents prove is that people come and stay because the natives let them and in fact, need them.

    • totally, anu… now Thackeray claims Mumbai for Marathis, but he was perhaps in some deep slumber when people from outside came and fulfilled their dreams here, making it the city of dreams…

    • I would second that sentiment, this should definitely get published properly because it deserves a dedicated audience and about work. It’s not a surprise because thats what Obama has been shouting standing at the top of white house everytime. But Obama’s and Thackeray’s deserve to learn a lesson in workmanship and that is, if you do not want to do hard work, somebody else would do it. so its better that irresponsible marathis and americans pull up their sleeves rather than slapping on the wrists of those, who labour and move this world.

  4. Victoria Says:

    What you have said is very true. I’m a true Mumbaikar (a common woman). Let me tell you some interesting thing. Mumbai is basically a land fishermen. So Thackeray’s have no claim over Mumbai because they are Marathas not Kolis (Fishermen). Also, if some one made Mumbai what it is today, then the credit goes to Gujratis, South Indians, Parsis and Bengalis. The actual marathi manoos always had slave mentality. I’m not racist as one of my parents are Maharashtrian. But I unconditonally support Thackery in his war against SRK. What SRK did is equvaent of blasphemy. Because he doesn’t know how it feels to lose some one without any fault of theirs. By doing this what SRK is trying to do?? Is he is trying to become a saint?? Also, at the its publicity stunt after all his senseless movie is going to release.

  5. Victoria Says:

    Sory! I forgot to make a crucial point got deviated 🙂 Being a Mumbaikar, I have witnessed how the city has changed over a period of time. The village folks from north India are highly responsible for making the city more disastrous. They spit pan anywhere and everywhere, take shower on the middle of the road, constructed slums illegally and at times they also create ruckus. Many women travling on western line feel so insecure because of these bhaiyyas. They randomly board ladies compartment and target women under the influence of alchol. There are many crimes which happened and went unreported. The second breed of humans who are making the city more terror prone are south Indians. Dharavi, the biggest slum, in Asia is home to lakhs of Tamilians. These tamilians get into all sorts of illegal activities including working for underworld. In fact Mani Ratnam made a movie on this called Nayagan. The crime rate increased due to the immigration of these people. There are also illegal immigrants from Bangaladesh, who are occuping certain suburbs of Mumbai like Mumbra and Masjid. At times I do support Thackray in this cause. Mumbai was people friendly city before this mass immigration. Now all the northies are making the city rude. Who is responsible for this?? The leaders of UP, MP, Bihar, Tamilnadu etc are responsible for this. All these are interlinked. If they would make their respective state a dream land, they people won’t immigrate. Why Asians are migrating to Western countries?? Because of better standard of living. The western people never migrate because their land is green!!

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