Have been reading a lot these days of the comment that SRK made about having Pakistani players in the IPL and the resultant furore about the same. Hundreds of responses, lots of views and of course many people chosing to be politically correct for not upsetting Mr. Thackeray.
Who is right and who is wrong? Is SRK wrong for chosing to comment on something that has been permitted to him by the Indian Constitution. Is Bal Thackeray correct for stating that Mumbai is for the Maharashtrians and that the Biharis and the Punjabis and Muslims are not allowed?
The irony is that most of the people simply do not bother. It does not make a difference if you are staying in Mumbai or Bombay, a Madras or a Chennai. The generation to whom it mattered are probably long gone, and the generations today are simply struggling to make a decent living and ensuring that their families grow up in an environment where there is a chance to grow, security and stability.
Bombay has always been the land of dreams and it is this place where every one comes to try their luck. It is said, no one goes hungry in Bombay and every one manages to eke out a living. Imagine if all the Tata’s, Birla’s, Ambani’s, Bollywood (of which Mr. Thackeray’s DIL is a big associate), the Wadia’s were not there. What if they had received the facilities in their own home states and built themselves there. What would have happened if the Kishore Kumar’s and the Mohammed Rafi’s had not come to Bombay to try their luck.
Bombay is simply Bombay due to the unique cosmopolitan structure that it has built over the years. More so that a majority of the people are all from the same country, unlike a New York or a Paris, where the cosmopolitan structure is built on immigrants, and visitors who chose to live there, rather than people from the interiors of the villages deciding to try their luck.
The sheer complexity of the country with its hundreds of languages, with its cultures and the blend of people who stay side by side, away from their families, building up a life of their own, in place they call home can never be replicated by any city.
I am sure Bal Thackeray knows all this. And he knows very well, that people cannot leave, as they have their lives to think about, their families.. How best to utilize this to his advantage is some thing that the Shiv Sena has been doing for years, with its brand of terror rule, with a group of people who have no aim in life, but to enforce terror and fear into the lives of other people. There is at times no no difference from the British way of divide and rule. The more you divide people, the less they would form together, and the less chances of any one standing up to claim ones rights.
I remember reading some where long back.. The day the Indian citizen realizes his rights and stands up for it, more than half the politicians would lose their job. Unfortunately, they do not care and this is why this brand of terror and incompetency continues. The Shiv Sena’s self centerd belief is forced upon people to accept, to not have a view of their own, and to have a false sense of belief of casteism and stateism.
Unfortunately, it is the country that loses. It is the identity of a citizen that is lost. You are no longer an Indian, but a Maharashtrian or a Bihari or a Tamilian.. Until and unless we wake up to the realization that we are Indians first and Indians last, we will continue to go deeper into this rut of casteism and will forever have our Modis and Thackerays to contend with. These are the people we will leave our children with, growing in a an environment of hate and anger.
Easier said than done !!