Friday, November 14, 2008


The movie 'Deshdrohi'(Literally,one who betrays the nation) has been quite in the news the past 2-3 days. It's a movie depicting the amount of hate that a migrant from UP and Bihar has to face in Bombay. Fearing retaliation from the parochial Maharashtrians, the movie was banned from being screened in Maharashtra.Quite proximate in time,considering Raj Thackeray was cutting a cake today which was shaped like the Hindi text for the word 'Bhaiyya'. 'Bhaiyya' is a term, meant to be derogatory, used to address North Indians residing in Maharashtra.
Personal animosity aside, I condemn Thackeray's views owing to the fact that they are separatist in nature. Due to 4 months of law school, the first thing that strikes my mind is the illegal and unconstitutional nature of his views and their manifestation,ie, acts of violence against migrants. I do concede that migrants have infested the city of Bombay to the point where quality of life has reached hitherto unknown depravities. I however, do not see this as a reason good enough to draw lines between Maharashtra and the rest of India. We have lived a farce of unity for 61 years. Albeit a farce, it has managed to lead the various nations within India towards a common upliftment. Thackeray is of the opinion that jobs in Maharashtra should be reserved for ethnic Maharashtrians. In such a situation, where exactly do the muslims of Bombay, who've inhabited the city for over 7 decades, stand? Oh wait, they're Muslim. Therefore, by the definition of Thackeray Sr., they're not Indians. Matter settled.
Parochialism has been prevalent in Indian politics for quite some time. Periyar's anti-Hindi agitation, a movement I abuse superficially, is a thought that I wholly agree with. A language, alien to a people, cannot be enforced on them to suit a farcical national interest. It was a latent expression of domination which deserved to be questioned by all means possible. Language has always been a sensitive factor in India, considering the states were re-divided on a linguistic basis after the Fazl Ali Commission Report. Here is where the fallacy in Thackeray's argument lies. Most of the Maharashtrians study, or at least know, the basics of Hindi. There is no active anti-Hindi movement in the arteries of Maharashtra. How does the question of learning Marathi compulsorily come in to play? Trust Raj Thackeray to answer that.
The day is one where a man cannot move around in his own nation. Are we then really 'an indestructible union of destructible states'??
The CM of the state accuses Thackeray of besmirching the name of the state. Thackeray is doing what demagogues of his state have been doing for over a century now. From Tilak to Savarkar to Godse to Golwalkar to Thackeray Sr., the politics of hate has always been the hallmark of the state. The average,middle-class Maharashtrian is Indian over anything else. It's only a bunch of goons, from times historical to contemporary, who manage to fan hate to the extent where the majority's sane voice is drowned in an orgy of violence.
The need of the hour is silencing all polemic, by means lawful, unlawful or plainly inhuman. Our quest to survive rests on a threadbare base that needs to be supported at all times. Let's hope this fire is temporary.