ith the flops and miserable rejection by the people of Maharashtra, finally, Raj Thackeray has realised the importance of the North Indian population of the state.
After targeting the migrant population in Mumbai, since the formation of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) 12 years ago, now he would be addressing the North Indian population for the first time on December 2. The MNS had objected to the instances of non-vegetarian Marathi families not being allowed to buy a flat in the residential societies dominated and constructed by the Jains. Well, Raj Thackeray has opened communication doors with the North Indians to remain in the electoral politics but he was never dishonest in putting his apprehension wide open and loud. Raj always said that the numbers of migrants from outside the state of Maharashtra are mostly Biharis and UPites. He went on to explain that Nitish Kumar had jailed many criminals immediately after becoming the Chief Minister, keeping in mind the increase in the number of perpetrators in Bihar. He further explained that many of these perpetrators have escaped and migrated. He claims that most criminals who are in police custody in Maharashtra or the ones who have been jailed in Maharashtra are Biharis and UPites. So, seeing it as a risk to the safety of Maharashtra state, he has his views about these people. He may have extreme views, but one thing commendable about him is that he owns up to what he has said. He is bold and undeniably a great orator.
I am born here in Mumbai; I have many Bihari as well as UPites friends and have been living in Mumbai for many years. It’s not only Biharis and UPites but the South Indians too faced discernment from these Marathi political parties, who are committed to making Maharashtra of its own people. This was very much prevalent during Bal Thackrey’s heydays. It’s actually pointless in discussing something that disturbs the public harmony. But blaming Raj would not be fair; what we need to focus on right now is his message to the North Indians on December 2. Most of the media portray Raj Thackeray wrongly — what he says in Marathi is different from what is translated in Hindi and English. His basic question is that “if so much of population from UP and Bihar is flowing into Mumbai and Maharashtra, then where should citizens of the land of Maharashtra go? Why can’t politicians of UP and Bihar develop their own states and avoid congestion and burden on other cities including Mumbai? His emphasis is always on politicians in UP and Bihar to develop their own state and not burden the other states. There have been a similar uproar from Delhi, Bangalore, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, Tamil Nadu against the migrants of UP and Bihar. For that matter, even UP people don’t like Biharis. And even Western UP doesn’t like Eastern UP people.
Earlier, Raj took up the point that the Railways Recruitment Advertisement was not published in Maharashtra by Lalu Yadav and the fraud that was done in Railway Recruitment. He brought to the notice of local Maharashtra that how they were deprived of rightful opportunities. Probably his main concern is protecting the Marathi culture. A language is a part of culture and North Indians have a tendency to impose Hindi language saying it is the Rashtra Bhasha (National Language) that is what Junior Thackeray always says in his speeches. Whereas, Gujaratis, Marwaris, Sindhis, Punjabis, Kannadigas, Tamilians, Malayalis, and Bengalis pick up Marathi language and speak it but UP and Biharis, even if they have stayed in Maharashtra for 50 years, don’t speak much in Marathi.
As we all know that each state has its distinct identity. Maharashtra has its own identity but this is one capital city where people from all the states have equally contributed, rather dominated every sector. Raj thinks the imposition of too much Hindi is a loss of the culture of the state. He took up the cause against the hawkers who crouch anywhere. MNS believes that there is no place to walk on Mumbai footpaths and the citizens from UP and Bihar just come and squat, slowly converts it into a shop and then grabs the land. He has no issues with Marathi hawkers doing so as it’s to be believed that the state belongs to them. This is what happened in Gujarat — many Biharis were hushed out from the state. They were brutalised by the localities. The Bihari migrants and labourers are an inevitable part of the industry but they are not much respected due to their conduct. Political parties like Shiv Sena and MNS have their focus on Marathi Manoos because they are the voters of these parties; if they don’t show concern, they will lose voters. In case of MNS, since its inception, their agenda is to shun the North Indians out of state and give justice, job, and opportunities to the son of the soil. MNS’s inconsistency in taking up this issue gave them miserable fate in the Lok Sabha elections.
On a daily basis, there are thousands of migrants from UP and Bihar and other places who land in Mumbai; imagine the encroachment, mess, and burden on the city. If the UP and Bihar governments had created employment opportunities, then the other four metropolitan citizens would not be hampered. Not only UP or Bihar people, but he also poses attacks on Gujarat too. He spoke against the Bullet Train because the city needs basic infrastructure, which is not there. Most of the Mumbaikar supported this opinion. Apart from migrants, he had issues with Aazan. Though he said that he doesn’t hate the Muslims and in fact, he has a huge Muslim support also within Maharashtra. What he is against is the LOUDSPEAKERS, which play extremely loudly five times a day all 365 days which is almost 1,800 times year. Many also support this view but nobody has the guts to speak. Only he has the guts. He also spoke against the bullying behaviour on the power of money by Gujarati people. Gujarati people have a lot of money because they have been Business Community/traders from the beginning due to their Ahimsa philosophy and not participating in the war culture. If you listen to Raj Thackrey, he picks up all these issues minutely and makes his point clear. Perhaps, this is the reason he is criticised by most of the outsiders. In such circumstances, Raj Thackeray should be taken optimistically and it will be good for the entire country. In order to win an election in India, the candidate must come up with his own agenda for luring people on his side. It creates hope in them that the situation will change after voting for such a person. As a politician, if he is doing what is expected from him, I will call it a good move but will expect some consistency in his actions and some considerations too. Let’s see, by meeting the North Indians in Mumbai, how his fate changes for 2019.
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