Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rootless In The City

A city still commonly referred to as Bombay has been my home for the last several years.

 This city was perhaps not what we had in mind when we planned a home for us. It was crowded, it was dirty and it was a chaos. On top of that, it was expensive as hell. We never thought we could bring up our children here, in this city, where land was at a premium. There was no open space for my children to run and play. No place where we could walk hand in hand. No place where we could sit back and relax and watch the time go by. Constantly moving, constantly bustling, there was never a moment of peace here. A lot of time we felt hopelessly out of depth. But slowly, I do not know when, this city seeped into our blood. The city became so much a part of us that it became hard for us to imagine living anywhere else. It became home.

But lately I have been wondering about our decision to stay here. After all, as some people claim, the city belongs to the Maharashtrians first and Indians later. As my name suggests, we are clearly not Maharashtrians. Having grown up outside the state, my husband and I also do not speak the language. We are outsiders here. We have taken the place of some locals who perhaps would have stayed in our flat. My husband perhaps has taken the job of a Marathi who would have got the job otherwise. Education, ability, skill; they all take a back seat. The fact is that we are not Marathi Manoos and we do not belong here.


So where do we go? Do we go to Delhi where I grew up? But we are not really North Indians. I can not speak Punjabi either. Does Delhi belong to the Punjabis anyway? We can go to Patna where my husband was born and brought up. But neither are we Biharis. We are both products of parents who trace their roots to East Bengal, now in Bangladesh. So do we go and stay there? May be we should migrate to Kolkata, after
all we are Bengalis even though we have never stayed there. We do not know the city as well as we do Bombay. Or for that matter Delhi. But that doesn't matter, does it? The fact is that we are Bengalis and we might as well go and live there.


Imagine how peaceful India would be then. No fighting for land. No fighting for languages. No fighting for culture.We can then fit our lives in to neat little labels. Chchat Puja in Bihar, Ganeshotsav in Maharashtra. They can keep Sachin Tendulkar, we will be happy with Sourav.  Dosas in the south, parathas in the north, rosogullas in the east.There will not be any friction over culture, speech or festivals. Sheer bliss.

But the trouble is that when I see Sachin play, I do not see the Maharashtrian.. Just like when I hear Kishore Kumar, I do not hear the Bengali. I do not label APJ Abdul Kalam, Lata Mangeshkar, Amjad Ali Khan. Amitabh Bachchan, Narayan Murthy.... when I see them, I simply forget which region they come from. I only see the face of an Indian. But perhaps I am only one of the few who think like that.

So currently, I, with my fondness for Kanjivaram sarees, Sachin Tendulkar, Hindi movies and aloo parathas, am rootless in the city I call home. When I hear Raj Thackeray say that Mumbai belongs to the Marathis, I start  to think, where do I really  belong then? What label do I use for myself?

I am still thinking about it. I also keep thinking about one more thing. How many of you, while singing the National Anthem, ever think the song is in Bengali?

86 comments:

Nu said...

a powerful post Aparna ! And I know for sure that lot of us are feeling the same way that you have expressed in your post...Me too am unclear of the 'marathi manoos' system..though I'm a maharashtrian I live in madhya pradesh...so I sould be shifitng places too !

All this and more makes me think that what am I going to give to my children who are not yet in this world.. what will I tell them or label them ? The world is getting rotten..sadly !

Nu said...

i'm doing fine,tnx..had been to a 15 days vacation to Kumao Hills :) had fun! yeah,it's a brain tonic for sure :) No maska polish !

Meira said...

Hmm... I wonder where we'd have to go then. I was born and brought up in Delhi, but parents are Tamilian who are currently in UP. Husband is a Telugite, but he was born and brought up in Jamshedpur. His parents are in ranchi. We are currently in Haryana! The Govt. will have a tough time assorting us as well! Maybe they'l just shoot us away! I'm sure mr. Thackerey would like that!Only pure bloods around.

Anu said...

Wonderful post, Aparna!!! You express very beautifully, the situation most of us are in.... i am a tamilian brought up and living in bbay, born in delhi...my parents have lived in delhi and bangalore.. my grandparents were in mysore... we share no connection with tamilanadu.. my husband has lived in bbay all his life, and even his grandfather has spent all his life in this city... My son Samhith is a fourth generation resident here.....
Of course, the Thakerays would love to send us away..and this is not the first time they have tried it.... we have lived through the anti- madrasi stance of the sainiks in the early 80s when things were pretty tough for us, and have no doubt that the cosmopolitan nature of this city will weather this new generation of trouble and politics too...... so we try not to worry about it too much!!

Antarman said...

Awesome..the way you have written and every single word is so true.

I wonder about the children whoa re the offsprings of anorth Indian father and maharashtrian mother, where will they go? what is the criteria of being marathi manoos? being born there or speaking marathi? all this is so disgustingly ridiculous.

ZB said...

I can empathize with you. All this call for Maratha manoos is mere a political propaganda. When Mumbai was attacked there was no Raj thakrey in sight. When the men who were guarding Gateway and Taj were squattering in the pavements, where was MNS and shivsena?

But i do feel maharastrians should be given priority in Mumbai. But this is not the way to go about it. This is hooliganism.

Sorry, I deviated from the topic, Dont worry, keep calling Mumbai your home. MNS and senas will come and go, but love for Mumbai will prevail.Coz Mumbai is This mumbai we know not coz of sena or Mahrastrians, its coz of this multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism.

Your post rocks, Wonderfully written. TC:)

Onkar said...

Simply superb. You have given words to the feelings of millions of Indians including Marathi manoos.

sinnlighet said...

Soon, soon I go back to India. I wish I had been born in this great warm embrace!

By the way....yes yes yes your blog is filled up with wonderful inspiring reading.

Here is a footprint from me in Sweden!

Peace & Love

Agneta

The Holy Lama said...

Ethnic cleansing has never worked anywhere in the world though some nations have paid with blood. Let's hope wisdom of centuries will make Indians , Marathis or otherwise sensible enough to avoid that abyss.

Akshay said...

Awesome yet powerful post Aparnadi! You have expressed your dilemma very beautifully in a way that I was able to empathize with you. I am a Tamilian born and brought up in Mumbai, my parents have also been born and brought up in Mumbai. My grandparents were from Palakkad in Kerala but I have never been there and we don't even have an ancestral house... we share no connection with Kerala or Tamilnadu for that matter.

I second Meira here and seriously makes me wonder where I would land up. I feel we should continue to refer to Mumbai as "home" (with or without the Shiv Sena and MNS), since our love for Mumbai will always prevail over other factors. Since most of us know Mumbai for its cosmopolitan nature rather than the notorious image the people who allegedly represent us have created.

Anrosh said...

the thackerays have the exclusive rights of whining, creating "dhanga", and violence.

And when it comes to buying a piece of land in the sky, we pay the price. the thackerays don't.

so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride in bombay --

"bambai, aaapli shaher aahe . thyance nahi !"

G said...

Nice post there Aparna. Recently started following your blog. Will go on to read your other posts now.

On the topic, I am sick and tired of the 'son of the soil' crap. A job goes only to somebody who deserves it, be it a 'localite' or an 'outsider'.

PURN!MA said...

i second ur thoughts. i've lived all my life in Maharashtra... but even then, m not Marathi manoos per se. though I actually *like ancestors etc* belong to Mangalore. But that place is as strange as any other city in this world. I cannot imagine my life anywhere but here!!

why are we answerable to where we live in our own country?

i've friends who r Jew, Christians, Muslims and a wide variety of Hindus... but not once have we discriminated between us. The irony of it all is, being non-Maharashtrians, we speak Marathi most of the times. Not bcz we are ashamed of our languages, but Marathi is the main thread that binds us.

Who the hell gives rights to such people to tell us who we are and what we should be and shouldn't be?? it hurts to see that people are being segregated into sections. you are either Maharashtrians or u r not. But u cannot be a Maharashtra loving outsider... U cannot grow to love this place ... U cannot live in this place and feel like you breathe it in your soul for the core reason that you are not a Mrathi speaking Maharashtrian!!!

Aparna, there is so much hypocrisy out here! so many maharashtrian actors acting in Hindi cinema... Tell me one marathi movie in which Madhuri Dixit has acted! While there are other hardcore Marathi actors, who can't speak a word of their own mother tongue.

I'm not against anyone of them. But why does this go unnoticed? if we are criminals *for not being Marathi Manoos*... this doesn't make them any less a culprit!

I hate this issue from the core of my heart. I hate being told "you dont' belong here" hate being told "you are not one among us"

I hope they soon realise that there are bigger issues to sort out.

Priya said...

Thought provoking..i must say.. but the question that keeps coming to my mind and what i feel helpless about is that we are finding it still more difficult to fight away these crappy politicians who in the name of nation and state spreads communalism and hatred amongst people in one way or another... :)...to me Mumbai is as much dear as Kolkata, Varanasi, Palamau, Hazaribagh and Delhi... the places have seen me and taught me to be who i am today.. :)..and least i can do is be proud of each of these places for the warmth, love and care that they have bestowed on me..

R. Ramesh said...

hey dear friend..yeh madrasi vaapas aane thak rukko yar...amchi mumbai sabki mumbai..jai maharashtra..

Aparna said...

Hi Nu, I am a bit overwhelmed with the kind of response I am getting for the post. Never felt so many people would identify with my angst. There are so many like us who have been brought up outside our so called 'state'. We all belong to only one country and that is India. How can a city, be it Chennai or Mumbai, not belong to the whole nation? Thanks for your comments. Hope you has a fabulous vacation.

Hi Meira, I totally identify with your sentiments. By the way, my father grew up in Orissa. I wonder where we truly belong, if not to the country that is India.

Hi Anu, I know this is not the first time this has happened. It will happen again in future. Some other community would be targeted. I know for sure that they will not be able to drive any of us away. What bothers me is that they are preaching hatred and some poor hapless soul is getting influenced by it.

Hi Antarman,I agree with your sentiments completely. A child of mixed parentage will belong to this glorious country. And will be proud of it.

Hi ZB, Raj Thackeray said that a lot of Marathis died for Bombay. I wonder what he thought of Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a Malayali who laid down his life last year in Taj.At that time, there was no sign of him.

Hello Onkarji, thank you for youe comments.

Hi Sinnlighet, welcome to my blog. Thank you for your comments and I hope you will keep visiting.

The Holy Lama, hi. I am just hoping more and more sensible people raise their voice here.

Akshay, hi. I know what you mean. A lot of us have moved away from our states and have adopted other parts of our country as our home. The sooner the politicians realize that the better.

Hi Anrosh, I know the city belongs to all of us. But who will knock some sense into the politicians?

Hi G, welcome to my space.The job should go the deserving candidate, no doubt about it.

sujata said...

Never thought Bombay which was always so cosmopolitan would eventually take this shape. The commercial capital of India cannot belong to any community, its the blood and sweat and horrific train journeys back and forth of all the numerous people who have toiled here.

Neha said...

hmmm, the topic most of us "outsiders" think about - where we belong...bal thakarey stated this when he formed Shiv sena, and now Raj thakarey is taking it forward to run his party and become powerful...n he is successful too, for he won 13 seats in the Vidhan Sabha elections..

I have a request to be made to MNS - please stop this state-wise distribution..or I will be separated from my husband :(

Kavi said...

Awesome. Hitting the nail on its head.

Yes. I come from Tamil Nadu. Lived most of my worklife in Bangalore. Married a tamilian, born and brought up in Mumbai. And now live in Mumbai. Which is HOME.

I cant speak Marathi. She can. This is home. For both of us.

Now, where do i go ? Sri Lanka !?!

What crap.

This is home. My forefathers stood side by side to fight for freedom. For one land. For one ethos. For one future.

And i look and talk to the average Marathi manoos. And soak in their eacho others love and affection. We often break bread with them. Revel in their festivities. And they in ours.

What else matters !

APARNA said...

Thanks for the post...

one, it initiated alot of nostalgia...

two, I began to think of myself ...I have a similar feeling of rootless-ness (is there a word like that??). My parents were born and brought up in Kerala and so I am a Malyalee. But I was born in BBY but could not do my engineering there simply because I didn't have a domicile. The domilice rules said either born or there for the past twelve years but the lawyers changed "or" to "and". (I was in M'sia for schooling as my parents were there). That forced me to switch fields into biology (but I am happy about it now. Then I went to Bangalore....but in the end I consider myself as Indian and as you said I consider others as Indians ....

Bye...

Anonymous said...

IT'S ALL IN YOUR POST. YOU LIVED IN MAHARASHTRA FOR SO LONG, YET YOU NEVER CARED TO LEARN THEIR LANGUAGE AND CUSTOMS. MAHARASHTRA IS NOT A FREE SOCIETY, IT'S A MARATHI SOCIETY. SO MANY 'OUTSIDERS' HAVE INFACT BLENDED THEMSELVES PERFECTLY WITH MAHARASHTRIAN SOCIETY, THEY TAKE FRONT SEATS DURING RAJ THACKERAY'S SPEECHES. GO SEE THEM.
BECOME A MAHARASHTRIAN OR GO BACK TO WHEREVER YOU CAME FROM.
JAI MAHARASHTRA!

Smitha said...

Such a powerful and heartfelt post! I so identify with you. Brought up in Jamshedpur by Malayali parents, studied in one state, worked in a bunch of states, made Bangalore home, married to a North Indian, living abroad as of now - when I come back to India - would I be an outsider everywhere? And what do we need to do to prove our loyalty?

I remember some time back, before Jharkand was formed, there was a lot of pressure on industrialists in Jamshedpur to recruit only locals. My parents had been there for years but in one stroke, started worrying if it made sense to plan their retirement there..

I really wonder what such people who try to differentiate between 'outsiders' and 'insiders' want to really achieve.. Can any society function like this?

Smitha said...

Such a powerful and heartfelt post! I so identify with you. Brought up in Jamshedpur by Malayali parents, studied in one state, worked in a bunch of states, made Bangalore home, married to a North Indian, living abroad as of now - when I come back to India - would I be an outsider everywhere? And what do we need to do to prove our loyalty?

I remember some time back, before Jharkand was formed, there was a lot of pressure on industrialists in Jamshedpur to recruit only locals. My parents had been there for years but in one stroke, started worrying if it made sense to plan their retirement there..

I really wonder what such people who try to differentiate between 'outsiders' and 'insiders' want to really achieve.. Can any society function like this?

bluebird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bluebird said...

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

bluebird said...

With Aparna's permission, I am addressing this to the ANONYMOUS.

1. Appreciate your coming here. You are as much entitled to your opinions as the next person. Would like to know more.

2. What, according to you, are the characterestics of Marathi society that are being lost?

3. What does an 'outsider' need to do to get a front row seat instead of losing his front row teeth at a Raj meeting?

4. Do you always need the cover of anonymity before you can stand up and speak? On the street, you are the mob. On the net, you are the ANONYMOUS. Who are you?

5. Define 'outsider'. Define 'insider'

6. Outside of the issue, do you believe in Indian Nationality? Do you think a solution can be worked out within the framework of Indian Nationality?


7. Are you in approval of the methods of intimidation that are being promoted by the MNS etc? Do you have an opinion regarding in the incident in the legislature that led to ouster of 4 members. Do you think other, more effective methods might be available that might be less damaging to marathi society in the long term? Or is it that the only solution you have is a hammer, and hence every problem has to look like a nail to you?

Have a good day.

bluebird said...

And Jai Maharashtra. Its a great state, and you are a great people. Dont you forget that.

The Panorama said...

Great post, Aparna!! I can understand your angst as I am living in a country that is not my own. But that Indians are made to feel as if they don't belong to a part of Sovereign India?? That is a huge breach of your constitutional rights.
You have every right to live in Mumbai.
And this is TO ANONYMOUS, who doesn't have the guts to disclose his/ her identity:
It is people like you and Raj Thackery who ensured that India was a British colony for a 100 years. How easily they could split us. It is people like YOU who should leave Maharashtra.
Such regionalism has made it easy for outsiders to come and conquer us.

ZB, I don't agree with you on this one. Non- Maharashtrians have contributed a lot in making Mumbai what it is today. Why should they be sidelined now because the marathi manoos is feeling threatened. Nobody is stopping Marathi manoos from anything.
Jai Hind!

PURN!MA said...

I wish to say something to our friend who prefers posting with an Anonymous identity.

1. You can put across your point silently. Does putting your words in CAPS mean what you say has more weightage?

2. Forget the "OUTSIDERS" as you put them. There are many "INSIDERS" who know nothing - not their language, not even their own customs. What do we do about them??

3. Before you throw the "OUTSIDERS" out of the state, bring the "INSIDERS" in. Explain why there are Maharastrians living abroad. (add to it, they never speak Marathi and do not celebrate festivals)

4. I agree we should be proud of our basic culture, tradition, customs etc. Doesn't mean we HAVE to force others to like them/ start practicing them, leaving theirs behind.

5. We, the "OUTSIDERS", have lived in Maharashtra long enough to call it our HOMETOWN.

6. Kindly do not go into a defensive mode unless and until someone offends you in the first place. As far as this post is concerned, I do not see anything offensive here. I'm sure Aparna is not averse to embracing the Maharastrian culture as one of her own. None of us are.

7. Also, please do not forget, that one day you may have to live elsewhere for a long/ short period of time. Would you like to be labelled as an "OUTSIDER" ?

8. We all live in one country. The country which fought for independence. The country which cared less whether you were a Maharastrian or a Tamilian when the only aim was to get rid of the "REAL OUTSIDERS"... let's not fight for trivial issues like what language i speak and what language u speak.

There are bigger issues that need to be addressed. lets work towards sorting them out.

And finally, what's the point in shouting you opinion from behind the curtains? If you have something to say, kindly take the centre stage but with an identity.
------------------------------

M Sorry Aparna, I didn't even wait for you to grant me permission to say all of the above.

Feel free to delete this comment, if you feel like it. But I really hope Anonymous gets the point.

Aparna said...

Hi Purnima, seems I touched a raw nerve of a lot of people. As you can see from the comments of some, a lot of us now stay in our adopted state and love it completely.We do not really have to prove how much we belong to anybody. The people propagating such hatred can not really understand us. They are one-dimensional characters and can not see beyond their noses.

And language is not how you judge love anyway.

Hi Priya, All the places that we stay in, develop our personalities and teach us something. We are capable of loving 2 or more cities equally. Unfortunately most people are so dense that they can not see that.
The politicians do not see anything except the vote bank. The people are so stupid that they can not understand that all these speeches are just sheer manipulation.

Hi Ramesh, waiting to see you in Mumbai.

Hi Sujata, Bombay unfortunately is seeing such bigots quite frequently now. Just 2 days ago an office of a TV channel was ransacked. The head was beaten up and everything was caught on camera. The channel had criticized Bal Thackeray.

Hi Neha, as you can see from the comments, most people are sane and do not want any division. We all love where we stay and a handful of politicians have no right to say where we belong or do not belong.

Hi Kavi, we all ultimately belong to one nation. Does not really matter what language we speak, what food we eat and what festival we celebrate. But when I see the hatred and madness in some people's eyes, it shakes me up. Why so much hate?

Hi Aparna, it saddened me to read your story because I could totally identify with it. My brother could not sit for some entrance just because he did not have the domicile certificate. But what ultimately matters is that you are happy with your chosen field.

Anonymous, knowing a language does not prove that you love a culture. If that was so, then Raj Thackeray would love all Hindi speaking people as he knows Hindi quite well.

I can stay here and love Marathi culture and people without learning the language. Language is only one aspect of a culture. Being a Bengali, I know a lot of Indians love Bengali literature, music and food. They do not know the language though.

Even if I were a Maharashtrian, I would not have sat in the first row to hear Raj Thackeray, as I do not believe in what he says.

As far as going back to where I came from, I come from India and I will stay in India. Unlike you, I do not divide my country.

Most of what I wanted to say have been said by Purnima, Bluebird and Panorama. Though they blog under these names, I know what their names are. They have never hidden their identity, unlike you. Next time, please have the courage to say what your name is. And also please reply to the pertinent queries Bluebird posed. As you perhaps would have seen, you are a minority here. Most people, including the Maharashtrians, do not echo your feelings.

Also, I am curious to know why your leaders send their children to English medium schools with names like "Bombay" Scottish.

Thank you for your comments.

ZB said...

@Panorama: Non-marathis have contributed a lot, no doubt, but going forward if Marathis are not given priority in Mumbai(or all of Maharashtra) there will be no peace in the society. Everybody wants to work close to their home, as much as possible. Malayali would like to work in kerala, Bengali in bengal, so is a maharashrian. I feel at least in Public sector, there should be some priority for the locals.

India is one of the fastest growing nations, the growth is unprecedented. Every region in the country would Improve. There would be opportunities for everyone.

providing a privilege to Maharashtra to work close to home will always bring peace to the region. Localization is happening everywhere in the world. i feel this is the start. I feel every city in country would face this problem in coming years, as the place grows. TC

ZB said...

But Shivsena and MNS are really a menace and a political parasites. I feel they are just sucking on the manoos issue coz they have nothing else to stick to. They have no ideology, they have no mandate. They make localization a propaganda, and violence is the most effective marketing tool. If India has to grow, it needs stronger rules against such anti-national menaces. I feel we are too democratic and paying the price for it.

Now even congress and Ashok Chawan is playing the MNS card. Politics in this country will be the greatest hurdle in its development. The vote bank politics.

Vasant Prabhu said...

Hi
Dropped in from Nona's blog. You have nicely lamented on the state of Indians on the move. Where do they root themselves in this environment of what i call 'politics of hyphenation'. I want to blog abt it soon.
cheers

Tomz said...

A relevant one..and every other one will agree with you only apart from some fanatics. Your post was inspiring and at the same time, it addressed the present problem regarding the Marathi argument. Thank you for this post.

Sharmila said...

This post & the comments brings out what we all feel. And I'll add to that one more thing ... scared. And has anyone given a thought to what will remain of Mumbai or the whole of Maharastra for that matter if every single non-Maharashtrian left the state? Every bussiness, every software giant, trading, anything ... just how many of them are owned or run by them?

Neha said...

@ ZB, giving priority to locals in public sector; well let them earn it. when we are against paying bribe money for a seat in universities (I am referring to your post), then why should we support reservation too? isn't it a kind of discrimination? isn't it taking away the job of a deserving person? Isn't it a violation of a fundamental right of a citizen?

when you say that we all prefer to stay near home; so if non-maharastrian considers mumbai a home and just because he is not marathi, he will be deprived of the position to make a place for a local?

last thing, whenever you visit Mumbai, just go to any under-construction site, and ask the workers whether any maharashtrian is present among them or not.

PS: well Aparna, I couldn't stop myself from commenting, thus replying to one of the comments on your blog. Hope you do not mind. :)

Sumandebray said...

you stirred up a hornet's nest... I see!
Its unfortunate what is happening there. I hear conflicting versions coming out. One says that they are going out against the people who are actually spoiling the character of the city. They apparently checking on those who tease and taunt women and pose a threat to the culture of the city and some one says that they are afraid about the distribution of wealth within the city. Who get the top jobs and good marks. They way the trouble in Srilanka started. The reason we have reservation in our country. people cannot accept being beaten by merit and skills. they demand a protectism. Unlike we bengali, who are happy to hand over the entire commerce to the hands of the marwaris.... maybe we need to take it back:)

Aparna said...

Hi Smitha, the politicians preaching hate should realize that India has changed over the years and we are no longer so firmly divided on linguistic lines. There are a lot of mixed marriages and the children from such marriages belong to the Nation and not to a particular state. This kind of ethnic divide can not start happening now.

Hi Bluebird, what can I say to you? You have very succinctly said what we all have tried to express here. Thank you. Often a single voice of sanity can change the whole world.

Hi Panorama, it saddens me at times to see that educated people have been so influenced by the Thackerays' stand. I wonder whether they understand that if we all go back to where we came from, not a single state can prosper. We all need each other's support and help.Thank you for expressing your candid views.

Purnima, you have the right to come to my blog and say what you want about a particular comment. I only hope Anonymous is seeing this.

ZB, about the Maharshtrians getting the priority here, what kind of job are you exactly talking about? Shouldn't all jobs be merit based? Would you go to a doctor who is less skilled? Or get into a train that is being driven by a driver who may not have the necessary ability? No nation can progress that way. The Marathis are an intelligent lot. I am sure they can compete with the best brains in their own or some other states. And if we all stayed at home did not venture out, where would be the progress? You know Kerala has progressed so much only because the men and women had the courage to leave home and work outside.
I completely agree with Neha and Panorama here. Every job should go to the most deserving candidate. Reservation can only make a society go backward. This is the age of globalization and not localization.

Vasant Prabhu, hi. Welcome to my blog. Not all my posts are like this. This one has created a little storm. I hope you will keep coming here.

Thanks Tomz. This post was supposed to portray the feeling of a migrant Indian...today, a lot of us have left our home state and have decided to settle elsewhere. As you can see, most of us are like that.

Hi Sharmila, you are so true. Imagine if the Gujaratis left the city. Or if the South Indians left. The city and the state will suffer tremendous loss. But does the so called leaders of the Marathi Manoos understand that?

Neha, I fully agree with you on this one. Jobs should go to the most deserving candidate and not because he/she is a local. It is high time politicians understood that it is competence that will drive a nation forward and not what language we speak or what culture we follow.

Tejaswini Shenoy said...

Hi Aparna, lovely post... and so very true... For all the drama these MNS and sena-ites create, aren't they using the same divide and rule policy that the British used?

It started with caste, then religion, then states, now language, where does this end?

For all the 'Unity in Diversity,' isn't this actually proving to a new generation that all that is written in the Civics books is a whole load of crap?

I have been brought up entirely in Maharashtra... I can't imagine living anywhere else... I can speak marathi as well as I can speak english or hindi or my mother tongue... Does it give me more or less of a right to be here?

What defines a Maharashtrian? As the name suggests Maha-rashtra a truely great state... it has accomodated many so-called 'outsiders' and many so-called 'Insiders' have lived out of Maharashtra... Does it make any of them any more or less Maharashtrian?

I am an Indian first and foremost... I have lived in Maharashtra all my life.. my parents spent more of their life here than in Karnataka... who has the rights to judge whether we can or cannot stay or study or work in Maharashtra????

As for anonymous, doesn't the anonymity actually make people think he/she themselves can't justify their own emotions?

blunt edges said...

so freaking awesome! i wish raj T. reads this! ***applause***

J P Joshi said...

A very beautifully and logically expressed post with which most Indians can identify.

Tracing my roots, I realised that my ancestors were Maharashtrians who fought in the plains of Panipat during the third battle of Panipat, lost, scattered all over in the plains of Punjab, UP and other northern states. Similarly they scattered all over in the South. The Maratha kingdoms boundaries were big. Many names like Joshi, Pandeys, Pathaks are all Maharashtrian names...but now I am a born punjabi.

As someone who served in the armed forces, I served all over the country to maintain the integrity of the country from external and internal threats; swearing in the name of God to uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution; and keeping our tricolour flying high. These two guarantee to us our right to live anywhere where they hold sway, and nobody can take that right away - no rabid Raj or Bal Thackerey. I am waiting for the patience of the Indian people to say, "enough is enough". Till then, sane Indians would need to believe that our Constitution gives us that right. Politicians come and go at the will of the people - exercise your rights - which is a great responsibility too - VOTE - exercise that right.

nsiyer said...

I agree. Politicians in several hues and colours to serve their own ends keep us divided. We get corrupted but slowly and unknowingly.. Let us hold ourselves above the petty stuff . Jai Ho!

Smita said...

Thats such a wonderful post & expresses the angst of every Indian! And I say Indian because these issues are created by politicians to serve their purpose & we junta become mere pawns in the game!!!

When that Assembly incident had happened I had an argument with a Marathi girl! I asked her, what makes you people so egoistic about a city? From where does the arrogance come? Can you name anyother city in Mah which is as developed as Mumbai? DO you think u ppl have made the city what it is all alone? And lastly do u really think speaking in local language makes you love the place??

Today again Shiv Sena has commented on Tendulkar saying he hasn't done enough for Maharashtrians!!! I can only spit choicest abuse against these idiots but wud refrain!!

Destiny's child... said...

Your anger is fully justified. I don't think anyone but some anti-socials like Raj Thackrey think in this lowly manner. Calling a state solely for those who speak the language and have their so-called roots there, is just downright disgusting. Does that man travel around? I wonder. I am shocked to see a response from one Mr. Anonymous. He must be ashamed of himself. Being Anonymous is good for him!

Bhavya.B said...

Wonderful post .Your questions are the perfect answers to Thakrey's men.

Rajni said...

Dear Anonymous
May God bless you with courage to appear. If you are pointing to customs and wear as ways to become Maharastrian, then my dear friend we all must wear the same as our ancestors did who roamed the land before it became Maharashtra or Gujrat and speak a language which has since become reduntant. Society evolves to become richer when it imbibes selectively from other races and cultures and not by building walls around itself.

deeps said...

hopped over from sujata ...
just to see around the corner here ...
and i guess ... me like a lost child amidst lingustical-cultural-political-edible differnces ... oops ...

i wonder how my life will be if i have to eat dosa alone just bcoz i from a place where dosa is being made usually.. or someone from a place where only ice candy is made!!
ding dong ..

heyy well,thought about one...

Jyothi said...

Aparna,yet another wonderful post. I was not intending to comment. As you know, was not in the best of moods recently.But I had to add something here.

This idea of localization is not new to me. Where I live, we always face this problem. But its not my country, so it doesn't hurt me that much. But in October when we went down to Bangalore for a two day visit, with the intention of shifting there, we had an interesting conversation with the driver who was driving us around. He was saying "There are so many OUTSIDERS here, that you will have to actually search for locals if you want to see one". To this he also added,"I wonder where all the locals have gone?" I am not saying that he is right or anything. But even then, it struck me, was it a mistake to want to shift to Bangalore and not to my hometown in Kerala? Was I mistaken in thinking that Bangalore was home too. As an Indian, why should I be made to feel like an outsider in my own country?

I can totally understand what you are going through. Lets just hope people get back to their senses soon.

bluebird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kavita said...

Aparna...i am a coward Indian,when i keep my eyes open i see many thackreys so i prefer to close my eyes because i see Gandhi then,when i hold my head straight i see a mob coming towards me sometimes in the name of religion ,sometimes caste ,sometimes region so i prefer to bury my head in sand like an ostrich and pretend that i am safe...i want a change in the system but i am too lazy to go out and vote....i love humming this tune HIND DESH KE NIWASI SABHI JAN EK HAIN ,RANG ROOP VESH BHASHA CHAHE ANEK HAI....pretending i am safe,happy and a very proud Indian...but again deep inside i know i am a coward.

bluebird said...

think we scared the guy(?) off, eh, Aparna? If only it was this easy with the rest of them. You see what the difference was between here and on the street? Here the guy could not physically intimidate the opposition into submission. It would be possible, even out in the real world, if only ordinary people such as ourselves would refuse to get intimidated. Of course, I know, easily said than done!

People like Mr Anonymous are not the ones we should be concerned about - they have declared a war, and they will get what they seek. They are a law and order problem.

But its for the minds of people such as the gentleman who calls himself ZB that we should fight. You and I may be convinced otherwise, but we have to realize that quite a few people might tend to agree with him, and they are civilized people unlike the thugs and goons of the different senas.

I'd urge that we talk to them sympathetically, try to learn their case, identify areas where concessions can be made and concensus reached. To not engage the 'moderates' as I would like to refer to them would be to force at least a few of them into extreme positions that none of us might find acceptable.

Kadri Luik said...

Beautiful and thought worthy post. I've often wondered what my mixed background truly makes me and what my even more mixed children are. Even more so because I moved to another part of the country when I got married and I've always been the "stranger" that was "imported". I'm not Indian, still I can identify with your post because the topic is so universal.

I have an award for you here.

Have a nice day! =)

Nona said...

Nice post! I have always worked away from my hometown! But luckily, I have not been subjected to this kind of terror yet!

ZB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZB said...

"Neha: reservation and bribe are two totally different things. one is a fraud and other is assisting the development of demographically challenged.

all i have said is give some priority to mahrastrians in public sector. I NEVER said of removing any outsiders from mumbai( LIKE RAJ THACKREY).You and all others are OVERREACTING.YOU ARE TAKING UR FRUSTRATIONS OUT( on me).

If there aRE no maharastrian construction workers in mumbai and only outsiders, then that means maharastrians are rich?In that case if biharis are removed, like what raj thackrey wants, then it will create a serious labour shortage and in turn create an huge economical problem. That will stop raj thackrey. But i am sure that will not happen, coz 75 % of maharastrians earn less than 2 $ a day. Common, lets encourage biharis to stay in bihar by creating job opportunities for them in bihar. It will make Mumbai less crowded and much more better place to live.

ZB said...

"Aparna: I thought this bluebird doesnt deserve an explanation. So deleted my comment.

You are right. All are right. We need unity. we need to be Indians and be one. National integration is GREAT. And there should be no reservation. It should be based on Merit.
All Indians should be allowed to live anywhere in india. Its the time of globalization and not localizations. But these are ideal situations.

I feel the biggest mistake was when India as a nation was getting created. Our nation-builders divided the country into States, based on language and culture. I feel thats the biggest mistake. India should have been one, stateless country.

This Maharastrianism is not new. It has happened in tamil nadu, Maharashtra, kerala and many places, and will happen more in the future. I am totally against it.

ZB said...

I saw ur earlier comment, about Sandeep Unnikrishnan. I am glad that you mentioned his name.I know the meaning of sacrifice. Sandeep is my cousin and i have seen him grow. We are of same age and once both aspired to be an army-man. I remember him calling my parents to inform that he got through NDA and is joining ARMY.
Its heartbreaking to see his mom. She has not recovered from the shock. I am wondering how she would react when the whole world would remember him and remind her of her loss. He was her only son and probably her only reason to live. Its a great loss, for me more coz its a family loss.

Neha said...

@ ZB, you hit the nail on the head - the biggest mistake was made when our constitution was enacted..the states were created on the basis of the languages..

and nobody is taking out one's frustration on u buddy...it is just that Mumbai is our home too and we want people to accept this fact..we have earned our position, our place here..we cannot see our fundamental right getting violated for the benefit of a political party..

@ bluebird, I am sorry, but i feel you are harsh on ZB...his points you disagree with, please put them forward na, I am sure he will give justification to his comments and views like he did for mine and Panorama's comments..He is not a danger like those politicians that we have to "fight" him..

Aparna said...

Suman, I did indeed stir up a hornet's nest. About the Marwaris controlling the economy of Kolkata, what really is the harm? Bengalis are not very good at managing money anyway. Let's face it, we (i.e. the Bengalis) control the administration of the state and look how badly we have messed up. ( I may get more hate mails for this comment though)

Tejaswini Shenoy,welcome to my space. I fully echo your views here. After a so many years of staying, we no longer should be treated as outsiders. It is like being refugees in our own homeland.

Blunt edges, thank you. I never thought I would say this, but it was a pleasant surprise to see a short comment!!!

JP Joshi, yes my Constitution gives me the right to stay in any part of India and I am staying put. Thank you for the thought provoking comment.

NS Iyer, sometimes I feel these corrupt politicians are the root of all evils in India. How come year after year we are still electing the same guys?

Smita, Yes I read about the Shiv Sena and Tendulkar again. How silly. Bombay is like this only because of the cosmopolitan crowd. And I hope it stays that way.

Destiny's child, Anonymous got his/her answers here I hope. When I read certain comments, I really felt proud of being an Indian. Most people are not fanatics and I am so glad.

Bhavya, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

1) INDIA IS LIKE EUROPE - MANY LANGUAGES, ONE CURRENCY. NO LANGUAGE IS OVER AND ABOVE ANY OTHER LANGUAGE. HENCE, IN MAHARASHTRA IT'S MARATHI AND ONLY MARATHI. ENGLISH IS THE LANGUAGE OF AMBITIONS, IT OPENS ECONOMIC DOORS. HINDI IS JUST ANOTHER LANGUAGE REPRESENTATIVE OF BIMARU STATES. HINDI SHOULD NOT BE IMPOSED IN NON-HINDI STATES. ABU AZMI SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXILED TO UP FOR WHAT HE DID.

2)GOVERNMENT SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT THE LOCAL POPULACE PERCENTAGE DOESN'T FALL BELOW A CERTAIN LEVEL - 75% TO 80%- AS A FAIR TARGET. IF IT GOES BELOW THAT, STOP IMMIGRATION IMMEDIATELY.

3) IF A FACTORY IS TO SHUT DOWN, AS IT HAPPENED WITH FACTORIES IN NASIK, AFTER THE 'OUTSIDERS' ARE DRIVEN AWAY, THEN SUCH A FACTORY DESERVES TO BE SHUT DOWN. IT IS NOT CONTRIBUTING TO THE WELFARE OF LOCAL POPULACE, ALL IT IS DOING IS POLLUTING THE SKIES OF MAHARASHTRA.

4) INSIDERS = PEOPLE BORN TO MAHARASHTRIAN PARENTS AND ALSO THOSE WHO HAVE MADE MARATHI AS THEIR MOTHER TONGUE FOR HAVING LIVED IN MAHARASHTRA FOR A LONG TIME OR MARRIAGE OR SOME OTHER REASON. OUTSIDERS = ALL OTHERS.

5) THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT MY ANONYMOUS IDENTITY, IRONICALLY, THEMSELVES ARE SHEILDING UNDER ANONYMOUS NAMES LIKE BLUEBIRD, POORNIMA WITHOUT THE LAST NAME ETC. SORRY, THAT'S NOT DIFFERENT TOO. WHY DON'T YOU GIFT ME A GMAIL ID PLS? DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF ALL YOU KNOW IS I AM A TRUE BLOOD MAHARASHTRIAN?

6)THE WORD 'INDIAN' IS JUST USED AS A VEIL BY OUTSIDERS TO IMPOSE THEIR LANGUAGE AND CUSTOMS ON LOCALS. I AM 'INDIAN' SO I WILL SPEAK ONLY IN HINDI. I AM 'INDIAN' SO I WILL RECRUIT ONLY BIHARIS. I AM 'INDIAN' SO I HAVE RIGHTS TO EXPLOIT LOCALS IN MAHARASHTRA. TO HELL WITH THAT INDIAN, TO FOREIGNERS WE MAY BE INDIAN MAHARASHTRIANS, BUT TO NON MAHARASHTRIANS, WE ARE MAHARASHTRIAN INDIANS.

7) NO OUTSIDERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CONDUCT ELECTIONS. A MIGRANT FROM UP WINS AN ELECTION IN MUMBAI AND IN TURN BRINGS MORE PEOPLE FROM UP TO INCREASE HIS VOTEBANK AND THIS VICIOUS CIRCLE CONTINUES. PEOPLE WHO FLED UP AND BIHAR BCOS OF SUCH CORRUPT AND STUPID POLITICIANS ARE SO STUPID THEMSELVES THAT THEY ELECT THE SAME PEOPLE IN MAHARASHTRA AGAIN. HOW STUPID CAN A PERSON REALLY GET!

8) INDIA SHOULD BE MADE A FEDERATION JUST LIKE US. THE STATES SHOULD BE GIVEN THE POWER. THEN ONLY WE CAN HAVE TRULY THE 'UNITY IN DIVERSITY' AND NOT UNITY ON COST OF DIVERSITY.

9) BOLLYWOOD SHOULD BE THROWN AWAY FROM MUMBAI. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS STARTED BY MAHARASHTRIANS, IT DOESN'T REPRESENT ANYTHNG INDIAN THESE DAYS. ANYTHING THAT IS TOO MUCH INDIAN HAS COME TO BE HATED BY BOLLYWOOD.

10) IF SOMEONE SAYS ME I WILL CALL IT BOMBAY AND NOT MUMBAI, THAT JUST SHOWS THEIR ATTITUDE OF NOT GIVING A HOOT TO THE SENTIMENTS OF LOCALS. THE LOCALS HAVE THE RIGHT AND JUSTLY SO TO NAME THEIR CITIES AND PLACES WHATEVER THEY WANT TO.

CONTD..

Anonymous said...

11) IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU THAT IF THE OUTSIDERS LEAVE , THE ECONOMY OF MAHARASHTRA WILL CRUMBLE..WELL, THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT THE BRITISHERS TOLD INDIANS WHEN THEY LEFT AS WELL. IT DIDN'T HAPPEN THEN, IT WON'T HAPPEN NOW ALSO.

12) IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU ABOUT THE 'SURVIVAL OF FITTEST THEORY' IN RELATION TO LOST JOBS IN LABOR CLASS...WELL, HOW CAN A MAHARASHTRIAN PERSON SUSTAINING HIS FAMILY OF 2 CHILDREN COMPETE WITH A BACHELOR FROM UP OR BIHAR WHO DOESN'T MIND WORKING FOR PEANUTS AND BUILDING ILLEGAL SHANTIES AND SLEEPING ON ROADS? INDIA SHOULD IMPLEMENT A FIXED FEDERAL PER HOUR WAGE RATE, JUST LIKE USA.

13) SHIV SENA AND MNS SHOULD COME TOGETHER AND WORK AS ONE. SEPARATELY, THEY CANNOT RULE THE STATE, IT'S BEYOND POSSIBILITY. TOGETHER THEY WILL BE A FORMADABLE FORCE TO RECKON WITH.

14) ENOUGH OF BICKERING BETWEEN SHIV SENA AND SACHIN TENDULKAR. IT'S ENOUGH NOW. SACHIN SHOULD JUST PLAY HIS SPORT AND NOT PASS POLITICAL STATEMENTS. HE HASN'T WORKED FOR POOR MARATHI PEOPLE AS MUCH AS SHIV SENA HAS WORKED FOR. AND SHIV SENA SHOULD JUST LET INNOCENT SACHIN OFF THEIR RADAR. IT'S ENOUGH NOW.

15) MNS GOT A QUARTER OF TOTAL VOTES IN MUMBAI. THERE IS LOT OF SUPPORT FOR WHAT HE SAYS. IN NASIK HE PULLED MORE PEOPLE IN HIS SPEECHES THAN SONIA GANDHI DID FOR HERS.

YES WE ARE ALL INDIANS. BUT WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT IN OUR OWN RESPECTS. IF WE ALL HAVE TO BECOME ONE, WE NEED TO SELECT THINGS WHICH ARE NOT COMMON AMONG US. OUR LINK LANGUAGE SHOULD BE A FOREIGN LANGUAGE LIKE ENGLISH, OUR LINK CUSTOMS SHOULD BE FOREIGN TO OUR LAND. AND IT IS HAPPENING ALSO AS WE SPEAK. WE CANNOT IMPOSE LANGUAGE AND CUSTOMS OF ONE STATE ON ANOTHER STATE JUST ON PURE MAJORITY BASIS. PARTICULARLY NOT FROM THE FAILED STATES.

JAI MAHARASHTRA!

Sid said...

I read your post a couple of days back and have been ruminating it ever since. That is when I remembered reading somewhere about the Raffles Plan that was used by the British when they were settling in Singapore.

They made a distinct effort to separate the various racial groups there (Chinese, Malay, Tamil) into various areas of the city so as to cause as less a problem as possible. This allowed Singapore to grow but the communities remained unknown to each other.

I started thinking whether this even applies to the case of various communities in India. And I have yet to find an answer. We all know what a separation of this kind brought to the two countries when we gained independence. I guess we are too cohesive a unit now to be actually separated unlike Singapore which was actually a case of immigrants. And that cohesiveness is what probably makes India what it is. A chaos at best, but still a wonderful home for everyone that wishes to be here.

bluebird said...

@ Neha: I thought I was being supportive of ZB, its unfortunate that you dont think so. I said to fight for the goodwill of people like him, not to fight him. I felt he was being singled out to vent the collective ire of the room, and I thought it was important to make a distinction between people like him and our friend Anonymous.

Neha said...

I am sorry bluebird, I had not understood your point then...thank you for the clarification :)

Aparna said...

Rajni, thank you for that extremely mature comment. We are so obsessed with 'our' culture and 'our' language that we forget that this 'our' is always in the process of changing. We all have evolved because of our ability to accept other culture.

Thanks Deeps, hope you will keep hopping over, this time things got a bit heated up.

Jyothi, Bangalore is a very nice city and I hope you will be happy there.At times I feel I am a refugee in my own country, and I do not belong anywhere. I just hope our kids will not face this problem. Take care.

Kavita, we can be all ostriches, that won't make the problem go away. I understand your anxiety more as you are staying in a place where terrorism is such a big threat. But I had grown up in Delhi during the peak of Khalistan terrorism and since moving here have witnessed several terror attacks. We have to be more proactive so that our kids can inherit a better world.

bluebird said...

@Anonymous: Good to see you back.

Still shouting in caps aren't you?

Lets first see where if at all I could agree with you.

1. Hindi should not be imposed on non-hindi states.

Agree. I would myself hate to have to forego my mothertongue and be forced to adopt Hindi. But I wouldn't also mind knowing Hindi in addition to my local language if it helps to interact with people from other parts of the country. I cant understand why you insist that the link language be a foreign language. Would you extend the logic and say the link government between our regions should be a foreign one too?

But once in a while I too encounter a North Indian who implies its our fault that he cant get along fine in Kerala with Hindi only, and I tell him to get some English. But in Azmi's case you were imposing upon his language and not the other way round.

2. Regarding the capping on immigration, I can appreciate your concerns when you feel overwhelmed by the huge influx of migrants who might be willing to work for a pittance. But that's the price you have to pay for getting the best talent in the country to work to make your city richer. Know how Uganda's economy crumbled after Idi Amin threw Indians out? No matter what, you cant just lay sole claim to a city that was made what it was by the toil of generations of people from all over the country. Precisely for the same reason Marathi language can not be given special preference, at least as far as Bombay (yes!) is considered. And last, are you prepared for a scenario of a Maharashtra flanked by a hostile India? You can deal with future generations of Ajmal Kasabs on your own. May be your Senas will do the needful, as they did on 26/11.

But even then, I agree its an understandable concern you have, and you have my sympathy there. The issue needs further debate and concensus at the national level. Just because you belong to a minority state does not mean you forefeit all claims to your cultural identity.

Regarding elections, if a quarter of the population voted for Raj etc, then I dont think you have much to worry about the North Indians coming down and screwing up things. You are pretty screwed up yourself as it is.

Sachin is as much a Maharashtrian as you are (I might have said 'Indian' there but I dont think that'd mean much to you), and he has the guts to speak in the open. But anyway I agree that the issue between him and the Sena's is better buried.

And finally, I totally agree that bollywood should be thrown out of Maharashtra. If I could have my way I'd have them thrown out of India.

Going by your argument, what's the point of giving you a gmail ID - other than the pleasant possibility of finding my inbox overflowing with your love notes every other day? So here's the deal. You come down south anytime, you let me know.

Friends, I am withdrawing from this thread as of now.
Got work.

Thanks everyone. No apologies.

scorpiogenius said...

Appreciate the way you've put this across. There is a sure power to those words and this is an indication of the uncomfortable times our country is heading to..

We may well end up as a country with no place for Indians.

Wonder how well the Unity in Diversity theory is working on the ground. A few years down the lane and where will people run to hide?

scorpiogenius said...

K, i'm adding your blog to my roll. Hope you don't mind, thanks :-)

Anonymous said...

@ bluebird

1) WE ARE TALKING ABOUT ABU AZMI'S BEHAVIOR IN MAHARASHTRA AND NOT UP/BIHAR. I DON'T CARE WHAT HE SPEAKS (OR DOESN'T SPEAK) OUTSIDE MAHARASHTRA. IN MAHARASHTRA ASSEMBLY HE OUGHT TO SPEAK MARATHI.

2) WE YET DON'T BELONG TO MINORITY, BUT WE MAY SOON IF NOTHING IS DONE NOW. GIVEN HOW FAST OUR GOVT ACTS, IT'S BETTER THAT THE TASK IS HANDLED BY THACKERAYS'.

3) SACHIN DIDN'T COME OUT IN OPEN PER SE. FYI - HE WAS SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOR DURING MAHARASHTRA DHARMA EVENT ORGANIZED BY RAJ THACKERAY. HE WAS JUST CAUGHT UNAWARE BY ONE OF THE JOURNALIST AND HE SAID WHAT WAS GOOD FOR HIS IMAGE. DEEP DOWN, HE ALSO DOESN'T LIKE TO SEE THE FOOTPATHS OF OUR CITY FILLED WITH BHAIYYAS.

4)EVEN IF YOU WERE TO GIFT ME A GMAIL ID FOR FORUMS, I WOULDN'T HAVE ACCEPTED IT, LET ALONE FINDING TIME FOR LOVE LETTERS. AND HOW DOES KARELU SOUND FOR YOUR STATE? I AM GOING TO SAY THIS TO ATLEAST 5 PEOPLE TODAY. LOL.

JAI MAHARASHTRA!

Aparna said...

Bluebird, as you can see Anonymous has come up with some of his views again.
About ZB, he meant that it would be more peaceful if there is more localization. I think there is a bit of a communication gap here. I just hope two of you clarify your views. I really do not want any hatred in my blog.

Thanks Nona, I have never stayed in Calcutta either :-)

Thanks Kadri, I am really happy. Don't you think mixed parentage make children more intelligent?

ZB, I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding between you and Bluebird.
Please do not think we are taking out our frustration on you. There are some very pertinent questions regarding reservation of jobs for locals. If there is a more qualified 'outsider', should that person be denied a job? And if the local is more qualified, then what is the need for any reservation?
Yes this division on the basis of linguistic lines was senseless. But that time probably our leaders had more pressing problems and thought this could create some unity. It was better than dividing on religious lines anyway.
Did not know Sandeep Unnikrishnan was your cousin. I have been seeing a lot of interviews of his parents lately on TV. The TV channels are all showing the stories of survivors and the victims on the occassion of the first anniversary of 26/11. He is my hero.

Sid, if 50 people can create so much chaos in my blog, can you imagine the state of India?

Scorpiogenius, no place for Indians in India did you say? You may be true...

Anonymous, please do not force me to put a comment moderator, this was supposed to be a peaceful discussion and not a vicious attack on our own people. I do not know about other people, but I do not like to address nameless people on my blog. I also feel you can get your point across even if you do not scream.
I had actually raised a completely different issue in my blog. And that is, there are a lot of Indians like me, who have never stayed in one place. We have travelled all over India. Where do we belong? If you bother to read what other people say, you will notice that there are quite a few people like that. What will happen to us?
Another thing, since Bombay/Mumbai happens to be the financial capital of India, a lot of people are transferred by their companies here. They may or may not be happy about this move. But this is the place they stay as this is their place of work.
Thank you for visiting my place. But in future, for the sake of our country, I hope you will learn to love people for what they are, and not for where they come from.

Kadri Luik said...

I think intelligence is a poor measurement to describe the qualities of mixed people, it's so much more and so much deeper than that. Being mixed gives you a greater sense of empathy and understanding since it's easier to see the other side of the issue. There is a catch though, you need to accept who you are and keep an open mind when it comes to the alternatives. Close-mindedness among mixed people is just as bad as all other close-mindedness.

Anonymous said...

@ aparna

I THINK IT'S YOU AND OTHER PEOPLE ON THIS FORUM WHO ARE COMING DOWN ON ME RATHER THAN THE OTHER WAY ROUND. SCROLL UP AND SEE HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIRECTED MESSAGES TOWARDS ME WHEREAS I DIDN'T DIRECT IT TO ANY INDIVIDUAL, INCLUDING YOU, THAT IS UNTIL NOW. THE PROBLEM IS , SOME PEOPLE ON THIS FORUM, INCLUDING YOU, JUST WANT OTHERS TO LISTEN TO THEM. THEY ARE NOT OPEN FOR DIFFERENT VIEWS. IF YOU AND OTHERS ARE JUST LOOKING FOR SYMPATHY AND SIMILAR VIEWS, THEN SO IT BE. I JUST LAID DOWN THE FACTS WHICH MAHARASHTRA IS FACING AND THE REASON BEHIND THE SUPPORT FOR MNS AND SHIV SENA. YOUR GIVING ME OR NOT GIVING ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO WRITE MY OPINIONS ON THIS FORUM WILL NO WAY CHANGE THE FACTS, EXCEPT THAT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IGNORANT OF THE REAL REASONS. YOUR INSISTING ON WRITING BOMBAY AGAIN AND AGAIN JUST SHOWS HOW MUCH YOU RESPECT MY PEOPLES' SENTIMENTS AND SO IT JUST JUSTIFIES THE ANGER OF MNS/SS EVEN MORE TO ME NOW. AND JUST FYI, MAHARASHTRA DOESN'T NEED DEVELOPMENT FROM THOSE PEOPLE WHO CANNOT CALL IT HOME. PLS KEEP YOUR DEVELOPMENT IN YOUR OWN STATES.AND YOU SAID IT RIGHT, SOME COMPANIES TRANSFER PEOPLE AGAINST THEIR WILL AND THE PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES WILL MAKE SUCH PEOPLE THINK THRICE BEFORE MOVING TO MAHARASHTRA.

LETS NOT CONFUSE, IT'S NOT ONLY THE GOONDAS ON THE STREETS OR THE JOBLESS PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPORTING THEM. THEIR SUPPORT SPANS ALL CLASSES OF SOCIETY.

AND TO BE FRANK, THE REAL CULPRIT CAN BE SUMMED IN JUST TWO WORDS - 'HINDI IMPOSITION'. IF THE BHAIYYAS FROM UP/BIHAR WOULD HAVE CARED TO LEARN MARATHI, NOONE WOULD HAVE MADE SUCH HUE AND CRY OUT OF THIS ISSUE. IT'S NOT JUST THE BHAIYYAS, EVEN BENGALIS LIKE YOURSELF WHEN LIVING IN ANOTHER STATE WOULD ONLY TALK IN HINDI AND HINDICIZE WHEREVER YOU LIVE. I DON'T KNOW WHO PUT IN YOUR HEADS THAT HINDI IS SUPREME OF INDIAN LANGUAGES. IRONICALLY, IT WAS LEFT TO MNS TO PROVE THAT HINDI IS JUST ANOTHER LANGUAGE OF INDIA.

JAI MAHARASHTRA!

The Holy Lama said...

Dear Aparna and Anonymous
I posted my second comment on this post with my first name to show that revealing a name does no harm.But dear anonymous- fear is not a solution for any problems of unemployment or lower wages. You might know the plight of cotton and sugarcane farmers in your state away from Mumbai and the other races. There, they have been exploited by the Marathis landlords, middlemen and sahukars. And please don't be overawed by the American federation. The whole country there has migrants and even they have problems related to race and creed. Spanish speaking mexicans, negroes, Asians, Muslims all face problems but they stick on to work and study there and the result is we tend to show their example for development and progress. People who didn't mix up with others and take to change became things for postcards and tourists delight- take the case of Red Indians or the Delaware puritans in US, but nothing more.
Peshwa culture was great because it was open. Pleaselet not history take a different turn here.We Indians poke fun at each other about languages, customs and general demeanour but it is all in good spirit. Please don't break ties. Pakistan is not any happier after it was created.
Rajni

Good said...

Hi! Mr/Ms Anonymous, You say only that only Marathi manoos can stay in this state is it. In specific, people whose mother tongue is Marathi. Well, did you know about Bene Israelites? Yeah, they're nice people. They're Israelis who stay in Israel, are Jews, but speak Marathi. Its their mother tongue. Howzat?! And man, just take a chill pill! Who even cares about where people stay? I'm sure if you go and stay in Delhi, UP or Bihar tomorrow, nobody will protest, because, well, you exist. Oh, and if you want to have a federal government, make yourself useful, and reform the government, I don't know whether it has hit you or not, but its kinda, inefficient at this point. Plenty of unnecessary 'gundas’. And if you want to make your writing pronounced, do a better effort download some nice fonts. It really helps, you know, guarantee it.

Love, (Or not)
GA

P.S: I see that you have to show up, as you can’t comment anonymously any more on this forum, so tough luck!

Good said...

To the rest of the readers, I advice, that please ignore (Bad)Anonymous. If you stop bothering him or her, s/he'll not bother you.

GA

Sumandebray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandhya said...

I am so tensed up after reading this post, Aparna. I felt like this when Babri Masjid was demolished. We are still facing the consequences.

Why Anonymus is getting so excited? Is he going to live only in Maharashtra? What about his relatives?

I am a Kannadiga and my husband is a Tamilian. Should I go back to Udupi then, though we live here, in Chennai for the past 48 years? What about my children - they are 50-50 - Kannadiga and Tamilian. This is never ending, Aparna. What are these people giving to their own children in the future?

Every sentence in your post is so true, aparna.

Aparna said...

Kadri, intelligence is the first thing that strikes me when I see a child of mixed parentage. I do know that there are more qualities and empathy is surely one of them, but the bright eyes just captivate me and I can not look away from them!

Thank you Rajni/Holy Lama, your comment was truly insightful. If nothing, we can surely learn from Pakistan how not to run this country.

Thank you GOOD,whoever you are, for the comment.

Suman,decades of Marxist rule has completely destroyed the state, then what is the harm in saying it out aloud? The Bengalis should realize that all the states have progressed in the last few years and they have to catch up real fast. I have no hope whatsoever from Ms Banerjee. She is just as bad. The only way to progress is to strive for personal growth. Only then the whole society will go forward.

Sandhya, this post was meant to show how I felt. Over the years, I have adopted many things from other states. My food habits have changed, I now include a lot of Punjabi and South Indian food in my diet because my kids like it. I love South silks and Banarasi saris. I love the street food of Mumbai and I love watching Hindi movies. I have evolved, though I still retain a lot of my Bengali heritage. I really see no harm. I feel, I truly belong to India, and not just a particular state. It is, I feel, better than adopting western customs.
But as you can see, some people have completely ignored my original message. Thank you for appreciating my writing. You are a real support.

Marathi Manoos said...

1) EXAMPLE OF USA IS NOT APPROPRIATE TO DEFEND YOUR POINT. EVERY PERSON IN USA HAS TO SPEAK IN ENGLISH; OTHERWISE S/HE GETS IGNORED BY THE MASSES. S/HE ONLY SPEAKS OTHER LANGUAGE AMONG HIS OWN PEOPLE. ALL OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS DONE IN ENGLISH, THE LANGUAGE OF USA. GO TO ANY 711 OR WALMART AND TRY SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE HERE!

2) YES THERE ARE POOR PEOPLE IN HINTERLANDS OF MAHARASHTRA AS WELL. WHAT HAS THE PEOPLE FROM UP/BIHAR WHO BECAME HERO FROM ZERO IN MAHARASHTRA EVER DONE FOR THEM? AMITABH BACHHAN BECAME AMBASSADOR FOR UP. AMITABH BACHHAN OPENED A GIRL'S SCHOOL IN UP. AMITABH BACHHAN OPENED HIS CHARITY IN UP. ONLY AFTER RAJ THACKERAY WENT AFTER HIM CRITICALLY DID HE THEN INVEST IN MARATHI FILM ETC. IF A PERSON LIKE AMITABH BACHHAN, WHO GOT EVERYTHING IN THIS STATE, STILL PREFERS TO DO EVERYTHING IN UP, WHAT WRONG IS RAJ THACKERAY, WHO IS WAY SMALLER IN STATUTE THAN HIM, TO HAVE PRIDE IN HIS OWN STATE?

3) A PROBLEM COMMON WITH PEOPLE OF INDIA - 'FAVORITISM'. WHEN A GUJARATHI OPENS A SHOP IN MUMBAI, ALL HE CAN FIND IS GUJARATHI HELPERS (MAYBE FOR CONVENIENE OF LANGUAGE OR WHATEVER - I DONT GIVE HOOTS). EVER BEEN TO A GUJARATHI GROCERY STORE AND SEEN ALL WORKERS ANYTHING BUT GUJARATHI? WHEN A MARWARI OPENS A BUSINESS, HE RECRUITS ONLY MARWARIS (JUST LIKE IN KOLKATA). UNTIL RECENTLY WHEN RAJ THACKERAY DEMANDED IT, THE BSE WEBSITE WAS ALSO ONLY IN GUJARATHI AND ENGLISH, EVEN THOUGH LOCATED IN MAHARASHTRA (BCOS A LARGE CHUNK OF BSE PEOPLE ARE GUJARATHIS). KNOW THE PROBLEM - THERE IS NO DAMN CHECK ON FAVORITISM IN MAHARASHTRA! IF PEOPLE PRACTICE SO MUCH FAVORITISM, WHY DO WE CALL ALL OF US INDIANS? IT ALL SOUNDS HYPOCRITICAL TO ME.

4) I AM NOT HERE TO ATTACK APARNA'S POST. I AM TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES WHICH PRECISELY GETS CONVERTED INTO MNS/SS VOTES. I SEE THAT YOU HAVE A LINK FOR PAITHANI SAREES ON THE FORUM, WHICH IS APPRECIATED.

5) WHAT SHOULD MARATHI PEOPLE DO WHEN MAJORITY OF THE CAB DRIVERS,S ABJI WALLAHS, GROCERIES WALLAHS IN MUMBAI CAN'T SPEAK MARATHI AND TRY TO IMPOSE HINDI ON US? WHAT DO WE DO WHEN ALL OUTSIDERS ARE HELL BENT ON CALLING THE CITY BOMBAY ON OUR FACE? WHAT DO WE DO WHEN OUTSIDERS PRACTISE EXTREME FAVORITISM IN OUR LAND, LET ALONE SHOW GRATITUDE TO LOCALS? WHAT DO WE DO WHEN PEOPLE WHO EARN EVERYTHING HERE GO BACK TO THEIR OWN STATES TO SHOW THEIR GRATITUDE? IS THIS BEING AN INDIAN FIRST? THEN, WE PROBABLY ARE BETTER OFF AS MAHARASHTRIANS FIRST, INDIAN NEXT.

JAI MAHARASHTRA!

Sharmila said...

Gosh! Some ripples in the pond huh Aparna?!!!
Anyway, can u send me your mail id? No spam or irrelevant / unnecessary mails ... and surely not on this post .. promise. Drop a line on my id. TC. :-)

Amitabha Ghosh said...

Aparna, a very powerful post I must say. I wrote a post last year on this issue - http://amitabhaghosh.blogspot.com/2008/10/i-am-indian-india-is-my-country.html

Being in the armed forces (Navy), I have been in Mumbai for 6 years. Do we ever ask if we are slogging our butts off in the high seas for a maharashtrian or a bong? My father was in a PSU and served all over the country with peope from different cultures and states. I have friends from the North as well as South of the country. As a Bong, I feel saddened that Kolkata today is full of Marwaris and less Bongs. But then we failed to improve the system to ensure that the Bongs stay and work in Bengal. We do not go on a rampage and become hooligans.

By the way does Mr / Ms Anonymous ask the soldier in Mumbai / Maharashtra, if he is Maharashtrian? He does not because it is not convenient. Why don't you for a change go and serve a month in Siachen as a volunteer?

These are dirty political moves and dies away once a good chunk of electorate is captured!

bluebird said...

What can I say, Aparna? Is it not obvious I meant no offence, quite the opposite, in fact. Anyways, its all part of a healthy discussion. There might be a bit of an annoyance, but certainly no hatred. Dont you worry about it one bit.

I think the whole discussion went kind of nice. Didn't we get M Manoos to appreciate your wardrobe?

You take care.

Marathi Manoos said...

@ Amitabha

YOUR SERVICE AS A NAVY MEN IS HIGHLY HONORED NOT JUST BY ME BUT BY ALL COUNTRYMEN. THERE IS NO DOUBT ON THAT. HOWEVER, PLEASE LETS NOT MUDDLE THAT WITH THE PROBLEMS MAHARASHTRA FACES WITH INDISCRIMINATE MIGRATION. THEY ARE SEPARATE ISSUES. AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT, EVERY SOCIETY NEEDS ENGINEERS, DOCTORS, LAWYERS, VENDORS - SURELY NOT AS HONORABLE AS NAVY OR ARMY MEN - BUT THEY ARE REQUIRED TOO TO RUN THE SOCIETY. SO EVERYONE IS DOING THEIR OWN LINE OF WORK. INFACT, BEING IN NAVY SERVICE, YOU DON'T HAPPEN TO FACE THESE PROBLEMS AT ALL; THE COMMON POPULACE DO! AND ALL WE HAVE DEMANDED FOR IS CHECK ON INDISCRIMIATE MIGRATION AND OUTSIDERS RESPECTING THE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE OF LOCAL POPULACE. I DON'T THINK THAT CONTRADICTS ANYWHERE.KOLKATA TOO IS CHANGING RAPIDLY INTO A MARWARI CITY BECAUSE OF ONE SOLE REASON - FAVORITISM - BUT I WOULDN'T GET INTO THAT.

JAI MAHARASHTRA!

bluebird said...

M Manoos,

You have had your say. But this is not a public forum where you can go on endlessly shouting at the top of your voice. This place is rather like Aparna's living room, where her friends come together and talk about many things. We appreciate the fact that you came forward and put your views across, and now you should leave. Aparna herself has asked you so. You can be 'only Marathi' or 'Indian' or whatever, but if you are the gentleman you would want us to believe you are, please leave now.

bluebird said...

M Manoos,

You have had your say. But this is not a public forum where you can go on endlessly shouting at the top of your voice. This place is rather like Aparna's living room, where her friends come together and talk about many things. We appreciate the fact that you came forward and put your views across, and now you should leave. Aparna herself has asked you so. You can be 'only Marathi' or 'Indian' or whatever, but if you are the gentleman you would want us to believe you are, please leave now.

Aparna said...

As this post is becoming more like a slugfest and less like a civilized discussion, I am stopping further comments here.

I am an Indian first and it pains me to see my own people fighting over issues that are not as important than some core issues that our country is facing currently.

I wish all of you well. Thank you for all your comments.