MLA slapped in Maharashtra Assembly

थोडी गंमत-

कळविण्यास अत्यंत आनंद होत आहे की चि. अ. आ. (A. A.) जो आपले श्री. रोख ठोक (R.T)  यांचे तालावर डोलत नव्हता तो आता आजचे तरुण संगीतकार व श्री. ऱोख ठोक यांचे शिष्य श्री. राम कदम यांनी वाजविलेल्या ढोलकीवरील थापेला प्रतिसाद देऊन अ आ इ ई शिकण्यास सुरुवात करणार आहे. (या ढोलकीला गेंड्याची कातडी होती असे अनधिककृत सूत्रांकडून कळले आहे).

परंतु प्रसिद्ध नृत्यांगना टकाटक ताथैया यांनी मात्र कदम यांच्या तालावर नाचण्यास नकार दिला आहे.

A lot of people who everyday want to slap someone who is breaking rules and showing arrogance are happy that finally there is one music director who has courage to slap this political drum.

As long as such drums are beaten up to raise the voice of common sense, people will appreciate the music of Mr. Rokh Thok. If the music director becomes a drum, people will loose hope in listening to good music. Continue reading “MLA slapped in Maharashtra Assembly”

Puneri Pundit Voted

Puneri Pundit voted in the Maharashtra Assembly elections 2009 but unfortunately 50% of Puneris did not cast their votes leaving me wondering as to the reasons behind this. One thing I feel is that when the government declares holiday and that to on a day like Tuesday, lot of people from metros jump on this opportunity and take leaves on Monday to enjoy a long weekend and desired break from work. So the measure from EC to ensure high voting percentage did not work. On the other hand it does bring in a doubt in my mind that was it an intentional move from government? The MNS support figures from urban areas were worrying the ruling party as well as opposition and most of these voters were new and young voters who would typically go on long weekends on any such opportunity.

Whatever may be the reason, 50% of the urban voters said they are not interested in voting. Now if we look at the share of votes by all winning parties, they typically get about 30-35 % of the total votes which means about 15-18% of total voters. Does it really make sense to declare these folks are winners in the election? How should we reduce that fractured voting and ensure that the ruling party really represents majority of us? One idea comes to my mind is that the losing candidates should declare support to top candidates from any constituency until the winner gets 50% of the casted votes at least. This will then show the inclination of the small time players in the field and also let people know as to who was supporting them really from behind.

Another way I feel is that the elections should be conducted on Sundays. The reason I believe they conduct them on weekdays is to allow candidates connect with voters on the weekend. But by conducting the voting on Sunday we can really get a better turn out and hence better representation.

I am happy that since I have voted, I can talk about the government, politics and other issues where I feel we deserve better.

Zee Marathi – Kartiki Gaikwad wins and that was easy guess

Nothing beyond obvious. Kartiki wins the Saregamapa Little Champs and I never had doubt that she wont. This is democracy guys. My congratulations to Kartiki. She is a good singer and has great potential. This win will help her reach excellence. I had given some words of advise earlier and I am sure they have not gone well with some fans. Some people have also replied I don’t understand music and so on. One of the harsh realities of life are coming out with this competition. I was moved by the purity of  heart shown by these children and may God keep their hearts as pure as they are. That said still one has to be assertive in life and make judgments and give opinions. As much as we must respect the opinions of the people who made Kartiki win, I believe the opposite opinions should also get respect and the fair comments should be accepted without bias to go forward in life.

The old battle of casts seems to be engulfing us over the internet as well. As soon as the contest is over and news papers are making their pages open for comments, some real nasty comments are visible on the net already. See this link on eSakal giving news of Kartiki’s win. Some people have gone ahead and said that the losers (Is that the right word? No. Runner ups) did not get the trophy because of their surnames and the others have replied in the spirit of तुमचं ते प्रेम आणि आमचं ते लफडं? Now this kind of discussion is not going to lead us anywhere. It is going to bring back the issue of reservation back on the discussion boards of internet and it’s going to turn really ugly fight.

See the system we have here and the kind of arguments we hear. If you are from so called upper class and give comment about someone who is a little less performer but from so called lower class, then you are criticizing just because he/she is from lower cast. If you are from SCUC (so called upper class) and you promote the good performer from SCUC, you are still racists. There is a deductive conclusion drawn here.When you praise SCUC performer, the SCLC performer is bad hence you are racist. Now if you are from SCUC and you praise someone from SCLC, then the SCUC people think this guy is paid to promote. Where the fact could be both – you are trying to promote the candidate and say some good words to encourage OR you are really paid (not directly always… but may be instructed to do so by those who pay you) In today’s world most of the minds pick up the negative option. So whichever way you go you are killed.

Fortunately Zee Marathi has one advantage. The judges in Marathi give detailed comments compared to its Hindi counterpart. Also they don’t give 100% marks to everyone every time. They do grade the performers. My request would be to consider the total marks of each candidate in this show. Whatever anyone may call me, I still believe, Arya is best because of her versatility and Prathamesh second because he is reaching for excellence in his chosen path and has got best scores so far. I would rate Kartiki as third on merit. She definitely has great voice quality. It is clean and her throw is very powerful and the rustic feel is suitable for the songs she likes, but one must remember she was thrown out of the competition once because of poor marks as well as SMSes. The call back episode did the magic for her. Luck by chance? I am clearing all my doubts about Zee Marathi’s intention purely because of the fact that they announced equal scholarship for all these top five candidates.

That said the system for final results was itself faulty. Come what may it was going to chose the popular candidate. Correction… the candidate with most SMSes/ votes. That is the reason why I said it was predictable result. I tried my level best to promote the candidate who was not strong in that area at all. Arya always had some of the lowest scores in SMS/ votes. Consider this… All the judges were going to give marks to the champs out of say 100. So Arya’s gain did not mean anyone else’s loss. So when you compare the marks, the band in which these five champs would have fallen was going to be  narrow in any case. Whereas in the vote side, someone’s gain is other candidate’s loss. This is because it is based on the fact that the pie is limited. Total size of the pie was always going to be 100% and it was going to be eaten completely. So every vote popular candidate got made others go down faster. Now you know how India votes. Don’t you. Most of the SCUC people will vote few times at the most and they will feel that this is fair enough. How much you can bend your principles? (I am not claiming that these are the only people with principles. That would be deductive conclusion.)  Where as the fans of popular candidates use the system and express their emotions full heartedly. For them it is love for their own people. This is what majority of the India is. So the results are not shocking at all. I was shocked only once. Not this time.

Coming back to the ugly discussion on the cast of the champs, the entire system in India is not a self correcting system. It is by default a self degrading system if not maintaining status quo. Just a few days back the leader of a cast group demanding reservations for them was saying that the people of his cast were landlords and rich earlier but now they have gone down from that state and hence need reservation. What an argument. The system which you have is bringing you down and still you want to find a solution within the same system? I had written about this sometime back and I am giving link to that article here. My short solution is that from now on do not ask anyone his cast and abolish the entire reservation system immediately.  All deserving candidates must be given scholarships based on their economic situation and not on their cast. Jobs should go only to the merit where skill is required for low or unskilled jobs once again lower income people should be given preference.

If there is no record of your cast, you don’t have it. Let a person choose his last name whatever he likes. One thing is sure that within few years there is no alternative to merit. If we manage to abolish the cast system or in any case when this system continues,  in few years India will see 97% reservation, the competition will be worse than today and only merit will win. Till date no where in the world a system has emerged which is purely based on merit. So I know it is a mirage but then who stops you from dreaming. The world around me is getting better than tomorrow but I need to keep up hope that in India somewhere something positive is happening. I hope again that Kartiki’s of this world are not surrounded by the “Contractor” kind of characters portrayed by Atul Parchure. She strives for excellence in whatever she does. Maharashtra will get a great singer for folk, semi classical, devotional and gazal music. I also hope that the others do not get frustrated by this result. Kartiki is their friend and she did not consider her to be separate from them. She did not send all those SMSes to separate her from others and all of them strive for excellence and nothing less in their career. All the best to all of them. I don’t want anyone of them to be the lost talent of reality.

Hridaynath Mageshkar’s Mesmerizing Shoora Mee Vandile (शूरा मी वंदिले)

Past two evenings have been really mesmerizing. Thanks to the excellent program by Zee Marathi on their Saregamapa Little Champs special for sixtieth Republic Day of India. Zee TV on this occasion of Republic day took all the little champs to NDA in my home town Pune. They also invited parents and siblings of the Martyrs from Indian armed forces.When the champs started singing, each song was followed by some really touching experiences from these parents and an appeal to all Indian parents to send their children to join the armed forces and to the young generation to join.

I was particularly touched by two incidents about the way our army men are fighting war in Siachen glacier and the mishaps of MIG 21 fighter planes. I am sure these must have brought tears to millions of viewers watching the show. Finally Hridaynath had to wake us up to the reality that the theme of the show is bravery and we should not shed tears but celebrate our freedom and the martyrdom of those who died for our country like they did. From there the program really took a different turn and we were all charged up listening to songs and then stories of Shivaji Raje and Veer Savarkar.

This was followed by second episode of the same theme today. While watching the program I was in the same era of Shivaji, 17th century and the Adilshahi, Mughals and the wisdom of Shivaji, his justice, his vision and what not. But then I made a mistake of switching to the news channel after the program and I was awaken by harsh reality of today.

On one hand we have a media channel, which was telling us about the glorious past and trying to bring spark of nationalism in us and on the other hand we had the news channel reporters shooting the heinous incident of few goons beating up the girls and women in a pub calling them prostitutes. The media it seems knew about the incident but did not inform the police and did not even try to stop those goons from attacking the women. Two exactly opposite characters in the same business.

For most of the time we see the name of Shivaji being used by the political leadership in Maharashtra. No doubt Shivaji was the greatest king in India, but all those stories of winning the wars and all get much too attention than the ruling system Shivaji implemented in Maharashtra. So we know the Shivaji at war with the then Yavani, Mlenchh rulers of Maharastra but we don’t know much about the Shivaji during the peace time. We have war going on at the borders almost on daily basis but what about the war inside? The Marathi leaders are waging war against each other. Hardly few think about the welfare of the state. So how does Shivaji in peace time should affect them? Do let us know if you want those principals to be followed.

Finally, about the quote of Winston Churchill, Hridaynath was siting – Don’t you think that despite all the efforts taken by the revolutionaries and freedom fighters, India has become a land where humans live like animal herds? We get angry at his remarks, but eventually they are becoming true. So we have still not won the war against this British man. Like one of the mother of a martyr pilot said: Not everyone needs to take sword in his hand, but if he does his job well and feels his responsibility towards the country, it is more than enough. Going forward, I would say, we also now need to unite and make others perform their duty. The good human beings do not tolerate injustice.

Bloody Hell – Mumbai held for no ransom

36 hrs and the drama is not ending. A bunch of young guys holding this entire nation for no ransom. There is a hostage situation but no negotiations. Even in war, there is some demand, some people want to capture a piece of land, fighting for their rights. Here there is nothing plane simple destruction. What a waste of life I say. If this is the purpose for which these gunmen are dying, then what are they dying for?

I used to laugh at all the action movies of the Deols and Devgans of bollywood. It is simply not possible to load a person with so much of ammunition I would think. I do not feel so now. To fight a battle so long, these terrorist have so much of ammunition with them. Where do they get it from? Who is paying for it? Why are they paying for it?

I wrote sometime back that terrorism is simply ineffective in India. I still stand by my views. Although the number of injured is quite high in this shootout, these guys have still not been able to cross the number of deaths in the stampedes we had. And these terrorist are surely going to die. But the nation is in real shock because it has taken lesser number of men to kill so many of them. I have been fortunate (or unfortunate) to see the live coverage of this incidence almost since the beginning. I was late from office and waiting to see the 11:00 PM show of Asambhav on Zee Marathi. My wife was channel surfing and she watched this news. She almost instantaneously shouted. Most of my in-laws are in Mumbai and she always gets upset with such news for obvious reasons. I could not stop watching the news and finally succumbed to sleep only at 4:00 AM as news came pouring in every few minutes.

For long time I was wondering when will I see Ratan Tata’s comments on this. Being part of the Tata group, I have tremendous respect for his (I would have had it even otherwise, but it feels like we are part of a family). What touched me most is that he asked all agencies not to forget this incidence. We as a nation have really left our bloody past behind. Had we remembered that, we would have taken all necessary steps to stop this from happening. If you look at the number of attacks on our nation and compare with US and UK, it would be easily understood that we have not learnt from the past. We take pride in saying how the life has come to normal in a day or two. But then did we really prevent the future instances of the terror attacks? Non-violence is an ornament of the mighty. We just have resilience to stand up when someone slaps us. That is not good enough. We should be strong enough to make that someone think 10,000 times before they take a look at us.

I was also wondering how much more coverage we are seeing for this event than the similar situations in Kashmir or other parts of the country. Deservedly VP Singh did not get much attention of the media due to this. But was this because it was in Mumbai and convenient for all channels to cover it? Media’s role in this case will always be questioned. All across the world, this has become a nuisance. I personally could not detach myself from the live coverage and I could not sleep well. But then live coverage is not complete without news paper report. You still need words to create a greater impact. I had to read the next day news paper.

I am sure that in some part of the world, these guys are going to be heroes. This means that we are likely to have similar attacks in future. How are we prepared for this? There is a contrasting environment in today’s urban and rural areas. For the smaller cities of India, this difference is not that wide. But compare Mumbai with some small village in Maharashtra, specially in backward areas and we will notice that the requirements of the police force are quite different in these places. Same is the case with general discipline. So when the person from rural area comes to Mumbai, he first has to learn the discipline of the city. Mumbaikars have learned it hard way and every now and then when someone creates a chaos, their lives, daily calculations of means of living go for a toss. Everything in Mumbai is so calculated today. We can make it more easier to live in Mumbai only if we teach this discipline to all our rural citizens. But that is not on our agenda.  In fact the Mumbai way of life can make life much easier in villages as well. What is will also do is to bring effectiveness in our ways to handle such crisis situations. One of the biggest task for the rescue teams and police is to cut their way through hoard of onlookers. They have no business in such situations but then they are there. In my opinion, this social discipline is the only one lesson we need to learn as a nation to go to the top. Be it in the commerce or be it in fighting the terrorism. Discipline reduces waste and brings efficiencies. It is as simple as that.

Prabhu Ramchandra to Raj Thakre –Times have really changed

Well you will ask me what is connection between Prabhu Ramchandra & Raj Thakre. Appearantly there is nothing that you can find quickly. But little bit of reference to history and you will find it quickly. Wasn’t Prabhuji the prince of today’s bhaiyyas? He was the first UPite to come to Maharashtra. Who were residents of Maharashtra & may be Karnataka then? In Dandakaranya, it was land of rishis and munis and the rest was wanarraj. Sugreev was fighting with his brother Wali even in that time. Fortunately the issue of Bhaiyyas was not that hot at that time. Hardly anyone from north used to come down under. So there was no Raj Thakre in that time.

Times have really changed. From the prince of Ayodhya, now you will find the poor common people coming here. The MNS equates them to monkeys. Tries to shoo them away. Ram is now worshiped in Maharashtra as well as all southern states of India. Hanuman from this area is worshiped in North. So much so the monkeys are treated as avatars of Hanuman and they have become a big time menace in Delhi. So the men are being compared to monkeys and monkeys are being compared to God.

Times have not really changed. Brothers in Maharashtra still fight with each other. Earlier it was wanar princes now the human beings. To kill his own brother Sugreev took help of Ram. To win elections in this times, vote banks of North Indians are being created. Kingdom gaya bhadme. Muze meri gaddhi chahiye.

So the Maharashtrians can really claim the authenticity/ originality of there genes and call themselves as locals and sons of this soil as long as they can keep fighting with each other. North Indians do not worry. Raj will never get majority. Our own brothers will ensure that. You are most welcome.

Note: Please take this entire writing on a lighter note. I personally do not intent to offend any of our Gods. They are as much as mine as yours. I do not intent to demean the human beings or any race or people from any region. But just give a different direction to look at our history.


Yes we will – Barack Obama wins US Presidential Election

Today I got an opportunity to watch the historic win of Barack Obama, the first Afro-American president of USA. More than the historic nature of the win, what impacted me was the speeches by both candidates.

After having fought the hard battle, Senator McCain gave the most graceful speech I have heard till now. It was short, to the point, graceful and above all the differences he had with Obama. McCain not just congratulated Obama but also committed to work with him and help him build the nation in the time of crisis. True to his soldierly attitude, he was also sporting enough to applaud the efforts taken by his opponent. While his supporters were booing Obama, McCain calmed them down and never showed sign of losing. He was very positive in his approach. He knew that he has given a good fight and not left any stone unturned.

Obama on the other hand was not as effective in the oratory skills. His speech started with a long list of people to thank and once that was done, he set the future agenda. One of the most important thing he said was that this victory is not the end, it is the chance that they have got and it is now a bigger responsibility to ensure that the dreams are fulfilled.He gave example of a black lady aged 106 voting in this election. Taking her lifespan as a prop, he reminded all about the history, right from the days of slavery to Linclon, to Martin Luther King to today. The speech was full of positive energy, as was McCain. He reminded all of the herculean task ahead and assured the republicans that he will be there president as well. Though it was a bit longer speech, I just could not escape the positive spirit it had.

This positive spirit is what USA makes a different country and takes them to the number one position in the world. Even in the toughest of the times, they have that will to overcome it. And when I am saying about the positive spirit, it is not the general public as such, it is the leadership. When the nation gets people who are so charged up at the center stage, the nation just can not fail.

While the speeches in India are so dull and slow and the audience is noisy, I was very much impressed with the involvement of the audience and the force in speech. The cautious optimism in Obama’s speech was very practical and the overall tone of the words spoken was rational. Their was faith in God, trust in people and willingness to listen. That’s what makes USA the nation it is.

MNS violence and changed face of political activity

I received few comments on my article on Raj Thakre & MNS – the road ahead. Most of the comments on the article and the entire electronic media specially Hindi & English had only one point to say – “Look at the violence Raj & MNS have done. Look at the loss to public property. This is the reason MNS should be banned. Raj is dividing the country. We should not encourage this and this should be one country.” My daughter also reacted in somewhat similar manner like the last statement. But it was far more effective than the comments. She said all of these guys must be asked to say the prayer “India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters…” Well said Janhavi.

Anything is possible in Bihar

I was wondering, when everyone is objecting to the violence in Mumbai, did these guys not see what was happening in Bihar as a reaction to this? There the students unions hijacked a TRAIN ENGINE. Now isn’t that a bit too much. If the MNS is burning buses here, Bihari students are burning whole train there. Is that not property of the nation? More than the busses of local governing bodies, the train is really a NATIONAL property and not state. But then no one is surprised because it is BIHAR. Anything is possible there and one wont even wink after hearing horrific stories of crime, vandalism over there. It is all accepted.

Can you show courage in UP & Bihar to change situation there?

One person commented that he had to leave Bihar as there are no jobs over there. He also said that he is willing to stop any vandalism by taking personal risk. I really sympathize with his situation in Bihar and appreciate his courage. But will he dare to show the same courage in Bihar? If all these poor Biharis and UPites show courage in their own state and fight the landlords and politicians there, they don’t have to come to Mumbai or Maharashtra for roji roti. Sitting here in sophisticated well cultured state of Maharashtra (This is comparative statement and not absolute truth… please…) it is easy to talk about courage. Why the common man is falling for Raj’s arguments is because he is seeing his culture is under threat. His cities are under threat. Even after taking out terror activities, there is lot of crime coming to the cities of Maharashtra from up North. (Once again this does not mean that there are no criminals in here. But the level of criminals in MH and Northen states is quite different.) Can you imagine ladies roaming freely & safely in the night in any of these North Indian cities?

Non violence is not effective against today’s politicians

Coming back to the main point, go anywhere in India, political vandalism is not an exception but a rule. Raj in one of his interviews said that Gandhiji’s non-violence was for well mannered British (I am sure he treated General Dire as exception) and it is no longer effective against today’s politicians and bureaucrats. Forget about the British but is this not really true for the current situation? So the question is what is the most effective way to influence the politicians other than money to do the good and right things? Between the 5 years of election how can we get things done the right way and not what majority thinks is right.

Democracy is flawed and we are lucky to be here

Democracy in itself is a flawed concept but we do not have better alternative. Presidential democracy could be more effective in India as historically we are used to monarchy. But still… The purpose of any political system is to raise the bar, raise the living standard of the people. We are lucky to be in the current economic boom. This was possible because we have one learned PM backed up by one equally learned FM. (Narasinha Rao & MMS). But then in general the politics has been driven by electing a representative from the most deprived people and not the best person who can do good to all. The very sentiment that the person from other cast cannot help my cast has divided the country long back. We are seeing Raj dividing the country but he is uniting the Marathis irrespective of their cast. Recently he spoke about reservations. He said that when we are set to work for all where is the question of doing favor to one cast or the other? Is this not far different from other politicians? Back to the point… that in democracy in India the overall standard is actually being averaged out. Rather than choosing the best of the best, we are choosing best amongst the worst. So the politician you can expect to deal with your non-violent techniques is a very thick skinned person who knows that you are not going to hit him back. So he resents to all possible techniques of delaying justice their by denying it.

Rang De Basanti vs Lage Raho Munnabhai

In Rang De Basanti movie, Rakesh Mehra suggested that violence against the politicians can be one ways to fight the injustice. But no one actually wrote back that violence is not the solution. Most of us feel that violence against corrupt politicians is the best way to fight them. So should the common party worker now seek this solution rather than damaging public property? Will YOU be that type of party worker for MNS? Non violence sounded so good in Lage Raho Munnabhai that many people fell in love of that and started sending flowers. Soon they are realizing that there are not enough flowers in India cause then everyone will get at least one flower a day, at least in the cities. Don’t you think so? Next time when you litter/ break a traffic rule/ give 50 bucks to the cop think of someone giving you a flower and saying get well soon. Violence against corrupt politicians is not an easy option. These days they have Z grade security. Raj’s Z grade security is removed after the bail.

Some thoughts on dealing with current situation

So now you tell me how can we effectively deal with corrupt politicians? The only way is to increase number of good politicians. My second suggestion is to remove current reservation system which is based on cast and bring in system based on economic state. What is the best way to eradicate cast system? Just completely delete it. For the computed geeks do a shift+del. No one should ever be asked about his cast ever again. But let’s say if the government stops asking anyone his cast, why would one need it? Where do you need it today in business? So just delete the cast system from the country. Then the natural vote banks will be gone. Similarly the government can also think of religion. Never ask anyone of his religion. How does it matter in business? It definitely does not matter in arts and sports. I read an article in TOI about a lady who traced a system similar to cast system in France. She had hard time tracing these deprived people because there were simply no records of them anymore. So why is this not possible in India? Let’s remove this hippocracy from our society. I believe this will to a great extent remove cast based politics from our country. So when the vote banks are gone, the chances of having better politicians are more.

Today’s state of political worker

We also need to change our concept of social/ political work. Unfortunately there has been an big overlap and people think that a person without political views can be a good political leader. Politics is not just about representation. Politicians have a higher responsibility of taking the society forward. They are leaders but unfortunately today all these leaders are just managers. They somehow manage everything. They manage press/ media, they manage police, they manage taking bribes and what not. The very basic reason is that in their political career they have been managing individual’s problems from the beginning. As long as few individuals or a small group of people is managed, they can become politician. Consider the overall voter base of
any politician today. No one has more than 50% votes.

Today in my city when I see what the general public calls social work or political work is about following items: 1. Organizing Ganesh Festival/ Navratri festival/ Dandiya 2. Organizing blood donation camps 3. Organizing competitions of record dance, singing, rangoli etc. 4. Helping people to organize death rituals 5. Sitting at the paan tapri and socializing and so on. Now consider this. Today organizing a festival is far more simpler. You just need to collect money. Rest almost everything is done by vendors including decoration. You don’t have to sing prayers. CD players to that. You don’t have to do much in organizing the blood donation camp. The blood bank and pendal contractor do most of the work. You need few posters. The competitions don’t need participation of the workers. Mandap, guest (this is mostly local leader to get publicity) and prizes. So in short it has become very easy to do this type of social work. The politician of today is coming from such background. The choice of party is hardly based on the ideology but just a matter of convenience, contacts or rivalry. Where is the character building required to be in politics? That is the reason today’s politicians change parties like shirts. So when character/ principles are not required to succeed in political work, people who can manage everything become leader. Their followers believe that the leader can do anything to give them what they want.

Need for principle centered leadership

The role of media is very critical in changing this outlook. But they do not want to focus on this. They want to focus on “NEWS BITE”. In such scenario if one wants to get good things done what is the most effective option? MNS supporters have chose the easiest one. Pick up a stone and throw at anything. This is the only way they know to vent anger. So are the party workers of any party. It is not really character of only MNS.

The need for principle based politics is far higher today than in any other time. Rethink about what Narasinha Rao & Manmohan Singh did to this country.

Raj Thakre & MNS – the road ahead

The drama of Raj Thakre’s arrest and bail kept all news channels busy for two days. So much so, the “Chandrayan” news did not get enough viewership across India. Now that he has got bail and the atmosphere has cooled down, we can look back and see that the core issue in this whole drama has gone for a toss.

The aftermath, mayhem or whatever names were given to the incidents post Raj’s arrest, are not the real issue. The issue is about jobs, migrants. Across the entire world, migrants are always an issue. Those who call themselves as sons of soil, were migrants few centuries back. So who really are the sons of soil? USA is a land of migrants. I saw lot of analysts on the news channels citing examples of USA but all those are irrelevant in India. Primarily because US history is not even 1000 years. Whereas India has at least 5-6 thousand years of history.

The Dilemma

I work in an IT company and many of my colleagues are working in different parts of the world. To us migrating to some part of the world always looked right. But still somewhere, deep inside, I was supporting Raj. I kept wondering why is this happening? Am I right to think so, when I myself have gone to parts of world for my job.

The answer probably lies in the level at which we work. Most of the work we do is a skilled job. It is not something anyone can do. While the jobs for which Raj & MNS are fighting are low, semi or unskilled jobs. With a huge inflow of migrants in Maharashtra (Not just Mumbai), local people are losing these jobs. In many of the industries being set across the state, it is same situation. Mumbai today specifically is dominated by Bhaiyyas and Pune is also going the same way.

Is this my native place?

If in my hometown, I am not able to speak my mother tongue, where the hell in the world will I speak it? What is the difference in that case between Pune & Lucknow? Now this is causing me worry somewhere back of my mind. I remember the Marwari family who ran shop in our neighborhood. They sent their children to our school. All of them speak Marathi very well. Now a days every where I have to use Hindi. This change is not so visible to younger generations as they have not seen the world before computers. But then we have seen it.

Why migrants settle here

So what causes these migrants to stays here forever and start influencing our culture? One is that the common Marathi Manoos (Now that has become a clichéd term) has very low ego. He does not mind speaking other language to communicate. Down south it is the other way round. The ego is more like pride. Second, the bollywood movies and recently Hindi channels have taught the Hindi language to most of the urban, semi urban Maharashtra. Third, their is no control over the minimum living standards enforced by state or local bodies. In a 10 ft x 10 ft room 10+ migrants can easily adjust their life, there by reducing the cost of living. Slums get authorized by state government after few years, local bodies provide them all essential amenities like water, electricity under the sweet name of humanity. Fourth, the local people again don’t mind employing migrants as they are cheap (not always best. We have some security staff from North, who are sooooooo dumb. You can not call then skilled) and they don’t mind doing business with migrants. There could be more. I wont repeat the ones about political will as they are listed in all news papers.

Tactics/ Strategy to tackle migrants

Now if MNS wants to ensure that the local people get more jobs, then there are some tactics that need to be played. One – raise the pride in our own language, culture. Two – make the language and culture more modern so that the younger generation can associate with it. Give glamour to the culture. Three – impose laws of minimum living standards and throw people living below that standard out of the cities/ towns. If housing is cheap due to slums, make it costly by taxes. Four – strategically target employment and businesses these migrants work into. Develop attitude of service, entrepreneurship locally and at the same time non-violently block the daily bread and butter of the migrants. Five – force local language in all possible communication. Encourage attempts to simplify the language, find new cool words for their counterparts in English/ Hindi. Allow a little bit of mixture of words from other languages and make Marathi richer in word power. Six – Get more Marathi officials in government. Throw the outsiders out of the state. Readers of this blog can suggest more options in the comments.

Thick skinned government and need for quick justice

But all this is a long term strategy. In short term when you want to do this, it has become extremely difficult to get things done in a real non-violent manner. The politicians, the burocracy are so thick skinned here that today they can simply deny justice by delaying it. When the MNS guys take law in their hands, they get support because of the insensitivity of the government. People have now started feeling that this is a right measure to enforce law. (Remember the police and people beating the thieves to death or another being towed away with legs tied to a bike in Bihar?) This phenomenon is not limited to Maharashtra. It is all across India. The only answer to this is with the politicians. They need to be principle centered than looking at petty politics.

Open questions

Lastly some questions to Raj Thakre – If his party comes to power in Maharashtra, who will be his ministers? (Not just the CM. The other ministers as well.) The current photographs we see on the banners across the city are not really promising, high caliber supporters. Second, when Sena-BJP combine came to power, these parties did not know how to boost the economy of the state and how to provide more jobs to local people. What is MNS’ strategy to do this?

Bomb Hoax in Pune

India has no doubt one of the most craziest people in the world. Just a few days back one person walking on Pune roads saw two young men riding on a bike dropping a packet on the sides of the road. The bike apparently did not have a license plate. Cautious due to recent bomb blast modus operandi of the terrorist, he alerted the police. They in turn called the anti-terrorist squad(ATS). The story is normal till this point.

In most of the Hollywood movies we have seen this hundred times that one of the bad fellas or a cop fires gun and the crowd in the public place starts running around, scared to get killed. We never thought this is wrong. This is normal human reaction.

But here is what sets India apart from the rest of the world. When the Bomb Difusal guys arrived at the scene in Pune, instead of running away from the place to save their lives, there was a huge crowd to see how they guys defuse the bomb. Really… this is not a fantasy. People actually did not think twice before gathering at that place. Have you ever seen such people elsewhere?

However, as the mob expected the so called bomb turned out to be leftovers from some student’s kitchen.