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.
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.
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?