Deal Sternly with Ruffians like Raj Thackeray

Maharashtrians have always been known for their broad nationalistic outlook. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is not only in the folklores of Maharashtra but of the whole country mainly because of the eulogia composed by a Bhatta Brahmin of Uttar Pradesh — Bhushan. The bravery, valour and sterling character of Shivaji Maharaj is taught to school children across and they are advised to inculcate those high qualities among themselves.

Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak and Gopal Krishna Gokhale are considered to be the pioneers of modern nationalist movement in India. The tales of sacrifices and sufferings of Veer Savarkar give rise to goose bumps. The zeal, the fervor, the dedication of Maharashtrians has been matchless and next to none. But today when find that the likes of Raj Thackeray are hitting the headlines, we often think what has actually happened to Maharashtra. The late Madhulimaye was never considered to be a Maharashtrian leader because he had won more elections from Bihar than Maharashtra. The Uttar Pradesh assembly had many Maharashtrian immigrants as members and ministers. In fact, Persons like Nanji Deshmukh and educationist Baba Raghav Das made Uttar Pradesh as their Karmasthali. Perhaps many people do not know that Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi was a Maharashtrian by birth. Nanaji Peshwa who launched his offensive against British colonial forces was from Kanpur.

Now come to the development of Hindi journalism. Three eminent journalists, also known as Brihattrayee— the big three: venerable Baba Vishu Rao Paradkar, Laxmi Narain Garde and illustrious R.R. Khadilkar were from Maharshtra. Without them Hindi journalism would not have been able achieve the heights of today.The late R.R. Khadilkar’s son Manohar Khadilkar is also an eminent journalist and he lives in Varanasi. His son is also a journalist working a Hindi news channel. It shows that they have worked more for the country than for nay region.

Rangeya Raghav’s name in Hindi, literature evokes awe and deep respect. Joshi Brahmins of north India owe their roots to Maharashtra and because of their nationalism, patriotism and matchless qualities of adaptability, they have become more north Indians than original north Indians. The purpose of saying it all is that parochialism and narrow minded has been anathema to Maharashtrians. So now, when we see that Bal Thackeray’s nephew Raj Thackeray has eschewed all the qualities for which Maharashtrians have been known, then we are bound to say that there is something amiss. His lunatic behavior has hardly any explanation.

His uncle Bal Thackeray spared no stone unturned to sully the great Shivaji Maharaj but since Shivaji is so towering a figure that puny persons can do nothing to him, although he used every opportunity to appropriate the colossus Shivaji. Raj Thackeray seems to have gone many steps ahead of his uncle. Now he is quarreling with Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya Bachchan over language forgetting the fact that Hindi is the only language that is understood by all Mumbaikars. The number of Marathi knowing people in Mumbai must be very small as compared to Hindi knowing and yet he is vandalizing Mumbai in the name of Marathi. It must be mentioned here that Mumbaiya Hindi has assumed the status of a distinct of Hindi and it has found its place in colloquialism and even in modern writings. One fails to understand how the Marathi language is shown disrespect if anybody speaks Hindi or for that matter any other language, but then it is futile to talk logic with ruffians and bullies like Raj Thackeray. Mumbai is not a fiefdom of anybody it belongs to India. It is the commercial capital of the country. The money from the whole country comes to Mumbai. Every single person, whether Maharashtrian or not has contributed for the richness and opulence of Mumbai. In fact, it is more because of non-Maharashtrians that Mumbai has become a real metropolitan city of the country. But then what can you expect from a person like Raj Thackeray, who considers his insanity as his biggest asset and quality. The remedy of such persons is put them behind bars for spreading the venom of regionalism and hatred against one or other section of the society. They need to be dealt with sternly and heavy hand. Soft attitude towards persons like him will act like oil in the fire and rupture the harmony of the country.

All said and done, the way Jaya Bachchan giggled in the programme after saying that ‘we are from Uttar Pradesh and we will speak in Hindi and Maharashtrians should forgive us’ was really in very bad taste. The tone, temper and style of Jaya Bachchan were reprehensible to say the least as it amounted to derision for Maharashtrians. Therefore, Jaya Bachchan must realise her egregious mistake and she must sincerely apologise for her puerile statement in the function. It cannot be excused, more so, because she is not only an actress but also a politician and the Member of Parliament. She should apologise to the country and not to Raj Thackeray, whose intention is not to develop respect for Marathi but to play cheap and dirty politics. One wonders whether Raj Thackeray has any sense of history, culture and Marathi literature or not. Seeing his thinking and conduct, it appears possibly he has none.