How does that sound, Mr. Junior Thackeray?
But wait, the marathi manoos already has chosen! What else explains him going to a rajsthani/marwari shop to buy his groceries, or choosing a bhaiyaa for his laundry work, or work for an institution that’s started by non Maharashtrians?
I live in a locality that’s predominantly marathi speaking, in a city that was never known for being cosmopolitan. In fact, not long ago, the central area of Pune, the so called peths (no I don’t live there, thank God!), were so dominated by Marathi people (and a particular sub-caste of a particular caste), that it was the heaven the “Maharashtra for Marathi people” could never have bargained for. Err, it was, wasn’t it? I mean, sure. If you wanted to buy a frigging ball-pen at 1PM, you’d have to walk miles. Where at 8:30AM a hotel owner might have told you, the tea is over, and if you were five minutes late, the lunch mess would proudly tell you that there is no more food.
Anyways, today morning I climbed down to buy some stuff, at 8AM, and every single shop that was open belonged to a non-Marathi owner – a bhaiyaa here, a rajasthani there, except for a dry-cleaners shop. There used to be one small shop that sold bakery products and stationary, that belonged to a ghati. It’s been sold off to a marwari now. It used to open at 9:30 on good days.
So, if Marathi people (who’re still a majority in area where I live – a very strong majority) want to buy from Marathi shops only, surely those Marathi shops wouldn’t have closed down. Surely they’d have had more business. Surely Marathi people would have said: hey, I don’t mind waiting till 10 to buy a bread from apna guy, rather than buying from this marwari/bhaiyya who’s taking over our Maharashtra.
No! Marathi manoos has chosen, and chosen wisely. That’s why Shiv Sena, Raj’s original party, has stopped making noises about such things (err, well almost — I mean sure Uddhav has to make noises to show his followers that Raj is not the only one who cares about Marathi people, but that’s about it). They know there are no votes there anymore.
I hope this madness subsides soon. Mumbai was never made by Maharashtrians (alone by any stretch). In fact the single greatest contribution to building of Mumbai by my fellow ghaatis has been their openness to people outside, their almost nonchalant tolerance. Financial hubs cannot be created where divisive politics rules. And financial/business hubs cannot surely be sustained in such environments. In a single stroke Raj is undoing the real marathi contribution to Mumbai. One election, and he’ll learn his lesson. Sadly, before that, everyone has to pay for his education.