Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jai Maharashtra, maane Jai Bharat!

As the title indicates, this post is to encourage Raj Thackeray to put the Bhaiyyas in their place! If you think I'm kidding, I'm not. There are two aspects to the latest Maharashtrians vs North-Indians debate. How should outsiders behave in their adopted city? And the importance of having regional parties.

To begin with, all cities must be open to outsiders and make them feel welcome. Its business, stupid! Migrants only come to places that are growing and these newcomers invariably enhance that growth. But there is a catch. Cities expect these people to GET OUT after-a-while. Come, show us your trade, make a buck and get the hell out!

But that neat model doesn't always work. Its natural that people would like to settle in their new enriched place. Fair enough! But how can you call your new place home, without even speaking the local language, let alone celebrating the local culture? And what on hell are you doing bringing your local politicians here?

Five decades ago, it was only some 'lunatic tamil chauvinists' like me who stopped Hindi, if not the Hindiwallahs from bullying their way in. Shivsena soon joined and made us, the lungiwallahs behave. But the Sena could not go beyond the Mumbai/Thane area and ended up as a moronic muslim killers party. Worse its sucking up to the north-indians now! If Raj Thackeray can take the only good-thing about Shivsena, the Mee Marathi rhetoric, we can happily bid farewell to that senile Tiger and his puppy.

People who find regionalism or 'linguistic chauvinism' in all this, simply fail to the see the bigger picture. None of India's coastal states speak Hindi. And except Bengal (which has been ruined by the zamindari CPM) and Orissa, rest of the coastal states are doing very well. Across the world, coasts flourish. So each of these states will at some point come under pressure from migrants. Simply throwing our doors open to everyone will have disastrous consequences.

If the northies simply migrate to the 'G8 states' who on hell will fix the mess in the BiMaRU states? For example, why should Hindi movies be made in Mumbai, when its the Muslims from UP and the Bhojpuris who depend on it financially? Why don't they make Khan movies in Meerut and Bachchan movies in Gorakhpur? Those goddawful places will get much needed employment and Maharashtra may even be able to revive its stone-dead Marathi movie industry.

This country needs more regionalism not less. Even a Narendra Modi finds Gujarati Asmita vs Delhi Durbar more salable than Mian Musharraf. If Telugu Desam party had actually united the Desam in development, there would have been no need for a Telangana. If Hegde had created a meaningful Kannadiga party, Karnataka's politics would not have become such a laughing stock today.

The ideal political scenario for India would be to have three national parties (Congress, BJP and CPM) and a virulent regional party in every state. Let us celebrate the most important feature of India, its diversity. But celebrating is not, me cleaning your mess.

11 comments:

GuNs said...

Really, its disgusting how people can say that they proudly DO NOT speak the national language. I can't imagine any other country in the world where people can proudly say that. Imagine living in Japan all your life as a Japanese and not knowing or caring how to speak Japanese, or Italian or Spanish or English etc...

I think its churlish to say that speaking regional languages in India should be enough and thus negate the necessity to speak the national language.

Hindi is the language that binds the nation and I think the only reason why I've been to so many parts of India and not had any problems/ugly looks/impoliteness from anyone is because I speak very good Hindi.

BTW, its weird how you talk about coastal states here... I suppose you are only talking about the THREE coastal states of TN, Kerala and AN where people do not speak Hindi. Most coastal states I know like Gujrat, Maharashtra, Orissa etc. speak good Hindi.

I hope this anti-Hindi rhetoric dies an ugly death soon and people realise that sticking to their stand of speaking only regional languages is foolish and a sure-fire way to divide the country, cause riots and disturb the economy and the political environment in our country.

Even if people don't like Hindi, can't they just learn it so they can understand more about the culture and the history of the country they live in and not just their little language-based state?

I want to see that day when North Indians and South Indians do not look at each other with contempt and doubt and they start living like brothers and countrymen united and working together in making India better.

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

Balaji said...

>> that they proudly DO NOT speak the national language.

India has no 'national' language. Hindi is the 'official language' of the union. English being the subsidiary link language. 22 other languages are in the 8th schedule.

>> Imagine living in Japan all your life as a Japanese

imagine living in Maharashtra all your life and not speaking Marathi!

>> Japanese, or Italian or Spanish or English etc...

try saying this to a guy in the Catalan speaking region of Spain.

>> I think its churlish to say that speaking regional languages in India should be enough

Hindi for me is a regional language spoken in the north of the country. and no, learning only one language is not enough at all. thats the whole point of my post.

>> Hindi is the language that binds the nation and I think the only reason why I've been to so many parts of India

I agree that Hindi could be a link language. but i can't see why it should be forced on the majority of Indians whose native tongue is not Hindi.

>> not had any problems/ugly looks/impoliteness from anyone is because I speak very good Hindi.

I'm sure no one in any part of the country will object if I speak to them in their local language either. and its not visitors we are talking about. its about immigrants who may spend a few years or the rest of their lives in the new place.

>> its weird how you talk about coastal states here

its common sense. none of India's coastal states have Hindi as the native tongue. the fact that people in these states are multi-lingual may also explain why they are more successful than the hindi speaking states. (Punjab being another example from the interior.)

>> people realise that sticking to their stand of speaking only regional languages is foolish and a sure-fire way to divide the country, cause riots

if you haven't noticed, the people who protest are invariably multi-lingual. they look down upon the arrogance and stupidity of the hindi-speakers and not their language. and its not just hindi-speakers. anyone who goes to another state should strive to learn the local language.

>> Even if people don't like Hindi, can't they just learn it so they can understand more about the culture and the history of the country they live in and not just their little language-based state?

wow! a person who lives in maharashtra all his life doesn't need to know marathi to understand the local culture and history?

>> I want to see that day when North Indians and South Indians do not look at each other with contempt and doubt and they start living like brothers and countrymen united and working together in making India better.

I agree. But migrants should also appreciate the hospitality of the locals and be more grateful.

GuNs said...

Hey, you are saying the same thing as I am!

I am totally against North Indians who live in MAharashtra and do not speak Marathi. Notice, I do not say CAN NOT. There are a number who try to speak Marathi and I appreciate them. The same ALSO applies to South Indians. I know Mallus who've lived in Pune ALL their life, have never ever lived in Kerala and they still cannot speak Marathi. I hate pointing fingers but I generally find Tamils to be the worst offenders in this case. Most Tamils I've known and met just REFUSE to learn local languages and/or Hindi because they have a superiority complex of some sort.

I still don't get your definition of Coastal states. Maharashtra is a coastal state and is one of the most economically prosperous states in India. I've never met a Maharashtrian who cannot even speak basic Hindi though it might be littered with grammatical errors and Marathi accent.

I don't care whether you consider Hindi your national language or not. For a multilingual country like India, there is always a need to have ONE common language that is the National language. There are always people who want their own mother tongue to be the national language but then finally people have to take what is decided. Hindi is the most widely spoken language in India i.e. most people in India understand Hindi whether its their mother tongue or not. That is enough reason to call it the National language even if you ignore its historical roots and the deep connection it has with the very essence of our country. Protesting that is like saying - "I don't think the traffic lights are fair, nobody asked me before putting those traffic lights on the road...so I won't follow them".

Finally, I just wish people put more effort in learning the local language and having said that locals should learn to be tolerant towards other societies. That is the ideal world and we should progress towards it.

If you put me in Tamil Nadu for two years, I am sure I would have tried and learnt at least basic Tamil - enough to buy stuff from shops, tell the rickshaw where I need to go, buy tickets in a bus/train/movie-hall etc. I know every one from my close group of friends would do that. We've just been brought up to be tolerant and to understand other societies and people. I also know a whole bunch of people from office/college etc. who would not care a damn to learn Tamil even if they die of malnutrition.

Balaji said...

>> That is enough reason to call it the National language even if you ignore its historical roots and the deep connection it has with the very essence of our country.

I think this is a common misconception. Hindi has nothing to do with the "essence of our country". Infact I would argue that calling Hindi the national language is the very anti-thesis of the idea of India.

Hindi unites India only as much as English unites the commonwealth!

GuNs said...

Well people can argue on that till the end of the world or our united country but the fact stands that Hindi is the national language and will be used in all offices and matters of trade, economics, politics etc. Why not learn it? Why claim Tamil/Marathi/Malayalam/Kannada is a "better" language and therefore not learn Hindi?

AS a Kannadiga born in Karnataka, having a mother tongue Konkani, brought up in Gujrat, speaking Gujrati - it took me only about a year to speak a lot better than conversational Marathi. Before moving to Pune, I had neither heard Marathi nor known what it was.

I am not superman. If I can do it, so can every other Bihari, Tamilian or Malayalee.

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

Balaji said...

>> the fact stands that Hindi is the national language

give me one instance in the constitution or any judgment or any government notification where Hindi is labeled as the 'national' language. its a canard spread by the north-indians to hide their disdain for the rest of the country.

>> and will be used in all offices and matters of trade, economics, politics etc.

i bet, you'll go nowhere if you use Hindi in any TN office! i expect thats the case in many other states. people often imagine Mumbai, Bengalooru, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad etc and declare that all these states are in love with Hindi. Thats the just the case of biting the hand that feeds us. the cultural damage these states are incurring because of Hindi is not immediately obvious. or perhaps it is starting to show now...

>> Why claim Tamil/Marathi/Malayalam/Kannada is a "better" language and therefore not learn Hindi?

i haven't met a single guy who claims he'll not Hindi bcos he's is a superior language. an average tamil guy on the street should have to learn Hindi only as much as he needs to learn English or Kannada or Telugu. believe me, more people in Chennai take French as their second language than Hindi!

>> I am not superman. If I can do it, so can every other Bihari, Tamilian or Malayalee.

I absolutely agree.

FlyingHigh said...

I don't understand what is happening in Maharashtra, for us everything above Karnataka is North India!

:D

Anonymous said...

Scrap II and III language system in our schools where Hindi is imposed. There is no worse descrimination than what our school system does.
India has not one but FOURTEEN NATIONAL LANGUAGES.
Stop Hindi annoucements in flights and trains and replace with state language.
Promote English as common language.
Scrap OBC and BC reservation.
Scrap use of Hindi only in Army. Hindi Army is reponsible for most of the attrocities in the North East.
INDIA NEEDS UNIFORM PENAL CODE AND ONLY ENGLISH AS COMMON LANGUAGE.
Until then expect more Raj Thackerays.

Anonymous said...

Guns,
Isnt it quite disgusting to tell you that you dont speak Tamil which is both a national and international language in India. Do you speak Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu which are also national languages too?
Please check your country's constitution. India is not Japan. Soon with people with your attidude attidude of thinking Hindi is the only national language you will find many little Japans with single national languages. - Judan

Anonymous said...

if someone speak pure hindi in hindi state all colleagues will joke upon him called 'panditji'.even hindi people dont want to learn a good hindi they all are 'ranchhod', how they can learn other language ?.they do'nt want any thing to learn ,if you do'nt speak local languages if you are living long in that area thenyou seem like outsider .If all of us wants only one language in india then demolish all states into only one region and banish all other languages and culture no other language in india escept hindi forget about heritage and let all the languages and culture in history . what a foolish idea

Anonymous said...

stop calling yourself tamil, bihari , panjabi or malyali you are only indian with no gotra ,with no surname,speak only one language through out india only one official language in india only then after you can blaim marathi people's