It’s inevitable that you overhear people, in an office where sitting in bays is so common and as is the rule, you often overhear things you will not like.
The person next to me, as I unashamedly hear, is being invited to a function. He asks, ” Are there any marathis (Maharashtrians) there? I don’t want to come in that case. It could be dangerous…”
On an instinctive level, it immediately pissed me off that someone who has lived in Mumbai for some years now and called it, ‘his city,’ is now running away from the who would be his neighbours or colleagues. If he felt so unsafe, why didn’t he just leave the city?
On the other hand, this whole MNS fracas is leading to unbelieavable polarisation, in every single sphere. In buses, with autorickshaw drivers, at offices, in news, in markets. I want to believe that Maharashtrians largely don’t think like Raj Thackeray but, you know what, I am not sure. Listening to people around me who think the situation is fast becoming ‘hopeless’ makes me scared.
What’s worse is the person I am listening to is a south Indian. I guess his kind saw the same hate campaign in the sixties.
I certainly didn’t sign up for this. Mumbai was to be a place unaffected by shenanigans of politicans. It’s so evident that Raj is doing this for elections and most educated people even acknowledge it. But, in day to day living, like someone told me recently, we need more tolerance.
But was it like this back in the sixties? Today practically everyone I know, in Pune especially, hates buying flats in areas that don’t have only maharashtrians and maybe gujratis.Sindhis, the now-infamous ‘North Indians’ and people from UP/Bihar all are being ghetto-ised. Don’t even get me started on Muslims. I guess enough is being said in the papers about that.
I have an aunt, who in her fights with autorickshaw wallahs(everyone has them), tells them, why don’t you pack up and go back? She mustn’t be the first to say so… and what’s worse is that she is a teacher. Is she passing on such intolerance?
Maharashtrians are known to be a passive communite, one not really interested in entrepreneurship and contend with a stable job and good education. Maybe that’s why Mumbai became what it has. It has so many different kinds who come here and make it what it is.
But right now, I want to lean across the cubicle and slap him.
But he is doing what we’ve always done.
For one bad Maharahtrian, he is persecuting the entire community.
Other instances of overhearing: 1