Where is the Marathi Manus?

For the past three years, I have been living in Mumbai. The city never ceases to amaze me with its variety, its vibrance and the sheer number of people it feeds. One of the threads that is seen snagging almost all the political conflicts in this place is the Marathi Manus. I think the term was coined and abused by the senior Thackeray, after which it has become the Congress equivalent of the Aam Aadmi.

Ask yourself this, how many times have you seen this ubiquitous Marathi Manus in action?

  • How many times, is he given an accolade for some achievement or something?
  • How many times does the society celebrate him?
  • How many time does he get cited in the newspaper (and not as a collective noun)

The list could go on, but I guess, if any individual does manage to do any of the above, then that person is automatically separated from the collective identity of the Marathi Manus. It’s a socialist collective noun.

And, that’s precisely where you will see him. The morchas, the ganpati mandals and the gokulashtamis, the political party rallies and the voting booth stints, the fairs and the trains. All places where there is a sea and no scope to stand out, that’s where the collective stands out the most.

That saddens me, the fact that this term requires a collective to define itself, and will always stay around a collective. A collective which is meant to be led, and to be manipulated.

Marathi Manus v/s Multiplexes

*** Disclaimer: I am not a Shiv Sainik, or a Congress fan. I just do not like the end outcome. ***

In the recent news, we saw how multiplexes refused to air MNIK, and how central government arm-twisted them into airing the shows, much to the chagrin of MNS. With threats of violence, people of the city still braved to see a hindi movie.

All in all, it’s interesting to see not the event, but the actual outcome … who has “won” and who has “lost”

Shiv Sena: Once again written off by everyone as a wannabe. Once again people thinking that the party is unnecessarily resorting to violence. Fighting for the right cause, but for the wrong issue and in the wrong fashion.

MNS: A missed opportunity to come together with the original party. Raj Thackeray could have shown to the people of Mumbai that he stands for the marathi manus and supports the cause. He is clearly fighting for the wrong cause.

Central Government: Having over-ridden the local parties in local matters, now Congress has higher say over MNS and Shiv Sena combined. What should not have been their jurisdiction has been given over to them on a silver platter.

SRK & Karan Johar: They were but a tool for grabbing this opportunity of who really controls the city. I hope they realize that they are not adding any value to the city of Mumbai, and that is what Shiv Sena is against. If you are living in this city, if you are feeding off this city, then please invest in it. Obviously, all this publicity is always good for their ilk.

Multiplexes: With ticket prices touching Rs. 250 onwards, profits soon rise. This almost seems like a win-win situation.

But what about us, the people, the marathi manus?

Marathi Manus: By far the clear loser in this entire muck-up. The one party who stood a chance to represent them has now been effectively silenced – silenced by the people who can afford those tickets. What about the people living in Mumbai who do not have that much expendable income? What about the people who see their homes being taken away from them simply because all the commodities are becoming expensive day by day? The backbone of these people has been broken. Broken by a trivial issue.

Aamchi Mumbai

This just in.

Thank god for some good sense!! Saamna was bound to slam one of their own. The moment Raj Thackeray must have said those words, there would have been some minds tracing the eddies those remarks must have caused in the social currents of the city.

Slamming non-mumbaikars to garner the vote of the marathi manus is one thing. This is more like trying to take the cake and eating it too. At any point of time, if you see what is running a huge city like Mumbai, then it is the corporates, the financial markets, bollywood, underworld, politics, et al. How many maharashtrians (I am trying to use the politically correct term here!) do you know in any of these fields?

Take the non-mumbaikars out of Mumbai, and the city does not remain Mumbai!! It looses its proverbial charm! The economy goes down, unemployment goes up … from a T1 city, it might plummet to as low as a T3 city. I am not exaggerating here!! What are you standing to gain after coming to rule in such a city?

Some things are better when shared. Aamchi Mumbai is open to all. It feeds on precisely that.