Supporting Raj Thackeray

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Raj Thackeray, the fiery marathi politician, has long been condemned as parochial and anti-national. Raj Thackeray took the marathi manoos cause as his primary agenda in the general elections and assembly elections in 2009. His people ran riot in Mumbai (or Bombay as some call it) , beating "bhaiyyas" from North India(Read UP and Bihar) and vandalizing taxis, buses and businesses ran by these "bhaiyyas". Mr. Thackeray was immediately condemned by the national media especially the Hindi media. (Note that hindi and english media is called national media.)

So that led me to think about problem of migrant workers from UP and Bihar and other states.
As we all that Mumbai if flooded with these people and the question is how many of them are here. In a recent report released by Municipal

Corporation of Greater Mumbai, the picture is pretty clear.

The report says that between 1991-2001, Mumbai's population increased by 43.7%, all because of migration from all over India. Most of the migrants came from UP - Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka.

The situation has obviously gotten worse in this decade. So is Raj Thackeray right? Should we have work permit for people coming from outside of Maharashtra?

Migration, although a natural phenomenon, has caused a lot of social tensions between local and migrant communities world over. We have witnessed the rise of British National (Nazi) Party, National Democratic Party (German Nazis) and National Front( France). So the argument is that this extreme right politics is not just restricted to Mumbai ( or Bombay). The migration of cheap labor from eastern Europe and the tremendous increase in Muslim population has been the reason in the Western Europe. In Mumbai, we have seen similar migration (cheap labor) undercutting the locals in a big way. So I think Raj Thackeray's politics is a natural reaction to this influx of migrants.

Worst part of all this is that, Marathi people have been dubbed parochial and xenophobic by the elitist media in New Delhi. The people have been misguided to believe that there is problem in Maharashtra and Raj Thackeray is playing dirty politics over it. In reality the problem is in UP and Bihar. These two are completely failed states along with Jharkhand and West Bengal. (Yes West Bengal too...Bangal is Kangal).

Maharashtra definitely has problems of its own but they are aggrevated because of migrants. Many people have talked about infrastructure issues and such but the real problem is that of equity of income. The wealth created by the upper-classes is not percolated to the lower rungs of economic ladder. Marathi workers are in a state of perpetual unemployment where as migrants are undercutting them and getting paid.

Next point is about Marathi language and culture. People (i.e. outsiders) have opposed "marathification" of Mumbai claiming that Mumbai (or Bombay) is a city of migrants built by the British where migrants have mainly contributed to the economy of the city. This is basically an attempt, successful to an extent, to discredit marathis. Marathis' contribution to this city is much more that any other community. On the other hand, Madras (now Chennai) and Calcutta (now Kolkata) were also cities of migrants and were built by the British. However, the media never critised bengalification and tamilification of these cities. Why is Mumbai an exception? Why are Marathis being forced to be "cosmopolitin" when every other community is selfishly regional?

Raj Thackeray definitely has an agenda which has found popular support in the urban Maharashtra(there 130 urban constituencies in MH). However, the media and the establishment are continually denieing the fact there are legitimate griviences of the locals. Political parties like the Congress and BJP are unwilling to do any thing to address these grievances because they have much larger votebank in the North to look after. Thus, they can not act against the migrants and i dare say that they can not act in the interest of Maharashtra.

The latest report published by BMC only goes to corroborate the agenda of the MNS and it is only going to start a race between Shivsena and MANASE to cater to the needs of Marathi people in urban maharashtra.


Here is another example of violence against migrants. This time its in Russia:

Part 1:

Part 2:


This was the news on November 6, 2009 on the website of Indian Express.

"Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan did a Raj Thackeray when he said jobs in the state would not be allowed to be taken away by Biharis but backtracked after leaders from Bihar roundly condemned the controversial remark."

So does that now mean that the problem of UP and Bihar's exploding population is affecting many parts of India? Assam, Bengal, Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka?

So what Raj is saying is right? There is definitely a problem in many states now, Maharashtra, Karnatak, Assam, Delhi (remember Sheila Dixit's comments) and now Madhya Pradesh. I know that people might talk about violence, taking law into your own hands and all that. But if we strip Raj Thackeray of his violence, then does he represent a legitimate grievance faced by Marathi people?

Just to give you an idea of the population explosion in the "cow belt" here is more information on the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of various Indian states:
Its taken from wikipedia.

Rank State Fertility rate
1 Andhra Pradesh 1.8
1 Goa 1.8
1 Tamil Nadu 1.8
4 Himachal Pradesh 1.9
4 Kerala 1.9
6 Punjab 2
6 Sikkim 2
8 Karnataka 2.1
8 Maharashtra 2.1
10 West Bengal 2.3
11 Assam 2.4
11 Gujarat 2.4
11 Jammu and Kashmir 2.4
11 Orissa 2.4
11 Tripura 2.4
16 Chattisgarh 2.6
16 Uttarakhand 2.6
18 Haryana 2.7
- Whole INDIA 2.7
19 Manipur 2.8
20 Mizoram 2.9
21 Arunachal Pradesh 3
22 Madhya Pradesh 3.1
23 Rajasthan 3.2
24 Jharkhand 3.3
25 Nagaland 3.7
26 Meghalaya 3.8
27 Uttar Pradesh 3.8
28 Bihar 4

Okay so now we know that UP and Bihar are last on the list. But what is Total fertility rate (TFR)?

TFR is actually the average number of children bore by a woman over her entire reproductive life. So now if on average, a couple has 2 children, that is two people reproduce 2 children the population remains stable. (This is theoretical. Empirically it is found that the TFR should be 2.1 if we take into account the unnatural deaths i.e. accidents, diseases, homicides etc.) If there are less that 2 children per family then population declines over time and obviously if there are more than 2 children, population grows. India's average TFR is 2.7 (as given in the list above) so the Indian population is increasing. (Remember the "Hum do hamare do" campaign.)

However, Following states have their TFRs above the national average:

19 Manipur 2.8
20 Mizoram 2.9
21 Arunachal Pradesh 3
22 Madhya Pradesh 3.1
23 Rajasthan 3.2
24 Jharkhand 3.3
25 Nagaland 3.7
26 Meghalaya 3.8
27 Uttar Pradesh 3.8
28 Bihar 4

The population growth is highest in Jharkhand, UP and Bihar. Not so surprisingly, these states are the most backward states in India. Note that India gives every citizen an equal right to vote. Today these three states have about 30 % of India's population. (UP alone has 17%) Plus if you add people who have migrated to Punjab, Hariyana, Delhi, Maharashtra, Bengal, MP and other states, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand population is close to 40%. This population is most likely to continue in the next decade and more than half of Indian population would be from this so-called "cow belt". And soon we will have the biggest population in the world and we have the biggest democracy in the world dominated by these "hindiwallas".

So the question remains is Raj Thackeray right?

Update 3:

Four MNS members manhandled Mr. Abu Azmi in the Maharashtra assembly on November 11, 2009. After Abu Azmi took his oath in Hindi, he was bashed by four of the 13 MLAs of the MNS.

Abu Azmi has been insisting on taking oath in Hindi and Raj Thackeray had issued a "diktat" against doing so.

My question is why does Abu Azmi insist on hindi?

I think it is rightful to insist on Marathi as it is the language of the state. If people want to live in Maharashtra then should jolly-well learn Marathi. You don't hear Marathi anymore in Mumbai which is capital of Maharashtra. That piques the Marathi population. We always think of Mumbai as the financial capital of India but forget that it is also a capital of Maharashtra... just like any other state we have a capital which now-a-days almost alien land for any Marathi coming from other Maharashtra. Dramatic changes in demographics of any land is going to create tensions.

As far as a new low in the state assemblies is concerned, watch this:

This is the great UP assembly and their NATIONALISTIC MLAs...

This is Andhra Pradesh:


ThinkTank said...

I reached your blog from your response to Neeraj Shinde's blog. Was expecting to see some intelligent arguments, rather than the jingosim that MNS engages in. Unfortunately, its the usual 'I am in a bad state (unemployed/less educated/poor...fill in the blanks) because of THEM (bhaiyyas/hindiwallas/govt/system...fill in blanks with anyone except 'MYSELF'...or "They did it why shouldnt we??" Anyway, coming to some concrete questions I would really like a concrete response to:
1. "In Mumbai, we have seen similar migration (cheap labor) undercutting the locals in a big way" Can you tell me precisely what is wrong with working for cheaper than the competition? Why is 'working for cheap' projected like the biggest crime?
2. The states of UP, Jharkhand etc have higher TFRs. OK? SO????? Hos is this exactly related to the problem you are talking about? Are you trying to simplify the entire things to "They-breed-more-and-then-dump-their-burden'on-us?" How?? By stealing, looting, duping, rioting, killing, enroaching? If so - I dont care where they come from. They should be punished - by our STATE. Its a LAW and ORDER problem. And its true even when a marathi manoos does the same bad tihngs. Or is it again cos they work for 'cheaper'/better etc. If yes, then dude!! Again i dont care where they come from. If it means the consumers benefitting from the cheaper cost of labor (Marathi manoos included) or a desperate person ready to work for half the price and earning his bread

3. What's with the 'mumbai is capital of maharashta - so everybody should speak marathi???' mantra. Let's say they dont. Argument being 'Mumbai is a city of india' Would that be a crime? Unpatriotic? Unregionalistic? Yes, Chennai has been tamilified. Whats their income cmpared to Mumbai? Whats their progress? Do you see what they are losing out? Maybe you dont care - cos identity, regionalism, language is more important than progress, better work for cheaper, freedom to speak/do whatever you like as long as it does not harm otehrs. Some people might beg to differ. Is that a problem?

Would appreciate some responses - as I would really like to understand the other side

P.S. I am a Mumbaikar myself - a proud one at that.

Anonymous said...

Good Post!! I second you.
There is also another problem which I want to point out
1) Baised attitude of jornalism while reporting Maharashtra politics. -These dumb witted jornalist cannot put their opinion while reporting and has to cover both sides.Recently Cnn reporter Lou Dobbs was fired because he pushed his personal stand while taking interviews.
2)Great Indian Escapism - No body in social sphere is pointing the issue of Failed state(UP & Bihar) or doing anything to aleviate their standard of living.Instead they point to constitution that people can move anywhere they want.

Anonymous said...

If the 'bhaiyyas' leave Bombay and go elsewhere, it would take less than a day for the entire Bombay to collapse. Think about it the auto drivers, the milkmen, the carpenters, the workers in the factory, the taxi drivers etc, most of them are non-Marathis. Let me see, how you guys fare without 'Bhaiyya' power? Take it from me, you guys would not last a day.

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