Monday, February 1, 2010

RSS Vs Sena? I'm sure Mumbai doesn't want this


Mumbai, the city just refuses to be out of news. As a matter of fact, its ‘guardians’ don’t let it remain out of news. It was initiated by Raj Thackeray through few speeches, which were later transformed into action by his men – members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (I prefer calling it Maharashtra No-nirman Sena). When Shiv Sena, headed by Raj’s estranged and not-so-aggressive cousin Uddhav Thackeray, realized that Raj was gaining a firm ground in the state on issues that were their ‘patent’, they began resonating his voice and re-directed their energy towards ‘protection of Mumbai’.

But it’s no longer an easy task. RSS has declared that they will guard and protect the North Indians in Mumbai. They have also been backed by BJP, which is incidentally an ally of Shiv Sena.

Now this paves the path for an ugly fight, which may be violent, on the streets of Mumbai. While Senas have to their credit bashing of migrants, burning of BEST buses, and involvement in the riots post Mumbai blasts in 1993, RSS is the force behind the demolition of Babri Masjid.

But lost amidst these powerful political groups are the people of Mumbai – Maharashtrians as well as North Indians. What do they want?

I don’t have specific data to prove my point but I guess Mumbai has more migrants than Delhi or any other Metro. And if you have visited the city or happen to live there, you will agree that it’s probably one of the best examples of peaceful co-existence.

Mumbai has often been praised for its zeal to fight back and return to normalcy after every attack or calamity. When people came on the streets after the train blasts to help those in trouble, or when rain played a monster, they never asked if a person was a Mumbaikar of hailed from Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. They just extended a helping hand to everyone in distress. I’m sure there were several people from Bihar or Uttar Pradesh who provided water bottles and snacks to the Marathis who were helpless when trouble struck, and vice versa.

The so called custodians of Mumbai also attacked Sachin Tendulkar, Mukesh Ambani and Amitabh Bachchan when they said Mumbai is for all. But why didn’t they have a problem when Amitabh made the Mumbai Film Industry earn wealth out of his blockbusters? When Ambanis, who are originally from Gujarat, set up some of India’s biggest industries in the state? And coming to Sachin – how can they even think of attacking a Maharashtrian who has put their city on the global map in his own ways?

Well, the aforesaid points are not meant to back RSS. In fact, RSS is probably worsening things for the North Indians. It’s good that they have raised their voice for the migrants but I fear they also would resort to violent means. They would do nothing but send their goons to clash with those of MNS or Shiv Sena. And I believe people in Mumbai are rather busy making and shaping up their lives, arranging means of livelihood, than face a bandh due to violence at Worli or Vashi or Thane or Panvel or Andheri.

Mumbai is the city of dreams; a city that has the power to fulfill dreams; a city that makes lives; a city that India is proud of. And there must be something very special about the people of such a city. They would certainly disapprove of anything that in any possible way harms their structure of peaceful co-existence.