Friday, November 14, 2008

The voice - do we really need it?

I have been thinking since some time that I have to write about the whole Raj Thakerey drama that has recently started. Just today when I read the news article which says that Raj cuts his birthday cake with a sword which has “Bhaiya” written on it, I felt amusement and some sense of malignity. Not that I do not want to accept the argument that the news clip may be a little over the top with an unnecessary implication of cutting the "Bhaiya" on the cake with a sword meaning that he wants to cut all the north Indians with a sword, but I just want to say he is on my nerves now.

I recently heard Shobhaa De speaking to Karan Thapar about the whole episode, and albeit the fact that I really look up to her for the woman she stands for, I was let down this time. She did not take any stand, she played safe, she answered diplomatically, that’s not the Shobhaa De I have known and hence the let down. She seemed to be insisting that she is surprised that not a single Maharastrian has got up to speak out against the Raj Thakerey episode. I wonder that if a personality like Shobhaa De could not muster the courage to do so, whom is she expecting to come out to speak? How can we think that the reticence of Maharastrians may perhaps mean that this is what they want?

There is no doubt in the argument that each state should have their quota so that advantage is given to the applicants of those states. And to the best of my knowledge, India is a hugely quota-regulated country. Each state does have their own share of quota, examples can be the state level UPSC exams or the state level lecturership exams (called SLET), or the state level railway exams, all of which give preference to applicants of their own state to some specific percentage. I have personally also taken some of these exams and that is the view I am aware of as an applicant. Then what is the argument for beating up the north Indian applicants on a Railway exam? S/he will only get selected in the category of outsider applicants. And if you think that this is not being done correctly, then sue the government for corruption. I do not see any justification in beating up a student like me absolutely unaware of what’s going on.

I hereby do not just say that the approach used to get the voice heard is absolutely unacceptable and rubbish, but also add that the voice that is being raised is irresponsible and carries no grounds.

The development of any place depends a lot on the immigrants to that place. The natives take their home towns mostly for granted and do not aspire to add much value to it. I wish the number of immigrants that Mumbai has, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal may also have some day. Least the Mumbaikars should do is to feel proud that their state is good enough to attract the crowd of the nearby states. Believe me nobody is happy at the first place to leave their own state; it hurts a lot to migrate to somewhere you have not being born and brought up. I am an immigrant too, and not even a single night has passed when I have not thought of my birth place.

The other argument I hear is that if Raj Thakerey does not do this then there is no way that the other states would do anything to improve their infrastructure. “Jab ghee seedhi ungli se nahi nikalta to ungli tedhi karni padti hai”. Huh!! Do you think killing Biharis in Maharastra is going to make the Bihari government do anything about its infrastructure and development? Our politicians hardly think this way. The first thing they would do is topple the Maharastra government or call for president’s rule in the state claiming law and order failure. And all that we are gaining with this “tedhi ungli” is the harassment and loss of some of the brilliant Bihari minds.

At the end I feel totally at a loss of words in which I can express my disagreement to the voice. Least that I would request the government is to put the man behind bars for claiming himself to be above the law of the land.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are completely personal and no malice is intended. The views have been formed based on newspaper articles, TV interviews and personal judgement.

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