Identity Crisis and the Marathi Manoos
Aroon Tikekar writes a wonderful commentary on the Identity crisis facing the â€œmarathi manoosâ€ in Bombay.
There was a time when Parsi businessmen and industrialists from Mumbai preferred to employ the â€˜Marathi manoosâ€™ in their offices, for he was hard-working, sincere and honest. He had respect for scholarship, was kind to subordinates and obedient to employers.His work ethics earned him esteem from those around him. To be Marathi was like an additional qualification in Mumbai and white collar jobs were waiting for migrants from the hinterland of Maharashtra.
Then Mumbai became the dreamland for all Indians and its commercial success created a wide gap between the success and failure, wealth and poverty. Politicians always have a field day in such situations and so was the case in Mumbai. Extreme successes bred disrespect for law; extreme failures gave birth to discontent. This combined to increase social tensions.
The reaction of the diehard Marathi Mumbaikars to all what was thus happening in the city was one of anger and dissatisfaction, for they had not anticipated a challenge to their future. They had shed blood for the inclusion of Mumbai in Maharashtra as the state capital after the reorganisation of the bilingual state of Bombay in 1960.
But their dreams turned sour after the initial euphoria of the creation of Samyukta Maharashtra was over. The continuous influx of people from every nook and corner of the country, made them uneasy and they felt that their hold on the city was being threatened with every wave of migration.
This is proved by how quickly Marathi Mumbaikars unite even at the slightest suggestion of Mumbai being separated from Maharashtra.
Read the entire article here.