By Neha Bhandarkar:
Do you remember your Civics lessons in school? The ones we studied as part of the social science subject where we were taught about the constitution of the country. From what I recall, I remember the basic fundamental rights, entitled to all the citizens of India. One of the seven recognised rights by the Constitution is:
“Right to freedom which includes speech and expression, assembly, association or union or cooperatives, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are subject to security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency or morality), right to life and liberty, right to education, protection in respect to conviction in offences and protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.” (Source: Wikipedia)
This particular right quite clearly states, an individual has been given the liberty to reside where he or she wants and move as well. Applying the similar in the context of the recent Raj Thackeray episode where in the self proclaimed protector, defender, guardian (and everything else that is synonymous to someone who is ‘concerned’!) of the cultural values of the country and specifically of the state where he belongs yet again unleashed his angst over the north Indians who belong to UP and Bihar calling them intruders, shows that this right is made either in vain or is practically not possible for those who want to stay in Maharashtra.
In an interview that followed the entire hate speech furore in the past couple of days, Raj Thackeray reiterated his stand against the North Indians saying the rising rate of crime in the city of Mumbai is only due to the migrants from Bihar and UP. Infamous for his party’s ideologies for violence, especially against immigrants from UP and Bihar, Raj Thackeray has earned himself quite a reasonable amount of recognition and not in a very good way.
From giving profound hate speeches and branding Biharis as ‘infiltrators’ to letting down a public figure like Asha Bhosle by tussling with her over letting a musical program air to slamming her verbally because she will be working with artists from Pakistan and questioning her profession for money, he has left no stone unturned in claiming himself as a self-righteous leader concerned about the nation’s integrity. Though the channel was later given the permission to air the program, the reason why was it even brought into picture doesn’t make any sense.
However, there is a situation here, an urgent one. It’s a circumstance that is not supposed to be and is there because it is bred upon certain unexpected factors, like regionalism and language. Having royally ruined the pride of being an Indian, Raj Thackeray and his party believe that the state of Maharashtra, language and the people who belong here or the Marathi Manoos are destroyed by these external influence. The Manoos (Marathi word for person) of the country is affected here. Someone has to take care of that as well.
I repeat again, there is a situation. And this situation needs an urgent rectification. The right endowed by the Constitution are meant to be for the society and its peoples’ functioning in an organized manner. This very callous attitude of the MNS president has infiltrated to break the very unity in every way possible.
Being from the state of Maharashtra myself, I am overwhelmed because of these very reasons. The regular incidents violence make me shudder with doubt to think of the upcoming generation. It’s an earnest request from a fellow Maharashtrian, (who is first a human being) call for truce, because what is happening is futile, and futile it shall continue to be.