The Matter of Marathi

I had wanted to raise this issue since a long long time, but i just did not get the right chance. Thanks to confluence to give me such a platform and thanks to Gaurav for motivating me to write. So finally i am writing what i wanted to write since a very long time.

The debate on this issue has been on since a very very long time. But it has gained vast momentum recently. Maharashtra, Mumbai and the Marathi manoos have been the major elements of this debate. Some say Maharshtra has been encroached by the non-Maharshtrians and that they are now eating away on the rights of the sons of the soil. Some say today Marathi is being sidelined in its birth place and Hindi and Gujrati are taking it’s place. Though some part of all this is true and some isn’t, what we need to think today is, weather the politicisation of the issue is right or not, and whether the point raised by the politicians is correct. As a person who has lived in Maharashtra and Gujrat and experienced life at both places, I would like to express my view on this issue. It may feel biased to some and correct to some. But what i want to say before you start reading this article is that while reading this article plese think neutrally and do not form an opinion about anything until you reach the end.

Mumbai being the economic capital of India, provides a lot of job opportunities and so people from all over the country and all walks of life come here in search of a better life. Some have their dreams fulfilled, some are not that lucky. Some people come here and they become Mumbai’s forever while some just return back. But in all these happenings what happens to the people of Mumbai needs to be noticed. What was said by Balasaheb Thackrey and what is being said by Raj Thackrey today needs to be noted and thought upon. What the MNS and the Shiv-Sena advocate for must be taken into consideration.

The motive of these parties may be political. But the point that they have raised is not entirely uncorrect. They say that in a state having a state language apart from the national language all work should be done in the state language i.e. Marathi. As an example we can look at the southern state’s of Tamil Nadu and Kerela. Everything there is carried on in their native language. At this the point that there has not been as much migration in those states as in Mumbai can be raised. OK. Point taken. But then what can you say about Gujrat where a major part of the office work was being done in Gujrati?? And it is not the only place of concern. Take the radio channels for example. Everywhere the RJ’s are speaking in the local language except Maharahtra. Here Every radio channel RJ is asked to speak in HINDI as there is a lot of Hindi speaking junta around. Very rarely i have heard an RJ speaking in Marathi. How can this be justified? Just because the Marathi people are considerate dose not mean that they should be taken for granted. And to add to the woes, what happens when a question is put as to why this RJing is not done in Marathi, the reply comes that it is not our national language Hindi is. Well where does this thing go when in Gujrat. Here the RJ’s don’t speak in Hindi. The entire show is done in Gujrati. Now why? And this is just one example to cite. There are many many more. Infact today Marathi has almost vanished from Mumbai and Hindi and Gujrati have taken it’s place.

I respect Hindi as a language. I ve got no grudge against any other language either. But at the same time I love my mother tongue too. I can’t see it fading off this way. I can’t see the way it is being neglected. I can’t see the way the Marathi manoos is being made to forget his own Mother tongue. Actually the Marathi manoos is more to blame for this situation. When he was subjected to Hindi as a second language, he took it more as it facilitated him in conversing with a lot more people.And instead of taking Marathi to their homes he took back Hindi to his own home, which eventually has lead to what has happened today. The MNS and the Shiv-Sena are trying to change this situation and propagate the use of Marathi in Maharashtra. I don’t feel there is any worng with this. What is wrong in urging people to speak in their Mother tongue?

As for the other points raised and the demands that are being put by these parties. I do not think all of them are worth supporting and infact some of them are baseless. Take for an example the point of reservation for the son of the soil. What a dumb point! Why can’t the Marathi Manoos prove himself and go towards success. Why does he need the support of reservation for it. Why just can’t he admit the fact that he is lagging beacuse he is lazier and less hard working. What i feel is that these political parties should try to eliminate these aspects of the traditional Marathi Manoos rather than demanding a reservation for him.

As for the violence, violence can never be supported. There can always be a better way of saying a thing than going the voilent way. But again we cannot forget that this is politics and things like these are a part and parcel of that. Unless and until these parties have some power in their hand they just cannot bring about any change, be it good or bad. There are many aspects of this politicisation that cannot be justified, yet which are necessary from the political point of view. Each and every political party in our country resorts to such kind of acts some time or the other, willingly or unwillingly,publicly or privately. And all these have only one answer according to me,”this is politics!”

But the demand for all the work of the state to be done in Marathi is correct. The propagation of Marathi, and building the respect for Marathi is necessary. Else this language will die. Just put your Mother tongue in the place that my Mother tongue is today and i am sure you will feel the pain and the need for the upliftment. Maybe then you may feel my point of view right. May be then you will understand.


6 thoughts on “The Matter of Marathi

  1. Well I want to agree with all your comments but can not. One thing that baffles me is that if you are not against the Northeners staying in Mumbai than how do you propose to solve the problem that they also need to do some official works, they also would need to go to offices for getting some work done may be of a Marathi employer. If all the work is done in Marathi I or for that reason any person would require a translator at all times. You propose the work to be done in Marathi not in Hindi, I want it to be done in English, not in Hindi, What say????? And I am sure official language is better understood in English than any other language.

    • thank you very much for your valuable comment…the thing that i wasn’t against notheners is quiet baffling for many…but i could not put what i wanted to say in words unless i saw KAMINEY…in that movie it is said that the nothreners are like sugar in milk…and i got no problem with sweet milk!! 🙂
      but anyways…the alternative you suggested is well said and acceptable to me…but then what about those who don’t know english?
      and yes…official work is just one thing that could be started in marathi…what i merely want is only the decline and disrespect for my mother tongue to end. Nothing else!

      • ya I know that you had put in good words and I know that you want your mother tongue to prosper and grow but to start it in official work really would not change anything most northeners will start hating it much more than now because they would not be able to get anything done.
        The best way is to teach it in schools compulsorily till 8 class atleast.

        And The Marathis as you said should be proud to use it atleast at homes and within there groups.

        And I want to tell you that I do not disrespect the Marathi language or Marathi Manoos in any way but would still love to work in English at Mumbai offices and would like to see the numbers of all the buses being changed to arabic numeral system that we use. I can never get the number of buses in Mumbai.

  2. the state board schools do teach marathi till 10th. but it is the central board’s schools that remove marathi compulsorily from the syllabus. This thing hurts. the Marathi’s definately use it in their homes and within their groups. but with the number of CBSE schools going up and the mentality of people changing that CBSE schools are better than State board schools because they got a big status associated with them the problem of marathi only aggrevates. it would be good if marathi is taught in these schools too. but it wont happen because if it were to be asked to be done the non marathi’s will spring up asking as to why do their kids need to learn marathi. And here is where the problem begins which eventually grows up to people disrespecting marathi. sometimes this may even lead to the marathi children not respecting their own language as they have all their friends who dont want to speak in marathi.

    as for the official yes you would like to do it in english but then again everyone person who dosen’t understand english will be at a loss. and so the only option could be that the work be done in any language either marathi hindi or english as per the need of the applicant. and with the current state there seems to be no other option.

    as for the numbers on the buses, marathi numerals are not very different from those used in hindi…and even they are,it’s quiet easy to understand and learn ten symbols than change the number plates of all the buses. somewhere everyone needs to compromise a bit..isn’t it?

    i believe that now i answer all your questions nicely. but if you have any other comment on this issue please feel free to put it up.

  3. well..i agree with you shantanu.
    From the times of the great chattrapati Shivaji maharaj, there was nothing done as restricting any religion any creed from entering into our state as well as the minds of marathi people.But marathi never was dominated over by other languages or i should say that its grandeur was never budged by the presence of these things.n why then it is happening now..
    i can give u the reason….
    To make important a region or a create a respect for them..does not happen because the region or language inherits great qualities or its soil has that stuff in it..It is the people born in that soil who bring the region and the language pride..
    This is major difference the between the times then n the times now.From the times of Shivaji maharaj..i m repeatedly using this ..since many of us know atleast that much history n we have got some knowledge about the important figures of that time…So from those times till the independence of country…the nation saw n experienced many Marathi leaders, experts in various fields, etc..We know Lokmanya Tilak..the reforms he did..the start of newspapers Kesari in marathi and Mahratta in english by him..Mahatma jyotiba fule..the social reforms he imbibed in our society which stood as standards for the entire nation…Mahatma Gandhi’s political guru was Gopal Krishna Gokhale..
    n what to tell more about the gargantuan n magnanimous persona of Swantantryaveer Savarkar.These people went to foreign for their studies, were parts of various nationwide groups, participated in different activities..but never forgot their culture , their language….
    Strolling on the coasts of England, sawarkar wrote ” ne mazasi ne parat matru bhoomila sagara pran talamala”…
    the Marathi Manoos at that time had retained his self dignity self respect..never wanted anybody to feel sympathetic about him..had courage, had valour…sawarkar jumped from the ship in which he was taken to be imprisoned in the deep blue sea near the Marcellus island n swam to the coast to break from the bondages…u know what courage it takes to dive in the sea full of dangers, the presence of only the blue sea creating a sort of mirage which is in desert…blocked direction sense…but still he jumped…

    that was the real marathi manoos….

    So in that sense i dont agree totally with Raj Thackeray..aggression is no way to prove that we are the best..but still he n Bal Thackeray are the only people who are striving to keep the Marathiness alive in the heart of Mumbai…I totally agree with your opinion shantanu that today’s marathi youth has become lazy…or he feels ashamed to do certain kinds of work…
    we know the situation in our home town shantanu..we know that why vidarbha is not getting developed at a rate at which it should had although it has the major resources of the state…why industries are not starting in vidarbha…n if started they are forced to halt..everybody knows the fall of Tata’s empress mill in nagpur…this is because the people here dont like to work…u know in management we read the X n Y workers theory..these are the X type..the situation in west maharashtra is somewhat more digestible..

    but still marathi minds remain with all those blockages for doing work of any kind..when any UP bhaiyya comes n puts THELA…starts his business..then develops it into something more profitable , big..buys a Car out of that …our people think that this must be due to black money…
    Our people have always confused “profit” by working hard with “PROFITEERING”.Rather i should say they just made excuses to do a socially low kind of work…
    All these thinking and ideology is the gift of Generation from the after independence period..mostly from 1960’s to 1990’s. as in my opinion..wherein they used to think that we just have to be satisfied in what we get n it should be enough to fulfill the needs of their family they wanna start..All things revolving around themselves…not a peek in the outer world….just as it is said Ignorance is Bliss..

    n they inculcated the same thought process in the future generations..making them more coward and superficial..

    This is were Raj Thackeray comes into play..He is telling the marathi youth to fight back for their show the skills..n there is no shame in doing any kind of work..he is making them brave n coaxing them to atleast try…
    this is what i feel important in MNS ideology.

    About marathi, really the quality is deteriorating..not only that the pride which should be there in minds of people about their mother tongue that’s diminishing…talk with a few boys in mumbai – the capital of maharashtra..u will get the evidence..This is not their fault wholly..this is again their parents from the 60’s to 90’s era who wanted to get called of by their sons n daughters as MOM DAD, MUMMY DADDY…to build up their so called social status..

    everybody should know that Raj Thackeray is not against the non maharashtrians living in state from decades..he is just against the crowd of people entering into the state with an intention to get prosperous..there is nothing wrong in that intention..but how can it be justified when the original inhabitants still are struggling..though its due to their ignorance their mistakes in perceiving things and situations…but still they are to be stabilized first…there psyche needs to be changed….they have to made strong enough to face every competition. These are the some points Raj Thackeray’s n my thinking have got in common…

    Also i want to express one of my beliefs that today traditional Marathi Manoos has managed to sustain the overcrowded vicious jungle of mumbai because some marathi leaders you all know…..

  4. hey aditya,
    read ur comment on the whole matter….
    liked it!! 🙂
    its really gr8 & heartening to hear that youth like u still have this sense of marathiness still alive in them…
    really if we remove the factor of laziness from our lifestyle, we will be able 2 get back into our own way of being marathi from soul…

    just keep up this thing in everyone of u—this is my only appeal to all the marathi youth bcos its only the the youth who can make a difference in things goin around……


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