I don’t have anything new to say about the MNS MLAs attacking a colleague in the Maharashtra assembly and their subsequent suspension, but I think it is unfair on the people of the 4 constituencies who now will have no representation in the State assembly. If people are still bothered about such trivialities, the least they should do is hold their legislators responsible for their unruly conduct.
On the language issue that is the root cause here, I don’t think I should be speaking. Although I consider myself a Maharashtrian (definition here), my views of the MNS have often been misconstrued as the views of an ‘outsider’. As for myself, I can pass off as a Maharashtrian easier than some Marathi friends of mine, but that isn’t pertinent here.
I have come to believe that the only ones speaking or discussing the issue of MNS should be the Marathi people. Far too much noise is made by others for someone to pause and ask a Marathi person about his say in the matter.
Trust me, you’ll see some alarming results. I have come across individuals (in the U.S., ironically) who explicitly or implicitly support the MNS. You’d think that someone who studied at Stanford (purely used as a metric of education, extent of global awareness, ubiquitous ideologies and lack of friends from other universities) would know enough to disagree with the MNS, but I’ve seen exceptions.
When the mainstream media makes this much noise, they are only helping a Marathi person feel more marginalized, thereby aligning him further with the MNS ideology. We don’t really want to know that the MNS MLAs’ kids study in English medium schools. We don’t want the opinions of Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad Yadav whenever the MNS raises its head. The average Marathi person needs to hear moderate and liberal views coming from Marathi people, and therein lies the biggest problem — lack of Marathi voices against the MNS ideology. This could imply 2 things :
– the average Marathi person supports the MNS, which is quite rational if you ask me. Why would you not support — or why would you speak out against — someone who claims to be fighting for you ? Heck, tomorrow if there is a TamBram superhero who goes around beating up non-Tamils, I might not speak out against him (Of course, I will. That’s just an example).
– the average Marathi person doesn’t care.
In both these cases, the clout of the MNS will only grow, because you need individuals who disagree with the MNS to halt their march. This needs more Marathi voices to be heard on public forums, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and GTalk status messages. The Marathi voice is silent there.
In a sense, the Marathi person faces the same situation an average Muslim faces in India. You cannot just sit at home and criticize your ilk — we, and it pains me to say so, need to hear your opinion aloud.