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Saturday, 31 August 2013

An Open Letter to Raj Thackeray.

Mr.Raj Thackeray,
It wasn’t a surprise when you recently made remarks on the arrest of alleged terrorist Yaseen Bhatkal from Bihar. It was another opportunity for you to play a linguistic-regional card & taunt your opponents. You emphatically raised a question on why all such anti social elements are being arrested from Bihar? Being a crime journalist for over a decade tempted me to analyze & respond to your statement, especially because you are attempting to gain political mileage out of this premise. I agree that the state of Bihar has seen years of misgovernance, chaotic law & order situation & had been infamous as breeding ground for kidnappers, killers & robbers. However, I reject your viewpoint that most of the criminals hail from Bihar or its neighbouring north Indian states. I remember your statement in 2007 when you had recently adopted the issue of “Marathi Manoos” as the political philosophy for your party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). On new year’s eve a girl was molested by hooligans outside J.W.Marriott Hotel in Mumbai. Before the cops could arrest the accused, you jumped the gun & announced that the culprits are “outsiders”. However, very soon the accused were arrested & they turned out from our very own state. Obviously, after those arrests there was no reaction from you as that would have meant retracting your statement, which wasn’t good for the leader of a newly born party. Just look 5 years back. You will find that some of your own party workers & office bearers have been accused of several crimes, including those of crime against women. You cant discard them all as political cases filed by the rivals.

Do you know, Dawood Ibrahim is from which state? I haven’t heard any statement against him by you so far. He is running the world’s second largest organised crime gang after the Mexican mafia. The number of people (257) killed by Dawood Ibrahim in one single day of 12 March 1993 is almost equal to the causalities caused by Yaseen Bhatkal through various blasts across India. He is Mumbai’s biggest enemy. He is India’s biggest enemy. Are you sparing Dawood from your verbal assaults just because you & he have a common mother tongue & both belong to the same soil? There are others like Dawood who have brought disgrace to our city Mumbai like Arun Gawli, Ashwin Naik, Vijay Palande & so on. So doesn’t it become clear that you are propagating half truths & presenting facts selectively?

On the night of 26/11/2008 when Ajmal Kasab & his accomplice were killing people at CST railway station, they focussed only on one identity of their target-“Indian”.
Among the casualities were Hindus, Muslims & people speaking different languages, but for their killers, they were just Indians. When our enemy can see us with a unified identity, why cant we display the same cohesion?
Mr.Thackeray, the time for the nation is to be cohesive and not divisive. You are right when you say that there are many other politicians who play divisive politics & make people hate each other on emotional grounds, but the question you should ask yourself is whether you want to be part of the same clan?

I believe you have the potential to be different from other members of your political fraternity. You belong to India’s most progressive city & people here are not gullible. I know few Marathi families where son voted for you & his father voted for your rival outfit Shiv Sena. Certainly, you have a youth appeal & it could be utilised for constructive ideas. I supported your campaign for displaying Marathi sign boards on shops & establishments in Mumbai. During my travel to South Indian states & various countries like Japan, Malaysia, Kuwait, Germany & Italy, I have observed that local language is given preference & in that perspective your campaign made sense (Although, I don’t know how much it helped in raising the living standards & life style of Marathi people)

In August last year after Azad Maidan riots in Mumbai you announced from a public platform- “I only believe in Maharashtra Dharma.”. It was good to know that you delimited yourself from being leader of people belonging to just one particular faith unlike your uncle Bal Thackeray. However, in the same public meeting you re-emphasised your adherence to linguistic politics. I firmly believe that language is for humans & humans are not for language. A language is good only due to its ability to make people communicate with each other. The reason for existence of language is its ability to connect people whether it is Marathi, Hindi, English or sign language used by deaf and dumb. The language must be a medium for uniting people & not dividing them.

…and after reading this if you think that these views are of an outsider, I must tell you that I am born & brought up in Mumbai, I love Marathi language & Marathi was one of the 3 languages I learnt till class 10. My son is the fifth generation Mumbaikar.

Yours truly,
Jitendra Dixit.


Ajay Pandey said...

Nice Jitendra keep it up this is good reply and good comments against Raj Thakckeray statement we have to stand against these type of statment other wise this people take it granted always,

Pradip Yadav said...

A Real heart touching Letter hope Mr. Thackeray must have read it. Good work Jitendra...