The colonial power, Great Britain, before it was kicked out from India after being confronted by various National Movements under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhaschandra Bose and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, did a treacherous act. India was divided on the basis of religion. Pakistan was created. Both the countries are facing the consequences of this division and enormous amount is spent on defending the borders.
The Congress Government under the leadership of Nehru faithfully continued with the politics of division. As per the States Reorganization Act of 1956, India was divided again on linguistic lines, by amending the Constitution. A blunder of colossal magnitude was committed. Division on the basis of religion and language is the worst thing that can happen to a country.
With the death in December 1950, Vallabhai Patel, the then Home Minister, Nehru assumed the Office of Congress President as well, in addition to that of Prime Minster of India. He was the supreme authority, and the boot-licking Congress hierarchy faithfully followed whatever he said and did. That tradition continues till today in the Congress Party, full of sycophants and opportunists.
18 Scheduled Languages are recognized, though India has 1652 languages, including 350 major languages, as per government’s own records.
Only the men of literature and educationalists have the right to speak on the subject of language, not the corrupt politicians. What have the politicians done to enrich any language? A language, even if it is spoken by 1000 people is as important as the one spoken by 1,00,000,000 people.
With Nehru, showing inclination for creations of the States on linguistic lines, a clamor ensued, by the language groups. Show me a single country in the world which has created States on the basis of language? But, the English-speaking and oxford-educated Nehru continued with his madness. With the formation of such States, suddenly many people found themselves in the new role of minorities. A Kannada speaking individual became a minority in Maharashtra. A Bengali speaking individual became a minority in Tamil Nadu!
Politics dabbled in the language scene. Mumbai City, whose trade was dominated by the Gujarati people, became the bone of contention. Vested interests wanted Mumbai to be a bilingual State, of Marathi and Gujarati. Nehru was clearly adopting an unprincipled approach to placate the Gujarati industrialists. He even proposed that the city of Mumbai will be a separate territory directly administered by the Centre and Gujarat and Maharashtra will be two States.
Marathi people felt cheated. They saw through the game of Nehru. The winds of strong resentment began to blow. The Samyukta Masharashtra Samiti rejected this proposal and took to the streets in protest. The peaceful demonstrators were fired upon in a place formerly known as Flora Fountain (Now Hutatma Chowk) that resulted in 105 deaths and many hundred were injured in the melee. Most of them were youth. This reminds one of the Jallian wala Bagh, Amritsar, massacre in the firing ordered by General Dyer on April 13, 1919 during the British Era.
Perhaps the seed of Shiv Sena was planted that day and rightly so! Any self-respecting community will not tolerate such humiliation. And the name of Maharashtra is synonymous with that of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj– mind you!
Bal Thackeray’s Cultural Nationalism is more or less similar to the war of Shivaji fought against the tyranny of the Moguls.
Thackeray is against the mindless and unchecked migration of people to Mumbai. He is deadly against illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh. Now what’s wrong in it? Mumbai is a small island territory, and the space crunch is unimaginable. Now tell me, what is the non-Bengali population in Kolkata, non-Tamil population in Chennai, and non-Kannada population in Bangaluru? It is less than 10%, where as in Mumbai the non-Marathi population has crossed 50%.
Well, well, we are all paying the price for Nehru’s Himalayan blunder; we identify ourselves on the basis of language. I do not know who I am …my mother tongue is Konkani, I studied in Karnataka and Mumbai, my job brought me to Delhi…and I am at a loss to understand I am minority of which State!
Thackeray gives a call to fight against Muslim fundamentalism. Is it wrong? He is a learned individual. He knows that Islam means peace. He is not against every Muslim but only against those who are not true to the salt-the terrorists and fundamentalists. His statement is on record that “We must look after the Muslims and treat them as part of us.” He has expressed admiration for Muslims in Mumbai in the wake of the 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists.
About Amitabh Bachhan he says, “Amitabh is a family friend. The friendship goes back 40 years during which it has not diminished. Bachhan is a global superstar and is respected all over the world. He has always expressed his gratitude to Mumbai and the people for giving him fame.”
He is against caste-based census, which will further divide the communities.
Actor Rajinikanth met Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray at his Matoshree bungalow in Mumbai recently and he said, “He is like God to me.”
Violence in any form in any part of the country is bad. But tell me in which part of the country violence is not there? When States engage in developmental activities, and when employment and educational opportunities are created by the States, people will not think about migrating to metropolitan cities or to other states. The recent report that many from Mumbai are returning to Bihar in the wake of developmental activities taking place under the Leadership of Nitish Kumar cheers the heart of every right-thinking Indian. Employment opportunities are increasing there. This is an encouraging trend.
In the ultimate analysis, one wrong decision of creating linguistic states has resulted in animosity, violence and misunderstandings between communities. The smaller language groups have no identity and majority of them will be extinct, bullied by the major language groups. The solution is to abolish the language states. Let people form language and literary councils in any part of India. There can be 10 Marathi language councils in Bengal and 50 Urdu language councils in Maharashtra. That is for the people to organize and pave way for the glory of literature of that respective language. Politics should have nothing to do with it.