I have read your open letter addressed to me in Loksatta. I am happy to read it. Leaders from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (not all north Indians, only those from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) and all north Indian journalists have decided to label whatever I and my colleagues, my party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena do, as "goondagiri".
It is natural. They are furious because their inter-connected economic, cultural and political interests have been jeopardized. For the first time, their uncontrolled political and cultural dadagiri has been confronted!
With this backdrop, I was happy to read your letter because, for the first time, someone has shown a willingness to discuss and debate the issues raised by me. And it is not someone ordinary but one who has handled the country's politics and culture from the Prime Minister's Office.
Sudheendraji, you have made many points in your letter. I will start with the one on violence. But before that, I would like to inform readers that I have been in active politics for about 18-19 years. I hope you don't doubt my political knowledge and experience! But to state the fact, I and my party have not undertaken any illegal, unconstitutional agitation if you consider the backdrop of the political history of our country.
Forget the country, even in Maharashtra every political party has indulged in political violence and murder at some time or the other. The levels and layers may be different. Some parties have supported such incidents on moral grounds. Such allegations have been made against many people in the present cabinet. I have neither supported political violence nor have my workers killed their opponents.
I will give you just one example. Not even a single worker has offended –– physically or verbally –– any mediaperson, despite the fact that the entire media (especially Hindi and English media) was spewing venom of contempt for Maharashtrians, on me and my party.
I can give you many examples of the media being attacked by enraged workers of all four major political parties in Maharashtra in similar situations. Isn't our patience and conscience indicative of a principled stance?
I have already apologised for the death in Nashik during this agitation. But it should also be kept in mind that it was an accident, not a political murder!
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena does not believe in political murders!
Leaders involved in political murders across the country come to Maharashtra to teach me ahimsa and journalists follow them and address them as "sir" and brand me and my followers as goondas. This is such an irony. I am surprised that nobody is objecting to the dirty politics being played over the death of a person.
Now, the violence.
Isn't the outbreak of spontaneous outrage in a people's movement understood? Can anyone avoid the violence or damage to property even if it does not bring happiness? Wasn't Gandhiji forced to withdraw his agitation when a chowkie was burnt at Chauri Chaura?
Besides, even after all this, was the violence and damage to public property avoided in the 1942 agitation? When people become furious, their response is the same, whether it is the Congress or the African National Congress.
Sudheendraji, as you are a former communist, you must be aware of crores of deaths and political murders during communist movements the world over. People's movements are a repetition of history to some extent.
Besides, do political movements need to obey the law? Political history learnt by me tells me that breaking the law, getting arrested, braving lathis and getting jailed are symbols of a principled agitation.
In recent times, the rulers and opposition parties indulged in movements of political compromise, in which morchas are taken out, the share of benefits of the government and opposition parties are decided. Then the protesters and their companions go home and sleep peacefully! This is called todbazi (compromise). The word political movement is an equivalent word for breaking the law!
Tell me, Sudheendraji, was Bihari MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy not aware of Advaniji's Rath Yatra when he chose to criticise me on the grounds that my agitation was unconstitutional, destabilising for the nation, sectarian? How many people died then? How much was the violence?
But didn't Advani pursue his campaign to make his point? The Bihari babu in Rudy seems to have woken up. I don't remember Rudy mustering courage to register his protest during the Rath Yatra or with Narendrabhai Modiji when our Gujarati brethren were outraged after the Godhra incident.
It means that everyone wants MPs and MLAs from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to dance on the chest of Maharashtra. Because they know that Maharashtra's MPs and ministers in Delhi will not utter a word! The only thing remaining is Maharashtra government issuing an ordinance to compel every Maharastrian household to accommodate at least one bhaiyya from UP, Bihar and if not done, to brand such Maharashtrians as against the constitution!
Raj Thackeray and his party have become a hurdle in all this which is why they are ready to crush us. Sudheendraji, I have never opposed, do not oppose ordinary workers from U.P. and Bihari. Would I have spoken if chhatpooja was an ordinary religious pooja?
Gujaratis celebrate Garba in Maharashtra with a bang. We also enjoy it. Bengalis celebrate Navratri. We too participate in it. South Indians perform Ayyappa's rituals and Marathis pray there. But chhatpooja is not just a religious festival. At least it is not celebrated as one in Mumbai.
It is an akhada (wrestling ring) erected on Mumbai's chest by Bihari leaders to show their strength. There lies the root of our opposition. Sudheendraji, are you aware of any widespread chhatpooja being celebrated by Biharis living in Mauritius, Dubai or any country close to the sea?
How can you compare chhatpooja with Ganeshotsav? Ganesh is acknowledged nationally and internationally as Vighnaharta (the remover of obstacles). When Maharashtians living in other states celebrate Ganeshotsav, do they invite Pawarsaheb (Sharad Pawar), Munde (BJP leader Gopinath Munde), Balasaheb (Bal Thackeray), Vilasrao (Vilasrao Deshmukh) or Sushilkumar (Sushilkumar Shinde) to deliver fiery speeches?
Do Maharashtrians use Ganeshotsav to establish cultural and political supremacy in that state and make it a cultural vassal state? If any Maharashtrian is doing it, I object to that. But Maharashtrians never do it. Except people from U.P. and Bihar, migrants from other states do not indulge in such feudal activity.
States like Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana are also in the north. Maharashtra has no objection to them because migrants from these states behave responsibly. I agree with you that India is a country of bouquets with flowers of different states.
But if a flower of one colour is rubbed violently on the petal of another of a different colour, it will damage both. There will be no manomilan (amalgamation). Nobody should do it.
I and my party were not against the common man from U.P. and Bihar, but when this common man comes to Maharashtra to prove the dadagiri of leaders from U.P. and Bihar!
Well, what is the history of such leaders? We would have followed their model if they had made U.P. and Bihar progressive states and created paradise. But these leaders have exploited the poor man there and impoverished these states by bringing in a mafia culture. What are these leaders saying here? "Take action against Raj Thackeray because he is a goonda!"
Sudheendraji, how could you fall prey to the disinformation campaign of leaders and journalists from U.P. and Bihar?
I will give you just one example, after reading which you and the whole world will realise how these leaders and bhaiyya journalists indulge in false and poisonous propaganda.
You have said that I have blamed Amitabh Bachchan for singing the "Chhora Ganga Kinarewala" song from the film "Don". It is totally false.
Bhaiyya journalists from U.P. and Bihar, who address Amar Singh as "sir, sir" have spread this venomous story all over the country. Am I mad to blame Amitabh for singing this line in "Don"? If that were the case, I would have demanded his arrest for acting in "Don"!
If I had to indulge in something foolish, I would have stooped to Lalu Prasad Yadav's level. Do you know the truth, Sudheendraji? Amitabh Bachchan delivered a speech and I have the clipping. I can show it to you.
He said, "Mai Dilli raha, Calcutta raha, Mai Bambai (not Mumbai!) raha. Phir bhi meri pehchan, chhora Ganga kinarewala hi hai".
My only observation was that if such a great hero feels love for Uttar Pradesh despite what Mumbai gave him, then what is wrong if a small man like Raj Thackeray feels love for Maharashtra?
I have the clipping of my speech with me. Isn't this enough to prove that such venomous propaganda has misguided a media stalwart like you?
Which Maharashtrian does not love India?
This love is not limited to just bursting crackers after India wins a cricket match, but is as vast as the Sahyadri rushing to help the Himalayas whenever there is a shadow of foreign invasion. Have Maharastrians failed to think about the country?
In fact, Maharashtrians have always thought of the country first, before they think of their own region. My chest swells with pride whenever I say Jai Hind. But nobody should forget that my Maharashtra is a part of India. It has its own culture, its own identity.
Nobody should forget it.
A guest is welcomed if he adjusts himself to the host's house. But if he tries to change the host's house through dadagiri, we won't tolerate it. And no means no!
I am proud of my workers for their struggle! Please don't call it 'Rada' (hooliganism) by giving old and historic references. They hit the streets to protect their own language and culture. Police are visiting their houses again and again and beating them up like cattle to punish them for protecting their language and culture.
They are tolerating it quietly. For whom? For Maharashtra! For India! It is fashionable for intellectuals here to blame my party for the unsolved problem of Marathi identity. But am I or my party responsible for it?
And if it has not been solved, is it wrong to struggle for it? For several decades, the mind of Maharashtrians is struggling to solve the Belgaum border issue. There have been several struggles on several levels. But the problem is where it was. Now, are you going to suggest that Maharashtrians should keep quite by presuming that the problem has been solved?
Whether it is the question of Palestine or Tamils, European countries and dada countries like America and the U.N. have not been able to solve them for several decades. Have they given up their efforts to solve these problems? Or have they withdrawn by presuming that the problem does not exist?
And your last point, Sudheendraji. You have said that I was tempted to launch this agitation in order to get instant and wide publicity for my party. Some arrogant journalists and intellectuals have called it a political stunt.
Sudheendraji, frankly speaking, I am not interested in publicity, impact, political benefits and votes. Such success is easily got by political compromise. I don't speak to journalists for months together.
I organise meetings and study developmental issues. Journalists then ask 'has Raj Thackeray formed a political party or an NGO?' When I concentrate on organisational matters and ignore other immediate things, journalists ask 'is Raj Thackeray building a party or a house?' (which is my means of livelihood). Then, when I respond to my inner voice and hit the street, journalists say 'this is Raj Thackeray's stunt for publicity'.
Sudheendraji, I have learnt to digest all this. I only respond to my inner voice. You may call it anything.
Sudheendraji, I hope you are satisfied. I have selected Maharashtra as my area of work.
Some inherent deficiencies have to be removed to make Maharashtra magnificent and progressive. For constructing a new building, some soil has to be dug for laying the foundation.
From this very Maharashtra, a great man had challenged the Mughal empire with the help of 15-50 colleagues. (I don't intend to compare myself with Chhatrapati Shivraya, lest Maharashtra's intellectuals come down on me).
The grave of the powerful Mughal emperor -- Aurangzeb -- exists in Daulatabad in Maharashtra.
Riding on the storm created by his 15-50 companions, the great man laid the foundation of an empire. That was the Maratha empire.
I pray to Shivaji to lend me and my colleagues at the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena a fraction of himself. I am ending this informal letter with the hope that you will wish us well.
(Translated by Rakshit Sonawane)
Mr.RAJ is like narendra modi(gujrat) for maharastra and vasundhra raje (rajasthan)
Its all political show! wht netas frm UP/Bihar did here to make strong vote bank Swar-raj is doing the same. This government is 'kamchor'. if they do good, nobody will leave thier home states or nobody will blame others for poverty, crime, joblessness!!! evry one in the country has to mind him/her self and things will be always good! JAI HIND!!!!
and the man has spoken!! the real voice finally put forth!
Raj Thakare is the real voice of marathi man. His points are valid but the media is not understanding it. They just show the half truth, thats the problem.
Hi Raj, I completely agree with the statements you made in your reply. I am astornished that Sudheendra Kulkarni , working in Prime Minister's office asked such stupid questions!! I wish he could have visited the MNS Website to clear his doubts first. A person who makes a decision to start the exams for candidates who wish to take part in elections from MNS , isn't it a brave decision? Apart from this Why you point a finger to Raj for his kind-hearted love towards his marathi people? Have you published any letter against South Indian leaders in south indian news papers for thier love towards their local language? Instead they made their state laws which provides safety in terms of JOBS. Why Bihari/UPan not celebrating Catpooja in South India where coastal area is available? Mahatma Gandhi commited Karo ya Maro , when things became worst. Many leaders was having their own views for things to be done. Lokmanya Tilak , Subhashchandra bose , Bhagat Singh made their own ways.Raj is leading.
In our country no body respects poor. Its only the poor who are targeted. During agitations MNS cant touch the real North Indian Corepatis but will make life miserable for a taxiwalla or a poor chanawalla. This is India and we all indians respect power and money. If people dont have power and access to money then nobody cares about them. If this changes then things will be better in our motherland.
please do something about corruption,media.
Mr. Raj Thakeray Eventhough I do not see eye to eye on all of your point of views, I understand your predicament about Biharis/bhaiyyais. And eventhough this geo-political stand of yours is excellent to swing people on your side, I hope that you are only using it to gain momentum to do BIGGER things. I am a Bengali living in Maharashtra for more than 19 years of my life(I am 20 years old); and i find much grave problems with our beloved state. PLEASE broaden your perspective to more than what currently looks. Why are you not as aggressive in places like Corruption of Police, MLA's ,etc ? Please do something about the fact that it has become impossible to start a business in our state without paying ransom(hafta) to police and politicians or having superb "contacts". Please give me a few more reasons to not only vote but campaign for you. Sir;I belive that you are someone different and someone with a mighty heart PLEASE DO NOT DESTROY OUR HOPES.
i am requested to mns,please devlop maharashtra like gujrat
I completely agree with what Mr. Raj has to say. Im from Uttar Pradesh and I live in Lucknow. We should develop our own states instead of opposing Raj Thakre. Guys, just imagine that Maharashtra is poor, currupted and Bihar, UP are advanced, developed. What would we do if Maharashtrians then send their people to our states just to eat the cream of milk ? We would definitely have followed what Raj is doing presently. I agree with Raj. He has shown us our mirror and true picture and our true situation about which our politicians kept us in dark. Nobody of my UP and Bihari friends who oppose Raj Thakre have been able to answer why our states are still not developed even after 60 years of independence. What Raj is doing in Maharashta is perfectly sensible. Our leaders like Laluji and Mayawatiji are very rich and pay tax in crores but ordinary people of our state are still very poor. Why ?? Why people of UP & Bihar are made fun all over India ?? Answer this my friends, then oppose Raj !
Raj Thackarey is the only person amongst all the MARATHI & NON MARATH POLITICIANS who thinks for MAHARASHTRA's better TOMMOROW
most of the People coming from up / bihar lives in ZOPADPATTI / Illegal Constructed zopadis .....they r the only reason for low standard of living of MUMBAI MAHARASHTRA
I am from Bihar. But, I completely agree with what Raj says about Bihari politicians and Bihari migrant workers. Enough is enough. Since my childhood I have seen Bihari workers going to Punjab, Mumbai and other states in search of jobs. Who is to blame? First and foremost, Bihari politicians like Laloo who looted Bihar for 20 years. They did nothing for the development of Bihar except encouraging Mafai Raj. Mafia rules Bihar. Corruption has been institutionalised. I blame foolish people of Bihar for voting on caste lines. They vote for 'Yadavs' 'Kurmis' 'Bhumihars' etc. not for development, education, career etc. so they need to suffer. All the states should immediately ban entry of Bihari workers, they should device some mechanism. Why should our brothers from Mumbaior any other city suffer due to our own foolishness. Let's be honest and introspect. Raj has showed us mirror, let's realise our mistakes and correct it without further delay. Let's start voting for progress of Bihar.
Hello friend,myself pravin from maharashtra...you shows very good maturity,really yours politicians are push u backword,people must need to wake up against politicins there,i hope nitish kumar will solve your prob...
i admire u for speaking the truth. i hope rest of north ppl understand..i like u point of view..bravo my bhiari friend.
raj is genius. i salute his love for his state and people. politicians of bihar what they have done for their people.this young man is right and i support his views even though i am from bihar.
Nashik pune mumbai sodun baki marathyakadehi laksha dyaveyour letter was so appreciable that we d students of various medical college and engineering college in vidarbha make print out and stick on the notice board so the so called elite groups who support desperate bhaiyyas and their dadagiri know what ACTUALLY RAJ JI SAIDand not the foolish reporters potrayed
While being closely working with Hom'ble. Anna Hajare a prominent social activist in the country, I have experience how media crushes movements which may very well in interest of public but to gain for themselves from capitalist and established political leaders. For example, Hon'ble Anna Hajare was running a movement for more than 15 years to get right to infromation to the citizen of India for activities of the government in the country. No one media took cognizance of it except NDTV. Mr. Hazare also was running movements for verious issues in the state and the country but who cares and where are the people remaining in this country to understand non-violant language. Later we found a established political leader stood Mr. Suresh Jain stood against Mr. Hazare to remove him as a big obstacle into their malpractice in the administration and the governance. He. took a press conference and did number of alegations to distract people from supporting Anna Hazare for his movements in the in
We want our India (Bharat) to be the United States of India. Raj Thackeray is dividing India. It is a shame that being an Indian, he does not realize what damage he is doing to our country. I hope and pray that he should start praying to Lord Ganesha. I know for fact that Lord Ganesha will forgive him and will make him a better person.
How can a person who doesnt have respect in his speech for other communities can represent India...this is nonsense...u can represent ur own people and not others. A true leader is one who lives in the hearts of the people and not doing such pity things like using an unrespectful language...respect is not forceful...also when u quote amitabh bachan...everyone loves their origin...how can u blame someone for that...I dont understand ur agitation...at one place u say that u want that these states should do development and when someone does it u have a problem too...I agree with the view that locals should be given preference and intellectuals should sit to decide what should be done. I strongly condemn ur act of violence, hatred, derogatory language and acts which brings disharmony among people. Nothing justifies this act.
i know raj thackery is a agressive leader and whatever he is doing is correct first he have t solve a problems i maharashtra.we need such leaders at national level who can chanfe politic in india.
This letter is wonderful, we should know how to play with words and generate a sense of euphoria, a sense of pride. Raj has been able to do so. Now whether that Euphoria is short timed or like India shining campaign of BJP only time will tell. but one thing is sure Raj has been able to change views of Marathi common man or Marathi Manoos. Guess he is gonna quite a lot this elections.And on Violence that as per him is justified, so how true Bombay Riots reports says that is was supremo Bal Thackrey who incited the religious riots and now its now Mr. Raj Thackrey who will incite regional riots. Great Job Raj. Anyway nobody now wants to feel proud of so called 5000 yr old history. We all here are just riot brothers and sisters!! Enjoy!
A'm fully agreed with Mr.Raj Thackrey comments and Act because it is fully responsible of each and every people who lives
Whatever raj has replied to Sudheendra Kulkarniji letter is worth noting. He has spoken his heart. He needs support from the Maharashtrians. Wishes to raj. Lakshmanan k.n
Dear Mr. Raj ThackerayThe letter of yours addressed in reply to Sudheendra Kulkarniji letter is highly appreciated by me. You have somehow spoken your heart. Persons like you should succeed in life and establish some sort of order in the country. I am born and brought up in Mumbai but am from south. If you provide me your email id, i will correspond with you. lakshmanan K.n.
The ending of the letter by Mr Raj Thakeray ....Jai Maharashtra ....amply says the obvious : He is just a regional part leader who is out there to garner votes and publicity . If the end result of his political gimmicks and dram is loss of livelihood or even life for numerous innocent people who work hard to earn a day's meal, its no fault of his. I think he is living in his own world , insulated by all this . His son goes to an english medium school , learn german but he wants everybody in mumbi to speak marathi.....he buys property( land) worth 410 crores Rs but wants us to believe he is honest politician with nothing but the interest of poor, weak marathi manoos on the priority list. Come on Mr Raj Thakeray , why u act to make us believe what u r not ...u r a small time goonda who is out there to get some cheap publicity ....if in the next election , u get 1-2 seats , its whats u want ......I hope that right thinking people of the state reject ur divisive and wrong policies.
Dear Mr. Abhishek, There is a saying in ENGLISH: Choose your words carefully and Never judge a man's action until u know his MOTIVES. Before calling anybody of RAJ's stature a goonda you should know what he is really upto. Please get ur study done first in terms of politics and then we may debate..Jai Hind