One dear friend, some days ago said ‘You know what,I am going to call Mumbai as Bombay’ .I produced a fake smile(awkward discussion) and said ‘Ya sure u can! Bombay sounds much cooler !!’.’Oh nooo’ he said ‘Its not the question of acoustics.. i’ll do this with a purpose to hurt some elements in the society..” Now,me being in a mortal body,bound by stupid manmade boundries,and a certain instilled emotion called ‘feeling of belonging’ for a particular state(Maharashtra) made me feel a bit gloomy.
But then he quoted some facts and I was left with “AGREED BOSS..YOU CAN !!”
The facts were…
• Mumbai were soggy,desease-prone,deserted,wastelands and of no ones interest.
• First they were possessed by Sultan of Gujarat..he dint want them and passed these soggy islands to the Portuguese.
• The Portuguese dint want them either ..so they gifted these islands to the British.
• The British were not that interested so they passed them on to East India Company.
• Parsees,Gujratis,Suratis and Bohris were the first ones to start trading from Mumbai.
• So Mumbai was never owned by Marathas...so they cant claim themselves as owners.
I absolutely agreed that history…But, But as I walked away thoughts ran in my mind !Question Marks started jumping !
If Parsees and Gujratis were the ones to start the trade, where were they when the city was being renamed??
I decided to dig in this some more ..I thought that I just cant keep gulp down history and sit quietly so I decided to clarify the present and came up with
second set of facts …
• Though Parsees and Gujratis were the first ones to land for trade the original inhabitants were Kolis (Marathi(dialect) speaking fishing community).
• Before Independence Bombay was a huge area even comprising of some of the princely states.In 1955 when Mahrashtra and Gujrat were split … Bombay Citizens' Committee, an advocacy group comprising of leading Gujarati industrialists lobbied for Bombay's independent status.
• There was a protest during the movement in which 105 people were killed by police.
• Bombay State was reorganised on LINGISTIC lines on 1 May 1960.
• Gujarati-speaking areas of Bombay State were partitioned into the state of Gujarat and Marathi speaking areas went to Maharashtra.
So I decided to call up my friend and tell him “Hey Mr …The Mumbai you see today was legally partitioned on the basis that....Majority were Marathi speaking public in that area ,at that time so Marathi people can legally claim the ownership.
BUT! BUT! BUT ! fortunately I DINT CALL ..(Thank God my weird mind thinks at least a gazillion times before speaking !)
Here is what I thought ....
"WHO ACTUALLY CARES ? “ Absolutely no one !!
Tommorow, if most of the locals start calling Mumbai as Bombay no one will pay a heed or
Tomorrow if most of the letters in the post office have address as ‘Bombay’ on them, it will absolutely make no difference to anybody.
Its only when people,somebody like Karan johar say Mumbai as Bombay a brouhaha will be created ...just because this can be taken up as a headline and certain elements can use this as a means to stay in news !!!
So all this ‘being in news by some or the other ways’ is all for political gains.
This name game and all region specific issues are just to polarize the society,divide their views and thoughts,highlight opinion difference among the citizens,strengthen their political sides and create unrest amongst we civilians.
So until and unless you become a somebody you are free to call MUMBAI as BOMBAY !!!
The only sad part is.. in this name game who are the real loosers are ? Its us, the Maharastrians whose wrong image is being sketched in front of others just because of the few of them. Today when I hear someone say “Maharashtrains aren’t co-operative or they are not of adjusting nature (just because of these few)”, IT PAINS …moreover we cannot counter them because some unwelcome events are testimony to what they say !
Its not that… I am not proud of Maharashtra or Marathi..Of Course I am ..TO THE CORE !!! ..but I don’t support the disgraceful things which are done in the name of it !
I don’t like the fake,typical image they have carved of that of a MARATHI MANOOS.
We are NOT all that BAD as we are pictured..I hope you all realize that when you come across the Marathis.
Now that you all have come across me let me say this “Peeeooopple, you are free to say anything reasonable to me coz I know no one cares ….What I care is and proud of is..that I know you and I hope you feel the same!” Be happy,Be safe,Njoy, Don’t get stuck in unnecessary issues :)
Happy Maharashtra Day