Mumbai has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. I am talking about Raj Thackeray. This all started with the Railway exams being held in Mumbai and his party MNS cadres attacking Biharis. I am sure TV channels were thrilled as they had one more issue to cover over and over again.
Initially I could not believe what I saw on TV. It was nothing but goondagiri. That night there were some interesting shows in all major TV channels and members from most political parties participated.
I was talking about this issue with many people, each and everyone supported Raj Thackeray’s ’cause’ but not his methods. Shoba De’s interview [Video] about this issue on CNN-IBN last Sunday (Devil’s Advocate) was a good one. Many of the points seem to be very valid,
- The Railway exam held in Mumbai was for class-4 or Class D position (the bottom most in the org chart)
- Class 10 pass was the qualification to appear for the exam
- The positions to be filled were for Mumbai/Maharashtra offices
- Why was this exam not publicized in ‘local’ Marathi newspapers?
- What is the need to bring hoards of people from UP and Bihar for this exam? The Central govt is only playing and hurting the sentiments of the locals.
- Who is supposed to take up the cause of the locals for the unskilled jobs? Unfortuanately everybody listens only when such things are told in a violent way. Sad.
The problem in Karnataka was pretty much the same, locals were upset about not being absorbed by Railways. When these protesters confronted the Railway Minister Lalu, he supposedly said we Kannadigas were ‘dirty‘. The Police ‘warned’ the locals from protesting !! Don’t assume that everyone is after just the Railway department, this group attacked Kabbadi players too 😉
I think this local/migrant road is a two way street. In Bangalore over the years migrants have started celebrating local festivals and local people too attend festivals like Durga Puja which is held in very grand scale in Bangalore. Recently I had visited one of the nine Durga Puja pandals in Bangalore, it was good to see the vendors were selling not only Bengali related products but also for the Kannada speaking people. This is the only way we can have a peaceful community. Raj Thackeray must allow Chhath puja to be celebrated in Mumbai, otherwise he too cannot win the support of migrants (for his political gains)
In the online space too, what rocks is ‘local’. People want to read local news, local events and many want it in the local language. One really cannot ignore the ‘local’ angle. People may talk about globalization but finally everyone is really glocal (global + local).
Users on local language portals are a lot more vocal than English portals. We see our Tamil portal getting far more page views than our English portal when it comes to LTTE related news, the reason is very simple, people want to consume local information in the local flavor (language). I guess Google is one of the only global internet giants which has recognized the importance of ‘local’, they have been continously developing and releasing tools for local languages.
In a nutshell, we all need to respect ‘Local’. But no violence please. Peace !