Advertising meets Politics = WTF

WTF of the day comes from our dear ol’ Congress Party (the haath people, not to be confused with haathi people).

After claiming credit for Slumdog Millionaire’s Oscar success (did they also claim credit for the never before success of the Indian contingent in the Beijing Olympics?) and a jingle claiming credit for every technological advancement that ever happened in the world and came to India, in whichever way, there is another TVC, where a couple is talking between themselves, and are happy that inflation is reduced, and prices of things from commodities to properties have come down. Never mind that millions are losing their jobs and are getting their paychecks cut, so they won’t be that thrilled about this reduced inflation.

The whole world has been looking for who is behind the recession. Is the Congress willing to take credit for it now? (albeit while trying to package it in a positive way)?

Job Reservations for Locals? WTF?

Ok, so I am irreligious and apolitical. Which means that I have strong opinions against religions and their infights, and political ideologies and their mutual discrepancies. And though I am fairly vocal about the former online, I seldom write about the latter. Today I shall. This post is about political events, but please remember that my stand is not political at all.

While talking to friends during tea today, I heard about this news item (forgive me for not being a newspaper or news-in-general addict). Have you read what it says? Okay then.

When these leaders were saying that immigrants to Mumbai should not be allowed in any more because the infrastructure cannot bear the load of any more people, it was still making a little bit of sense. But reservations for localites? Are we really going back to Nazi ideals, the democratic-loophole way?

I remember a few weeks back Mr. Raj Thackeray had issued a statement that the other political leaders were not concerned with Biharis being killed in the North-East, because they are only concerned about money-pur (Mumbai) – the city of riches. The whole thing is wrong on so many levels – one is that just because people of a certain ethnicity are being harassed in some other part of the world gives anyone NO RIGHT to do the same to people of that ethnicity here. And then point to that other area and say “if you guys aren’t bothered with what’s happening there, why bother with what we’re doing to you?”. In what way are the MNS people better off than the terrorists of the North-East then?

The leaders of this ideology want to pressurize companies in to placing region-based reservation on jobs. Are you out of your mind sir? You’re asking private companies to place reservations based on region, when they have not agreed to reservation based on caste & religion?

The funny thing I noticed is that the Thackerays have issues only with the working class and some celebrities. They do not seem to have trouble with the Ambanis, who are not Marathis. They do not have trouble with the Mumbai offices of the MNCs, whose executives are not even Indians, let alone Marathis. Are they against IAS, IPS and IFS posted in Maharashtra belonging to Bihar & UP as well? They do not have problems with Infosys offices (the Bangalore giant; is Mr. Narayan Murthy a Marathi maanus?). Are they not selectively targetting the money-less populace? The powerless junta? And in case of the celebrities, the people whose fame is not directly giving riches or employment to the localites?

Is not the MNS and Thackeray crusade against non-Marathis also biased, coloured and influenced by matters of money?

If Mumbai is being overburdened by the people moving in, why single out the people from Bihar & UP alone? Why not also ask the Tamilians, the Kannadigas, the Bengalis, the Punjabis, the Gujaratis, the Marwaris to stay out as well? More importantly, why not ask the Maharashtrians whose village is not in Mumbai itself stay out and stay in their own villages? If Bihar should develop a city like Mumbai, then shouldn’t east Maharashtra develop another city like Mumbai also so that the natives of that area do not have to emigrate westward and burden the city? Is Mumbai being burdened selectively only because of people of a certain ethnicity, and not by the thousands of non-Mumbaikar Maharashtrians moving in every day? Oh, they ‘own’ the city, is it? Since when has a state’s borders become more important than our country’s? Does the Constitution not give every citizen the right to move, stay, work in any part of the country as he or she deems fit, and that no one has the right to prevent him or her from doing so?

And if you agree with me that in case of Mumbai being overburdened, even Maharashtrians from outside Mumbai should be prevented from coming in and those not belonging to Mumbai should be asked to leave, can anyone tell me which is the native village of the Thackerays? Is it Mumbai? 🙂 After all, if it’s ethnic cleansing you’re after, why demarcate at state-level? Why not take it to district or village level? 🙂

Whew! With that off my chest, I can go back to my non-politics related blogs. Thank you for reading. Would love to see your opinions.

Oh and in case you are curious. I am a born Calcuttan (yes, I love the names Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, Poona, Bangalore, and am of the firm opinion that the name of a place carries history, and its dwellers’ memories along with it and should not be tampered for whims of politicians and regional fundamentalism, no matter what our politicians think), with family roots in Bihar. I do not go to my native place in Bihar anymore, because I do not find any reason to go there – almost all my family is in Calcutta & Bombay, and I do not find any reason to feel ashamed of either my connection with Bihar or the fact that the connection isn’t strong enough anymore. I love Calcutta.I love Bombay. I have loved Delhi and I’m loving Poona. I am loving my experience of learning the local language and the funny situations that I get into when trying to speak Marathi with the locals. And I find that the people of Bombay and Poona are lovely and quite welcoming towards us “non-Marathis”, just like the Bengalis are friendly and warm towards us “non-Bengalis”. I don’t see any reason the politicians should be allowed to take us, the people of India for a ride over such downright petty issues and cause turmoil amongst us.