Wednesday, May 5, 2010


1ST May 1960. The day state of Maharashtra was created out of erstwhile bi-lingual state of Mumbai. It was blinder to keep Bombay province in tact in reverence to British rule. No wonder the states of Maharashtra & Gujrat had agitation as legacy even before formation. Some body fought some body else hogged in credit. Fifty year celebration was carried in the same spirit to hijack credit. Sanyukta Maharashtra Samiti which carried agitation was quickly confined to memory. Both the Congress ( which includes Rastravadi ) and the Shivsena ( which includes Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena ) had nothing to do with agitation. One championed bi-lingual state and others were simply not born. Yet both parties sought to gave impression of being father of the state. Absolutely absurd.

What is 50 years in the life of a state ? Infantile state of a state ? Never. What has separate statehood brought to its people ? Very little. The word Maharashtra itself is few century old. Some say its land of Marathi speaking people. Some say its land in which Mahar ( remember Mahar regiment in army ? ) caste can be found. Some poetic inclined say its land of Maha ie. Giant people. Whatever that may be but this land and its people had their own identity of language, history, literature, culture. The Marathi language is descent and transformation from Sanskrit like all other Indian languages. It can boast of literature history f over 700 years. Its legacy of Saints like Jneashwar, Namdev, Eknath, Tukaram continues till today. Its cookery stile, folk dance and music forms like Lavani & Povada , its attire of nIne yards sari and such other distinguishing features are centuries old. Hindustani classical music is descended from Dehli but nourished here. Its Classical Dance is preserved in places like Tanjore This sate was but only briefly under alien ruler. It has given first generation of freedom fighter like Lokmanya Tilak. First generation tradition can be traced to Communism in S.A Dange and Dr. Ambedkar in Republican party of India. It was always been pioneer of new thoughts championed by stalwarts like Agarkar. Institutions like Prathna Samaj, Theosophist societies have roots here. Who can forget education to women and untouchables pioneered by Fuke and Karve. First Bronze ,edal in Olympics went to a Marathi wrestler Khashaba Jadhav as outcome of long tradition of Aakhadas. Most of them had already arrived and some gone from the scene long before 50 years. Entire fifty year of rulers added very little to what it already had as its glory. What contribution of present day rulers will enable them to find a place amongst illustrious names mentioned above ? Lata Mangeshkar may be. Sachin Tendulkar may be. But definitely not the rulers who felicitated them. They are pigmies occupying stage when giants have left.

But that is the strong point of Marathi Manoos through centuries. He never depended on the rulers. Rulers are seldom worth more than the names painted on the notice boards of their chambers. It is common Marathi manoos who becomes uncommon without aspiring to be one. Salute to him. The state is safe in his hand.
Arvind Khare

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