Correct me if I am wrong, Raj... but I consider myself an assal Marathi manoos। Born in Maharashtra to Maharashtrian parents etc. Proud to be Marathi (even though my language skills in my mother tongue are embarrassingly dodgy). I don't know how to make the perfect puran poli but I do love aamti.. This is clearly not enough anymore. Going by the checklist, I could be disqualified on several scores. I am married to a Bong, who has lived and worked in Mumbai for over 30 years (but alas, has not been appointed ambassador to the state of West Bengal yet!). He attends Durga Puja regularly and prefers maacher jhol to vangi bhaat. Fortunately, we don't have a daughter-in-law to name a college after, either in Kolkata or Mumbai.... And our children (like yours) did not attend Marathi-medium schools.. We employ people based on their competence, not caste or region. And I have never asked the vegetable vendor, breadwalla, taxi driver, dhobi, sweeper, elevator attendant, security guard, pizza delivery boy or any of the other people who make my life easier, which part of India they come from. This is Mumbai, meri jaan! Who cares where anyone comes from? Dhanda is all that matters.. Mumbai is India's most powerful magnet. Once you get here, you never leave. Don't believe me? Ask those innocent bhajjiwallas and doodhwallas who were beaten up and stoned by your men last week. Even with blood-soaked bandages around their heads, and broken hearts, they are staying put. As they should. Aaah, the natak of your dramatised 'arrest' was not lost on anybody. Had Rakhi Sawant's slapping stunt not grabbed those eyeballs on Valentine's Day, viewers would still be stuck with the image of a nattily dressed you (mmmm...loved the styling), clambering in and out of the police van. If Rakhi cleverly stage-managed the incident, what should one say about your brilliant coup? Overnight, Raj Thackeray was elevated from being the discarded Thackeray to a national figure. In one well-orchestrated move, you went from being a neglected nephew of an ageing tiger, to a sharp-clawed, teeth-baring cub with an independent act of his own. The circus acquired a brand new star attraction - you! It was never easy being a Thackeray. Ask Balasaheb. If he targeted south Indians in the '60s, you smartly headed north. Same agenda, diametrically different directions. By questioning the bona fides of those who have made Maharashtra their home, both of you tapped into the vulnerabilities of the average Marathi manoos. It is worth asking the very people whose interests you are protecting, whether they really want to do the dirty work currently being handled by the northies. Will the Marathi manoos agree to put in 18 hours a day plying taxis, selling veggies, washing clothes and so on? Who's stopping them from turning into vendors of milk, food grains, and other commodities? Perhaps, the Marathi manoos considers such occupations demeaning? The truth is, these jobs have always gone abegging, and there have been any number of hungry, unemployed people from other states ready and willing to grab them. Kick the 'outsiders' out at your own peril, and see what happens... Why do farmers commit suicide in such numbers only in Maharashtra ? The answer, dear Raj, may surprise you. In your defence, let me say you received the worst press - biased at best, and shrill to boot. Most of the semi-hysterical reporters from prestigious news channels were embarrassingly ill-informed as they blabbered incoherently each time a leaf moved outside the magistrate's court! Surely, you are not complaining? Everything seems to be going according to the master plan. You have 'made it' in one swift move. And women are finding you kinda cute in that sleeveless baby blue pullover. Great copy, great photo ops. What more does a neta want? To keep Mayawati and Lalu out of Maharashtra ? Now, that's a tall order!
End of the day, Be Indian!!! Don't follow blindly the 'divide and rule' policy of any selfish politician!!!