Saturday, September 20, 2008

Maharashtrian vs Marathi vs Maratha

Most people use the words “Marathi”, “Maratha” and “Maharashtrian” interchangeably when they are not the same. You can be one without being the other. So let's try to define what each term mean-

Maharashtrian – Any one whose family has settled down for a few generations in the current state of Maharashtra
Marathi – People who claim Marathi language as their mother tongue
Maratha – A caste of Kshatriyas mostly concentrated on the central Deccan Plateau

Let's take 7 examples to prove this point…

#1 Atal Bihari Vajpayee – The former PM is a Kanyakubja Brahmin from UP
Maharashtrian – No
Marathi - No
Maratha - No



# 2 Korlai Creoles – A set of people near Alibag who speak in Kristi, a Portuguese like language
Maharashtrian – Yes
Marathi - No
Maratha - No


# 3 Bhagwantrao Mandloi - Former CM of Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtrian – No
Marathi - Yes
Maratha – No


# 4 Rajnikant – Shivajirao Gaikwad, a Kannada speaking Maratha who is now a Tamil Superstar
Maharashtrian – No
Marathi - No
Maratha - Yes


# 5 Jyotiraditya Scindia - the current Maharaja of Gwalior...
Maharashtrian – No
Marathi - Yes
Maratha - Yes


#6 Balasaheb Thackeray – The Shiv Sena supremo is a Marathi Kayastha (Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu)
Maharashtrian – Yes
Marathi - Yes
Maratha – No


# 7 Sharad Pawar - Maratha strongman from Baramati heads the Nationalist Congress Party
Maharashtrian – Yes
Marathi - Yes
Maratha - Yes


Hope this clears the air!

3 comments:

Punit Dubey said...

well a very to-the-point post. But yes it is informative. If you could tell me whether Shivaji was a Maratha or a Marathi only?

shekhar said...

punit dube,


Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Maharashtrain -yes

Marathi -Yes.

Maratha - Yes.

Although i differ little bit on maratha defination. yes, it is mostly used kshatriya clan but also sometimes used loosely for marathi or even maharashtrian people.

Another Blogger said...

Marathi is a language. It is not a demonym. The demonym for Maharashtra is Maharashtrian, and Marathi is the official language of Maharashtra and the mother tongue of Maharashtrians.

Case in point:

The Gujaratis living in Mumbai are not "Maharashtrian Gujaratis" they are just "Gujaratis", just as people who speak Marathi living in Gujarat are not "Gujarati Maharashtrians" or "Gujarati Marathis" but just "Maharashtrians".

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