Friday, October 31, 2008

I am a Marathi Manoos/ Mulgi but not exactly!

Rajdeep... Shobhaa...

Suddenly all those who denied their Marathi roots are brandishing them... yet trying to show that they are a cut above the "Typical Ghati"!

Cilla's post on this topic is really hilarious!

Diwali was not "Crackling" at all!

3M found this Diwali not so "crackling". Thanks to global meltdown/ inflation /environment consciousness... my ear drums and lungs were spared the abuse that they normally face during Diwali.

3M Quiz - Guess who made this cartoon?

राजेशाही Cricket

Mandoli on Chhat Puja

Vilasrao does some backroom diplomacy to ease tensions in the city.

Rajdeep's open letter to Raj

It is interesting to read Rajdeep Sardesai's open letter to Raj Thackeray.

I agree with him about need for constructive instead of destructive measures from Raj. But Rajdeep seems to totally miss out on the root cause of Marathi Manoos's anger. We have to realise that Raj is just riding the wave which others have failed to spot.

3M finds it funny that a person who pronounces his own surname as सरदेसाय instead of सरदेसाई speaks about "preserving cultural identity of Maharashtrians". His usage of words describing himself as a "Goan Maharashtrian" almost gives an impression that he is apologetic about his roots. His anglicised Marathi introduction to the Tendulkar-Gavaskar interview that he "read out" on IBN-Lokmat (a Marathi news channel) almost sounded ShobhaaDesque!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Diwali Day 6: भाऊ बीज Bhau Beej

Today is the last day of Diwali, though the merriment will continue till Tulshi Vivah. Bhau Beej, as the name connotes, is the day when the love between a brother and sister is celebrated through age old ritual.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Diwali Day 5: पडवा Padwa

Today is Diwalicha Padwa or the first day of the new Vikram Samvat year (2065). It is also known as Balipratipada or the day on which Vishnu in the Waman Avatar banished King Bali to the Patal Lok. All the rituals of Abhyanga Snan are repeated to celebrate the New Year.

This day is also the day when the Marathi Manoos reemphasises his love for his Bayko (Wife) by giving her a gift (90% chances of it being a Sari) after the customary Owalni.

Marathi Manoos is Deshdrohi?

Bollywood is getting really quick in making "topical" movies. Deshdrohi, a C-grade movie mildly castigating the Marathi Manoos for his "wayward ways", is being released in Mumbai. With dialogues like "kabhi Bihar mein aake dekhna" and ones lionising the Yadav clan, I am surprised how come none of the self appointed custodians of Marathi Asmita have said a word about this movie. Probably the arthritic protagonist looks too hilarious to take congnizance.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Asmita is not the same as "Bread & Butter"

Mahesh Vijapurkar's article in Rediff clearly shows how "Fight for Marathi Asmita" and "Fight for livelihood of sons-of-the-soil" are two different issues.

Diwali Day 4: लक्ष्मी पूजन Laxmi Poojan

Given the global meltdown, we can expect a lot of people praying to Goddess Laxmi to shield them from the impending havoc! And if muhurat trading is any indicator, she seems to be hearing their prayers.

Traditionally unlike his Gujarati neighbours who do chopdi poojan , Marathi Manoos does not give top priority to this day amongst all the Diwali days… probably due to his lack of entrepreneurial nature. But a must on this day in every Marathi household is the traditional Rangoli. Most significant are the patterns of footsteps made at the entrance. They signify the entry of Goddess Laxmi in the household. Also, the gold jewelery in the house is worshiped in addition to the five deities -

  • Ganesh, the god of intelligence and destroyer of impediments
  • Mahalaxmi, the goddess of wealth
  • Mahasaraswati, the goddess of learning
  • Mahakali, the goddess of mystic powers
  • Kuber, the treasurer of the gods
Legend has it that Laxmi is fickle minded. Hence you are supposed to worship a sitting idol so that she cannot “run away so easily"!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Diwali Day 3: नर्क चतुर्दशी Narka Chaturdashi

Today is Narka Chaturdashi, the day when the Marathi household is buzzing with activity! Most family members will rise early to finish the rituals before day break. The rituals are essentially planned around the Pahili Anghol, literally the first bath a.k.a Abhyanga Snan. All the family members are massaged with a special " Sugandhi" oil by the Matriarch followed by an Utna scrub. Special scented soap (Moti and Mysore Sandal being the favourites) is used for the ritual bath. After the bath, the Karit fruit (cucumis melo var agrestis) is crushed by pressing it under the toe. This signifies killing of Narkasur the demon, a metaphor for all the negative thoughts. Its seeds are applied to the head and a small drop of the extremely bitter fruit pulp is tasted.

Owalni after Abhyanga Snan

After the customary Pooja and Owalni rituals, the entire family sits down for a joint breakfast of savouries called Faral. Finally, the kids are let loose to burst crackers

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Diwali Day 2: धनत्रयोदशी Dhanatryodashi

धनत्रयोदशी Dhanatryodashi (13th day of Ashwin) as the name suggests is the festival of wealth. It is considered auspicious to buy gold or any metal object on this day. Goddess Laxmi is worshipped in for of Sri Yantra.

Many parts of Maharashtra celebrate a ritual called Yamadeepdan in which womenfolk of the house light one lamp each for every living male member of the house to ensure his long life. People from the Ayurveda fraternity also celebrate this day to commemorate Dhanwantri, the divine physician.

Diwali Ank – a glorious tradition

The Marathi tradition of releasing special magazines for Diwali (called Diwali Ank) is completing 100 years. Most Marathi families will buy at least one copy of the 400+ odd publications that hit the stand. You have "Pooja Issues" in Bengal and "Onam Specials" in Kerala... But nothing matches the width and depth of the Diwali Anks

Keeping this tradition alive is my mother who buys a few of these magazines every year. This year my father decided to surprise her by buying her a dozen of the best ones… So here is 3M’s father's experience of buying them from a typical Marathi dukaan. What better place to buy these magazines than Girgaon, the epicenter of Marathi culture in Mumbai. The obvious choice being a bookstore called M/s B D Bagwe & Co.

In the days of “Crossword” and “Landmark”, this trip was a re-exposure to the “old world charm” of traditional retailing. When dad enquired about the different Anks, he was curtly told that he will have to buy the list for 1 Rupee. Once the princely sum was handed over, a four-fold, two-colour list was handed over. The prices of the Anks varied from Rs. 10/- to Rs. 250/-. After shortlisting the 12 issues, he realized that half the prices did not match with those on the list! No concessions given… No person to pack the Anks in old newspaper… No plastic bags to carry the Anks home… They refused to deliver the Anks till the cab even though my father is a senior citizen! But the Dukaandar’s parting shot took the cake – “Which circulating library are you buying these mags for?”.

Welcome to the world of “Marathi Retailing”! For all those who do not want to undergo a similar grid can opt for the online option in dollar!

Diwali Ank recommendations by the other 3M (Middleclass Marathi Mom) strictly in alphabetical order:

  • Akshar
  • Kalanirnay
  • Lokmat
  • Loksatta
  • Maharashtra Times
  • Mauj

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dhoni looks dashing in a Marathi Pheta!

Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni wear turbans at the inauguration of Dilip Vengsarkar's cricket academy, Pune, October 24, 2008

For Marathi Manoos, Diwali starts today!

Rural women celebrating Vasu-Baras in "Marathmoli" tradition

Unlike rest of India, the Diwali celebrations start today (Ashvin Krshna Dwadashi) with Vasu-Baras in Maharashtra. This day is celebrated to honour the cows which are considered sacred in Hindu traditions. A cow and her calf are worshiped by the womenfolk of the house to augur prosperity in the house. The tradition symbolizes a woman’s gratitude towards cow for providing nourishment to her children.

3M regrets the fact that this tradition is slowly being forgotten in our modern (Tetrapack Milk) days.

Malegaon Blasts – Hindu Terror?

Maharashtra Police has stated that Sadhavi Pradnya Singh Thakur is involved in the Malegaon Blasts… So what are the politicians saying?

Samajwadi View – This incident is more dangerous that all the Islamic terror in the world put together!

Left View – Deal with “Hindu Terror” more sternly than “Islamic terror”

Congress View – We need to investigate it further

BJP View – There is nothing called “Hindu Terror”

Bajrang Dal View – Finally, we have a “Hindu terrorist”!

DMK View – Only LTTE terror is acceptable!

MNS View – Actually, it’s “Uttar Bharatiya” Terror unleashed on Marathi Manoos… Pradnya Singh Thakur is a Bhaiyya and the blast took place in Maharashtra!
3M View - Any lawlessness, irrespective of caste, creed or religion should be dealt with a stern hand!

Friday, October 24, 2008

How to make a Perfect Utna?

An integral part of the Diwali rituals in the household of a Marathi Manoos is Abhyanga Snan or the purifying bath. Before the bath, a fragrant herbal paste called Utna is applied to the body. It’s made out of special herbs which have therapeutic value. Traditionally the matriarch of the family would use the age old family recipe to make Utna. Sadly, all fine things from Diwali Faral (savouries) to Kandeels (lanterns) get outsourced… and the good old Utna meets the same fate. Most people grumble that this packaged Utna is not as fragrant and nourishing as their grandma’s concoction!

So for all those nostalgia cravers who want to recreate the magic of an era gone by, here is the method to make a perfect utna -

Take fine powders of the following herbs -
1 Tbsp Chandan (Santalum Album)
1 Tbsp Aambe Halad (Curcuma longa Linn)
1 Tbsp Khus (Andropogan Muricatus)
1 Tbsp Gulab (
Rosa Centifolia)
1 Tbsp Santra Saal (
Citrus Aurantium)
1 Tbsp Multani Mati (Fuller’s Earth)
1 Tbsp Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus)
1 Tbsp Bawachi (
Psoralea Corylifolia)
1 Tbsp Besan (Chickpea flour)
1 Tbsp Gawla Kachri (
Kaempferia Galanga)
Click on this link to know more about these herbs.

You can buy these herbs @ Gora Gandhi in Parel and Patwardhan in Dadar.

Mix all the powders evenly to make a homogenous mixture. Store the mixture in an air-tight jar so that the powder does not loose its fragrance.

Add warm whole milk the utna powder to make a thin paste in a silver vessel. Apply all over the body 15 minutes before the bath. Gently rub on skin to exfoliate.

Hope you enjoy your fragrant Abhyangha Snan!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A protective web of police cases!

Kherwadi… Kalyan… Pandharpur… Satara… Bhusawal… Chalisgaon (4)… Parbhani… Jalgaon (6)… Beed… Akola… Amravati… Thane… Dombivli… Solapur… Sangli… Parner–Ahmednagar… Jalna… Pune City & Rural (11)… Baramati… Aurangbad Urban & Rural (4)… Nashik Urban & Rural (4)… Ratnagiri (3)… Raigad (2)… Navi Mumbai… GRP (2)…

Suddenly the Maharashtra Government has ensured that 56 cases are filed against Raj Thackeray. The anti-Raj brigade sees this as “too little… too late” while pro-Raj lobby sees this as Maharashtra Government succumbing to Delhi’s pressure tactics. So what is the real motive? Do they want to bury him deep in cases so that he can’t raise his head again? Hmm… 3M has a different viewpoint.

Let’s realize that the guy who calls the real shots in the Maharashtra Government is Sharad Pawar. He seems to covertly support Raj Thackeray with an aim to systematically weaken SS-BJP combine before the forthcoming elections. The on-ground situation amongst the Maharashtra voters is seen to be pro SS-BJP. By propping up Raj, Pawar may be hoping to divide the “right wing” votes. If Raj is able to garnet even 10% votes in the coming elections, it will be a body blow for SS-BJP and we can see the Congress-NCP back in power!

So why has Maharashtra govt filed so many cases against Raj Thackeray? Lalu’s pressure tactics?

3M’s Theory of PPW (PAWAR PROTECTIVE WEB) – A Jharkhand Court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Raj. Pawar knows that if Raj is handed over to the Jharkhand Police, Maharashtra law & order situation will hurtle into an unprecedented abyss. So he is creating a “protective web” of police cases across Maharashtra to buy time. Eventually the Chanakya of Maharashtra politics will ensure that he has his cake and eat it too!

It’s almost as if Pawar is telling Raj “Mee marlya sarkha karto… Tu radlya sarkha kar…” Translation - "I will act as if I am beating you… You act as if you are crying!"

As one Mumbaikar mentioned to 3M “Yeh sab paapi vote ka sawaal hai!”

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Since yesterday, I have received 7 "poetic" smses about the anti-Bhaiyya campaign like "Na shap aahe... Na paap aahe..." and "Wajli Tutari, Kara Tayari". I am sure the mobile companies made a decent amount from this SMS frenzy.
Surprisingly, 6 out of 7 messages were from non-Marathi friends!

Triple Coincidence

Today, 3 Marathi Newspapers - Maharashtra Times, Sakaal and Prahar had the same headline with the same colour combination... too much of coincidence!

3M dictionary - Arajak means anarchy

Brinda… practice before you preach!

While communist leaders like Brinda Karat are slamming Raj Thackeray in the Parliament, their comrades are bashing up Biharis in Andhra Pradesh! For what? for snatching jobs from the locals during Railway Recruitment...

"Ek Marathi Manoos" is a Page 1 personality ;-)

Today's Asian Age (Mumbai Edition) carries an article about the "Are Samna's boasts true?" post from this blog on its front page... .

Click on image to read

... surprisingly they claim that the writer of the blog is Mr. Nikhil Pimputkar... who incidently is a follower of the blog! The reporter must have got confused as I write on this blog under the pen name BharGo, which is a short form of my real name.

Marathi Manoos ko Gussa kyon aata hai?

Most people fail to understand as to why Marathi Manoos is making such a fuss about Railway Recruitment. Lalu Yadav dismissed it as a case of "sour grapes" in the Parliament today. Shiv Sena claims that they have given petitions to the Railway Minister to prevent discrimination in the past but with little impact. No wonder, Raj's path looks attractive to unemployed youth in Maharashtra!.

The UP-Biharisation of Railways was mentioned earlier in my blog. But I did not give an idea of the scale. The Indian Railways is the world’s largest business employer with about 18 Lac employees! It is estimated that about 50000 employees retire from services of Indian Railway… and over 1 lac new recruits are taken in their folds. If we divide these opportunities basis populations of each state, Maharashtra should get about 10000 new jobs. Mind you, this is not a small number given the fact that the total employee base of Jet Airways is 13000! Also after the implementation of 6th Pay Commission, Government jobs have again become as attractive as those provided by the private sector.

Jaane do na… you will say. Indian Railways is an aberration… or is it? Monday’s Navbharat Times (Mumbai Edition) carried a 2 page ad on Pages 8 & 9 for employment opportunities in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Pune… 450 posts. So what is wrong with this ad? Has it not been released in Maharashtra? The answer is yes… and no!

This ad has been released only in a Hindi newspaper so that only “Uttar Bharatiyas” in Mumbai can read and apply… Why was this ad not given in any of the Marathi or English newspapers?
3M feels that these things are just a tip of the UP-Biharisation Iceberg… It’s time someone files a PIL on this and stops this injustice!

Abhi maloom pada… Marathi Manoos ko Gussa kyon aata hai!
Please note that the intention of this post is to understand the root cause of the problem and not to justify the current violence. Any kind of violence is opposed by this blog!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When the elephants fight... it's the grass that suffers!

A sane voice in these rabble rousing times

Raj Thackeray should revisit his past by Mahesh Vijapurkar

Lalu say no more exams in Maharashtra!

Lalu Yadav says that due to violence by Raj Thackeray future Railway Recruitment Board exams will not take place in Maharashtra.

Look at the benefits of this move -
1) Poor Bihari people wont have to come all the way to Maharashtra for the exams
2) So... They wont sleep on Mumbai platforms
3) So... MNS wont beat them up
4) So... Raj Thackeray would not be arrested
5) So... There will no rioting in Maharashtra

Lalujeeee... You are a genius!

Raj Thackeray Arrest - Media does a double speak again

As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, TV channels are doing a double speak.

Zee 24 Taas talks of Lalu's "Bhaltech Vidhan" (Wierd Statement)... while Zee News shows how Lalu stands up against Raj.

Star Majha talks of "expected reactions" to the Thackeray arrest... While Star News shows "Raj ki Goondagardi"!
Guys... don't you realise that Marathi Manoos sees both your Marathi & Hindi channels ?

Raj Thackeray is finally arrested in Ratnagiri

Preventive arrests of over 3000 MNS activist across Maharashtra had made it evident that their President's arrest is iminent...

Finally, Raj was arrested @ 2:45 am in the Ratnagiri Circuit House... being brought to Mumbai in a convoy to be presented in the Bandra Court...

Violence has erupted across the state with over 350 taxis damaged in Mumbai alone...

... And you heard it first on this blog!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cross connection while googling

I was searching for images of recent MNS violence. Searched for the words MNS and Railways on Google image search and this image popped up!

From Indian Railways to UP-Bihari Railways

Lalu Yadav has been passed around as the "greatest Railway minister India ever had” by many… Harvard case studies and IIM lectures thrown in for good measure! No doubt that the Great Indian Railway Turnaround is not short of a miracle.

But hidden in this success is a tale of “Bihari Parochialism”… A systematic process of UP-Biharisation of the Indian Railways. When railway recruitment exams are conducted in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, ads are not given in the local language papers but this news gets extensive coverage in the Hindi papers in UP & Bihar. In both these states, government jobs are still coveted. (Private sector dreads to tread here). Most Bihari kids are brought up with the aspiration of becoming “Diptykalektar”! Obviously, thousands Biharis travel to these peninsular states to appear for these exams. The locals feel cheated that they were not aware of these exams. Those few locals who do manage to give the exams have to face an “Uttar Bharatiya” filter during the interviews. I am sure this mechanism must have existed in pre-Lalu days… but probably got “institutionalized” under his blessings. Results… over 80% of the guys recruited in these exams are from UP & Bihar. All this gives MNS a ready playing field for violence.

Sadly, National media just sensationalises the story without trying to understand the root cause… The most prejudiced headline over the MNS violence was in Economic Times… Can’t beat them in exams, so beat them up… Guys do you think all non-Hindi people in India are bird brains?

3M says those who do not agree with the “statistics” given above should provide concrete evidence to prove it wrong!

Is VIOLENCE the only way?

I don’t understand why MNS has to resort to violence every time. In a democracy there a more ways than one to make your voice heard… and it has been done effectively in the past. Beating up poor Biharis is not going to solve the problems…

I know that this advice is going to fall on deaf ears and Raj would have his standard response – “Laton ke Bhoot… Baaton se nahi maante!” or “Gandhigiri only worked with educated Brits”!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lessons from Barcelona

I have been reading for quite some time that “Marathi Parochialism” will lead to decline of Mumbai as the Business Capital of this country. Also, arguments that “Marathification” of Mumbai will be the biggest impediment in “globalising the city”.

Let’s look at Mumbai – Maharashtra - India equivalents in the world…

Montreal – Quebec – Canada
Munich – Bavaria – Germany
Barcelona – Catalonia – Spain


All are cities of commerce in provinces that do not speak the “national language” of their nation. These cities assert their different character from the national mainstream (even antagonistic at times) and yet have not lost the attractiveness as commercial centres or tourist magnets… In fact all three have been host to the much coveted Olympic Games, arguably the ultimate symbol of a global city. This shows that a regional identity does not mean “bad for business and tourism”.

I would like to present some lessons from Barcelona, the city of commerce in Spain and also the capital of Catalonian Province. The region has always reflected pride in having an independent language and culture from the main Spanish stream. In 1939, after the Spanish civil war, General Franco usurped the power and started suppressing regional identities like Basque and Catalan. Franco’s “Nationalistic” drive ensured that Catalan culture and language was suppressed to a large extent giving rise to a resistance movement. Catalan was prohibited in schools and babies could not be given Catalan names! After Franco’s death in 1975, Catalan pride resurged with a great bang and the new constitution had to accept Catalonia as a separate “nationality”. Within 10 years, Spanish was almost wiped out from street signages to school textbook. Today all the government communication is in Catalan and you have to “request” for a Spanish version. Please note that half the population of Catalonia claims their mother tongue to be Spanish and not Catalan!

The assertion of Catalan pride (equivalent of Marathi Asmita) reached its peak when the city of Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympic Games. The locals insisted that the announcements have to be made in Catalan before they can be made in any other language. Even the placards carrying the names of the participating nations during opening ceremony had to have the country name written in Catalan!

So what’s the point I am making? Many a times, the “National majority” fails to understand the regional sentiments and imposes what they feel is right. Biggest example is of Han Chauvinism in China. We have seen how forced imposition of Hindi in the 1960s led to Tamil backlash. Today, I see that Marathi Manoos is feeling swamped by others… especially people from UP and Bihar. He is sniggered at when he speaks in his mother tongue in public. Earlier, it was considered to be a Mumbai phenomenon where "assimilating with other cultures" is a way of life… but with semi-urban and rural centres feeling the heat, there suddenly seems to be an anti-Hindi sentiment spreading in Maharashtra. Statement by the Yadavs and Mayawatis of the world like “UP to ek jhaanki hai… Maharashtra abhi baanki hai” has fuelled the current Marathi vs Hindi spat. Raj Thackeray is using this plank to establish himself in Maharashtra politics and seems to be succeeding in his goal.

It is high time the central government looks into the matter seriously to understand the ground realities and takes steps to assuage the fear of Marathi Manoos.

3M is worried that the undercurrents of this anti-Hindi movement in Maharashtra are stronger than what most people would like to believe. If the pressure builds up, a "Catalonian backlash" could be felt in Maharashtra.

3M Trivia – Catalan has only 66 Lac native speakers while Marathi is estimated to be spoken as a primary language by over 800 Lac people across the globe.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

तेंडल्याच्या बारा सहस्त्र धावा !

Sunil Gavaskar pays tribute to Sachin Tendulkar,
from one GMM* to another
*Great Marathi Manoos

Karwa Chat Vs. What Pornima?

Vat Pornima vs. Karwa Chauth

Conversation between 3M (Middleclass Marathi Manoos) and his MMW (Modern Marathi Wife)

MMW: Today’s Karwa Chauth

3M: So?

MMW: Isn’t it romantic?

3M: What?

MMW: All these rituals of waiting for the moon to rise… and…

3M: What so romantic about it?

MMW: Tum nahi samjhoge... They are showing the ceremony live from Bachchans' terrace!

3M: But isn’t Amitabh a Ganga-ghat-ka-chora married to Bengali and their daughter-in-law a Tuluva?

MMW: What’s the point, honey?

3M: I mean Karwa Chauth is a Punjabi festival

MMW: No! It’s a Bollywood festival...

3M: Oh... now I get it... Yash Chopra’s creation! The Punjabification of Bollywood

MMW: We should give it a shot next year... Wot sayz u?

3M: But before that Vat Pornima will come in August…

MMW: Wot’s that?

3M: The Marathi/ Kannada equivalent of Karwa Chauth... Will have to ask Marathi directors like Amol Palekar, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Mahesh Majrekar, Sai Parajape, Jabbar Patel etc to incorporate Vat Pornima in some of their movies so that you start finding it romantic!

#@*&^$%!.... MMW is certainly not amused!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Who forced Naresh Goyal to take a U turn?

The Great U-turn by Jet Airways

Mr. Naresh Goyal claims no one pressurised him

Mr. Raj Thackeray claims he did it

Mr. Praful Patel says he did it

Shiv Senechi bolti band!

3M Quiz – Who forced him?
Option A – Goyal ki Swargwasi Mummy aka his conscience
Option B – MNS threats
Option C – Central Government
Option D - Barack Obama

Psst... Psst... A certain Ms. Gandhi can't afford to be seen as a job-snatcher in an election year... Correct, no?


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hyuk... Hyuk... Satish Acharya is too good!

Courtesy Midday

Just a question

Jet Airways decided to give pink slips to 850 empolyees... but, why did these guys (with a majority being North Indians) rush to Raj Thackeray for help when their trade union is run by Bharatiya Kamgar Sena, a Shiv Sena offshoot?

I come from an anti-national family!

My family hails from a tiny village in coastal Maharashtra called Gothos गोठोस (Not to be mistaken with the Planet Gothos in Star Wars!). The village was given as an Inam (Fiefdom) by the Raja of Sawantwadi to my ancestors when they migrated here to avoid the Portuguese Inquisition in Goa. Had heard this story as a child from elders in the family. Obviously, the royal family of Sawantwadi was regarded in high esteem by our entire clan and for me as a child they were the “good guys”. The Sawantwadi Palace gates were part of our summer vacation itinerary when we went to our “native place”.

The Sawantwadi Throne

Even though, Balbharti made very boring history textbooks, history was my favourite subject in school… Thanks to Sushila Raghavan, our history teacher who made the subject lively for us. These textbooks emphasised and reemphasised that Shivaji was our “national hero”… something that I dint understand clearly then. I knew that our army jawans who protected us from the “evil” Pakistani army were “National Heros”… So Shivaji must have fought against all the “anti-national elements” to get this title!

Class 6… history lessons… about Shivaji’s fight with the Portuguese… lovely! Nice to know that Shivaji gave a “bloody nose” to these guys who had persecuted my ancestors… I started liking Shivaji even more!
The iconic image from my history book painted by Raja Ravi Verma

And then came the heart wrenching part in the history book. In the war between Shivaji and the Portuguese, the Raja of Sawantwadi allied with the later. Oh………… my……… god! The Raja of Sawantwadi was an “anti-national” and my family sustained under his tutelage for 3 centuries… I belong to an Anti-national family!

It took my dad 2 weeks of reasoning to get me out of the “shock”!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are Saamna’s boasts true?

Saamna, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece claims that Balasaheb Thackeray "rules" the Internet and his Dasara Melava Speech is highly sought after on Youtube.


Aim – To check which Thackeray is creating the most noise on the internet

Experiments conducted -
Experiment #1: The word Thackeray was searched on Youtube (world's most popular video sharing website)… out of the top 20 videos, 17 are dedicated to Raj Thackeray, 2 to Balasaheb and 1 to Uddhav. Please note that not all videos were “pro-Thackeray”.

Experiment #2: Now let’s search the word Thackeray on Orkut (world's most popular social networking website)… We will consider fan club communities for this experiment. The top 5 Raj Thackeray fan clubs have 11991, 9245, 4672, 2454 & 1023 fans respectively… The largest Balasaheb fan club has 3811 members and Uddhav’s has 481 members. I could find only 3 other Marathi Manoos who have bigger fan clubs on Orkut than Raj… Lata Mangeshkar, Sachin Tendulkar and Shivaji Maharaj himself! (Hmm... Salman Khan may be considered, as he is ½ Marathi Manoos)

Experiment #3: Now let’s look @ Google Trends… This tool shows which word is searched more in a given timeframe on Google (world's most popular search engine). So words “Raj Thackeray”, “Bal Thackeray” & “Uddhav Thackeray” were searched and the results are seen in the diagram below.

You can see Raj’s blue line and Balasaheb’s red line… but Uddhav’s yellow line is non-existent!

The case rests with the readers!

3M Trivia – Surprisingly, Raj’s fan club on Orkut is the 2nd largest for any politician (alive) in India… way ahead of Sonia, Manmohan, Rahul, Advani, Vajpayee, Yadavs, Naidu and Mayawati…

3M Quiz - Can you guess the Indian politician (alive) with the biggest fan club on Orkut?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

आज कोजागिरी पोर्णिमा

मसाला दुधाचा आस्वाद घ्या !

Is freedom to reside in Mumbai the constitutional right of any Indian Citizen?

I have heard the argument – “how can MNS prevent non-Marathi people from coming to Mumbai?” many times in the past one year… This is the right given to every Indian citizen by the Constitution of this country! Is that true? Let’s do some research… the said rights are conferred to every Indian in article 19 of the Indian Constitution. The wordings are as follows -

Article 19. Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.
All citizens shall have the right—
(a) to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) to form associations or unions;
(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;
(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Bingo… sub clause (e) clearly is a “slap of the face” for “parochial politicians” like Raj Thackeray… right? Hmmm… not exactly.

Suppose as an Indian Citizen, you want to buy land and reside in Kashmir… you actually cant! You would argue that this is a exception because of the special status of Jammu & Kashmir state.

Then, why do I have to take permits from Himachal Govt to pray in the Tabo Monastery of Lahaul valley?… sensitive area bordering Tibet they say!

Can I buy land in Nicobar Islands or the Union Territory Lakshadweep… hell, no!

Hmm… how’s that possible? What about my “Constitutional rights”? Because the subclause (e) has a rider and it reads as follows -

Nothing in sub-clauses (d) and (e) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said sub-clauses either in the interests of the general public or for the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe.

This means that the Central or State government can restrict an Indian citizen from residing in an area if it is against the “interests of the general public”. What if MNS comes to power in Maharashtra and passes a law preventing non-Marathi people from settling in Mumbai? Technically, it is possible. They can show that the infrastructure in Maharashtra is crumbling under the immigrant population.

Law experts can poke holes in this hypothesis. A healthy debate is most welcome!

3M would like to emphasise – This blog does not recommend such a law… but wants to show that technically such a step is possible.

Monday, October 13, 2008

LG "reconnects" with Marathi Manoos

The issue of LG not having a Marathi IVR option was raised on this blog. Many member of an Orkut group lodged formal protest through phone and email on this issue.
Finally, LG management has bowed to public pressure and incorporated a Marathi IVR on the helpline. So e-activism actually does work!

No PICNIC in Times of India.

Last Friday Picnic, a Marathi movie, was released in Mumbai. Every Saturday, Times of India reviews movies released in Mumbai… but restricts itself to reviewing English and Hindi movies only. Obviously, Picnic is too lowly to be reviewed, as it’s a Marathi movie meant for Marathi Manoos (the 2nd grade citizen of Mumbai).

Promo Pics of PICNIC

So does that mean Times of India does not review Tamil movies in Chennai edition… Kannada movies in Bangalore edition… or Telugu movies in Hyderabad edition? Of course not! How can they ignore the local language movies? The people speaking the local language are 1st grade citizens in these cities. You might be amused to know that the percentage of Kannada speakers in Bangalore is lesser that Marathi speakers in Mumbai!

On two past occasions I have shown how Times of India cold shoulders Marathi manoos – 1 & 2

3M shares an thot – A friend argued that if Marathi Manoos wants to read the reviews of Marathi movies he should read Maharashtra Times… but with that logic Times of India should review only “English Movies” and Hindi movie reviews should appear only in Navbharat Times.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

106th Hutatma - Kripashankar!

Kripashankar Singh is the President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and an ex-minister for state in the previous Maharashtra Government. Have been hearing his comments for quite sometime that he would become the 106th Hutatma if someone tries to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra! He is refering to Martyrs' Memorial at Hutatma Chowk in South Mumbai.

Mr. Minister… Your history seems to be weak… You have no clue what you are talking about! Like most non-Marathi people (and quite a few Marathi manoos too!), you too think that Hutatma Chowk is dedicated to Marathi freedom fighters that fought against the British. Right? Absolutely wrong!

In 1955, the States Reorganization Commission recommended that either Mumbai will be the capital of a bilingual state (Maharashtra +Gujarat) or will be made an independent city-state. Marathi manoos opposed both these options through Samyukta Maharashtra Chalwal. During one peaceful protest in 1956, under the auspices of Morarji Desai’s Congress government in Bombay state, police opened fire and killed 105 people. And finally on 1st May 1960, Maharashtra was declared as the Marathi state with Mumbai as its capital. A Soviet style memorial was erected in Fort area by Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika (BMC) in the memory of these martyrs and renamed Flora Fountain as Hutatma Chowk.

The Martyrs' Memorial
3M wonders - Let us assume that Mr. Minister knows his history well! Does that mean that by making this statement he is tendering an apology on behalf of his party for killing 105 Marathi people?


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