3M would like to differ on two of his statements –
NN: While it lay in the heart of Maharashtra, it had Gujarati as well as Marathi residents, and many other linguistic communities.
3M: This give the impression that Gujarati and Marathi residents were equal in number… according to the 1951 census Marathis were 51% and Gujratis were 18% in the city of Mumbai… if you consider the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (that concept dint exist then) then the balance tilts in favour of Marathis even further! Over the year the share of the Hindi speakers has increased while those of others have reduced in Mumbai. Even today Marathis are the single largest linguistic group in Mumbai at around 40%. Nilekani might be surprised that the percentage of Kannadigas in Bangalore is lesser than percentage of Marathis in Mumbai… case in point to try his experiment in his home state first… 3M is sure Karnataka Rakshan Vedike will give him the necessary support!
NN: Jawaharlal Nehru proposed that Bombay become a separate, bilingual area, but the rioting and protests that ensued forced him to back down, and the city became part of Maharashtra. Since then, Indian cities have been passive and subordinate to the state governments.
3M: C’mon… Samyukta Maharashtra Chalwal led to urban India being a subordinate to state governments… you are stretching it a bit too far! BTW, Nehru wanted the state of Bombay to be bilingual (suggested name was “Mahagujarat”) not the city.
3M respects Nilekani for his achievements and contribution to India but requests him to not single out Mumbai… had he given a case of at least one more city in India to make his point the article would not have an anti-Marathi flavour! Please make a pan Indian pitch of "decentralization of power to urban India" and 3M will support you.
In the mean time Maharashtra Times, the Marathi daily from the TOI stable carries exactly the opposite view… enjoy!