My Lathi, Your Sword – an angry Mumbaite comments on Raj Thackeray

My Lathi, Your Sword an angry Mumbaite comments on Raj Thackeray

~Tanvi Surti ’12

The last time I checked, this was the land of Gandhi. But recent political developments make me wonder. The Mahatma said if someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other. Today, politicians say I will distribute swords amongst my men if you distribute lathis amongst yours.

Needless to say this pathetic attempt for political mileage exposes the heart of ‘metropolitan’ Mumbai. Having lived in Mumbai all my life, I believe that the diversity of this city is its strength. This is the city in which one can have a Vada Pav, Dosa, Chaat, Lassi and Misti Dohi around the same street corner. This is the city in which a Temple, Mosque, Church and Gurudwara can be on the same road. Yet this is the city which cowers in its rat holes everytime a radical lets havoc loose on the roads.

So who says Mumbai belongs to the natives? Who says it belongs any less to a poor Bihari sweeper who has given the city his sweat and blood for years? Who says this man cannot practice his religion by conducting the Chhath pooja? Our politicians.

But then for how long can we blame the politicians for everything that goes wrong? Isn’t one attention-seeking press conference enough to ignite hundreds of zealots to charge to the streets, destroy lakhs worth of public property and send all of us packing home? Their compliance and our indifference fuel this fire. Our fear lets politicians hold this city to ransom.

Till a fortnight back I was under the impression that the city has learnt is lesson from the 1991 riots. Apparently not.

So next time we point fingers at certain sections of society, let us look within us and ask ourselves if we may still proudly claim ‘Unity in Diversity’?

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