Vir Sanghvi on Balls Thokre and Mini Me

Awesome rebuttal by Vir Sanghvi of Hindustan Times on the Thackeray clan’s tirade against non locals in Bombay and wanting to rename all the establishments from Bombay to Mumbai.

Why then is Bal Thackeray doing this? In 1980, when he first pushed to change the name of the city, he was able to joke about it. At the time I was editor of Bombay magazine and publicly opposed to the proposal. “Don’t worry,” he told me, “you won’t have to change the name of your magazine to Mumbai.” Over a decade later, when the Centre finally dropped its opposition to the change and Bombay became Mumbai, he was still quite happy to allow the Bombay Stock Exchange and the rest to continue using ‘Bombay’. His own grandson went to Bombay Scottish School.

On the other hand, the Lankans don’t get hysterical about the use of the term Ceylon tea. The Iranians do not demand that every Persian cat be renamed an Iranian kitten. The historical contexts are all unchanged: it’s still Persian art or a Persian rug.

But the Thackerays don’t understand history — or consistency for that matter. As my colleague Sujata Anandan wrote perceptively in the HT’s Bombay edition on Wednesday, this new-found zeal sits uneasily with Bal Thackeray’s own record: if he’s so keen on Marathi usage, then he should use his real name. It’s Thakre not Thackeray, in the manner of William Makepeace Thackeray, the author of Vanity Fair. Not only does Thackeray use the anglicised spelling, he even pronounces it like the English author, who, as far as I know, was not a Marathi manoos.

Worse still, I don’t think that either Bal or Mini-me really care about the issue anyway. They just need a cause that sounds emotive and chauvinistic enough to motivate the goondas in their cadres. Thackeray is now old enough to recognise that this kind of platform is not sufficient to hold a party together in the long run. But faced with the threat from Raj, he’s had to go back to the primitive chauvinism of the Sena’s early years.

It would be a tragedy if the people or the politicians of the city of Bombay allowed this rivalry between uncle and nephew to change the traditions and heritage of this great metropolis. The only way to handle the Thackeray campaign is to hold firm and to tell the old boy to sort out his family disputes in the privacy of his own home.

We are certainly not changing any more names only because he can’t handle his nephew.

Read the full article here.

First read this article on Indiauncut

+++

No comments

  • Sachin

    Very good article………. 🙂
    lets start a companion to change Thackeray to Thakre 😉

    Hey, i have blogrolled u 🙂

  • Amit

    I just read the full article. A very fine piece of journalism. Bal Thakre just needs a loooong break and should leave the Indians alone.

  • Quirky Indian

    Liju, that was a well-written article. But then Vir Sanghvi is a very insightful columnist.

    Mumbai’s overburdened and its infrastructure is in shambles. What I do not agree with is the way Uncle and Mini-me are going about it. Sadly, I think xenophobia – in all its variants – is becoming more and more prevalent, not just in India, but globally as well.

    Am not sure if anything will change in Mumbai because the bhaiyyas are soft targets – low-income, no political voice or support, either in Mumbai or even in their home states. Mini-me knows he’s kicking defenceless kittens, so he’s going at it!

  • syedmdasadullah, syedmdasadullah@gmail.com

    Making A Mockery Of Jihad

    In Shariah law, jihad can be declared only by the state or those empowered by it. Terror attacks, on the other hand, are planned and executed by a few individuals unrepresentative of any state or state institution. So their attacks cannot be legitimate by any Islamic or Shariah law. That is nothing but committing murder of innocent people. Also, according to Islamic laws, in jihad no non-combatant can be attacked, much less women, children and old persons and no civilian property can be destroyed unless it is being used for military purposes or for purposes of combat, says Asghar Ali Engineer an acknowledged authority on Islam based in Mumbai.
    6 Comments More…
    http://newageislam.com/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=858

    The Shia-Sunni divide: How real and how deep? Can we move towards genuine unity?

    Many Muslims throughout the world, both Sunni and Shia, are working towards dialogue and reconciliation between the two sects. They argue that it is just not possible to fully comprehend and much less to judge the historical figures of Islam and their motivations today, 13 or 14 centuries after the event, which led to the schism in Islam. Indeed, it is not possible to judge people even when events take place now in full view of the world media… India’s Shia and Sunni communities can serve as a beacon of hope in this process. Let us follow up on recent initiatives by Mohtarma Syeda Hamid and Maulana Kalb-e-Sadiq and keep moving in the direction of genuine, frank dialogue leading to real unity, says Sultan Shahin, editor, NewAgeIslam.com.
    10 Comments More..
    http://newageislam.com/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=857

    Can Deobandis be called Pink Wahhabis?

    A correspondent in an interesting internet discussion writes: “Deobandis were once called Pink Wahhabi [Gulabi Wahhabi] by Late Ghulam Ahmed Parvez in his masterpiece “Tasawwuf Ki Haqeeqat” [Reality of Sufiism] but why? For those who try to understand the Deceptive Deobandis regarding their beliefs on Sufiism, a summary is as under in English Language [A Summary of three e-books in Urdu].”

    The lengths to which sectarian Muslims would go to denounce each other as Kafir and Unbelievers and “Qabil-e-Gardanzani” (deserving death sentence) is amazing. And then they also claim that Islam is a religion of peace! Which, of course, it is! But if Muslims kill each other or at least prescribe death for each other in their normal discourse and in books written by the most revered of Ulema on the slightest and the most meaningless and unnecessary of pretexts, why should any non-Muslim believe that they are a peaceful people and Islam is a peaceful religion, particularly as Muslims claim that all their actions are informed by what is or is not prescribed in their religion.

    NewAgeIslam.com would welcome any write-ups in support or rebuttal of the understandably one-sided arguments given below. If you can believe it, one of the correspondents calls our most revered of Sufi saints “Dacoits” or “Dacoits of the Faith”, whatever that means.
    1 Comments More..
    http://newageislam.com/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=860

  • Harshal

    Here is to Vir Sanghvi’s rebuttal:

    José Pedro Machado’s Dicionário Onomástico Etimológico da Língua Portuguesa (“Portuguese Dictionary of Onomastics and Etymology”) mentions what is probably the first Portuguese reference to the place, dated from 1516, as Benamajambu or Tena-Maiambu,[10] pointing out that “MAIAMBU”‘ seems to refer to Mumba-Devi, the Hindu goddess after which the place is named in Marathi (Mumbai).