To hang our heads in shame

An evil act of an individual calls the behavior of the whole community in question; a mistake of one member of the family forces the entire family to mourn and repent for years and generations; a lapse of a moment hangs as sword all through the journey of life and one fish spoils the pond. Pick up what suits for a situation. However, the ghastly news that a 61-year-old local Shiv Sena leader had been arrested for allegedly raping a minor, who studied in a school run by him has shaken the roots of sacred relationship between teacher and taught – a relationship almost parallel or equal to between human being and God..

According to inspector Anil Kadam of Kashmira polics station, Thane, Maharashtra, Vasudeo Nambiar, the district deputy chief of Shiv Sena who also owns a school and a temple in Kashimira township of Thane has been arrested on Friday in connection of rape. The girl was studying in class IX at the school run by the accused, who took her out several times with him on the pretext of visit to the temple and then allegedly raped her repeatedly at a place in Thane district’s Mira village in February this year. He had also threatened the girl with dire consequences if she revealed about the offense to anybody. The girl became pregnant and delivered a premature baby earlier this week. Following the birth of the child, the hospital authorities reported the matter to police who booked Nambiar on Thursday and arrested him on Friday..

The accused has been charged under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He was produced before a local magistrate on Friday who remanded him in police custody till September 11.

It is a sad commentary upon our insensitive society, careless parenthood and a different kind of Modern Culture we extol for progress; where the holy tenets of all of our religions also bursting at the seams. There is no ‘Love Jihad’ here and Party Politics. It has happened to innocent girl who is my daughter, my sister and an unfortunate mother today. Shame on me ! I’m sorry Mother India !

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Mumbai or Bombay ?

“Zara hut ke, zara bach ke, yeh hai Bombay meri jan.” The melody is old but still ringing fresh like the morning breeze for a lot of Indians who were born and brought up or landed in Bombay before 1993. They have an emotional nostalgic attachment to this very name – Bombay. Till 1993 no other freedom fighter from Maharashtra did ever try it to fiddle with this name. It was when Shiva Sena – BJP combine came to power that they snapped out of slumber and declared that this historical mini-archipelago has everything to do with Mumba Devi and Bombay should be called Bombay.

The pertinent question is – When Bombay is to be called Mumbai why Bala Saheb’s clan have not given up the anglicized name THACKERAY which reminds us the famous English writer William Thackeray of The Vanity Fair? Why did they not changed to Thakre that is pure Marathi ? But it is a trivial matter. Hypocrisy is not any individuals birth right.

Let’s us have a look at the history of Bombay. Tushar Gandhi, this name need no introduction, gives the history or Bombay as follows:
“According to ancient history, a grouping of seven islands comprising Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman’s Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga-Sion formed a part of the kingdom of Ashoka the Great of Magadh, ironically in North India.

The Bhaiyas and Biharis whom the Thackerays accuse of being outsiders in Mumbai, come from the region, which was a part of Ashoka the Great’s empire. We judge everything according to history and the history of Mumbai proves that its earliest known ownership was with a North Indian.

The seven islands of Mumbai passed through many hands, the sultans of Gujarat, the Portuguese and the British. Every ruler left behind proof of residence in Mumbai. The Mauryans left behind the Kanheri, Mahakali and the caves of Gharapuri more popularly called Elephanta. The sultans of Gujarat built the Dargahs at Mahim and Haji Ali, the Portuguese built the two Portuguese churches, one at Prabhadevi and the other St Andrews at Bandra. They built forts at Sion, Mahim, Bandra and Bassien.

The Portuguese named the group of seven Islands ‘Bom Baia’, Good Bay.The British built a city out of the group of seven islands and called her Bombay.”
And now the Mumbai Connection:
“The original settlers of the seven islands, the Koli fishermen, worshiped Mumbaidevi, her temple still stands at Babulnath near Chowpatty. The Kolis called the island Mumbai, ‘Mumba, Mother Goddess’.

“In 1662, King Charles II of England married the Portugese Princess Catherine of Braganza, and received the seven islands of Bom Baia as part of his dowry. Six years later, the British Crown leased the seven islands to the English East India Company for a sum of 10 pounds in gold per annum.

It was under the English East India Company that the future megapolis began to take shape, after the first war for independence Bombay once again became a colony of the British Empire. History has forgotten this but the first Parsi settler came to Bombay in 1640, he was Dorabji Nanabhoy Patel.

In 1689-90, a severe plague epidemic broke out in Bombay and most of the European settlers succumbed to it. The Siddi of Janjira attacked in full force. Rustomji Dorabji Patel, a trader and the son of the city’s first Parsi settler, successfully defeated the Siddi with the help of the Kolis and saved Bombay.

Gerald Aungier, Governor of Bombay built the Bombay Castle, an area that is even today referred to as Fort. He also constituted the Courts of law. He brought Gujarati traders, Parsi shipbuilders, Muslim and Hindu manufacturers from the mainland and settled them in Bombay.

It was during a period of four decades that the city of Bombay took shape. Reclamation was done plug the breach at Worli and Mahalakshmi, Hornby Vellard was built in 1784. The Sion Causeway connecting Bombay to Salsette was built in 1803. Colaba Causeway connecting Colaba island to Bombay was built in 1838. A causeway connecting Mahim and Bandra was built in 1845. Lady Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, the wife of the First Baronet Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy donated Rs 1, 57,000 to meet construction costs of the cau seway. She donated Rs 1,00,000 at first. When the project cost escalated and money ran out half way through she donated Rs 57,000 again to ensure that the vital causeway was completed. Lady Jamsetjee stipulated that no toll would ever be charged for those using the causeway. Today Mumbaikars have to pay Rs 75 to use the Bandra-Worli Sea link, connecting almost the same two islands. Sir J J Hospital was also built by Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy.
The shipbuilding Wadia family of Surat was brought to Bombay by the British. Jamshedji Wadia founded the Bombay Port Trust and built the Princess Dock in 1885 and the Victoria Dock and the Mereweather Dry Docks in 1891. Alexandra Dock was built in 1914. A Gujarati civil engineer supervised the building of the Gateway of India. The Tatas made Bombay their headquarters and gave it the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel and India’s first civilian airlines, Air India.

The Godrejs gave India its first vegetarian soap. Cowasji Nanabhai Daver established Bombay’s first cotton mill, ‘The Bombay Spinning Mills’ in 1854. By 1915, there were 83 textile mills in Bombay largely owned by Indians. This brought about a financial boom in Bombay.
Although the mills were owned by Gujaratis, Kutchis, Parsis and Marwaris, the work force was migrant Mahrashtrians from rural Maharashtra.

Premchand Roychand, a prosperous Gujarati broker founded the Bombay Stock Ex change. Premchand Roychand donated Rs 2,00,000 to build the Rajabai Tower in 1878. Muslim, Sindhi and Punjabi migrants have also contributed handsomely to Mumbai. Mumbai is built on the blood and sweat of all Indians. Apart from its original inhabitants, the Kolis, everyone else in Mumbai, including Thackeray’s ‘Marathi Manoos’, are immigrants.”

I have quoted here a great scholar, a man of honesty and integrity whose credentials are beyond question. He is the founder president of Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. He is also Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson.
These are the facts that look straight into the eyes of those who are eventually lording over the cosmopolitan Bombay. How many times these protagonists who claim themselves the guardians of Kolis visited the Koliwarahs and what did they do to uplift the plight of these original inhabitants of Bombay ?

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Sachin Tendulkar – The giant killer

Sachin-Tendulkar

Sachin-Tendulkar

By criticising Sachin Tendulkar’s patriotic fervour, Balasaheb Thackarey has truly bitten more than he could chew. As the nation leapt into Sachin’s defence, the master blaster inadvertently knocked down a much bigger target this time.

ONCE UPON a time, India was a liberal and tolerant place. Then we started learning how to control free thinking and free writing. Somewhere along the way, creative artists and writers also fumbled and forgot that with freedom comes certain responsibilities.

Then came the Emergency and the state told us, it knew better what was food for us, our family and our nation. The public rejected these concepts outright and the originator of these concepts. Then, Kudip Nayar came with his landmark book,“The Judgement”. It told everything about dictatorship, its evolution and it’s obnoxious outcome. We were back on the track of liberty and civilised life.

That was a time when a cartoonist had already graduated into politics and experimented with success about the applied art of mobbing. He had the patronage of Congress Party as its ebullient Chief Minister VP Naik and was ruling the rich state of Maharashtra. The name of the cartoonist was Balasaheb Keshew Thackeray.

He had started his career in the Free Press Journal in Mumbai in the 1950s. His cartoons were also published in the Sunday edition of The Times of India. In 1960, tasting some name and fame, he decided to launch his own cartoon weekly Marmik with his brother. Initially, it was publishing articles provoking Marathi Monoos against Gujarati businessmen, who wielded immense influence and south Indian labour, who were available at pittance. Thackeray formed the Shiv Sena on June 19, 1966 and its main objective was to ensure job security for Maharashtrians against immigrants from southern India, Gujaratis and Marwaris.

Within a short time, Shiv Sena transformed into an anti-communist organisation, which challenged and wrested control of major trade unions in Mumbai from the CPI. The Shiva Saniks gained strength and some of them even began to demand protection money from Gujarati and Marwari business leaders.

It later allied itself with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP-Shiv Sena combine won the 1995 Maharashtra state assembly elections and came to power. During the tenure of the government from 1995 to 1999, Thackeray was nicknamed “remote control”, since he played a major role in government policies and decisions from behind-the-scenes.

On November 11, 2009, Thackeray published an editorial in Saamana which criticised a statement made by Sachin Tendulkar in an interview where he said “Mumbai belongs to India… I am a Maharashtrian and am extremely proud of that, but I am an Indian first.”

This time he made a remark that he would regret all his life. He bit more than he could chew. Today, Indians have realised the truth and everyone, including Marathi Manoos, have joined the nation in condemning the politics and ideology of the Thackareys.

Sachin has made a master stroke which is heavier, impressive, convincing and long lasting. The cookie is finally broken. David has subdued the Golaith !

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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