There are occasional blog-posts or MSM articles that we
professional ranters bloggers find fault with or get irked by, and therefore fisk. Then there are stuff like this Indian Express editorial by Kumar Ketkar that are beyond inane and deserve our pity rather than scorn. Ketkar tries to somehow argue on the basis of the lack of celebrations in Maharashtra over Pratibha Patil becoming the President of India, that Marathas lack pride in their ethnicity.
Yes, Pratibha Patil will be the first Maharashtrian resident of Rashtrapati Bhavan. But the streets and towns of Maharashtra are unimpressed. Even the Shiv Sena, which chose to jeopardise its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party on this issue, has not given any call for mass celebrations.
He cites the ethnic pride of the usual suspects, Bongs, Tamils etc:
In communist West Bengal, from Vivekanand to Jyoti Basu and from Rabindranath Tagore to Sourav Ganguly, each stalwart generates proud ethnic waves. In the south, MGR in Tamil Nadu and NTR in Andhra Pradesh captured people’s imagination. There is nothing comparable to this regional pride in Maharashtra.
Note the absence of Punjabi and Hariyanvi pride, the utter disregard for Biharis and Jharkhandis, not to mention the poor Uttaranchalis and Madhya Pradeshis. We won’t even go into the Northeast or Kashmir. And Rajni fans, who are an ethnicity unto themselves, feel free to be offended just about now for the not including his name in this illustrious list (as everyone knows Delhi-ites don’t have any pride at all) !
Anyway, two points from my side. First, if the Marathis don’t feel a need to indulge in meaningless regional chauvinism – more power to them. We need others to emulate it (and yes, I am saying that as a Bong). Second, given the furore over the candidacy of Ms Patil, especially her shady financial dealings and not to mention absurd spiritual side, could it be that the Maharashtrains are just simply, errr….ashamed.
Btw, the original link was pointed out by Rohit, who thought I should feel insulted as a Bong or something. Hardly that, I simply felt offended by the article’s utter stupidity.