Marathi film 'Harischandra chi Factory' produced by UTV was India's official entry for Oscar. It couldnt reach the final list. This week it was released in Mumbai and got rave reviews. I wanted to see this film in marathi. To my surprise Andheri west which had 72 shows of '3 idiots' in PVR,Fun Fame and Cinemax multiplexes, did not have a SINGLE show of this Oscar nominated film HCF!!. These multiplexes had shows from unheard of 6 am to midnight for '3 idiots' but couldnt accomodate a single show of HCF. Besides HCF print is available with English sub titles. Nearest screen for me is Sun City in Parla East. These Multiplexes enjoy tax waiver from Maharastra Govt. and had charged Rs. 350/- for 3 idiots ticket. This is in Mumbai, Capital of Maharastra!!.
A week when Rahul Gandhi and RSS/BJP and all News Chennel/papers have joined issue with Thackereys of Shiv Sena and MNS, one can understand the angst of Marathi Manoos and why Shiv Sena / MNS gets overwhelming support for their cause, if not for their methods.
What Maharastra is facing today was same high handedness from North Indian politician-primarily of Congress- faced by Tamil Nadu in Sixties,Andhra Pradesh in Eighties. That phase gave rise to DMK and its dominence in TN and Telgu desam in Andhra Pradesh. Maharastrians are marginalised in Centre and ruled over by high command in State. CM Chavan had to backtrack on Domicile and knowledge of Marathi for Taxi permits.
How this issue will move in future is difficult to say. Maharastrians are intelligent and proud people. Shivaji Maharaj fought with mighty Mugal Badshah of Delhi Aurangzeb and established Marathi Kingdom. Tilak,Gokhale and others initiated and were at forefront of our struggle for Independence against British. The Indian Constitution- by which Rahul says that Mumbai is for all Indians- was drafted by Marathi/Dalit Dr. Ambedkar. He is also Father Of Dalit movt. and concept of Social Justice in India. In 19th and 20 th Century Maharastra led in initiative in many Social and Cultural activities.
Today this Marathi asmita is ignored.unfortunatelly there are no marathi leader who can inspire and give maharastra it's rightful place in India. In this Development/Business economic milieu, marathi manoos has fallen back. His strong points are of no use to this trading economy. his cultural strong points are jokes for this yappy nation. It will have to wait for that leader.
( Disclaimer: I am Guju by birth but Marathi at Heart)