An innocent remark

The Thackeray vs. Bachchans saga is back to bite us again. Just when Raj Thackeray was barred from making any public speeches and just when peace was prevailing, Mrs. Jaya Bachchan had to go out and put her foot in the mouth.

For those of you who don't know (and that is possible only if you have not switched on the television even for a minute in the last few days. Every channel is doing a special on this and you couldn't have missed it otherwise), Jaya Madam was on stage for the music release of her son's movie 'Drona' and she went ahead and said 'Hum UP ke log hain, hum Hindi mein baat karenge. Maharashtra ke log hume maaf karde' (We will talk in Hindi because we are from UP. Maharashtrians, please excuse us). Raj Thackeray promptly took offence and demanded an apology. Madamji did give an apology saying 'it was an innocent remark'. Any fool worth a 2-cents brain can make out that her statement was anything but innocent. Her remark was intentional and was uncalled for. All she had to do was say a few good things about her son and his movie and go back home in peace. But no, she had to take a dig at Mr.Thackeray.

While these big stalwarts taunt one another and nurse their egos, they forget a very important thing - that they are in the public eye and anything they do affects the common man. Jaya can get away with this statement. She can be safe in the comfort of her house with police protection. What about those pani-puri thelewalas and taxi drivers and paanwalas? Those non-Maharashtrians have to bear the brunt of Jaya's 'innocent remark'.

No, I don't support what Thackeray is doing. What happened to the common people on the streets of Maharashtra was definitely wrong. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and you can't expect only 'Marathi' speaking people to stay here. Asking for boards to be put up in Marathi or to make teaching Marathi compuslory in schools - all that is fine. But beating up paanwaalas is not the solution.

That being said I don't think Bachchans are any better. The Bachchan family has made Mumbai their home for decades now. They earn their name, fame and money in this city. Still, UP is so close to their heart, Big B goes and does an ad for his beloved friend Amar Singh saying 'UP mein dum hai kyun ki jurm yahan kam hai'. If you can have such undying love for your state, why do you object to Thackeray's views? And after you saw the massacre that took place just a few days ago, you had to make that statement?

I don't know who will have the last laugh in this war. But those who are crying are the movie producers and distributors. And the common man. So, Jayaji, next time you make 'an innocent statement', think about those innocent people on street who have to suffer because of you.