Patna. In a decision that could generate long lasting impact and controversy, the UPA government today declared Bihar as a part of Maharashtra and decided to call it North Maharashtra. This means that the state assemblies of erstwhile Bihar and Maharashtra will be merged and fresh elections will be ordered in the Greater Maharashtra. The new government will have all its offices and officials stationed in the existing city of Mumbai.
The decision has caused a widespread confusion and outrage among people as nobody is quite sure about the fallout of the merger of the two states. Biharis are furious as technically their state has been merged into Maharashtra, which means their independent identity will be lost. All Biharis hereafter will become Marathis, something that riles people of Maharashtra as well, especially the supporters of MNS led by Raj Thackeray.
“No bhaiyya is even a manoos, forget Marathi Manoos. This is an insult to Maharashtra by Congress and our party will take every possible step to prevent this merger. This is also a conspiracy by bhaiyyas to gain political control over Mumbai. If the government doesn’t take back its decision, we’ll whack all the bhaiyaa bhelpuri-vendors and taxi-drivers.” an MNS leader warned.
The intellectuals among the MNS are planning to apply for a Geographical Indication (GI) patent for the term “Marathi Manoos” so that it becomes illegal for people residing outside the current political Maharashtra to call themselves Marathi Manoos. But they have already hit a roadblock because if the GI patent was granted, the current bhaiyya bhelpuri-vendors and taxi-drivers, apart from the other outsiders living in Mumbai, will also become Marathi Manoos, and the local Marathis may start empathizing with them, which could prove suicidal for their party.
On the other hand, political parties in Bihar have threatened to burn trains and smash all public offices if Bihar was wiped off the political map of India. Political pundits feel that it’s a conspiracy by Congress to gain some political power in a state they were completely wiped off and were forced to piggyback on parties like RJD and LJSP. RJD chief Lalu Yadav has threatened to dump Congress if the UPA government went ahead with the decision.
“Why should we be called North Maharashtra? If a merger is so essential, let Maharashtra be called South Bihar. There was no Maharashtra when India became independent, but there was a bigger Bihar. Bihar has always missed its mineral-rich southern part since Jharkhand was carved out, so it makes sense to add a richer southern part to our poor state, but it’s completely nonsense to call Bihar as North Maharashtra.” Lalu Yadav argued.
The government has claimed that the decision was a part of the ‘inclusive growth’ exercise and they will take further such decisions in futures, such as merging Cricket and Kabaddi. Experts believe that the decision of the government is ‘perplexing’, but they don’t think that the idea was abnormal or unusual.
“Most of the states and nations were created the same way. Political boundaries were drawn first and then some justification was proposed. With a new research suggesting that Aryan Dravidian theory could be a myth, lingual divide too seems to be phony. Anyway, the languages that some Biharis, such as Maithilis, speak hardly even resemble Hindi, so they might as well be called dialects of Marathi. Similarly not everyone in current Maharashtra speaks Marathi. So it’s not a big deal really.” Arindam Anand, a leading linguist said.