It was 11 pm. Sunday night and greasy Chinese was the unanimously chosen supper and we, friend zoned colleagues, gathered at our spot and ordered the regulars. Social clowns, societal norms, mockery, unrealistic idealism, pro-‘missing’ policies of the government and phalana dikhana were as always our starters for the night. Though, “May 1 and Maharashtra Day” was a strongly brewing topic of discussion.
We had turned into apt examples of “outrageous youngsters with boiling blood” and our heated dialogue was suddenly interrupted by a soft voice and curious eyes. “Didi, is it enough to be “Maha-rashtra”? Will we ever become the “Mahan rashtra”? The seven year old daughter of our Chinese wale kaka pulled my kurti and looked at all of us hoping for a relevant answer. Fierce swords were gently cut by a single thread of pashmina. Silence gripped us. Realisation dawned faster than the blink of an eye. We sat in silence, pondering.
What is the parameter of measuring greatness? What is it that our rashtra is missing? Is it ‘New’ that it’ll take to bridge the gap and bring maha and maha’n’ at par? And if it really is, how long will we stick to the old and how far should we go to usher in the new for a state that is fair?
A 30 year old engineer, who has grown up enjoying Maharashtra Day holidays, listening good long speeches of ministers and noticing hardly any change all the way, feels ‘solid change’ is the need of the hour. Employment to the youth will empower the state, he feels. He does not wish to be named and also disagrees with ‘names’ to be criteria for admissions. ‘Merit is the only valid document and the day institutions realise this, especially private players, our state will be in the right state to develop by leaps and bounds,’ he feels.
“Respect womanhood. Educate girls. Teach them to fight for themselves. Ministers must make sure, girl of every house in rural India burns the midnight oil. There would be no asifas even in Maharashtra and no futile candle marches then,” Rashmi Sinha, homemaker feels.
Dinesh Rao, 12th pass out is fed up of the ‘Fadanvis dream project’ and feels “Vruddha hoiparyanta, Samruddha (highway) hou ki nai”? “Fire gulps hotels, cases convert into ashes and morchas, in the highest voices, silence justice. This is not our Maharashtra and we dream for a better one,” feels Aryan Raut, a struggling engineering student.
Narayan Sethi, has seen 60 moons but feels political setup in the rajya is in constant state of ‘grahan.’ Rich are getting richer, poor, poorer. “Unless packets don’t stop going into pockets, and signals show no babies on afoo, Maharashtracha future, fatkyavar rafoo.”