Where you see Marathi, replace it with Kannada

Kumar Ketkar, editor of the Marathi newspaper Lok Satta, writes in the Indian Express on Raj Thackeray‘s specious claim that his only aim (in targetting Biharis, etc) is to protect the cultural identity of Maharashtra and to prevent the Marathi language from being corrupted.

“The fact of the matter is that the language is already corrupted beyond redemption by the Marathi middle class, which sends its children to English medium schools, and by the private Marathi TV channels. Neither the Shiv Sena, in its 42 years of active socio-political life and five-year rule, nor its unrecognised heir, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, ever came up with a concrete programme to promote Marathi language and culture.

“There are no Marathi art galleries, no Marathi theatres or bookshop chains, no Marathi restaurants, no Marathi museums, no Marathi clubs. No Marathi private channel can claim exclusive Marathi ownership. Almost no Marathi marriage has a quintessentially Marathi menu (which is quite varied and delicious) and the lingua franca of the Marathi elite is English. The so-called Marathi pride is therefore a manifestation of self-generated cultural isolation in a rapidly globalising world. It also reflects the inferiority complex of the vast lower-middle class (urban and rural), which has not managed to be upwardly mobile.”

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