Outsourcing, Bhaiyya style
The Marathi-Bhaiyya issue from my own metropolitan, middle-class viewpoint looked like a complete farce, a means to polarize Marathi votes away from the Sena and towards the MNS. Today, I had the luck to look at it from the viewpoint of a grassroots worker, a rickshawalla in Mira Road. He was far away from the “they don’t learn our culture” talk that Raj Thakarey flaunts and was much closer to the issue that hit him most — employment. Here’s what he had to say (So that the comments don’t sound out of context, they were made as a reaction to the State Government appealing to the fleeing workers in Nashik to come back. Also, Mira Road rickshaws follow the pre-paid fare system; no meters):
“Those bhaiyyas, they herd into the city by the dozens, stay like dogs, 7-8 in a room and earn money at our cost. One comes here and then gets 10 other relatives to dirty our state. They sell their pride for chump change, steal our jobs by agreeing to work for half the salary. A Marathi manoos would never sell his pride, he will never work in such conditions. A Marathi manoos, with his family, will never live in conditions that they do. We have our pride as well. We won’t simply bear anything for work. I’m not saying we should shoo away all the bhaiyyas, just stop more from coming over.”
“Among all the rickshawallas in Mira-Bhayander, most are bhaiyyas, but we make sure none of them pick up fare at our stand. They pollute our business area by taking fare from our stand for less. Wherever we charge for Rs. 20, they willingly take fare for Rs. 10. Commuters then fight with us for the fare, which is just not right”.
“But, why are they able to afford taking fare for half the cost?”, I asked.
“Because they’re like nomads. They don’t stick to a single stand like we do, and simply wander all over the place. We have stands, we belong to a place, not like them. Passengers know us. Whenever they forget anything in the rickshaw, we make sure that we return it to them the next time. Thay is why we make sure only our Marathi brothers do business from our stand, not those unreliable bhaiyyas”.
So to conclude, North Indians should be shooed out of Maharashtra since they are creating competition for the locals. In other words, Raj Thakeray’s Marathi manoos doesn’t have the spine to compete with the hard working UPites and Biharis.
Shame on us.