Out of my mind: Mumbai meri jaan

The irony of KJo’s Rs 5-crore deal is that the song on which the film title is based on is about the dangers of living in Bombay (as it then was).

Written by Meghnad Desai | Published:October 30, 2016 3:57 am
ae dil hai mushkil, adhm film, adhm release, ae dil hai mushkil release, MNS, devendra fadnavis, maharashtra navnirman sena, MNS protest, ae dil hai mushkil protest, karan johar, india news The song was a loving tribute to Bombay in the 1950s, before the creation of Maharashtra.

The shame of the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil episode is not that the MNS used intimidation. The real shame is that Devendra Fadnavis surrendered instead of protecting KJo’s (director Karan Johar’s) rights. What is more, this will not end KJo’s problem. More gangs, flying anti-Pakistani flags, will try extortion. After this, anyone who can wave a flag and gather 50 strong armed people out on the street will extort money. The state government will protect the extortionist, not the victim.

The irony of KJo’s Rs 5-crore deal is that the song on which the film title is based on is about the dangers of living in Bombay (as it then was). In the film CID, as Johnny Walker and Kumkum sing the song, it is the man who is worried about life in the city. In ‘Bambai’, he says, cut-throats are called businessmen. She tells him to be realistic, and says here in Bombay, you reap what you sow. Yet she ends on the line, ‘dadagiri nahin chalne ki yahan, ye hai Bombay meri jaan’. The message is clear. Bambai may be troublesome, but Bombay the modern city is a place where bullying does not work.

How the times have changed. The song was a loving tribute to Bombay in the 1950s, before the creation of Maharashtra. From the ’60s onward, Bombay began its journey from a multi- lingual, cosmopolitan city, to the one dominant language and one dominant community town. It remained neither Bambai nor Bombay; it became Mumbai. It was a mark of how the Shiv Sena has reshaped the city.

The Shiv Sena was founded in the early days of Maharashtra. It championed the cause of the struggling Marathi families who needed help in obtaining services, which were promised but never delivered by the government. The Sena used intimidation to get the results. But it won the support of the people by being helpful. The Congress was in power then. It found the Shiv Sena useful to break up the communist trade unions. This weakened the Communist parties and gave the Congress a free run.

Bal Thackeray converted his street clout into political power. The Shiv Sena became a political party contesting elections. After the Emergency, the BJP began to emerge as a major opposition with the Hindutva theme. With the RSS having its headquarters in Nagpur, Maharashtra became a fertile ground for the BJP. The Shiv Sena and BJP became allies, though with different agendas. The BJP had national ambitions while the Sena was a Mumbai party with the ambition of being the leading party in Maharashtra. They thrived.

The Congress began to lose power across the country in the 1990s. The Shiv Sena could now legitimately be in power. The BJP became the dominant power in the alliance with the Sena after winning at the Centre. In Mumbai, Bal Thackeray became the arbiter of all disputes and the man who had to be paid tribute by all. Power was not with the forces of law and order but Balasaheb, who had the clout.

Balasaheb died a hero. His death caused a rift in the Sena. The rivalry between the Thackeray cousins split the party. Raj Thackeray founded the MNS. He may not win elections but his party does have the ability to intimidate, especially the soft Bollywood world. He has won big time.

Dadagiri chalegi yahan; ye hai Mumbai meri jaan.

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  1. O
    Onkar Singh
    Oct 31, 2016 at 1:50 am
    Raj Thackeray should have been booked for intimidation and extortion.Army has refused to touch that money.Certainly that money is not raised for a good cause.Ends must justify the means.If the mean is not just how can the end be justified.
    Reply
    1. O
      Onkar Singh
      Oct 31, 2016 at 1:45 am
      Your hatred towards her makes me think you are the gutter.Clean up your mind filled with filth that lies in a gutter.Have respect for others dignity of life.
      Reply
      1. M
        Madhav
        Oct 31, 2016 at 4:09 pm
        What a load of rubbish This is a cozy arrangement between all concerned. Raj and Johar get publicity. And BJP acted holier than thou with the "donation" to the Army which Army apparently even refused. So all got some mileage out of it
        Reply
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          Chiragh Adlakha
          Oct 30, 2016 at 8:33 am
          Govt can not keep on blaming past rulers for long. They have to deliver.
          Reply
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            Sriniwasan
            Oct 30, 2016 at 11:54 am
            Extortion has its own limitations.Soon Bollywood will shift lock,stock and with their skills to Dubai
            Reply
            1. G
              Gurvinder
              Oct 30, 2016 at 4:30 am
              Congress has been at the root of every problem that country faces. MNS, Kashmir, Parion, China, Corruption, Casteism, Nepotism, Punjab, Apathy of Muslim women (Shah Bano), Ram Mandir, PSUs, Inaction on POK terror camps after 26/11, sagging morale of Army. ...... and..... and......... No end in sight........
              Reply
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                Proud Bhakt
                Oct 30, 2016 at 3:35 pm
                There is nothing wrong with extortion , as long as it is for a good cause. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;There is nothing wrong with violating the laws of the land or the Indian consution, if it is for a good cause.
                Reply
                1. S
                  saan joee
                  Oct 30, 2016 at 8:42 am
                  The writer of this article Meghnad Desai, seems to be person of little knowledge and very little intelligence. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;His article is maniting the situation to show that 5cr was paid to Raj Thackeray. It was paid to Army relief fund. So gone for a good cause. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Phadnavis has acted absolutely sensibly and manged the situation from getting aggressive. Phadnavis is a able administrator. Kudos to him. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Desai: grow up man, u need to study history better and get proper understanding of situations. You are not yet ready to write articles for Indian Express.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    anil
                    Oct 30, 2016 at 5:45 am
                    By constantly harping on the old name of Bombay, The english speaking elitists are creating a chasm between marathi speaking proud Indians and others. These elitists, including Burkha Datta, always try to humiliate Marathi speaking people. It shows in their disdainful atude towards Marathi speaking people by favouring Dance Bars ( only In ) Mumbai but never supporting same in Patna or Dehli.
                    Reply
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                      Chakraborty N
                      Oct 30, 2016 at 4:59 am
                      Mister ! Situation demands appropriate remedies to undo the wrongs and not to reinforce them. What has happened under present govt in Maharashtra, MP and Gujarat are definitely not the remedies.
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        Narhar Joshi
                        Oct 30, 2016 at 2:43 pm
                        What is it with these english elitists? They have no qualms about Chennai,Kolkota,Kochi etc but constantly harp about Mumbai-Bombay-)))
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                          Pawan D
                          Oct 30, 2016 at 9:12 am
                          Change of name was first pressure tactic of right wing people to which government bowed down. And since then trend continues on and on ......
                          Reply
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                            Pawan D
                            Oct 30, 2016 at 9:10 am
                            He has more knowledge and intelligence than you. And me as well.
                            Reply
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                              Rajat Mehndiratta
                              Oct 30, 2016 at 7:37 am
                              Changing names have happened at several places in India and abroad. That is not the moot point. Surrender of freedom of expression is unfortunate. None of progressive economic states can move forward like this. Freedom of expression is a prerequisite for any free market economy. If we want to become another communist country like China, then it's another story.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Sukhi Gill
                                Oct 30, 2016 at 9:05 am
                                Bombay should have been left without changing name. Anyway, even if Mumbai is again changed to Shikarpur, people will adapt to that.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sukhi Gill
                                  Oct 30, 2016 at 9:03 am
                                  Mumbai belongs to all Indians. A truly cosmopolitan city.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sukhi Gill
                                    Oct 30, 2016 at 8:50 am
                                    Present govt just blames old govts for every problem. None of the solutions BJP used to vociferously chant day and night have been implemented So Far. He it on Kashmir or UCC or sending corrupt politicians behind the bar or Ram Mandir issue. This govt has just followed the same policies as of MMS govt and only changed the names of schemes.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Ruby Khan
                                      Oct 30, 2016 at 9:45 am
                                      I WANT THE NAME BOMBAY TO RETAIN NAME MUMBAI SOUNDS LIKE A KAMWALI MUM BAI
                                      Reply
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                                        xyz
                                        Oct 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm
                                        Just like what happened to Calcutta.
                                        Reply
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                                          Shamsul
                                          Oct 30, 2016 at 2:10 am
                                          It is not only about Karan Johar's film that State became a facilitator in forcing KJ to pay ransom. India and many States being ruled by RSS/BJP rulers have turned into Soft States in face of anti-social/national acts of Hindutva gangs.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Snkr
                                            Oct 30, 2016 at 7:13 pm
                                            Its true..mumbai is moving towards d threshold of its end..a dead city..coz of some local virus..
                                            Reply
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