Maharashtra: Non-Marathis treated very well by Marathis

The city of Mumbai and the state of Maharashtra have been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons — scams, high-profile arrests, celebrities accused of “crimes” and more recently issues like loudspeakers at religious places and Hanuman Chalisa.

However, despite decades of divisive rhetoric, political slugfests and some violence, more than 60% of non-Marathis say they are treated very well by the local ‘Marathi manoos’ and more than 60% of Marathis don’t think outsiders are a threat, according to a survey conducted by C-voter.

As Mumbai celebrates 62 years of becoming the capital city of the state of Maharashtra on May 1, the state’s foundation day, a survey of about 1,300 residents of Maximum City, comprising equally those born in Maharashtra and those born in other states, revealed that the most admired leader from the state is Dr B. R. Ambedkar, followed quite a distance behind by Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray.

While 35.2% of non-Marathis picked Ambedkar, 32.3% Marathis said he was their first choice. Incidentally, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was not born inside modern- day Maharashtra but in modern-day Madhya Pradesh.

“The second most admired leader was Balasaheb Thackeray, with 15.3% and 17.1% of non-Marathis and Marathis choosing him respectively. Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray don’t seem to inspire Mumbaikars. Surprisingly, neither does the recently deceased Lata Mangeshkar who garnered about 3.5% of votes. Almost 11% of non-Marathis opted for (social activist) Anna Hazare while just about 4% of the Marathi manoos picked him,” the survey pointed out.

Both Marathis and non-Marathis picked ‘pav bhaji’ as their favourite cuisine. Both also identified safety as one of the best things about Mumbai.

“The only issue where differences cropped up was Marathis singling out crowding and over-population as the worst thing about Mumbai, while a significantly lower share of non-Marathis felt the same though both agreed public transport was a serious problem,” the survey stated.

When it came to those most liked in Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar topped the charts with 25% and 24% of the votes respectively, with hardly any difference in the preference of Marathis and non-Marathis.

None of the legendary Khan trio of Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman Khan touched 10%, the survey by C-voter revealed.