Prasanna D Zore appeals to the Shiv Sena 11 -- the MPs at the heart of the current national controversy -- to forget rotis and poor service at Maharashtra Sadan and instead deliver millions of Mumbaikars from their daily travel troubles.
Jai Maharashtra Sanmananiya Khasdaar Sahebs (Oh Mighty MPs of Maharashtra),
I know you are not communal. Not even one among you 11.
Had it been a Christian, north Indian, Marathi, Sikh, Jew, Madrasi or a coloured tribal from Africa or Central India, he would have been deserving of the same treatment you so majestically dispensed out to Arshad Zubair, the catering supervisor at Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi.
Many of you have indulged on the streets of Mumbai/Maharashtra more violently than what you did the other day.
Arshadbhai, let me assure you that you were collateral damage. Had there been an Anthony D'Costa, Satyapal Dubey or Ajit Shinde in your place, these 11 gentlemen would have force-fed them the same roti as one among them tried to force-feed you.
Your being Muslim on a Ramzan fast is incidental.
I hope you will understand, and forget the incident. For these 11 MPs have been trained to fight injustice. It is in their political DNA.
With your force-feeding act, oh dear Warriors, you have rekindled the legends so famous in the state that only people from Maharashtra can take on the might of New Delhi.
Right from Sharad Pawar's rebellion against the Congress bahu for the prime ministership to Narayan Rane's banner of recent revolt against his party vice-president, leaders from Maharashtra have often challenged the might of New Delhi. (Narendrabhai, please beware!)
I am writing this letter as an indebted Mumbaikar, with folded hands, head bowed, because I know only you can deliver the city from its famed potholes.
Only you, the Maharashtra Sadan 11 can bring us justice, the harried millions who take the roads in Mumbai every day.
Only you have that fire in the belly to give us deliverance from an elected local self government, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, we so affectionately call the BMC.
Just like the unjust treatment given to you at Maharashtra Sadan -- uncooked chapatis, polluted drinking water, smaller rooms for you and suites for those from north India, etc, among other things -- this BMC has been depriving us of good roads during the monsoon. Year after potholed year.
I know of all the noble fights that you have to fight in Delhi (the Narendra Modi Cabinet is due for expansion and the seat sharing tussle between your party and your saffron alliance partner in the state for the assembly election), I am seeking your help for a cause as trivial as a citizen's right to good roads.
Once you are on the same page with me and many million Mumbaikars like me, you will -- all 11 of you -- travel to Mumbai and make the BMC officials, the city's elected representatives, or whoever you deem in your judgement is responsible for the mess and irregularities in the city, without bothering to care for the colour or language of those, make them pay for their sins.
Just like what you did at Maharashtra Sadan.
Please come and deliver!
Image: A potholed Mumbai road. Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Reuters