The images of people of north indian origin leaving pune and other towns of maharashtra brought back the memories of bombay, once again. it has been two decades since i left bombay but the images that i want to associate with the city are mostly pleasant. every colony is a microcosm of india. the diversity that is bombay extends to the schools and colleges. the differences hardly mattered to us while growing up in the metro. having friends from all over had its own advantage. a punjabi classmate, who incidentally quit college after the anti-sikh riots of 1984; a few marwari friends i walked home with and one day ended up visiting their temple; a parsi who took pride in his identity and many more. each and everyone of them has added to my rich storehouse of experience and i am glad that i had this opportunity.
it obviously makes me sad, very angry to see the visuals of North Indians being harassed and forced out of their 'homes'. bombay is the home to all those who have come for a better life, whether from other parts of the state or the country. when one starts differentiating and dividing on the basis of 'we' and 'them' it bodes ill for the nation as a whole. what angered me more was the lack of steps taken by our national politicians to put an end to this divide. if it succeeds in maharashtra today, can karnataka be far behind.