The undersigned are Maharashtrians who have lived and worked in different parts of India and the world without any let or hindrance. We are, therefore, appalled and anguished by the recent attacks on North Indians in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra . These illegal and unconstitutional actions are an affront to our heritage and the traditions of tolerance that Marathi saint-poets, social reformers and intellectuals have cultivated over many centuries.
The perpetrators of the violence have defied the rule of law and challenged the fundamental right of our citizens to travel, study, reside or earn livelihood anywhere in India . What is more, their cause- the interest of the 'Marathi manoos' - smacks of regional chauvinism.
Regional chauvinism jeopardizes the very future of Maharashtrian youth in whose name the chauvinists are agitating. The Maharashtrian youth, like the youth all over India have legitimate aspirations to acquire education, develop skills and successfully compete in the market place to get better jobs and higher incomes. These are indeed legitimate aspirations and can be met by a dynamic and united India . However, if these chauvinists forces remain unchecked and unpunished, it will be detrimental to vital interests of the State of Maharashtra and bound to subvert unity of the nation as well; the unity for which scores of Maharashtrians have rendered supreme sacrifice by laying their lives.
We urge our fellow Maharashtrians to reject out of hand the regional chauvinists who are engaged in dangerous games for electoral gains and call on the authorities to thwart their designs with vim and vigour.
Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Anil Tipnis, Anuradha Kunte, Bhalchandra Mungekar, Dileep Padgaonkar, Harish Salve, Rajdeep Sardesai, Air Marshal(Retd.) Satish Inamdar, Ambassador Sudhir Devare, Suresh Tendulkar, Tasnim Mehta, Vijay Kelkar