Close on the heals of Marathi manus movement launched by Raj Thackeray and meekly followed by Shiv Sena, The Congress-NCP led State Govt of Maharashtra has come up with a unique rule to prove their dedication towards the Marathi manus.
Maharashtra Govt has issued a rule which says that only people living in Maharashtra for the past 15 years and those who know to read, write and speak in Marathi will be allowed to drive taxis around Maharashtra. Undoubtedly, the move is aimed towards removing the majority of taxi drivers, who come mainly from UP and Bihar. A current estimate says that just about 15% of taxi-drivers are Marathi-speaking, while most others have a working knowledge of Marathi. The Govt rule surely did not took into consideration what will become of these people if the rule does come in to effect.
Quite naturally, the taxi unions came out in strong protest of the dictate. Most Unions know that the majoirty of their taxi drivers are not regular or long term contract employees. They join them for a year or two and then move on to some other opportunities. In such a case, it becomes difficult to fulfill the 15 year old criteria, as everyday new people come in to replace the older guy from states of UP and Bihar.
Most political parties see it as more of a gimmick then an actual move intended for the betterment of quality of life for Maharashtrians. Cong-NCP has definitely tried to steal the thunder from Raj Thackeray’s Marathi Manus campaign. It’d be interesting to see if this actually gets implemented in the days to come.