Mumbai, Maharashtra, the diversity of India and how the Shiv Sena fit in

One of the things that I find most mind-boggling about India (or what I think I know about it anyway) is that every opinion or stance you could possibly conceive of seems to be somehow represented if you look for it hard enough. Things that seemingly contradict will mysteriously manage to function side by side.
Mumbai, the capital of Bollywood, sounds like the epitome of this. It’s one of the biggest cities in the world. When talking of urban or metropolitan areas it comes in around 5th-6th place in the world (over 19mln people), but in ‘city proper’ rankings it comes in 1st with over 13mln people. It’s a place with a huge amount of languages, religions and various kinds of diversity.
Mumbai lies in the state of Maharashtra, which is a Marathi-speaking region. But the majority of films made in Mumbai are not in Marathi (Mumbai is the only film-producing city in India where the majority of films are made in a language that is not native to the region). Apparently on the streets people don’t speak pure Marathi either. It’s some strange mix of Marathi, Hindi, English and invented words instead.
Mumbai is a city of very many cultures and some pretty liberal views about things and many celebrate this. But because in India there seems to be a counter movement for everything, Mumbai also hosts some of the most hardcore nationalistic right-wingers of the country. The most famous of these is the Shiv Sena, a political party with a Hindu nationalist agenda. Its influence now is nation-wide, but it originated in Mumbai (by the time the next local elections will be due they will have governed Mumbai for 20 uninterrupted years).
In fact it’s very name is proof of the nationalistic tendencies in the city. Until 1997 Mumbai used to be Bombay - a name it got from the times when it was used at a Portuguese port. It was changed because in Marathi and Gujarati (another local language) it was always called Mumbai.
Why on Earth have I started writing about this now? ;) Well if truth be told I’m already collecting far too many links in my drafts area :] The news that caught my interest is already quite a bit outdated, but I thought this recent bit of news is a good enough excuse to put up the old bit of news ;) So the recent news is that Raj Thackeray, who some time ago broke away from the Shiv Sena to form an even more hardcore right-wing party has been arrested, this has caused violence in Mumbai amongst his many supporters.
The old bit of news is that at a September promotional event for Drona (yet another of the recent fantasy films made in India), Jaya Bachchan (Abhishek Bachchan’s mum), who stars in the film with her son made a comment that proved to be very unfortunate. She said:

People of Maharashtra, please excuse me. I am from Uttar Pradesh so I will speak in Hindi.

What followed was huge. The Bachchan family faced the possibility of having all of their films boycotted in Maharashtra. Posters of their films were being torn, cinema owners were being threatened so they would not screen any films starring any of the Bachchan family. This was all Raj Thackeray’s and Shiv Sena’s doing.
In the end Jaya Bachchan publicly apologized and the backlash eventually stopped.
But next I know is the Shiv Sena is attacking Shahrukh Khan for saying he is a Delhiwala (Delhi native - SRK was born and brought up in Delhi). It wasn’t even a recent comment but something he had said ages and ages back… This died down quite fast, but I wonder who is going to be next :] Hardly any of the biggest Bollywood stars are native to Maharashtra.

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