My previous post received some comments which I would like to highlight and respond to. I realized that I had mixed up 2 completely separate issues. I will try to clarify my stand in this post.
Chinmay says: When parts of Germany were conquered by the French in the 19th century, the first thing the French did was stop teaching German in schools. You know why? Cause your language is your identity. So there is nothing wrong in speaking your own tongue in a different region, as long as it does not become symbolic of the rowdy behavoir of other people from your state. Though you may not be a backslider, you are just as much at fault if you let a small group of people besmirch the name of your entire region.
I say: When I came to Pune from Dubai, I was absolutely overjoyed to be able to converse freely in Marathi. That is one of the most important reasons that I love Pune over Dubai and prefer to stay here rather than go back. I completely agree that mother-tongue gives you a sense of identity. Whether it is symbolic of rowdy behavior or not is a question that comes much later. At first, it is the very first language that you learnt and that is how you communicate with your parents. Mother tongue is extremely close to a person's heart. However, my point was that, IF there is someone, who doesn't understand what you're saying, try to include him/her in your conversation by using a language that they understand. That is the polite thing to do.
Chinmay says: There is absolutely no harm in speaking in a language understood by the non-Maharashtrians. However, 2 Maharashtrians speaking in Hindi is an insult to Marathi. This is not seen anywhere in India at all. 2 Bengalis / 2 Biharis / 2 Tamils always speak in their mother tongue. It is rude to speak in your mother tongue in a diverse group - staying in US has taught me that. Choose the language as per the surroundings!
I say: Exactly. Choose the language as per the people in your surroundings. I would like to redirect my post to all humans :P People, in EVERY part of the globe, if there is someone who doesn't understand what you're saying, please use a common language so that the person doesn't feel left out. I am not just directing this towards Maharashtrans. Fair?
Chinmay: The language you speak is the easiest way to know where you are from. In India we have so much chaos all around the nation that there are certain black-listed regions. The level of insecurity is so high that to protect oneself, people immediately try to gauge the area the other person is from. Now if Hindi is spoken in elite as well as barbaric areas, people tend to assume the latter and that is the source of al evil.
I say: A little off topic for my post but I am tempted to debate. There are different dialects of Hindi. Usually you can make out the location from the dialect too. Elite people would have a different way of speaking Hindi than barbaric ones, so there's your difference. Same goes for Marathi and other languages too. The only yardstick to treat a person should be in response to the way he/she treats you. Why let bias and prejudice come in the way of genuinely getting to know someone?
Chinmay says: People talk of politician induced regionalism and hatred. However, something same is present on a much larger scale in US where Americans are jobless in their own land and non-Americans flaunt expensive cars. If you are rich, its cool. Why to boast around? And that too where the sons of the soil are facing hard times? Isn't this the reason why we decided to get independence in the first place? Worse, if your irresponsible behavior gets associated with the region you hail from, you are not entirely blameless to let it happen
I say: If this is related to rich MLA's sons from Delhi or Bihar flaunting their wealth, I think this is just the jealousy talking. Why would you care about their wealth? Have they earned it? It's just coming from their Dad's pocket. Moreover, I'm sure rich Maharasthrans do it too. Why do you let it get to you? Besides, my post was about hard-working sincere people who get jobs on the basis of their intelligence and want to earn their living in a dignified manner. Like I said, the only yardstick to treat a person should be the way he/she treats you.
Rich northies throw money around, steal our admissions and jobs and leave us poor is too much of a stereotype for me to digest. Open you eyes. You'll see Indians. Humans. Just like you and me. They need companionship in a strange land. See them for who they are, without bias and prejudice. A popular argument I get is, go down south, see the treatment you get. My response is, just because someone else is doing something wrong, doesn't mean we should too. Don't you think that a non-Maharashtran, in the company of several Maharashtrans, is much likely to pick up Marathi and learn about our culture than an isolated person? I am not saying that we should bend over backwards to please some rich people. All I'm saying is, let's observe the basic decency of choosing a common language to talk when someone who doesn't know our mother tongue is around. A word of advice to non-Maharashtrans: Learn Marathi as fast as you can. You really get looted by shopkeepers and riksha drivers, if you don't ;)