Thoughts on Marwari community

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 18.04.11

‘What they think about us’, a seminar organised by the West Bengal Provincial Marwari Federation on Saturday, saw prominent persons from different communities express their views on the Marwari community in Calcutta. The organisers aimed to find out other communities’ perception of them. Here’s what some of the speakers said.

Arjun Chakraborty, actor

Marwari people do not forget their roots. They do a lot of good work for their village back in Rajasthan. I also like your community’s fellowship.

People generally think poorly of the Marwaris as they earn a lot of money. But I believe that making money is also an art, in which you are masters. But I have a complaint: you people do not teach your children their mother tongue. They mostly speak Hindi.

Gurbux Singh, former hockey player

One person brave enough to side with Mahatma Gandhi during the pre-Independence days was Birlaji. He was a Marwari. Of late, I have seen that people have this perception that Marwaris are opening hospitals only to make money. Try to change that.

Dinesh Chandra Vajpai, former director-general of police

The good and bad sides of Marwari people are common in other communities too. There are certain perceptions about Marwaris, which are not always true. We all want a good job and social standing. When we fail to achieve that but someone else comes from outside and succeeds to attain that, we develop a prejudice against them. Also, the media has helped in creating a stereotypical image.

Barry O’ Brien, Educationist

I am yet to meet a lazy Marwari. But I have seen among my Marwari friends that they feel ashamed to say outside that they speak in their own language back home. They would tell me, “No, we speak Hindi.” Why?

But I must congratulate you that you were open enough to organise a seminar where you wanted to know your flaws. This shows that you are on the right track and you are not trying to narrow the boundaries of your community.

Also, all monetary transactions with Marwaris are done without a receipt. You can rest assured they will never cheat you. Once they have given you the word, you will get your money back.

Usha Uthup, singer

I really like the sense of loyalty among the Marwari people.

I remember that Ramaprasad Goenkaji gave me a ten-rupee note, despite my pleas for more. He had many hundred-rupee notes, but he chose to give me the ten-rupee note. He signed it for me. When he saw that I was disappointed, he said: “My child, this will teach you how to make money.”

Signing off

Sharing his thoughts, industrialist H.M. Bangur, the president of Rajasthan Foundation, Calcutta chapter, said: “We were more interested to hear criticism. But you only showered praise on us. Maybe you didn’t speak your mind.”