The Aboriginal inhabitants of Bombay (salsette island plus seven islands) and its environs are the East Indians and Kolis who have been pushed to the corner due to the discriminatory policies against them first by the British Raj and next by the Maharashtra Government and Bombay Muncipal Corporation. Drill down a few paragraphs below to know how the Christian Villagers of Bombay/Salsette region got stuck up with the name EastIndians.

The EastIndians & Kolis were once upon a time the true owners of Bombay – Mobai – Bambai – Mumbai – Slumbai or whatever name you use to refer to this megapolis. The EastIndians & Kolis have been reduced to Backward Class because of various reasons especially all their ancestral lands surrounding their villages (gaothans & koliwadas) being taken over first by the British Raj & next by the Maharashtra Govt. without being given adequate compensation or Government jobs and the Maharashtra govt. & BMC turning a blind eye to various housing & civic problems in the gaothans & koliwadas.

A century back there were around 300 Gaothans & 100 Koliwadas in the Bombay ( salsette island plus seven islands ) region that number has been reduced to 189 Gaothans & 43 Koliwadas. The Gaothans & Koliwadas are spread across Bombay city & suburbs. The lakhs & lakhs of acres of former eastindian & koli lands surrounding the gaothans & koliwadas have been utilized by Government & Others for setting industrial zones, govt companies, residential complexes, co-op housing societies, Industrial complexes, automobile factories, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, chemical fertilizers companies, bollywood studios, govt. housing colonies, skyscrapers, mhada buildings, mmrda projects, public sector undertakings, central/state govt. undertakings, shopping malls, banks, sports stadiums, midc, hotels, slums, textile mills, airports, roads, railways, universities, iit, shops, cinema halls, seepz (
seepz was India's first SEZ and a potent icon of capitalism), etc. Even the ponds, wells, lakes, forestlands, saltpanlands, rivers, mangroves in the bombay/salsette region that originally belonged to the EastIndians & Kolis have been taken over by Government, muncipality and others. Now the eastindians & kolis have been left with only their villages (gaothans/koliwadas) and their old and dilapidated houses in the villages.

Whereas the Kolis were involved in fishing & boat building the EastIndians were involved in agriculture, crop cultivation, cattle rearing, carpentry, farming, trading and other land based traditional occupations. The EastIndians also possessed large numbers of buffalos, cows, bulls, horses, bullocks, horse carriages, bullock carts, etc. Traditional occupations, lands, cattle, agriculture, crops, etc everything has been lost due to poverty & land acquisition. Prior to land acquisition both the EastIndians & Kolis in the Bombay region lived a comfortable life. But times have changed. Both the EastIndians & Kolis are struggling to make ends meet and are also facing an acute shortage of housing in their gaothans & koliwadas. There is also a deficiency in the civic facilities in the gaothans & koliwadas including water shortage.

The total population of Bombay’s Indigenous inhabitants i.e. EastIndians & Kolis is around 8 Lakhs and scattered in small numbers across the Bombay region. Obviously because of our small numbers and because we are not politically active people due to which the Indian govt., Maharashtra govt. and Bombay Muncipal Corp. are ignoring our eastindian & koli people and also ignoring the various unemployment, housing and civic problems which our people living in gaothans & koliwadas face.

Other Communities living in the Bombay region have their strong associations and some even have their political fronts. We EastIndians & Kolis also need to setup associations with names like ‘Bombay’s Aboriginal Peoples Association’ or any other suitable name and work together, forge unity and use the resources for upliftment and betterment of the community and also politically agitate to get Government jobs, housing & civic facilities.

BOMBAY's NAMING CEREMONY : The Portuguese in the 15th century baptized the seven islands with the name Bom Bahia ( meaning good bay or good harbour ). The seven islands just like the salsette island were inhabitated with christian farmers & koli fishermen. After the British gained possession of the seven islands they anglicized the name bom bahia to Bombay. Later on the Portuguese from 17th century onwards began loosing their possessions in the north konkan region including salsette island to the British. Later on the British reclaimed all the seven tiny islands into one island and merged it with the large salsette island. Most of the salsette island is now under Bombay district and the rest is under Thane district. Bombay is the Richest district in India & Thane is the most populous district in India. Bombay & many parts of thane & raigad districts are also known as Bombay Metropolitan region. The North Konkan region includes bombay, thane, raigad districts & the South Konkan region includes ratnagiri, sindhudurg districts. There are some farmers, tribals & fisherfolks in thane, raigad, ratnagiri, sindhudurg districts who are in the process of loosing their lands due to large real estate projects, sez projects, power projects, dams, etc although due to an active role played by social activists, environmental activists, anti-land acquisition activists, former judges, etc the natives of thane, raigad, ratnagiri, sindhudurg districts have woken up from their deep slumber and are preventing the state & private corporate groups from taking away their lands but there are a few who are prepared to give up their lands in return for a better compensation & rehabilitation package. As far as the natives of bombay/salsette region are concerned they lost all their lands in the past due to forcible land acquisition. Thane district will be divided in the next few years into Thane & Palghar districts.

EAST INDIAN NAME : After the Portuguese rule of around 200 years the British East India company got a strong foothold over the Bombay/Salsette region. The British owned East India company from 18th century onwards went around acquiring the agricultural and other vacant lands of christian villagers of bombay/salsette for industrial commercial trading military transportation residential purposes and also allowed people from Gujarat, Maharashtra, etc to settle in the bombay/salsette region. Later on christian villagers of bombay/salsette discarded their allegiance to the Portuguese who were still in Goa and adopted the designation East Indians in honour of their new masters in the hope that the East India company would stop acquiring lands and would give priority/reservations in jobs to sons of the soil of bombay/salsette, unfortunately there was no priority/reservations in jobs but in order to save whatever lands that were left with them the christian villagers of bombay/salsette had no other option but to continue with the designation EastIndians.  Later on during Second World War Hitlers forces & Japanese forces severely crippled the manpower & military hardware of the Britishers due to which the British were not in a position to control the freedom struggle in their colonial possessions in asia, africa, gulf countries and just 2 years after the end of Second Word War the British fled from most of their colonial possesions including India. Later on after 1947 the next generation of christian villagers of bombay/salsette also lost whatever agricultural lands, ponds, wells, rivers, lakes, forestlands, saltpanlands, vegetable fields and other vacant lands that were left with them due to land acquisition by Maharashtra govt, BMC, slumlords, landencroachers, migrants, etc. Because of loss of lands & problems related to unemployment, housing, poverty & religious discrimination the christian villagers of bombay/salsette were totally disorganized and there was no meetings or debate for discarding the name EastIndian due to which tragically the christian villagers of bombay/salsete continue to identify with the name EastIndians and as a result the name EastIndian has been used all over the bombayland blog. The EastIndians have been reduced to Second Class citizens in their own lands. The eastindians are now left with only their villages (gaothans) and old dilapidated houses.

Whereas the native Christians of Goa, Mangalore, Kerala are known as Goans, Mangaloreans & Keralites respectively, a large section of the native Christians in Maharashtra are known by the name EastIndians. The name East Indian is not an exclusive one, for it is also used by some in West Bengal who are in no way connected with those in and around Bombay bearing the same name. Few would be expected to be aware that the name eastindian has a historical and not geographical connotation. Because of the inappropriate and misleading name very few people know about the eastindians of bombay. Some east indians are also at a loss when people ask "What are you?" or "Where are you from?" or “Where is your muluk ( native place )”. For the answer will elicit more questions than he or she would be able to answer.

The East Indians were also known by the name 'Salsette Christians' though no territorial significance was attached to the name 'Salsette' and it merely meant a Christian of the North Konkan region which inlcludes present day Bombay, Thane & Raigad Districts. The North Konkan Region is also known as the Bombay Metropolitan Region.

SALSETTE ISLAND: The metropolis of Bombay and the city of Thane lie on the large Salsette island. The southern part of the salsette island, which includes Bombay City was originally seven small islands. The credit for reclamining all the seven small islands into one island goes to the British who gave the islands the name Bombay anglicized from the previous name BomBahia. Politically, most of the Salsette island falls into the municipality of Bombay. The municipality is divided into two separate districts, Bombay City and Bombay Suburbs. The northern portion of the Salsette Island lies within Thane District, which extends across Vasai and Thane creeks onto the mainland.

The ‘Bombay/Salsette East Indians’ are the descendants of the thousands of indigenous people of Bombay and its environs who trace their Ancestors conversion to Christianity back to AD 55 with the arrival of Christ’s disciple St.Bartholomew in north konkan, west maharashtra and whose ancestors were later converted to the teachings of rome/vatican i.e. Catholicism by the four great preaching orders –Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Jesuits who arrived in the 15th Century alongwith the Portuguese. The Portuguese between the 15th and 17th century had controlled almost the entire western coastal plains of India and the control extended from Daman to Vasai to Bombay to Goa to Mangalore to Kerala coast this explains why you will find many catholics in these regions. The Portuguese from 17the century onwards began loosing their foothold over the western coastal plains of India to the British. Although the Portuguese in the middle of the 17th century were preparing to deploy 100 ships from portugual loaded with soldiers and military equipment to take over its territories on the west coast of India from the British but backed off due to Political disturbance in Portugal & Spain due to which the British got a strong foothold over the west coast of India. Later on after World War II the British fled from most of their colonial possesion including India. In the last 4 or 5 decades due to the separation of the church & state and secularization of all institutions including christian religious institutions has resulted in USA, Britain, Europe, Canada, Australia, NewZealand become spiritually weaker countries and once someone is spiritually weak everything else starts to weaken. Due to the fertility rate of the white skinned women going below the replacement level of 2.1 has resulted in western governments rely on migrants from asia, africa, middleeast, latinamerica to keep their muncipal, transport, hospital and various other services running. In the last 2 decades some EIs from bombay/salsette have migrated to western countries but they are not doing anything to help their community back home unlike the gujaratis & sikhs living in western countries who have done a lot for their communities back home in gujarat & punjab.

Since the Indian news media especially the national TV news channels do not report on the aboriginal inhabitants of Bombay due to which people across India have absolutely no idea who Eastindians & Kolis in bombay are.

Though drawn from diverse social groups, the East Indians developed a ‘consciousness of kind’ over the centuries, chiefly due to the common religion that they professed. While the masses remained rooted in the rural soil, retaining their Maharashtrian characteristics, the lifestyle of the urbanised sections of the community was gradually transformed due to Portuguese and English influences. The East Indians speak a dialect of the marathi language but with a relatively higher proportion of words borrowed from Portuguese language, because of the direct influence of the Portuguese who colonized this region till 1739.

The East Indians are a geographical anachronism. After all, the community comprises aboriginal inhabitants of the most vibrant city on India's west coast. The east indians were engaged in farming, trading, fishing, cultivation of crops, ship-building, cattle rearing, salt-manufacturing and other traditional occupations but with the loss of their agricultural lands they suffered economically.

The Land Acquisition Policy which the British Raj invented and carried forward by state governments has ruined and displaced many communities across India that includes the East Indians and Kolis. From human security angle, displacement involves ‘impoverishment risk’ the common elements of which are: “landlessness, joblessness, homelessness, marginalization, food insecurity, increased morbidity and mortality, loss of common property assets and social disarticulation”.

After 1947 the new leadership in India should have abolished the draconian 1894 Land Acquisition Act and compensated, rehabilitated, returned unused lands, etc to those natives whose lands were forcibly acquired during the British rule but instead the new leadership continued with the 1894 land acquisition act and also did not bother about those natives whose lands were forcibly acquired during the British rule. The continuation of the 1894 land acquisition act further resulted in more & more natives in India loosing their lands.

East Indians are the only large Christian community in India who are indigenous to a metropolis. Being sons of the soil they find themselves strangers in their own land. All their ancestral lands in the Bombay region are acquired and their houses are ruined. For want of money their children cannot get higher education, and for want of higher education, they cannot get better jobs.

East Indians and Kolis are few in numbers and are not the vote banks of any political party hence don’t have any Corporator, MLA, MP who can take up our problems in Bombay Muncipal Corporation, Maharashtra State Assembly (Vidhan Bhavan) & Indian Parliament. East Indians and Kolis also don't take part in political, social, civil life hence we are unable to fight for our rights. Nobody in the EastIndian and Koli community appears for IAS – IPS – UPSC – MPSC & other civil services exams due to which we don’t have any of our people in government who can help us get justice.

Unlike the Kolis who have some unity amongst them in the East Indian community there is no unity. East Indians are pre-occupied with petty affairs such as inter-village rivalries and inter sub-village rivalries. Then there are a few east indians who take great pride in pulling down members of their own community. The acute shortage of housing within the gaothans also resulted in infighting between eastindians. Not all East Indians are poor there are some east indians who have lots of wealth but they are not interested in helping the poor east Indians.

Unlike the Kolis who have a few leaders in their community in the east indian community there are no leaders although there are a few eastindians with limited resources who are sacrificing time and effort for the EI cause.

Unlike other communities in Bombay who have their community magazines we East Indians & Kolis don’t have any community magazine.

The main purpose of this blog is to highlight the economic problems which East Indians and Kolis face although you will read mostly east indian related issues on this blog. Topics related to community traditions, customs, cuisine, forklore, folk-songs of the east indian and koli community will not be discussed on this blog.

The Indian Government receives from Bombay region every year around 4 Lakh Crores of direct/indirect taxes (incometax capitalgainstax wealthtax excise customsduty importduty corporatetaxes etc) but the Indian govt. does not bother to reserve 10% of that revenue for the welfare and economic upliftment of eastindians & kolis living in goathans & koliwadas. The Maharashtra govt. also accumulates a large part of its revenue from Bombay but the Maharashtra govt. also does not bother to reserve 10% of its revenue for the economic & social upliftment of people living in goathans & koliwadas. The BMC also does not bother to reserve 10% of its annual 25000 crore revenue for improving civic infrastructure in gaothans & koliwadas. We eastindians & kolis sacrificed our lands in Bombay for the development and economic progress of India and Maharashtra but the Indian govt, Maharashtra govt. & BMC have ignored the unemployment, housing, civic and other problems that our people living in gaothans and koliwadas are facing. Hence we eastindians & kolis are fully justified in politically agitating for the below demands from the Indian govt., Maharashtra govt. and the Bombay Muncipal Corp.

1. Aboriginal Development Fund of 25000 Crores from the Indian govt. for the economic, housing and social welfare for the gaothan & koliwada residents of bombay.

2. Funds from the Maharashtra Government & BMC for repairing the old and dilapidated houses in the goathans & koliwadas. Repairing cost should also include purchase of steel or iron beams to be inserted inside the walls to give the structure proper strength.

3. The Ground plus one houses in Gaothans/Koliwadas are unable to accommodate the extended family members and the loads of various traditional & ancestral & other household items due to which the Maharashtra govt & BMC should allow Ground plus two houses in goathans/koliwadas without any open space condition because there are no open spaces in gaothans/koliwadas there are only small lanes of 4 to 5 ft width.

4. Nationalized Banks operating in Bombay region to provide Loans upto Rs. 5 Lakhs to gaothan & koliwada residents at interest rates of 5% p.a. and the Indian govt should provide refinance to the nationalized banks for the loans extended to gaothan & koliwada residents.

5. The 20 year development map for Bombay by BMC & Town planning dept & Urban development dept should be prepared in consultation & terms and conditions set by representatives of gaothan & koliwada residents and even if the map is already prepared then the same should be subjected to changes based on the recommendations & suggestions & terms & conditions of gaothan & koliwada residents. NO SLUM REHABILITATION BUILDINGS IN 500 METER RADIUS OF GAOTHANS & KOLIWADAS. Slumdwellers in bombay have their ancestral houses & lands in their native places in other parts of India but they are living in bombay on the former lands of gaothan & koliwada residents hence the slumdwellers should pay monthly rent to gaothan & koliwada residents and if the slumdwellers sell their room then 50% sale value should be given to goathan/koliwada residents. If the govt wants to rehabilitate the slumdwellers in buildings then those buildings should be constructed beyond the 500 meter radius of goathans/koliwadas and the land vacated by the slumdwellers should be handed over to gaothan/koliwada residents. CONSTRUCTION of NEW RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED ON THE LAST FEW BITS OF VACANT LANDS LEFT IN 500 METER RADIUS OF GAOTHANS & KOLIWADAS. Only those residential buildings that are old and dilapidated in 500 meter radius of goathans & koliwadas should be permitted for re-development and the maximum height permitted should be 7 floors. IF THE OLD BUILDING WAS INDUSTRIAL UNIT or FACTORY or OFFICE BUILDING THEN CONVERTING IT INTO A RESIDENTIAL BUILDING SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED. Govt colonies & quarters that are in 500 meter radius of gaothan/koliwadas should not be permitted to be passed on to private groups for real estate purpose and if the govt wants to demolish the old buildings in the quarters/colonies for constructing new buildings through the pwd or cpwd then the height width area of the new building should remain same as the old building and the parks & gardens within the quarters & colonies should remain intact. MHADA buildings in 500 meter radius of goathan/koliwadas that are old & dilapidated should be permitted to be re-developed only under the condition the height of the new building remains at 7 floors. Kalina University & IIT-Powai are most welcome to utilize land in their possession for educational purpose but should not be allowed to pass any part of their land for housing projects of govt or private organizations. MMRDA & BMC should NOT be permitted to sell lands in their possession for Real Estate purpose they can use the land only for setting up public utilities, gardens, parks, sewerage treatment plants, water reservoirs, etc. The name of the city, landmarks, streets, roads, etc has been changed without the consent of the goathan/koliwada residents hence all the names that were changed should be re-named based on the recommendations of gaothan/koliwada residents. BOMBAY CITY & SUBURBAN DISTRICT SHOULD BE MERGED INTO ONE DISTRICT AND THE COLLECTOR OF BOMBAY DISTRICT AND THE COMMISSIONER OF BMC SHOULD BE A RESIDENT OF GAOTHAN/KOLIWADA. Gothan/Koliwada peoples Land was allocated for setting up of TextileMills, Automobilefactories, Aarey Milk Colony, Filmcity, Pharamaceuticalfactories, MIDC, seepz and other large industrial/factory units in the past and the land should only be permitted to be used for the purpose for which it was acquired if any textile/industry/factory unit is closed then passing on that land for construction of residential buildings should NOT be permitted the land should only be permitted for reviving the old textile/industry/factory or utilized for setting up of BPO’s, Malls, Banks, Office Buildings, jewellery export industries, 5/7 Star Hotels, IT Parks and other modern day commercial establishments. MMRDA & BMC SHOULD TAKE PERMISSIONS OF GAOTHAN/KOLIWADA RESIDENTS BEFORE ANY MAJOR PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS ARE UNDERTAKEN IN 500 METER RADIUS OF GAOTHANS/KOLIWADAS. All matters related to FLOOR SPACE INDEX (FSI), Development Control (DC) Regulations, Land use policy, TDR’s, public infrastructure, URBAN LAND (CEILING & REGULATION) ACT, Rent Control Act, Bombay Land Revenue Code Act, Real Estate Regulation Act, Housing Regulation & Development Act, Bombay Housing Board, Sahar/Santacruz/Juhu Airport RE-development projects, Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act, Bombay Muncipal Corporation Act, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, SEEPZ, MIDC-Marol, Town Planning, Land Acquisition Act, Bombay Tenancy & Agricultural Lands Act, MMRDA act, MHADA act, BMC act, SRA act, etc for the bombay region should be changed, modified & re-drafted based on the recommendations & suggestions & terms & conditions of gaothan/koliwada residents. Any new Acts & Rules for Bombay region should be prepared with inputs from gaothan/koliwada residents. THE BUILDING PROPOSAL DEPT & DEVELOPMENT PLAN DEPT OF BMC should be under the control of gaothan & koliwada residents. ALL LAND RECORDS, 7/12 EXTRACTS (SATBARA UTARA), LAND USAGE MAPS, DEVELOPMENT PLAN MAPS, PROPERTY TAX MATTERS, BILLS, RULES, ACTS, etc in bmc, collectorsoffice, citysurveyoffices, mmrda, urban development dept., etc should be maintained in two languages that is Marathi & English just as the Maharashtra govt & BMC websites have option for Marathi & English. ALL UNUSED VACANT LANDS AND PLOTS IN THE BOMBAY REGION THAT ARE IN POSSESSION OF COLLECTOR, BMC, BOMBAY PORT TRUST, AIRINDIA, RAILWAYS, MMRDA, MIDC, SALT PAN DEPT, MHADA, FOREST DEPT, SEEPZ, etc SHOULD BE HANDED OVER TO GAOTHAN & KOLIWADA RESIDENTS so that the goathan/koliwada residents can use those land for their traditional agricultural farming fruitgrowing vegetablegrowing cattlerearing poultry ponds for fish&prawn artificial harvesting fishdrying saltmaking etc activities. The Home Ministry should provide the gaothan/koliwada residents with arms and ammunitions for self-defence purpose because of the frequent threats the gaothan/koliwada people face from slumlords & goons belonging to certain groups OR the home ministry should provide 24 hr and 365 day security to gaothan/koliwada residents OR the Home ministry should extern all slumlords & goons out of bombay.

6. Reduction in Property Tax for Goathans & Koliwadas. All Inclusive (generaltax sewaregetax treecess streetcess etc) Property tax to be charged at Rs.2/- per sq ft per year. The ground plus one houses in goathans/koliwadas are non-rcc kaccha houses and require frequent repairs especially before the monsoons begin. Majority of the houses in gaothans/koliwadas are between 400 to 800 sq ft.

7. Wider BMC Water pipe connections for gaothans & koliwadas. Drainage, Lighting & lanes within the gaothans & koliwadas to be improved by BMC. 

8. Reserve 8% Flats in MHADA buildings, Private buildings, Commercial Office Buildings, Residential Housing Complexes, Government Colonies & Residential Quarters in bombay region for Goathan & Koliwada residents. The Western/Central railways will have to allocate minimum four stalls at every railway station in bombay region for gaothan/koliwada residents. Oil & Gas Companies should reserve 10 percent of oil pumps & gas agency in bombay region for gaothan/koliwada residents. BMC to provide small plots near all major footpaths, roads & streets for goathan/koliwada residents to sell their traditional foods and other items. Traffic dept to provide licences for horse carriages & bullock carts of gaothan/koliwada residents to be used for transportation and other purposes anywhere in bombay region. 

9. Nomination of special representatives from the EastIndian & Koli community in the Indian Parliament, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly & BMC committees and MMRDA Committees.

10. A job quota of 8% for gaothan/koliwada residents in Air-India Nationalized Banks Suburban railways metrorail monorail MazgaonDocks ONGC ReserveBankofIndia mtnl BombayPortTrust and other Central govt. undertakings, State Govt. undertakings & Public Sector Undertakings operating in the Bombay region as well as 8% job quota in Bombay Muncipal Corporation, Bombay suburban & city Collectors Office, Bombay Police, City survey offices, Talatis office, Tehsildars office, MMRDA offices, MHADA offices, Maharashtra States Town Planning Department & Urban Development Department for bombay region and other Maharashtra govt. depts operating in the Bombay region.

Before agitating for the above demands obviously our Gaothan/Koliwada people will have to first setup a central bhavan/headquarters most probably in bandra or churchgate with small shakas/offices in every gaothan/koliwada so that the process of co-ordinating, agitating, etc for the above demands becomes a little bit easier and also have internal elections to select eastindians/kolis for the post of officebearers, leaders, treasurers, etc and also setup community trusts, bankaccounts, etc so that funds received from govt and others can be properly managed and utilized for the benefit of gaothan/koliwada residents and also setup a weekly community newspaper which should be made available near every gaothan/koliwada.


The India of today is not the same as the India of 1950s when the nation was truly secular and democratic. Overpopulation, unemployment, corruption, female foeticide/infanticide and religious fundamentalism has pushed India into a different atmosphere.  Due to OVERPOPULATION now India is plagued with poverty, lack of housing, lack of peace, lack of education, lack of jobs or other employment, lack of hygiene, lack of sanitation medicines and health care, lack of transport, food shortage, water shortage, land shortage, growth of slums, anger, fights, beating, shouting, quarrels, crying, breaking of things, arson, rioting, communal disharmony, forced begging, forced labor, committing variety of crimes, various nefarious activities like smuggling, settling personal feuds or in creating trouble during elections, mob mentality and damage and burning of public and private property. CORRUPTION is a universal phenomenon; but then, in India, it is a curse for its people who are already cursed with poverty, illiteracy, casteism, communal disharmony and ill-health. Only our politicians, bureaucrats, ias/ips/ifs/irs officers, commissioners, collectors, wardofficers & other public/government servants by their own personal conduct of honesty and hard work can remove these curses and make our country a developed nation. Governments GOOD GOVERNANCE policy should also include strict enforcement of Two child policy all over India, increasing legal marriageable age from 18/21 yrs to 25 yrs, passing draconian laws against corruption communal forces female foeticide/infanticide etc, breaking the builder-politician-babu nexus, reducing price of milk vegetables poultry foodgrains cereals onions potatos sugar rickshawfares busfares gas electricity diesel petrol lpg cng etc by minimum 25 percent, taking stringent action against those who encroach vacant lands to build shanties & slums & other illegal constructions, giving voting rights only for those who live legally & who pay municipal taxes, improving infrastructure industries job opportunities electricity water supply in rural & backward districts of India, giving more powers & protection to RTI Social citizen environmental civic activists, re-writing land acquisition and all other laws acts rules bills in consultation with villagepanchayats gramsabhas tribal-farmer-fisherfolk activists, ensuring all religious groups get quota in government jobs, educating people on rain water harvesting & solar power, providing insurance pensions medical facilities for all citizens . . source : internet.

Bombay City district includes the area between Colaba to Mahim/Sion. Bombay Suburban district includes the area between Bandra to Dahisar and Kurla to Mulund/Trombay. Bombay Metropolitan Region includes Bombay City, Bombay Suburbs and parts of Thane & Raigad Districts. The captain of a Portuguese ship gave the seven islands the name Bombahia ( which in portuguese means goodbay or good harbour ) and the British anglicized the name Bombahia to Bombay and later on most of the salsette island also came to be known by the name Bombay.......................................Bombays infrastructure, public transport, water supply & other resources are meant for 5 Million people but there are 18 Million people who are competing with each other for the same infrastructure, public transport, watersupply & other resources due to which there is a conflict on a daily basis. With more and more buildings & slums coming up everywhere in bombay expect a serious crisis in the next few years.

The Bombay Metropolitan Region as defined by the Bombay Metropolitan Region Development Authority Act 1974, covers full Districts of Bombay City and Bombay Suburbs and part of the Districts of Thane and Raigad. It is a highly urbanized area with 13 Muncipal Councils, 7 Muncipal Corporations and a few non-muncipal towns. In addition, there are more than 900 villages in this region. Considerable changes in the growth and distribution of population and employment are observed in the Region over the last couple of decades.

Potholed roads, traffic jams, overcrowded trains & buses, water shortage, inflated electricity bills, overflowing gutters, garbage, broad day-light encroachment of open-spaces mangroves ponds lakes wells forestland saltpan-lands by builders slumlords landmafia, increasing slums, an all pervading stink, stress & frustration due to poor management. Who is to be blamed? The Corporator who is powerless? The Bombay Muncipal Corporation (BMC), who is accountable to the Maharashtra State? The Maharashtra State, which is burdened with too many issues? The Bombayite, who is suffering everyday? If there are so many problems and no one is at fault, then there is something wrong with the system………………The people of Bombay elect 36 of 288 representatives for the state legislature. The MLAs elect the Chief Minister. It is to be remembered that the CM may not be from Bombay. He could be a representative from some other constituency severed from the issues of Bombay……………This CM appoints the BMC Commissioner and Additional Municipal Commissioners who have the executive powers. The BMC is divided into 24 administrative wards each with a population of upto 11 lakh people. These wards are answerable to the Commissioner………..We elect 227 Corporators who in turn elect a Mayor. ‘Mayor’ is a ceremonial post without any executive authority. The elected Corporation has only deliberative powers for policy making but no say in execution or planning. Thus our elected representatives are powerless and have to go to the lowest rung BMC executive with joined hands to get any work done. source : internet.

When a poor man from a sterile, lifeless village with nothing to satiate the hunger in his stomach, or heart, comes in search of the proverbial Pot of Gold to Bombay. Once in the city, he is confronted with the problem of finding a roof over his head. It would be simplistic to think that a disempowered man comes to a city like Bombay, chooses a piece of land unbridled and decides to set up his shanty. What is not simplistic, however, and a part of the truth puzzle, is the way the land mafia operates. It grabs land and then rents, leases out or sells it to the poor man looking for a roof over his head. In short, in a modern, urban setting you have a carefully constructed feudal set-up where the land-grabber -- read Mafia -- more or less owns the people living on it. Possessing one more part of the truth puzzle are the bureaucrats. These modern-day 'feudal rent collectors' with the right kind of grease make the impossible possible. Most of it is euphemistically called 'legalisation process'. Whether it is electricity and water connections or ration and ID cards, everything is available for a price. In a burgeoning city with little or no natural land, builders enjoy tremendous power. They, in turn, fit a part of the jigsaw puzzle. They are a rich source of funding for the ever-hungry politicians, and in turn are allowed a free use of the muscle of the mafia and the bureaucratic ink of the formidable civic administration. Politicians fit the other part of the truth puzzle. Power is what the politicians want and, fortunately or unfortunately for them, it flows from the ballot boxes. What better way to get ballot boxes filled than have captive audiences, which the land mafia gladly provides, of course, for a price. Putting together the pieces makes for an ugly picture. But that ugly picture is the truth. Almost 60 per cent of Bombay's population of 18 million plus lives in slums. That is a staggering figure by any standard; something which any city cannot be proud of. The endless cycle of slum demolition and rehabilitation cannot end till the incestuous network between the land mafia, bureaucracy, builders and politicians is not shattered. That incestuous network cannot be dismantled till you make sure that men and women do not migrate from rural to urban areas under distress and because of dispossession. A distressed, dispossessed man is ripe for exploitation. The real urban solution lies in men and women in villages finding no reason to shift to cities. In concrete terms, the UPA government should invest time and money in agriculture, adding value to it and making it an 'industry' good enough to provide sustainable employment for 12 whole months and a robust rural development model that can provide the basic things such as water & electricity all year round.source: internet.

The unlimited Floor Space Index (FSI), the creation of extra avenues to dump transfer of development right (TDR) on the suburbs, the growth of slums and the 1948 Rent Control Act are the major reasons for aggravating Bombay’s infrastructure problems. In town planning terms, these are means to strangulate a healthy city. Multiple parallel agencies like PWD, MSRDC, MMRDA, MHADA, etc. truncate the powers of the Commissioner and BMC. They are directly controlled by the state and are not answerable to the citizens of Bombay. Also central agencies like MBPT & Railways, AAI, Defense, who occupy a large chunk of land, are not accountable to the BMC (for Municipal Governance/Services). In this city structure where is the room for people’s participation? The State controls the City Municipal Governance without being directly answerable or accountable to people of Bombay City. The system lacks leadership and is badly designed - administratively and managerially! source: internet.

The sad part of Indian democracy is the Central/State govt. & municipalities not only allow people to encroach land in broad day light but also allow land encroachers to vote during elections. What's more, once in a while even when some honest and duty conscious officers have sought to diligently clear the encroachers, these officers have had to contend with insults, obstacles, transfers and punishment postings as penalty for implementing the laws. One factor that has led to the romance of the politicians and the slum-dwellers is that the latter are being promptly given the voting rights, by the Chief Election Commission (CEC) ,irrespective of him / her not being "ordinarily resident" of the city in blatant violation of section 19 (b) of the Representation of People Act 1950. The CEC in his unpardonable ignorance or perhaps his mistaken belief that voting rights is a fundamental right of every citizen (despite them being unlawful residents) have inadvertently rewarded the law-breakers by including them in electoral rolls and to make matters worse our politicians to further complicate things have decreed to provide them with free accommodation at the tax-payers expense. The dismayed Hon'ble Judges of the Supreme Court in the Almitra H Patel Vs Union of India case (2000 (2), SCC 679, 695)had denounced this trend by stating "The promise of free land, at the tax- payers' cost, in place of a jhuggi, is a proposal which attracts more land grabbers. Rewarding an encroacher on public land with a free alternative site is like giving reward to a pick-pocket." The term "ordinarily resident in a constituency" contained in section 19 (b) of the RPA 1950 essentially refers to a person residing in a house or structure or on a plot of land which is meant by law to be used for residence, but does not include a person who has encroached and is living on a portion of land which is not meant for residence and / or prohibited by law to be used for residence or designated under law to be used for purpose other than residence. Furthermore, such act attracts penalty. As a result of this glaring mis-interpretation or mal-application of law by the CEC, the politicians gleefully welcome, nurture and protect migrants with open arms, much to the consternation of the legitimate law-abiding residents of the city. ....Thus, the end result is that a major chunk of the hard-earned tax payers' money collected from the true residents of Bombay are utilized to provide amenities like housing, electricity, health-care, drainage lines, water supply etc to the slum dwellers. A former Chief Minister had grandly announced in his speech to the party workers in Trombay that "Slum dwellers are our Gods". No wonder every politician worth his salt is seen prostrating before slum dwellers prior to elections. What better could be expected from our politicians when they are out to exploit the weaknesses of the migrants and illegal slum dwellers and convert it into the currency needed to come back to power – votes. On the other hand the lawful residents are left with a bitter taste in their mouths apathy from their elected representatives to their problems, usurpation of open spaces, air and noise pollution, breakdown of civic infrastructure, unhygienic conditions, spread of serious diseases like malaria, dengue, tuberculosis, typhoid, cholera, lack of space for pedestrians, traffic congestion, increase in number of unauthorized hawkers, lack of car-parking space, a dearth of green lungs in the vicinity and increase in security threats to the residents. The Maharashtra Government had passed the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act 1971 to protect the encroachers. But then never was it thought fit to give it a permanent deadline. Thus, almost every subsequent government have gone about extending the deadline beginning from 1975 to 1980 and finally to 2000. In the next Assembly & Lok Sabha elections be assured that our vote hungry politicians will extend the deadline to 2010. Have our "elected representatives" forgotten that they are chosen to provide law & order and better quality of life to the lawful residents of the city ? Don't they realize that the decisions that they take sitting in the Assembly should benefit every true resident and should never be supportive of a law-breaker ? Where will this madness end ? Every right-minded citizen should oppose this move of the Government to appease the illegal residents at the cost of well-being of the city if they care to have better quality of life for themselves and for posterity. One hopes that such regressive and irrational policies are reneged by the powers-that-be and better sense prevails in the larger public interest. source : internet.

For most of its modern history, Bombay was an island off the coast of India, a cosmopolitan port city with eastindian & koli natives and enterprising migrants and bustling industry and commerce symbolic of Indias engagement with the world, rather than with its rural countryside. This pre-Independence Bombay is now viewed with sepia-tinted nostalgia by heritage enthusiasts and the media as an innocent age of civic order, a beautiful city which existed before the filth and chaos of democratic politics. Bombay became the victim of narrow linguistic politics when Maharashtra was formed in 1960. Since then, the story goes, public culture has been parochialised by Marathi chauvinism and mismanaged by vote-bank-seeking politicians. The beautiful city is now a horrible mess, and this situation must be reversed through bold action, to make it a world-class metropolis again. The economic rationale for creating a new City State is the counterpart to this narrative that Bombay is denied an equal share of the revenue it generates (which the Centre invests elsewhere in the country), that the citys resources are otherwise plundered by rural politicians and illegal migrants who dont care for the city, that new industries are locating elsewhere, and we cannot keep up either with Singapore or Shanghai, or even with Bangalore or Hyderabad. Something must be done to avert what the media have recently termed the death of the city, and statehood for Bombay seems like a bold solution to a host of very real problems affecting the quality of life and governance in Indias biggest city. Lets take apart these arguments. Will statehood mean anything in terms of the everyday life of the metropolis and the issues that matter to most of us housing, environment, infrastructure and the jobs? The advocates of statehood for Bombay have a point when they claim that many of the citys greatest problems remained unsolved because of Delhi raj. Much of the revenues generated and collected in Bombay are skimmed off by the Centre for redistribution in poorer states and backward areas. But the city takes as much from rest of India as it gives back to it. Bombays insatiable hunger for natural resources, energy, and human labour makes it a predatory force on its hinterland. The surplus the city extracts from the rest of the country must be invested back into the states, in the citys own interest. This is not an argument for rural subsidies or charity. Boosting consumption and spending in the countryside is key to the citys long-term survival and prosperity. Bombay will grow into a world-class city by finding domestic markets for its good and services in rural and small town India, not simply by chasing back office services outsourced from America and Europe. In this view, a Bombay City State will make little difference to our economic well-being healthy growth is as much about the distribution as about creation of wealth, and while cities are engines of growth, the fuel for this engine must be constantly supplied by labour and capital from outside the metropolis. Our taxes are paying for the fuel to which keeps the city humming smoothly. Let the Centre prime the pump by investing in states and rural areas where private investors dont dare to tread market forces will take care of Bombay, which should contribute its fair share to the Centre, and should raise money for the rest of its needs in global financial markets. We need inspired leadership, not statehood, to achieve this goal. If we go by the example of Maharashtras finances, statehood for Bombay will encourage profligacy and wasteful expenditures whereas competing for investment in the world economy will impose fiscal discipline on the city. We should not keep begging for government handouts like a whining stepchild of the license raj. Delhi raj in Bombay is more onerous when it comes to other issues, such as land-use planning and the housing market. There is a widespread myth that the city doesnt have enough space for everyone. This is because of land monopoly, not land scarcity. The citys three largest land-owners are Central Government bodies not accountable to anyone in Bombay the Central and Western Railways, the National Textile Corporation, and the Bombay Port Trust. Between them they have enough open space at least two thousand acres in the Island City itself to build new public transport, provide huge public parks and gardens, and create entire new business districts in Bombay. But statehood for the city will make little difference here. Like the present Maharashtra Government, a new Bombay City State would not necessarily have greater control over the Railways, Textile and Shipping Ministries and their land and infrastructure in the city. And we already have a well-funded agency for land use and planning, the Bombay Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), whose authority needs be extended beyond building roads and rehabilitating slums for the World Bank. What about the local bodies that provide the infrastructure of our daily lives? Would a City State make a difference to these public institutions, currently run by the BMC? Municipal hospitals like KEM and Sion are some of the countrys finest, and their alumni staff the emergency wards and operating theatres of hospitals all over India and the world. Similarly, the BEST is perhaps the only civic agency to have successfully managed the city growth by its steady expansion of services throughout Greater Bombay in the past thirty years. Because of the BEST, we are the only city in India which can really enjoy the basic freedoms of modern city life affordable public transport and constant electricity. Delhi, which has been run both as a Union Territory and now a City State, still doesnt come close. But a Chief Minister of Bombay would probably seek to privatise these crown jewels, which have served us well for almost a century. Will a Bombay City State decentralise governance and give us greater say in our daily lives in the city, or is it just another move to centralise control over the city in another unaccountable and unrepresentative body like those which govern us now? McKinsey and other private lobbyists like Bombay First have recently advocated appointing a chief executive for Bombay, who will run the city like a private corporation and coordinate between the patchwork of bodies which govern the city now MHADA, MMRDA, SRA, MSRDC, and other agencies run by the invisible hand of bureaucrats, engineers and their political masters. What these and other proposals such as city statehood share in common is the desire to centralise control over the citys resources, rather than to decentralise governance, giving us a greater stake in our lives in the city. There are already a host of measures to change civic life which have been legally enacted, but which will take a serious fight to see implemented at the local level, and are more worthy of consideration than a new Chief Executive or Chief Minister for Bombay. Foremost among these is representation at the local level by non-party ward committees and community organisations, which is guaranteed by the 74th Amendment but is barely implemented in Bombay. Another long-standing proposal is to trifurcate the overburdened BMC into separate municipal corporations for the Island City, Eastern and Western Suburbs, to make it more responsive and efficient, and for the BMC to have an elected Mayor rather than a state-appointed Municipal Commissioner. Yet another important law is the Right to Information Act, currently being used by activists to argue that the Bombay Mill Lands should not be gifted to mill owners who have lately become real estate speculators. It is these various local initiatives which need to be supported to make world-class changes in our everyday life in the city, not the unrealistic fantasy of a Bombay City State. Source : Internet.

Water shortage has hit Bombay in a big way. While the city's water demand is 5,000 million litres per day (mld), it has been getting only 3,000 mld for the last many many years. From the 3000 MLD around 20% i.e. 600 MLD is wasted in leakages & thefts so all in all only 2400 MLD is available. Compounding the plight is growth of slums and the rampant constructions of new buildings and skyscrapers. New buildings have come up at a fast pace especially in the western suburbs and more water is needed. But the amount supplied to the western suburbs is still the same. The population has increased manifold but the flow has not increased. There is bound to be water shortage.

Why save 103 sq. km. Borivali National Park / Sanjay Gandhi National Park? BNP/SGNP is the 'Lungs of Bombay'. It's 103 sq. kms. of pristine forest land act as an enormous 'carbon sink', converting copious amounts of carbon dioxide into oxygen. It's also the catchment area for two of the most important lakes in Bombay, Tulsi & Vihar, which provide water to the city. The park nurtures more than 1500 species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and innumerable species of insects as well as animals like Lions, Tigers & Leopards. The Threat :- Encroachment by builders & slumlords & India's haphazard economic development has created immense pressure on SGNP. Today, significant portions on the periphery of the park are already destroyed, with others facing severe degradation.The park is fast falling victim to encroachment, illegal and haphazard waste disposal.Source : Internet.

Some of the names of important roads & streets that have been changed by corporators & BMC in the last two decades without asking for peoples opinion due to which people still use the old names.
Apollo Pier Road-->Chhatrapati Shivaji Marg………Arthur Road-->Sane Guruji Marg……….Apollo Street-->Bombay Samachar Marg………….Andheri Versova Road-->Jaiprakash Marg……………Azad Road-->Veer. Ma. Manekar Marg……………..Andheri Kurla Road-->Sir Mathuradas Vasanji Marg…………….Bhatia Baug (V.T.)-->Nagar Chowk……………Ballard Road-->Shoorjee Vallabhdas Marg…………Bastian Road-->Amrit Keshav Naik Marg…………Bazar Gate Street-->Perien Nariman Street…………Bellasis Road-->Jehangir Behram Road………Bombay Agra Road-->Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg……………Bruce Street-->Homi Modi Street…………….Carnac Road -->Lokmanya Tilak Marg………………Cadel Road-->Veer Savarkar Marg……………..Crushank Road-->Mahapalika Marg……………Carnegy Road -->Nathibai Thakersey Road……………..Central Avenue Marg-->Swami Dayanand Marg……………..Charni Road-->Rammohan Roy Marg…………….Chakala Street-->Sherif Devji Street……………..Churchgate Street-->Veer Nariman Road…………….Clark Road-->Keshavrao Khadye Marg………Duncan Road-->Maulana Azad Marg…………Dougal Road-->Narottam Morarji Marg…………Delisle Road-->N.M.Joshi Marg……………….Dadar M. Road (North)-->Dadasaheb Phalke Marg…………Dhobi Talao-->K. Vasudeo B. Phadke Chowk………Elphinstone Circle-->Mahatma Gandhi Marg…………………Esplanade Road-->P. D'Mello Marg…………Frere Road -->Ganpatrao Kadam Marg……………..Fergusson Road-->General Bhonsle Marg……………Foreshore Road-->Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg……………Flora Fountain-->Hutatma Chowk…………………Forbes Street-->Dr. V. B. Gandhi Marg……….Foras Road-->R. S. Nimbkar Marg……….Fort Street-->Walchand Hirachand Road……………..Girgaum Road-->J. Shankarseth Road………Ghodbunder Road-->S. Vivekanand Marg…………Grant Road-->M. Shaukat Ali Road…………………Graham Road-->J. N. Herdia Marg…………Gowalia Tank Road-->August Kranti Marg………Ghatkopar Mohul Road-->R. Chembulkar Marg………Hornby Road-->Dr. Dadabhai Nawrojee Marg………Huges Road-->Nyaymurti L. Patkar Marg…………….Harvey Road-->Pandit Ramabai Marg…………Haji Ali Chowk-->Vatsala Bai Desai Chowk………Home Street-->Charanjit Rai Marg……………..Hanes Street-->Dr. E. Moses Marg………Harkness Road-->Jamnadas Mehta Road…………Jacob Circle-->Gadge Maharaj Chowk…………Juhu Lane-->C. D. Barfiwala Marg…………King's Circle-->Maheswari Udyan…………Lamington Road-->Dr. A. Nair Road………Lohar Street ( in Part)-->K. M. Sharma Road…………Lohar Street ( in Part)-->N. C. Kelkar Marg………Linking Road-->N. Subhash Bose Marg………..Marine Lines Street-->Sir Dinshaw Mulla Marg……Medows Street-->Nagindas Master Marg………Mayo Road-->Bhaurao Patil Marg…………Masjid Bunder Road-->Yusuf Meherali Marg……………..Military Road-->Jawaharlal Nehru Marg………Marine Drive-->Netaji Subhash Marg……………New Queens Road-->Mama Paramanand Marg………Napean Sea Road-->Jagmohandas Marg………Parsi Bazar Street-->Syed Abdullah Brelvi Marg………Parel Groves Gate Road-->Samaldas Gandhi Marg………Portuguese Road-->Raosaheb S. K. Bole Marg………Pedder Road-->Dr. Deshmukh Road………Pali Danda Marg-->Ambedkar Marg………Queens Road-->Maharshi Karve Marg…………Ridge Road-->Bal Gangadhar Kher Marg…………Rampart Road-->Khushroo Dubash Marg…………Sandhurst Road-->S. V. Ptel Marg…………Sion Circle-->M. Laxmibai Chowk…………Tardeo Road-->Jawjee Dadaji Marg…………Tulsi Pipe Road-->Senapati Bapat Marg………Thakurdwar Road-->Dr. Jaykar Marg………Victoria Road-->Sant Savtamali Road…………Victoria Gardens-->Jijamata Bhonsle Udyan………Warden Road-->Bhulabai Desai Road………Worli Road-->Vir Savarkar Marg…………Wittet Road & Fort Street-->Walchand Hirachand Marg………Woodby Road-->Hajarimal Somani Marg……Waterfield Road-->Ramchandra K. Patkar Marg………Wood House Road-->N. Parjekar Marg. source : internet.

Bombay will lose its buffer against sea erosion and flooding if the last few bits of Salt-Pan lands, forests, gardens, playgrounds, Mangroves & Openspaces are taken over by developers for constructing residential / commercial complexes or buildings. Usurping saltpans, mangroves, openspaces for construction is asking for trouble, in an era of climate change. Climate change is no longer a buzz word and maintaining ecological balance is essential to good health and progress. The last few bits of saltpan lands, mangroves, forests, gardens, playgrounds, openspaces, wetlands, ponds, quarries or pits, creeks needs to be protected to counter rising sea levels and to protect the vulnerable coastal population of Bombay from the potentially killing impact of tidal waves and heavy rains.

On 26 July (26/7) 2005 apart from the heavy rainfall coinciding with high tides the other reasons why Bombay got flooded was due to a deficiency of openspaces, mangroves, saltpans, an inefficient drainage system, 90% of land area being paved with concrete or asphalted roads with absolutely no scope for percolation of rain water, encroachment of ponds, wells and bombay's four rivers i.e. dahisar, poisar, oshiwara & mithi rivers AND the historical negligence of urban planning and management by the Muncipal corporation, state government, administrators and the professionals concerned with city planning and development. One German weather scientist has predicted another cloudburst over Bombay before 2020, there are also other Unpredictable threats like cyclones, storms, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.

The Almighty God has been showering rains over Bombay year after year and for centuries after centuries. 100 years back there were thousands of small and big ponds, lakes & wells in the bombay region where the rainwater used to get stored which was utilized all year round by bombay’s bhoomiputras i.e. the eastindians & kolis. Over the decades all the ponds and wells in bombay have been encroached. The mithi, dahisar, poisar, oshiwara rivers have been encroached. Mangroves have been encroached. The open spaces have been encroached. 90% of Bombay has been concretized. With all the encroachments and concretizations the rainwater cannot be stored in bombay although the rainwater temporarily for a few hours gets stored on roads and streets which results in flooding. All the rainwater eventually gets drained through the drainage system into the Arabian sea. Rain Water which could have been utilized for solving the water shortage problem in bombay is going down the drains because there are no ponds, lakes and wells left to store the rain water. The water table has also gone down.

During the Second World War the British had taken over lands of the eastindians living in Sahar, Vakola, Kalina, Vile-Parle with a written undertaking that the lands were being taken for war purposes and that these lands would be duly returned to eastindians after the war in the same condition as it was taken. But the British did not kept their promise of returning the lands to the eastindians after the end of second world war in 1945. After Independence, all the British owned and acquired lands and deeds became that of the Indian Government. Despite various protests and representations at Delhi, these lands were not returned to the original land holders in Sahar, Vakola, Kalina, Vile-Parle. The lands the East Indian farmers farmed, taken by the British flying small fighter aircrafts soon became used more and more for commercial aircrafts became known as Sahar International Airport, no where in the picture is the name of the people whose lands these are. To add insult to injury, the Government now asks all the residents of Sahar Village to vacate for the expansion of the Sahar Airport. The Government claimed that it needed more land around Sahar for constructing another runway but after some eastindians filed RTI applications the truth came out - the extra land around sahar was not needed for constructing another runway but for constructing parking lots, airline offices & lounges, retail shops, restaurants, hotels, malls, staff residential quarters, etc. There are a few East Indians from Sahar, Vakola, Kalina, Vile-Parle who have come together to protest, what seems like a deliberate targeting by the Government towards a peaceful community and the true owners of the lands on which the Sahar International Airport stands. Due to frequent agitations by eastindians & non-eastindians living in and around sahar the State govt. & the Airport authority has excluded three gaothans in sahar from the expansion plan of sahar airport but what about the future. The Sahar International Airport consists of two main terminals: Terminal 1 (Santa Cruz) for domestic flights and Terminal 2 (Sahar) for international flights. The Sahar International Airport spreads over an operational area of 1,450 acres (5.9 km2), is India’s and South Asia's largest. The Government was in the process of giving the green signal to construct another International Airport at Panvel in NewBombay so what was the need to expand the Sahar airport. There is complete secrecy and no transparency in the expansion plan of sahar airport and what about the environmental impact assessment. The present model of development is lopsided as there are international airports in other countries that handle more traffic in lesser space. source : internet.

Some years back the state had declared the GORAI-MANORI area as a SEZ (Special Economic/Entertainment Zone) . The Gorai-Manori-Uttan SEZ is the second largest in Maharashtra. Today the lush greenery, the homes, the villages, the occupation exists. Everyone knows, each and every village in this Manori Gorai belt. A lot of funcitions are held, even till late night, road side crosses exists. The same could be said of the seven islands of Bombay about a hundred years ago, the same could be said of Salsettle island about 50 years ago. If Gorai-Manori is lost, there will not be a single recognizable East Indian village in the Bombay region. The culture and language that has taken thousands of years to develop will be lost in one stroke. The people will lose their homes and occupations. The residents will lose their means of livelihood which would lead to disintegration of their community both economically, spiritually and socially. If the people lose their homes and occupations the present churches in each of the villages would be reduced to monuments. The over one thousand year old culture of the locals would be wiped out with the execution of the SEZ project and the locals would suffer similar fate as the sons of the soil have in the island city and the suburbs of Bombay. The eastindians & kolis in the Gorai-Manori belt have been sacrificing their blood, sweat, time to prevent the state from taking away their lands. Alongwith the support of some anti-sez & anti-landacquisition activists and frequent agitations during the last 4 or 5 years by eastindians & kolis in 2010 the state has backed off from acquiring lands for the SEZ project. Each time the determined villagers have stood up to the high-handed antics of the Government to usurp their lands and have even knocked at the door of the Courts, for justice with success. This is a victory of Peoples’ Power over money power, muscle power and political power. The locals have not only saved their livelihood and occupations but also the environment (an eco-sensitive region) in the bargain. But the eastindians & kolis in the gorai-manori belt will have to remain vigilant because the state in the future may come up with some other public projects and will try to acquire land and eventually pass on the lands to the corporate or builders lobby. source : internet.

In the last 200 years the christian villagers of bombay/salsette alias eastindians & their ancestors lost all their agricultural lands, rice fields, ponds, wells, lakes, rivers, forestlands, etc and have been left with only their gaothans (villages) and the old and dilapidated houses. Since EastIndians are Christians they face multiple problems from the state machinery, muncipality and others. In the last few years some EastIndians have taken to political activism and are sacrificing their blood, sweat, time, money to protect the villages, crosses, churchproperties, etc in the bombay/salsette region but it is a herculean task.

There are 189 east indian gaothans (villages) spread across Bombay city and suburbs characterised by its narrow winding lanes, quaint houses with out-door wooden staircases and wayside crosses. A typical village house comprised of a verandah, drawing room, hall, dining room, bedrooms, kitchen etc. The houses were so planned that there was a lot of space for social gatherings like christenings, marriages etc. Today these houses have been divided and sub-divided so as to accommodate the extended family members. Sometimes the front of a house is used as a shop – a feature that is very common in the Bandra bazaar. Sometimes the Quaint cottages or one storeyed houses were demolished to make room for tall buildings. While the number of residents of a village has increased, the civic facilities have remained the same. During the last 100 years most of the gaothans in bombay city ( Colaba to Mahim/Sion ) have become extinct and have been replaced with tall residential & commercial buildings and after 10 or 25 years most of the gaothans in bombay suburbs ( bandra to dahisar and kurla to mulund / trombay ) may also become extinct and will be replaced with tall residential & commercial buildings. Due to loss of income from agricultural activities and unemployment most of the east indians were/are not in a position to maintain their old & dilapidated bungalows and neither in a position to demolish their old Ground + 1 bungalows and build new Ground plus One bungalows so the only option left is to hand over the old and dilapidated bungalows to builders for redevelopment in exchange for giving 50% rights to builder.

Most of the East Indians in the past possessed a large number of horses, bulls, cows, buffalos, bullocks, goats, ducks, hens, bullock carts, horse carriages. Today there are only a few eastindians who possess horses, bullocks, horse carriages, etc.

For several centuries people of Vasai depended on agriculture, everything revolved around agriculture. Traditions, marriages and celebrations incorporated agricultural aspects of everyday life. For example, marriages took place before or after harvests. A family's worth was measured in how much land they owned and how much they could harvest. Strength of the family was in number of children, as children later as adults would then help in agriculture. Since the early 1980's, people's land in areas such as Virar, Nala-Sopara, Vasai were either taken forcibly from them or forced to sell their lands at a very cheap price through intimidation and violence by thugs and gangsters. As a result people have gradually moved from agricultural society to finding other means of livelihood.

The first significant numbers of Goan migrants came to Bombay in 1822, liberal partisans fleeing political persecution in the Portuguese colony for the safety of British India. As the century progressed, Goan emigration to Bombay swelled. The Portuguese hadn't been especially attentive to developing industries, so the pressure on cultivable land was intense. Adding to this, many Goans chaffed under the oppression of the bhatkars, as the feudal landlords were known. By the 1920s, many Goan men were being employed as seamen by such British lines as BI, P&O, Anchor and Clan. They used Bombay as a base between their voyages. Other Goans found work as domestic helpers in British households, social institutions, star hotels. There has been a decrease of migration of goans to bombay in recent years because of the job opportunities available in goa due to the growing tourism and the industrial sector in goa. Goa is a small State, with an area of just 3,704 square km, and a population of nearly 15 lakh. The Goa’s Movement Against SEZs (GMAS), Trade unions, NGOs, Youth for Goa a forum comprising the students and the youth of Goa, the goan catholic church and some political parties aggresively opposed the 18 SEZs in Goa due to which the Goa government decided to scrap all Special Economic Zone (SEZ) projects in its bid to end the long-drawn public agitation.

Due to the Portuguese-Maratha wars and various other political, economical, cultural, inquisition reasons many catholics from north Goa fled towards Mangalore and later on came to be known as mangalorean catholics. 81% of the present Mangalorean Catholic community trace their origins to Goa. The Diocese of Mangalore covers the geographical area of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in Karnataka and a part of Kasaragod district in Kerala. The Mangaloreans, partake of a common entrepreneurial spirit found also in the Hindus (e.g., the Shettys, etc.) of the same region (Mangalore-Tuluva). The Mangalorean catholics are fluent in Konkani and Kannada language. Mangaloreans are united by shared values of hard work, enterprise, and a desire to get out of Mangalore as quickly as possible. An expansion of education without a corresponding expansion of employment opportunities combined with pressure on land in the rural areas led to the emigration of many Mangalorean Catholics to Bombay. The Mangaloreans educated themselves under dire hardships and secured jobs through merit in different spheres including nuclear science, banking, literature, politics, education, engineering, medicine, etc. Many Mangaloreans have also been successful as trade unionists, taxi drivers, domestic servants, writers, caterers, and managers in different spheres. With their hard earned money the Mangaloreans brought houses and flats in real estate all over Bombay.

Salsette is a term familiar in Goa as well as in and around Bombay. The Salcette of Goa is a contigious strip of land, whereas the Salsette of Bombay is an island. The different spellings of both these words help us to distinguish their identity. Salsette is the biggest island of North Konkan. Therefore, from the ancient times, this island is prominently mentioned. The seven islands of bombay, compared to salsette island, were nowhere in the past. Salsette enjoyed greatness of its length and breadth. The Salsette Island was frequently called a 'granary'. Also because of the abundance of salt production the island got the name Salsette. Earlier, in good old days, Salsette enjoyed the respect of the ‘elder sister’ of Bombay. Bombay was just a bunch of seven small islands adjoining Salsette. Today, however, the place of respect of the elder sister is enjoyed by the metropolis of Bombay and Salsette forms a part of the suburbs of this metropolis. The Centre of the Metropolis runs through the heart of Salsette. People from all over the world first land on the salsette island as the sahar international airport is located on the salsette island. source : internet.

Maharashtra's capital is Bombay, home to the Vidhan Sabha – the state assembly and Mantralaya, the administrative offices of the government. It is also home to the Bombay High Court which has jurisdiction over Maharashtra, Goa, and the Union Territory of Daman and Diu. The legislature convenes its budget and monsoon sessions in Bombay, and the winter session in Nagpur, which was designated as the state's auxiliary capital. Maharashtra's legislature is bicameral; the Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) consists of directly elected members and the Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) consists of members voted indirectly through an electoral college. Maharashtra is allocated nineteen seats in the Rajya Sabha and forty-eight in the Lok Sabha, India's national parliament. Marathi is the official state language and is spoken by a vast majority of its populace. In Bombay and other larger cities Hindi, and English, along with a variety of other languages are also spoken. In the northwest Maharashtra, a dialect Ahirani is spoken by a minority. In south Konkan, a dialect of Konkani called as Malvani is spoken by most of the people. In the Desh region of the Deccan, a dialect called Deshi is spoken. While in Vidarbha, a dialect of Marathi, known as Varhadi is spoken. Maharashtra is divided into thirty-five districts, which are grouped into six divisions: Aurangabad Division, Amravati Division, Konkan (which includes bombay) Division, Nagpur Division, Nashik Division, and Pune Division. These are official revenue divisions of government of Maharashtra. The state has one metropolitan city, two mini-metropolises and many large towns. Bombay is the state capital, with a population of approximately 18 million people. The other large cities are Pune, Nasik, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Kolhapur.source: wikipedia and internet.

The Western Coastal Plains of India is a narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, ranging from 50 to 100 km in width and more than 2000 km in lenght. It extends from Gujarat in the north and through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. Numerous rivers and backwaters inundate the region. Originating in the Western Ghats, the rivers are fast-flowing and mostly perennial, leading to the formation of estuaries. Major rivers flowing into the sea are the Tapi, Narmada, Mandovi and Zuari. The coast is divided into the Konkan, which is situated in Maharashtra, Goa and northern parts of Karnataka; the Kanara in Karnataka and the Malabar coast in Kerala. Vegetation is mostly deciduous, but the Malabar coast moist forests constitute a unique ecoregion. The Western coast of India with its wetlands, lagoons, mangroves, sea-grass beds, coral reefs and shallow bays, creeks and estuaries is rich in natural resources. Unfortunately, much of this wealth is often exploited in an indiscriminate or ill-planned manner resulting in rapid resource depletion and irreversible environmental degradation. Major driving forces for coastal degradation include (a) high rate of growth in population leading to reclamation of coastal areas and release of wastes, (b) over-fishing due to lack of alternative livelihoods, (c) large commercial enterprises aiming at quick profit at the cost of sustainability and their insensitivity to the interests of local inhabitants, (d) ignorance about management of resource sustainability among stake holders and policy makers, (e) lack of understanding of environmental significance and importance of coastal habitats, and (f) inadequate enforcement of environmental rules and regulations. source: wikipedia and internet.

A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a specially demarcated area of land, owned and operated by a private company, which is deemed to be foreign territory for the purpose of trade, duties and tariffs. SEZs will enjoy exemptions from customs duties, income tax, sales tax, service tax (even on luxury hotel facilities, shopping malls, health clubs and recreation centres). There is no revenue for the State as SEZs are exempt from all forms of taxes, and neither the State nor the Centre has any jurisdiction over the SEZs. The stated purpose of creating SEZs across India is "the promotion of exports”. SEZs will attract modern industry and services in order to succeed. To that extent they are unlikely to generate too many jobs. Moreover, the few jobs that will be generated will be for highly skilled labor. The SEZs will also require large amounts of foreign investments and if the foreign investments are not coming the SEZ developer may simply utilize the land for real estate speculation. To build the SEZs the Central/State governments has to acquire land from farmers and pass it on to the private developers. But getting the lands from the farmers is not going to be easy because everywhere in India, farmers irrespective of which caste or religion they belong to are revolting (their land is the only means of survival) against land acquisition. If fertile agricultural land's are acquired for SEZs that will also endanger the food security of the country. SEZ's to function properly will require lot of water & electricity which is already in short supply across India including the finance capital of India i.e. Mumbai. Setting up of SEZs means there will also be influx of people which will result an increase in crime rates and social and economic problems for the locals whose lands are acquired for the SEZs. A demographic imbalance is bound to have serious repercussions as it will lead to a drastic change in the social and cultural environment of the area where the SEZ will be setup. Opposing SEZs, IT parks, new townships, special fishing zones, special tourism zones does not mean protest against industrialisation. Industries that are environment-friendly, based on the availability of manpower within the area where the SEZ is setup, and those which are sustainable and not exploitative of labour are welcome. But if the natives are against the SEZ then the Government should scrap the SEZ. The SEZs should only be set up where there is unfertile land and where there are no human settlements. Please note : If Indian govt will be changing the SEZ policy & Land Acquisition Act the same will not be reflected here immediately. source: internet.

Following Comments which were posted in the comments option by east indians and non-east indians have been included below:

Non-EI from Bandra
I feel sorry for the original sons of soil of Bombay......The Government, Slumlords & Landmafia grabbed all the agricultural lands, ponds, wells, lakes, forestlands, saltpanlands, vegetablefields, etc of eastindians and ruined their traditional source of income...............The Roman Catholic Church did nothing to help the east indians..... the Church has no political will.. it only believes in numbers and head counts at the Sunday Mass........the eastindians also dont have the courage to agitate for their legitimate rights........So this is it, the Eastindian Catholic community, is a peaceful quiet community, controlled under duress, a few leaders but all rubber stamp type.. Peace Marches happen, Candle light marches happen but majority of the EastIndians are living in penury and are struggling to make ends meet.

Some of the East Indians who were unable to maintain their dilapidated houses and gave away their properties to mafia backed builders for redevelopment are now living in penury. Small time builders with political connections, conned the East Indian bungalow owners, with the connivance of the local administration and constructed repair permission houses which have leakage, monsoonal problems and walls as thin as papers. The builder gave the Ground floor of the Ground + 1 repair permission house to eastindian and the builder sold the first floor to his clients. After selling the first floor the builder never shows his face and both the eastindian and the other residents end up with various probems.

At the moment Repair Permission is passe now towers are coming up, within the same Gaothan infrastructure, whatever is being done in widening the drainage, roads or laying of new water pipelines is not for the old residents but for the new residents who will move into these towers. The construction of these towers has resulted in water shortage in gaothans.

Most of the political giants in Bombay are builders by default we all know it only the paper thin walls don't know it.

Approval letters for all aspects of projects - layouts, buildings, water supply, drainage, firefighting, tree plantation, etc are known to be prepared in the builder's office and sent to the approving officers for their signatures, the price having been already paid.

EI from Vile Parle
Today, no one knows of the original villages, no one knows of the original inhabitants, no one knows of their livelihood, houses, culture... Many of our EI people have got poor due to policies of the government and it continues till date…even our crosses are being demolished, by saying they have “encroached” public space…..The apathy of the governemnt in protecting aboriginals is absymal…...It is time we stand and support our fellow East Indian mobaikars who have been protesting and protesting against this rampant injustice.

EI from Marol
I am EastIndian from Marol. I came across the below demands in the community magazine Mobaikar in the January, 2013 issue. I kindly request to put the same in the bombayland blog.

From Central/State Government
1. Simplified repair permissions for Gaothans. Ground plus SITU development to be permitted in Gaothans.
2. East Indians Day to be observed from this year and recognised by Government.
3. East Indian Bhavan in Bombay, Thane, Vasai and Raigad
4. Reservations for housing on MHADA projects for East Indians
5. Simplified OBC certificate process for East Indian community
6. Special job reservations for East Indian community in govt and other public and private sector corporations operating in the Bombay region.
7. An East Indian Community welfare fund to be instituted through funds allocated from land income on East Indian owned acquired lands like airport, industrial and infrastructure projects.
8. Gaothan expansion policy to be implemented by alloting lands towards East Indian community buildings in lieu of land unavailable around gaothans.
9. Regular special trains to be started from Bombay to Velankanni, twice a week.
10. Special permissions for time limit to be given for Umbrachapani and Christmas midnight mass.

From Municipal Corporation
1. Gaothan Infrastructure to be improved
2. Local community association heads to be authorised to suggest Gaothan civic projects
3. East Indian Food stalls to be approved for each BMC ward
4. Space to be alloted for Community Centre at each East Indian Gaothan
5. East Indian BMC corporator to be nominated to represent the city basis elections amongst East Indian Community.
6. Harassment by BMC officers to be immediately stopped during house repairs.
7. Lesser tax to be charged for gaothan homes.
8. Heritage homes in gaothans to be given a special incentive for maintaining their structure.
9. Roads, bylanes and street furniture within the gaothans to be designed to maintain the village look.
10. Regularisation of all Holy Crosses in the East Indian gaothans and their vicinity.

From Bombay Archdiocese
1. Support eastindian agitations for Closure of uttan Dumping ground
2. Housing schemes for East Indians on vacant church properties
3. Ten percent of proceeds on hired church premises like parish halls church grounds etc to be allocated towards the East Indian Community welfare fund
4. East Indians to be appointed on the finance and property committees
5. East Indian Associations to be given parish halls & church ground without hire charges for activities and meetings
6. Development projects, Monopoly for hired halls, quadrangles and grounds only to East Indian businesses
7. The Word "East Indian Catholic" to be written in remarks column without visit to archbishops house, to be done as per recommendation by local East Indian association heads or professionals
8. Space to be provided for East Indian businesses in parish property
9. Properties donated by East Indians should not be sold, if parish cannot develop or use for the betterment of the community they must be returned back to the original owners.
10. Halls and grounds provided for occasion to be given at discounted rates for East Indians.

From Mobai Gaothan Panchayat
1. Educational support through scholarships, discounts in courses.
2. Medical support through full or partial assistance
3. Ration scheme for poor East Indian families
4. Sports projects to be launched to promote talented youngsters
5. Business network to be encouraged to promote East Indian businesses
6. Promotional books and eds to be released to promote East Indian culture and tradition
7.East Indian food restaurant to be started
8. Signages to be installed at various East Indian gaothans giving information and history on the gaothan
9. MGP East Indian Village office to be set up to assist locals in various projects and matters.
lO. East Indian Association conference to be organised to promote joint effort to fulfill community objectives.

EI from Bandra
A GOOD Bombay Catholic Parish Priest is the one who apart from taking care of the spiritual needs of the laity will also try to improve the health wealth housing jobs land-holdings & security of the lay catholics of his parish, who will discourage the laity from drinking alcohol, who will discourage the laity from eating the unhealthy & unhygenic bakery maida pavs, who will educate the laity especially those women who come to the church wearing indecent clothes that the church is a place of God and to maintain the sanctity of the church they should come to the church wearing full lenght & sober clothes, who will urge the laity to purchase pork only from muncipal authorized shops, who will utilize church funds for the benefit of the laity, who will utilize vacant church properties for the housing needs of poor catholics, who will reserve 50% seats in parish/catholic schools for children of poor catholics, who will encourage the catholic youth to concentrate on sports & studies, who will encourage the laity to take bath twice in a day i.e. mornings & evenings, who will encourage the laity to maintain good health & good personality, who will encourage the catholic youth to work towards becoming ias ips irs ifs officers doctors engineers traders shopkeepers merchants entrepreneurs goldsmiths diamondtraders etc, who will encourage the laity to agressively apply for govt jobs, police jobs, banks jobs, railway jobs, aviation jobs, shipping jobs, etc, who will take up the problems faced by the laity with the political party in power in the bmc, state, centre.

A BAD Bombay Catholic Parish Priest is the one who will be more interested in misusing church funds, who will be more interested in quietly selling away church properties and siphonning off the money, who will be more interested in preventing children of poor catholics from getting admission in parish/catholic school, more interested in giving boring sermons, more interested in behaving like a dicttator.

A Non-EI
I have come to the conclusion that it’s not possible to change the operating system in the catholic church. The questionnaire on problems faced by catholics in turn was given to people who are with the PPC or close to other cells in the parish and most of them are not properly educated to answer it in a scientific way. Priest-laity contact is very important. We are all moving around as if everything smooth where in reality not so. The community has a false ego about things/happenings around us which nobody wants to address or discuss. The PPC or BCS meetings have become a routine affair where no issues facing the community are discussed, basically because of our incapacity in discussing such issues. Community is turning a blind eye on things happening right in front our own eyes which we can’t afford to ignore because we run many large institutions compared to other communities. People from other communities are jealous about our land holdings as the same is becoming scarcer by every passing day. The new generation is not sensitized about the community or political issues prevalent in the country today. Our youth meetings, PPC meetings & any other religious meetings should also include a menu from the political activism otherwise how we are going to face the situation from which we have been kept out by vested interests?

I heard people saying everything will be alright if one prays. The prayer is not a solution to the civic or legal matters. The laws of the land must be followed for which there is a shortage of experts in the community. In Mumbai alone there are so many issues pertaining to Church properties/crosses which will not be solved without the active participation of the community. We have miserably failed in creating IPS/IAS cadres & a think tank within the community. Education & motivation in this direction is totally neglected. unless we address these serious issues we will face hurdles in every direction in the days to come.

EI from Amboli
The Catholic Clergy of Bombay programmed our eastindian people to remain non-ambitious, non-aggressive, non-combative, dormant, susegaad & politically inactive……due to which we eastindians are not capable of fighting for our rights……..we also don’t have anyone in our eastindian community who has good oratory & leadership skills………..we also don’t have anyone in the community who has the vision & mission to become a IAS/IPS officer Doctor Entrepreneur etc……….we eastindians also don’t have any businessskills marketingskills salesskills to start a small enterprise or small shop……….we eastindians are also not fluent in reading/writing/understanding marathi language due to which our people are unable to understand the various documents in bmc, collectorsoffice, citysurveyoffice which are in marathi language we also cannot apply for jobs in bmc, police, citysurveyoffices, talathisoffice, tehsildarsoffice, etc because the exams are held in marathi language……....all our ancestral agricultural lands in bombay were taken in the past ruining our livelihood & traditional way of life can the various eastindian associations, federations, panchayats organize political demonstrations at azadmaidan, shivajipark, jantarmantar to demand from Indian/Maharashtra govt. to reserve a 5% job quota for eastindians in the various govt. offices banks bmc police etc in bombay………the Indian govt. is modifying the land acquisition act where it will be mandatory for the industries to reserve jobs, pay market compensation, provide shares, etc for the people whose lands will be taken for industrial development or SEZs the provisious of this new act should also be extended to those who already have lost their agricultural & ancestral lands in the passt.

EI from Bhayander
We Christians/Catholics in India don't indulge in terrrorrist activities, antti-national activities, smuggling/underworld activities, we dont indulge in cheating & corruption activities, we dont indulge in arson looting rioting activities, we dont indulge in communal & fundamentalist activities, we dont indulge in criminal activities, we don't indulge in encroaching government collector lands to create slums, we don't indulge in female foeticide/infanticide/embyrocide, we dont indulge in overpopulation activities and we marry at a late age and are content with 1 or maximum 2 children and we are extremely secular & work with honesty and dedication wherever we work..........but in-spite of being very peaceful & law abiding citizens why do we christians/catholics in India face religious discrimination ?

EI from Kalina
Apart from loosing all our lands in bombay....apart from finding it difficult to get govt. jobs....apart from being persecuted & threatened from various sources......another reasons why we eastindians became more poor is because of Alcoholism - Infighting - Jealousy.

EI from Orlem
The 189 east indian Gaothans (urban villages) in bombay must be preserved cause they serve as the only reminder of the rich heritage and culture of this Island City. However with changing times and the high cost of maintining these sacred precints it is becoming increasingly difficult for the poor Gaothan residents to maintain the glory of these Vintage Houses.

The government should provide the gaothan residents with funds to repair or reconstruct their houses so that they don’t have to depend on unscrupulous builders. The government must also provide additional accommodation to the goathan residents growing (extended) families who cannot be accommodated in the Gaothan Houses. If migrant slum dwellers and squatters on encroached government lands get alternate accommodation of 220 or 280 sq. ft or whatever, why shouldnt the East Indians who have been reduced to a backward class because of their agricultural lands being taken away for "development" of Mumbai.

The problem is big and there are no easy solutions. Neither do we have a proper voice to make representations before the govt.

EI from Marol
The immigrant’s who came to Bombay was more aggressive (like all immigrants worldwide). The immigrant’s took more risks, invested his money, were more enterprising. The immigrant understood the benefits of education and ensured that his children became more educated. Our ancestors were poor and uneducated. They had large families to support and hence selling property, was at times the only option. We should not be too harsh on ourselves on this topic. Goans are losing lands to outsiders in goa and similarly mangloreans in mangalore. What is worrying that we East Indians are still taking time to come out of this time-wrap. We should start looking towards the future boldly. We are no way inferior to other communities. Infact our simplicity will give us an edge over other communities in the long run. Please educate our children. Do not be happy with a simple graduation or job in a five star hotel. Dream and work towards our children becoming CAs, Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians, Businessmen, Engineers, IAS, IPS, IFS officers. Money from property does not last forever but a professional’s salary will ensure prosperity, growth and respect for his/her entire life. Make full use of the OBC Status granted by the government. Let us accept the fact that majority of EIs are economically backward (as of now). We need not feel humiliated to accept this fact. Use the OBC status for getting good education and jobs for our children.

EI from Andheri
I have learnt the hard way that "our community is what it is because of what what we are".... No EI is willing to prop up or help another EI... (write on this how an EI can forget the past and think of the future)... We should be looking foward... not backward.... You can site examples of how other immigrant communities have achieved what we not even dared to dream. Tell our EI brothers and sisters to forgive and forget the past and look forward to the future... The sad part is EIs with education and wealth have always looked down on the poor average EI……..This is why a lot of our EIs are leaving the catholic church...... We have been decimated... Our children are so much exposed to the Goan and Mangy culture that all they see is Goan and Mangy... They cant see any East Indian……. Nobody cares for us East Indians... And the East Indians who can care.... dont bother to think of their EI brothers and sisters...It is only EIs, like us, with limited resources who are sacrificing time and effort for the EI Cause.....Its time EIs learnt from the "Bhaiyyas" and "Biharis"... who are prepared to built small huts and squat in these.... But then we are afraid of what Pedru Uncle will say the fun Rosemary Aunty will make out of it.....It's time we EIs begin to do what the Bhaiyyas are doing in Mumbai. I am involved with a project and have some plans to incorporate the Bhayyais ideas in our plans... Most important we need a leadership for our community which is lacking. Can you suggest some names...of some daring and shameless eastindians who you think can achieve for us what our Suit Boot EIs in Bombay City could not.

EI from Vile Parle
I would agree that amongst all the communities we EIs are of most jealous nature and want to pull down members of our own community. This is sad. I salute the Manglorean community who are not only industrious but are willing to help each other. They (mangloreans) gang up to support themselves. If we leave out Vasai and Uttan-Gorai-Manori region there are more Mangloreans than EIs in rest of the places. They purchased properties in ei villages which were up for sale due to the economic problems of eis. They have four weekly publications from Mumbai in English and Kannada and two in konkani. They celebrate their native festivals with gusto even in Mumbai. They have instituted awards for excellence within their community. They have excelled in business and moved to high places. They promote education. They are well networked and have strong trusts. We east indians need to learn a lot from the mangaloreans.

EI from Kalina
Glad to know a few east indians are trying to do something about the sorry state of our community. We need to change our easy going attitude which has let us lag far behind other communities. We need to act n to act fast after all has happened to our community. We need to educate our people. we need to wake up make our presence felt.......Better late than never........Better now than later.

EI from Bandra
When a poor EI could not find a Girl in the community then they would marry girls from Daman, Goa or Mangalore. (This explains the entry of the early Damanese families , Goan Families & Mangalorean families in bombay).

EI from Khar
The local catholic parishoners are the TRUE OWNERS of the Church, the Graveyard, the Parish Buildings, the vacant church properties and the Catholic School…..but the parish priests who are deputed for a few years are behaving as though they are the owners of the Church, the Graveyard, the Parish Buildings, the vacant church properties and the Catholic Schools.......Catholic Schools don't teach catholic religious education but secular education. Why is the parish priest whose duty is take care of his flock & preach catholic religious education wasting six days of the week in running the catholic school affairs. why is the parish priest not handing over the running of the catholic school affairs to qualified members from the lay catholics.........why are the catholic clergy not discouraging the lay catholics from drinking alcohol is it because the clergy want the lay catholics to remain in a state of confusion.

EI from Khotachiwadi
The land in possession of Churches in Bombay and suburbs were given by our East Indians to the Church for housing of needy Catholics. While at the initial stage the Church did honor the wishes of the donors of these lands, it is sadly noted that as time passed the wishes of these donors were forgotten by the Catholic Clergy and in its place the Catholic Clergy looked at monitory benefits which as you are aware of most Catholics are unable to comply with. Had it not been for the greed of the Catholic Clergy – Parishes in Bombay would have had a sizable Catholic population. The parishoners have made many representations to the clergy to utilize church lands for housing of needy catholics but unfortunately the clergy look the monitory way and the benifits which attract them rather than looking at the housing and wellbeing of their flock, etc. but at the same time the clergy which includes the Bishops & Cardinal preach from the pulpit about poverty and helping the poor with cash and kind which includes housing. HYPOCRISY AT ITS BEST IN THE CHURCH OF BOMBAY!!!!!!!!

At the heart of the problem of corruption in the catholic church in bombay is the concept of sole trusteeship whereby powers of acquisition, disposal and sale of Church property are vested in one person, the parish priest. With the surfacing of scams and the knowledge that parasitic priests are easily let off with punishment transfers, the growing fold of doubting Thomases has brought fundamentals to the fore. The increasingly incensed laity is finally unwilling to go along with the conventional 'pray, pay and obey'. And with the wilful loss of Church land, one notion has been gaining ground: that priests just want to have funds.

We need not go to any Government to form any board like Waqf board. Our Cannon Law is good enough to protect and utilize church wealth for the uplift of the Poor Christians. We must pressurize our bishops to form strong independent Finance committees which should have a say in the administration of the movable and immovable properties of the church. The existing finance committees are just an eye wash without any teeth. The members of such committees are not even aware of their roll. Perhaps they are deliberately kept in the dark for the reasons best known to the authorities who control the wealth of the church. Unfortunately our poor Christians don't have the courage to fight for their rights. Let us not forget that it is the Christians who are and should be the beneficiaries of the church wealth like the share holders of a limited company. It should be made mandatory for every Church trust or bishop to publish annual audited financial report and it should be made available to every church member as it is given to every share holder. If they fail to do so then only we can approach the Government to enact a law to that effect.

EI from Vasai
Farmers in Raigad district of Maharashtra used satellite images from Google Earth to prove their fields were fertile and demanded greater compensation from the state government which was acquiring the land to create a Special Economic Zone. Its not unusual for state governments to wrongly classify land as infertile ( governments with agendas do that regularly), and it is certainly not uncommon for farmers to revolt (their land is the only means for survival).

EI from Irla
City development has cast the death knell for the 189 gaothans in bombay. Once the pride of the city they are now in the pangs of disintegration and change. Gaothan residents have taken the biggest blow in this fast billowing megapolis. The vintage structures with tiled tops and cosy welcoming verandahs in various hamlets are fast giving way to monolithic structures. Others are being reduced to a status worse than slums with gullies not broad enough to even carry the coffins of its dead.

What has led to the death and decadence of these hubs which were once the gems of the city? What has squeezed the vibrance and life out of them? Can something be done to save these centres that sustained life and the churches down the last few centuries? Little thought is given to check what ails the gaothans and if something can be done to stop them decaying into self destruction.

The biggest drawback of the houses of these former villages is that they were closely knit with little space around them. There is little scope for horizontal development (sideways) and they are denied permission to develop vertically.

Gaothan residents were forced to enter into agreements with small time builders as their houses were dilapidated and families growing. Driven by poverty and unable to get the requisite permissions for rebuilding their own houses they were forced to barter a floor with the builder in return for one to live in decently, without giving thought to where the next generation will reside. In the bargain existing open spaces and lanes were encroached upon and the living conditions of gaothan residents turned pathetic. Today less than 25% of the original goathan residents are eastindians the majority of the people living in the gaothans in bombay are from the mangalorean community (including the kannada speaking hindu mangaloreans from the mangalore – udupi – tuluva region ) since they were the ones who purchased or took on rent most of the rooms that were available in gaothans.

Politicians choose to ignore gaothans as they don't fit into the scheme of their vote- bank politics. Here, migrants dwelling in slums take the cake. While there are redevelopment schemes for slums assuring an FSI of 2.5 and other cluster development schemes in the city that assure an FSI of 4, there are no redevelopment schemes for Gaothan houses that have to make do with an FSI of 0.75 due to narrow access lanes. Gaothan residents can only get repair permissions obtained from the Municipal Ward on 'as is where is' basis and even for that they have to fulfill many conditions and furnish documents that are so difficult to get.

Gaothan residents are unable to get building development permissions from the Building Proposal department as they are unable to fulfill the Development Control rules that demand requisite access road and open spaces around the house. This leaves them at the mercy of unscrupulous builders and politicians who rake in the moolah by seizing the opportunity for themselves.

Recently the Government passed a policy of awarding an FSI of 2 for gaothans but it is of little use to them as they still have to fulfill the conditions of access road and open spaces that are nearly impossible for them considering the conditions in which they live.

There are some with heritage houses in better localities who are happy with the way things are. For many the situation is beyond redemption. They have already rebuilt their houses through unscrupulous builders and consumed the FSI of 2 or more. There are little or no open spaces around their houses. Yet for some a policy change could be useful.

Gaothan houses are getting crammed with growing families. Difference of opinions abound. Space is worth a fortune. Selfish demands exist. Titles of most properties and houses are still with long deceased grand fathers and great grandfathers. Transferring the same to the present heirs is painful. Family disputes abound. Making wills is unheard of. Getting members to speak in sync on development issues is a tough task. Some who have cornered bigger floor space in the house by fair means or foul stay put.

The politicians care little as gaothans are not their vote banks. Politics has become big business. Retaining and developing slums are more important. Some ministers, including one former mayor has said that Gaothans should be retained for (their) the city's rich heritage and tourism value.

Gaothan residents are caught in a vicious circle. Can some miracle happen? Will they unite to reduce their cup of woes?

EI from Trombay
He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg. This is what has happened to the majority of EI´s. Consider this, most of the richest and successful men in the world didn´t grow up with a golden spoon, didn´t have society or the government on their side. It was a DREAM and the determination to pursue that dream and change their way of thinking that set them apart. Sad to say our community is not a community of dreamers, but a community who have been told to be content with the mediocre. You will become on the outside what you believe on the inside. To conclude, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who want to get things done and those who don´t want to make mistakes. The East Indians have been programmed to fall into the second category. The sad part it that most of the E.I. community lost almost everything to those who came to Bombay later!

EI from Santacruz
EIs prefer to take up jobs rather than venture into business. They must learn that businessmen generate jobs and the businesses can be passed on to the succeeding generations while jobs are only for those individuals holding them. This is one of the factors responsible for EIs selling their properties in Bandra and other EI strongholds and moving to distant suburbs. I guess we did not want to take risks and loose what we had. It is not about no opportunities. It is about the lack of willingness to take a risk. Every business has an element of risk but a good businessman overcomes those risks. There is no shortage of finance if the business proposal is sound. Banks are always ready to finance a good proposal. I speak from first hand experience of having been on both sides of a banker's table. Nobody requires help from anybody if he or she approaches a bank with a sound business proposal. At the end of the day, it is a person's initiative and willingness to work hard that will lead him up the ladder of success so let's not look for excuses. Leap and the NET WILL appear. God bless you all.

EI from Byculla
A Bad Parish Priest is the one who simply offers Mass in a routine style, who preach uncontroversial piety or popular psychology, hear Confessions passively, answer the phone and door, and pay the diocesan assessment (the tax on parish income) , and misuses church assets,wealth,resources,properties for his personal benefit………A Good Parish priest is the one who is an excellent homilist, thoughtful, wise, theologically and liturgically astute, intellectually sound and of the highest integrity, who asks thoughtful and probing questions, who expects truthful and accountable behavior, who wrestles with the complicated challenges of life, who behaves in a principled manner, who is NOT shallow, silly, insecure, self absorbed, fiscally irresponsible, rude or greedy, who uses church assets,wealth,resources,properties for the benefit of poor Christian parishioners…………If a Bad Priest has been deputed to a parish, the parishioners will suffer. If a Good Priest has been deputed to a Parish, the parishioners will prosper. Unfortunately there are no good priests left. Greed has overtaken the clergy.

EI from Sahar
If there are no East Indian language (the east indian language is a mixture of Marathi and Portuguese language) mass in any church in bombay so why should there be Konkani (the Konkani language is a mixture of Bengali and Assamese language brought into Goa by the early migrants) language mass. Just like the east indians the goans/mangloreans living in bombay also know the English, Hindi & Marathi languague so what is the need for the konkani language masses. Also English, Hindi & Marathi are the business languages of Bombay. Only English, Hindi & Marathi language mass should be allowed in Churches in Bombay.

EI from Mahim
It would be a good idea to write to all the parish schools and churches in the archdiocese of Bombay to ensure that there is enough representation for East Indians on the School Committees, Church committes, parish councils. After all, almost all the catholic schools and churches in Bombay are built on lands donated by East Indians. Other communities are allowed to use parish halls and rooms for their programmes and meetings why shouldnt east indians also be allowed to use parish halls and rooms for their programmes and meetings after all the parish buildings have been built on lands donated by east indians.

EI from Santacruz
The Vatican has an outdated rule that priests should remain celibate. It’s time married people are also allowed to become priests provided they are of high moral character, deeply religious, deeply honest and know every paragraph of the Bible byheart and are prepared to serve the poor with great zeal. God can give the unmarried priest grace to remain celibate if that is the way He has chosen for him. God can also give the married priest the wisdom and strength to be both a good shepherd to his parishioners and to his family.

EI from Marol
There is an acute problem of Housing which is the product of the Discrimination of the Government upon our community. For the slum dwellers the F.S.I provided is 2.5 to 4, whereas for the Gaothans the F.S.I provided is .75. The Slums which are 10 years old get this facility for housing, recreation, schools, Hospitals etc. But what about the Original Inhabitants of this City ? We demand the Government should direct the Corporation to give the Repair Permissions within 30 days of application and the Government to pass the F.S.I for Gaothans as it is for the slum Dwellers. After giving our valuable lands for Airports, university, Government Developments, Hospitals, Railways,etc still jobs are not provided for our local youths. We being `Asli Mumbaikars’ what a pity in our land and city, we are jobless.

EI from Andheri
We have been overrun by the countless cultures that have descended on our Soil... so much so that we tend to forget our culture and tradditions and our ways of living. We should be writing to Hierarchy of the Catholic Church of Mumbai to give wide publicity to the plight of our East Indian Brothers and Sisters. We have to write to be heard. It is for the BEIA which purports to be the Representative Body of EIs to take it upon themselves to spearhead a movement with a mass publicity campaign so that the everbody concerned is made aware about the sorry plight of the hapless East Indian. We have to make efforts to write to National and International dailies with a request to give publicity to the plight of east indians. Most importantly get the support and sympathy of the International Human Rights Organizations and their associated bodies.

A Mangalorean
I am a Mangalorean very interested in my genealogy and I stumbled on this site during a search. The rapid industrialization of Goa and Mangalore are following the same path in which bombay and its original inhabitants have suffered.

EI from Vakola
The Roman Catholic Clergy in Bombay only believes in numbers and headcounts at the Sunday Mass and the corresponding collections in the donation boxes. How the church funds are utilized the parish priests don’t disclose in the parish bulletins. How much vacant properties and the location of those properties with cts & survey nos the church is in possession of the same is not disclosed in the parish bulletins. What the parish priests do with the money received from the sale of vacant church properties the same is not disclosed in parish bulletins. Why only 5% students in parish/catholic schools in bombay are from the catholic community the same is not disclosed in the parish bulletins. Why the Parish priests prevent children of poor and less influential catholics from getting admissions in catholic schools the same is not disclosed in the parish bulletins. Why the Bishops are opposing the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution proposal that those Christian educational institutions that fails to maintain minimum 30 percent Christian students will loose the minority status the same is not disclosed in the parish bulletins.

There are a few Lay catholic activists in Bombay who are sacrificing their blood, sweat, time in exposing the corrupt activities of the catholic clergy but there are also a few traitors among the lay catholics who are supporting the corrupt activities of the catholic clergy.

EI from Mazgaom
East Indians and Kolis are the true natives and bhoomiputras ( sons of soil ) of Bombay. Can anyone file a PIL on the Maharashtra government and the Bombay Muncipal Corporation and question what steps the Maharashtra govt. and the BMC have taken for the welfare and upliftment of the original inhabitants of bombay i.e. kolis & east indians. The Bombay Natives or Mumbai Natives need to wake up from their slumber.

EI from Chembur
When people who live in gaothans all over Mumbai wish to add a floor to expand their cottage to accomodate their children they meet with opposition in the form of lack of Floor Space Index (FSI), even simple repairs to their properties need long hours spent at the BMC ward office. But if and when frustrated by red tape they sellout to builders have you noticed how easily and illegally huge buildings are built, putting a huge strain on the gaothans existing civic resources vis a vis water, drainage, roads, parking etc; no wonder our gaothans are disappearing. It was with this in mind that our Mayor proposed an additional limited FSI increase to be given to cottage owners which would allow old cottage owners to add a floor to their cottages to accomodate their children who then would not have to move out of their ancestral home or be forced to sell out to builders. The Mayor’s initiative in thinking about the welfare of gaothans needs to be applauded and supported by all municipal councillors and citizens if we are to save this integral part of our city’s heritage which if developed with care by the citizens and the BMC can turn out to be huge tourist attractions giving visitors a glimpse into Mumbai’s past. This can happen only if we protect these gaothans from the preying eyes of unscrupulous builders.

EI from Andheri
The mayor is unaware about the ground realities existing in gaothans. The mayor claims that owners can develop their plot, if additional FSI is given. If gaothan residents had money for redevelopment, they wouldn't have sold or rented their houses. In addition to this the bungalows in gaothans are too old and a floor cannot be added the entire bungalow will have to be first demolished and a new one will have to be build if additional floors have to be added.

EI From Colaba
Jesus Christ the only son of God came on earth in a human form not just to preach Human rights - morality - justice - equal rights - peace but also to revolt against the corrupt political & religious leaders of his time……Jesus Christ’s Church has now been infiltrated by some rogue priests, cardinals, bishops, pastors who are misusing church funds, misusing church properties, refusing admission to children of poor christians in parish schools, charging money from poor widows to say the funeral mass, behaving like dictators, etc. …. These rogue elements who have infiltrated the Christian religious orders have destroyed centuries of sweat, tears, sacrifice and blood by hundreds of thousands of Christian priests and nuns. The silent inaction by those in charge left ALL priests suspect. Which priest could now be trusted? Fortunately for the Church, the vast majority of uninvolved priests bore the cross and pain with patience and humility. They knew that "This too shall come to pass".

Catholic associations and sabhas must become the public face and spokesperson of the catholic laity in all socio economic and political affairs and not the bishops. The catholic associations and sabhas must become more active and representative of the catholic people. Bishops and clergy must "let go" of domination in temporal affairs. It is not enough to pay lip service to the role of the laity. The hierarchy must humble itself to actively encourage the leadership of the laity. The Catholic Church has to create a culture of partnership by giving the lay catholics prominence in the official decision-making bodies and assisting them in their political involvement.

Rather than merely expecting catholic students to complete the minimum basic exams (S.S.C, H.S.C etc.), we must train them for professions that will make a mark in civil society; for instance, IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS, UPSC, MPSC, Law, Medicine, Engineering, Politics. In addition, they should be made aware of larger issues of national and global interest through introducing them to other cultures, other faiths, social and political awareness.

Community Leaders of goan christians, mangalorean christians, eastindian/marathi mobaikar christians, gujarati christians, etc should ensure that their community members have reservations in government jobs in their respective states and also ensure that community members are adequately represented in the defence force, police force and the corridors of power i.e. parliament , state assemblys, collectors office, municipalities, etc.

EI From Bandra
The total market value of the properties in possession of the catholic church in Bombay runs into thousands of crores. These properties were in the past donated by childless east indian couples. A few decades ago the catholic clergy utilized some of the church properties for the housing needs of poor east indians, goans & mangaloreans but later greed overtook the catholic clergy and they started selling away church properties to builders. Where has the money from the Church Land Deals gone? What was the need for the lands to be sold in the first place?

We east indians are disunited and ignorant lot and don't take part in parish activities hence the catholic clergy have taken advantage. With due respect to the priests, they are shepherds of the flock. They should contain themselves to just that. The priests come here for a few years, finish their term of 2 – 6 years and leave to serve another parish. Therefore, it is best that all the nitty-gritty of Church assets should be left rightfully to the parishioners. After all, the Church and its assets belong to its parishioners.

Let us east indians understand the common cause and come together in one accord, with one voice and liberate the church properties from the clutches of the clergy before the clergy sell away all the church lands.

The local east Indian associations should hold and manage their local church, parish buildings, catholic school, church assets, properties, etc. On my last visit to one of the church in Bhayander I was thrilled to observe that the Office of the Parish East Indian Association is located just as one enters the church premises. I salute and congratulate the East Indian Association of that parish. The objective of the association should be to support the low-income group of our community with housing, educational, financial, medical, etc support.

EI From Dadar
The Catholic Clergy are not interested in utilizing Church assets, resources & vacant properties for the benefit of our poor catholics. The Catholic Schools are not prepared to reserve 30% seats in catholic schools for our poor catholics. The Catholic Hospitals are giving concessions to poor non-catholics but not to our poor catholics. The Catholic Missionaries are using their foreign funds to serve poor non-catholics but not our poor catholics. All in all nobody cares for poor catholics. No Wonder many of our poor catholics have left the catholic church. Where there is no life, there is no attraction. A dead person is still dead, no matter how good the undertaker makes him look. So also a church which does not care about the poor parishoners.

EI From Borivali
Many of the ills of Catholics would disappear if our priests were good, humble and honest. But finding a priest who is good, humble & honest is like finding a needle in a haystack. Many of our faithfuls are leaving Catholicism because of the rough and rude attitude of our priests. Many of the priests are acting like Dictators which goes against the teaching of Christ. To protect and save Catholicism is not the job of Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes only, it is the job also of lay catholics. If the lay catholics know that their local parish priest is not good, humble & honest then the first thing which the lay catholics should do is write to the Bishop to get that priest transferred. If the Bishop ignores the voices of lay catholics and does not transfer the priest. Then in such circumstances the lay catholics should forcibly evict that parish priest.

EI From Churchgate
God created man with body, soul & spirit. Body is made up of flesh and bones. The soul is best described as the characteristics that make up the advanced brain, including mind, will and emotion. The spirit is that part of humans that is able to love and experience God directly. It is found in no other animal species, since no other species can experience God or form a relationship with Him. Both Adam and Eve had a personal relationship with God in the Garden of Eden. Such a personal relationship is not described, nor seen, for any other animal species. It is the presence of a spirit that was instilled into humans that separates us from the animals.

EI From Santacruz
Money isn’t the root of evil, lack of it is the mother of all evil. Nothing wrong if any Christian has become wealthy and prosperous through hard work and honesty. Therefore, wealth creation is a part of the Christian faith, and to ignore this could make a Christian worse than an infidel in God’s eyes. Most Christians have probably never in their life been taught this at church, but it is the truth and it is clearly taught in the Scriptures. 

The Bible does not say that if you skip next week’s Sunday mass or church service or revival meeting then you have denied the Christian faith and you are worse than an infidel in God’s eyes.....The Bible says if you have not taken care of the financial needs of your family then you have denied the Christian faith and you are worse than an infidel in God's eyes..............ofcourse Christians need to go atleast once in a week to the Church but why waste time hearing and bearing the boring sermons of the Clergy......the correct thing to do for the lay christians is to do a short prayer of 5 minutes in the church and put candles or garlands near the statues of Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, etc and move on.

EI From Parle
Money is not wealth. Real wealth is character and competence, which is what the Bible seeks to tell us. Money is just the outcome or measure of our character and competence. To be wealthy one must cultivate the correct mindset, acquire good or rich habits. It is the way of thinking and the habits that make one rich. The Bible is the best business book that teaches one to change mindset and to acquire the character and competence to manage or look after His creation. God has given us the mind (knowledge), the hands and feet (human body), the talents & skills, the will (emotion) and spiritual power (faith, hope and love) and God’s bank (natural resources) to bring positive change to ourselves, our family, community, and country or to create tangible wealth to this world. Poverty is a state of mind when one fails to know God and God’s character, unable to find or know themselves, to own themselves and to be the best they can be. Poor people can be freed from poverty by renewal of the mind, to see things with their mind/ faith, not with their eyes, to believe that with God’s help they can do all things for His glory. The highest form of wealth is wisdom. To receive wisdom is very easy, just pray to Jesus and invite Him to enter your heart. Jesus is WISDOM. His gift of wisdom will transform people, their mind, character and competence. Wealth in the form of being wise, knowledgeable, happy, healthy and wealthy will follow through. Character is intangible wealth. Competence is to use God given talents to convert resources into tangible wealth. The Bible said, seek ye first the Kingdom of God (which is character) and all these things (human needs or tangible wealth acquired through competence) shall be added to you. Christians should stop receiving, and start giving. When we give love, we receive love. When we invest in serving others, we build God’s account, and we receive favor in return. We build business because of our goodwill account. Those who invest in Character – Words of gold in his lips (Integrity & trust), and heart of gold (to love and serve others), and in building Competence – effective use of time to value add life and use of resources to create tangible wealth, will be greatly blessed and succeed in the Game of Life. The whole Bible teaches man about the Game of life – to be a human asset, not human liability. To have Jesus Christ in your heart, the character and competence (love, compassion, hard work, discipline, etc) as a God’s servant or servant heart, to submit to the will of God, will make you a human asset. Accept and invite Jesus today. God’s love will change you. Amen.

EI From Thane
There are a few Lay Catholic groups who are agitating for these demands : 1. Church Lokpal type body to check corruption within Catholic Churches in India. 2. Catholic Church in India should introduce the Right to Information (RTI) for catholics so as to expose corruption at all levels in the Church. 3. Make corrupt bishops, parish priests & clergy accountable and liable for punishment. 4. through a lottery system allocate vacant church properties to the lay catholics for housing purpose OR utilize the vacant church properties for setting up community centers, gardens, parish halls, sports grounds, graveyards, etc. 5. Reservation of 50% seats for catholics in Catholic Schools and other Catholic Church run institutions. 5. Catholic Missionaries to stop evangelization activity in India for the next 100 years and use the foreign funds for the welfare & upliftment of poor catholics. 6. names, designations, mobile nos, qualifications & other details of the members of parish councils, church committees, finance committees, property cell committee & catholic school committees should be disclosed in the parish bulletins or on the notice board and every two years the members should be changed through a voting system in the parish 7. Bishops to be appointed by lay catholic groups from the diocese and not Vatican. 8. Parish priests to be appointed by local parishioners and not the Bishop. 9. Declaration of how church funds are utilized & vacant properties in possesion of church including the area ctsnos survey nos of the properties to be disclosed in parish bulletins or on notice board once in 3 months. 10. Members of Lay catholic groups should be appointed in Government Committees & Commissions setup to look into human rights violations against catholics.

EI From Malad
Nothing is as long and as boring as a Roman Catholic mass. There was absolutely nothing exciting in Sunday mass. Once you had memorized every hymn and prayer, and knew exactly when to stand, kneel and sit, there was really nothing left to hold your interest. But of course you can't fall asleep, or make any noise or touch anything, or you might go to Hell.

The length of the mass was especially dependent on two things: 1. If there was a priest that insisted on singing the various gospels and psalms, or if they spoke it. 2. The length of the homily (sermon)….At least when the homily was finished, you know you were almost done. Then you could go home, and enjoy the best part of the week: the point at which the next mass is furthest away. Just thinking of that was enough to get you through the last fifteen minutes or so of the Sunday mass.


EI From Bandra
There are a few Christians in Bombay who have come together to start a Church dedicated to St. Bartholomew – the disciple of Christ who came to North Konkan region to preach the Gospel of Christ. A few things that people behind the St. Bartholomew Church will like to implement :-

In the Church there will be 10 ft tall statues of Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, St. Bartholomew made from steel & other metals.

There will not be any Sunday mass or prayer service neither any daily morning & evening prayer service in the Church. The only time there will be a mass or prayer service is when there is a baptism, wedding, funeral and during important christian religious days like easter, christmas, souls day, harvest festival, etc and all the mass/prayer service will be of short duration of 15 minutes with no sermons.  To perform baptism, wedding, funeral, etc prayer service married/unmarried priests with highest moral character, honesty, integrity will be appointed. The doors of the St. Bartholomew Church on all days will remain open from 6 am to 8 pm and people can come do their short prayers and move on. The church, office, graveyard, school, sportsground, hall will be inside the church compound but the parish building for residing purpose will be outside the church compound.

On Sundays & Wednesdays in the morning for 2 hours a wafer thin bread made from a mixture of rice flour and non-alcoholic wine will be distributed to any one who comes to the church the bread will also be distributed during baptism, weddings, funeral, easter, christmas, harvest festival, etc mass/prayer service.

The administrators of the church will enforce a strict dress code in order to maintain the sanctity of the church.

The church will have temporary graveyards and bio-degradable coffins will be used for burial. After a period of 2 years the remains i.e. the bones will be removed and shifted in tiny earthquake & flood proof reinforced concrete boxes fixed on the church compound walls. Some quantity of mud will also be inserted in the box. The box will be sealed with marble or steel plate with the details of the person.

The administrators running the St. Bartholomew church will try to serve christians living in 5 kilometer radius of the church and will try to start similar churches in other parts of the bombay region. 

Apart from taking care of the spiritual & religious needs of the lay christians the administrators of the church in collaboration with christian activists will also utilize church halls for politics civic social educational medical and other purposes for the benefit of lay christians.

No alcohol will be permitted to be served in church hall if a wedding function is organized. 

The administrators of the Church will start a school near the church and will reserve 50% seats for christians.

The plan to start the st.bartholomews church alongwith church hall, school, office, graveyard, sportsground at present is only on paper because of the land and money and various permissions required from state & muncipal authorities.

EI From Worli
I am an East indian Christian from Worli Village, like the rest of the E.Indian Gaonthans, worli is also an undeveloped village, with most of the orginal E.I.families not being educated or professionally qualified,Hence the lack of good jobs. The few families who are economically well off, and having a few educated members in their family, instead of helping their lesser educated counter parts in the village,act snobbish and live in the world of their own. some even act like they represent the entire E.I. community and stay on the Parish Community without helping the poor Parishners or their childrens Educational needs, which can easily be taken care of what with the funds in care/with the Parish Priest office obtained from the Sale of Parish lands a couple of Years ago, Funds of a few lakhs were regularly given by the former Parish Priest to diff parishes and unwanted expenses incured without consulting any Parishners/Parish body, The Finance committee being self appointed by the parish priest, with some of the finance comm members being the parish office/ school staff members.,who were mere rubber stamp members for obvious reasons,The upliftment of the community will happen only the E.Indians rise to help themselves , and be educationally qualified and start some business of their own. This can happen only there is some help by way of seminars, workshops, and approach to Banks by eminent E.Indians or the East Ind Association.

EI From Kandivli
Churches are over-promising, and under-delivering. They promise happiness, contentment, joy, etc. but deliver tedium, scorn, lame doctrines, foolish debates, and more…… Too many churches are too controlling, some are too money-driven. Some are just too darn big, some are too darn small…..More and more, people feel that churches do not fit their real needs. Some churches offer great emotional experiences, some offer great teaching, some offer social opportunities, but few really offer 'community' any more…….Christians can only benefit if the Church becomes community oriented…..Serving the community of members should be the focus of the Church- who has what needs? How can we help? Jobs, babysitting, parts for a broken car, pet care advice- all would be fair game…….Change the financial structure- Put the money to service the parish community……Use vacant church properties for setting up community centres – parish halls – graveyards - gardens…….Have the community share the duties- rotate teaching assignments, different groups running the service different weeks……Spend as little time sitting and listening to boring sermons of the clergy. Spend more time cleaning your villages, taking care of the sick and needy, and taking care of each other……and install statues of Jesus Christ & Mother Mary in all the entry & exit points of your villages.......All Catholics in Bombay should agitate to change the name of the Bandra station to Mount Mary Station and Andheri Station to Salsette station.

EI From Powai
God blessed Abraham, Jacob, Solomon and many others with wealth. So this indicates that God does not view being rich or having money as being sinful. If that were the case, He would not have blessed so many faithful people with money. There is nothing wrong with saving money, working hard to better your life, setting financial goals, or even being wealthy/rich…….However, let us not forget the dangers of money as well. Money becomes a tool of the enemy (Satan) when we spend every hour of the day plotting on how to make more money. Or if we do immoral or corrupt/evil things just to get more money. Or if we are very wealthy & we refuse to help others by giving financial help when they need it badly……….Money is a great resource. It is meant to represent worth & value in our society. It should be treated with respect & managed wisely. God clearly understands that we all need money. He even wants to give us money if we seek His way of life. However, don’t let money rule you. Let God be your true master, not money! There is nothing wrong with acquiring wealth, having nice things, improving your life, etc. But don’t forget all of the others who will need YOUR help along the way.

EI From Bandra
I am an ei from ranwar village in bandra....while searching the net for info related to our community and culture traditions history gaothans I came across the blog......I also came across other eastindian websites which I am including in this comment.....

On Church issues :

Kindly display all the websites on this blog so that other eis who have logged on to this blog can get more info on our community......I also think someone amongst us needs to make a documentary on EastIndians & Kolis on our culture & traditions & language & customs & how all our lands in bombay have been grabbed by the government, slumlords, landmafia and pass on the documentary to NDTV, CNNIBN, BBC, CNN,  ALZAJEERA or post on youtube.

Non-EI From Goa
There was a time in India when the clergy was financially dependent on the contributions of the laity. In turn the laity was dependent on the clergy for spiritual solace. This was a healthy complementarity and interdependence of "being bound together by a mutual need" just as in a loving marital bond………………………….….……Two factors have changed this bond of mutual love and respect. One partner (the catholic clergy) has become too powerful and dominating, while the other (lay catholics) has correspondingly become more docile. This imbalance is unhealthy…………………..………………..Prior to Vatican II council of 1962-65 the clergy and religious lived an ascetic and arduous life. They have since abused the responsible freedom of Vatican II to jettison all forms of asceticism………………………….….They have "secularised" themselves in work, thought and dress, even more than the laity who are supposed to live and work in the secular sphere…………….…………..With the easy accessibility of foreign funds, dollar mass stipends, money from sale of vacant church properties and mushrooming growth of money-generating institutions, the catholic clergy are now self dependent, leading to self-complacency………….…………………..The only other time that the catholic clergy requires the laity is when a priest or nun has been killed by right wing hindu organizations. Then the laity must come out in vast numbers to protect the clergy & missionaries and in the process it is the catholic laity which ends up getting thrashed by the right wing hindu groups……….what should the unarmed and non-violent and tiny number of catholics in India do to protect themselves from the right wing hindu groups no bishop cardinal priest missionary in India is prepared to answer…….……........The Church cannot walk on one leg if it seeks to get anywhere. This is precisely what is happening. The clergy and religious are using the laity as a crutch to prop themselves up. This is crippling the church. Both legs must be strong and walk in tandem………………………….…..Since the laity has been reduced to a peripheral and passive role, it has become increasingly uninvolved in church life. This is evident also in the growing diffidence to Catholic associations, which are or should be the public face of the church in socio-economic, political and media affairs.

Ask the average Indian what they think of the Christians in India, and you will get the reply -- "peace loving." Dig a little further and you will probably be told that they are a contented lot, who don't easily get agitated or involved in public life. You may also hear that they are not particularly ambitious………………….………….……… What is the vast majority of lay Catholic's involvement in the life and mission of the Church? We are often referred to as Sunday Catholics. Those who are involved in the catechetical ministry refer to it as a petrol-filling station, where you just come to get something, to fill up for the week………………………………..……Others sense that catholics are united. This is akin to saying that bodies laid side by side in the graveyard are united, because they don't raise their voices. There is no true unity in the Catholic community which every catholic knows………………….………………..…….First there is the clergy-laity divide, which is widening by the day. Then there is the ethnic divide -- the Malayalees are separate, the Adivasis are in their own cluster, the English speaking don't mingle with the local folks, and so on. This is why, in many urban areas, there are strong associations of Malayalees and adivasis who have more members and better finances than the cosmopolitan and heterogeneous Catholic associations…………………………….……Homogenous groups are comfortable in their own familiar milieu, and don't want others to rock the boat. Unfortunately, the flames of vernacular & homogenous groups have been fanned by the hierarchy and clergy, further dividing a fractured framework. 

EI From Vile-Parle The marwaris – sindhis – jains – gujaratis – parsis are driven by business and entrepreneurship. These business communities will make friends with anyone if they see a business opportunity………Each generation of these business communities learns new things, masters concepts, contrives secrets, and passes all the knowledge about the business on to the next generation………..The next generation, in turn, adds additional knowledge and everything leads to each generation having a greater and greater competitive advantage over other people and businesses……….Wealth is created and grows exponentially with each generation.

EI From Vasai
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been given special talents, abilities, and spiritual gifts that God wants us to use to build His Kingdom. He has given some Christians a special anointing by giving them a strong business sense, writing skills, speaking ability, and the capacity for great wealth creation. These believers know how to take one great idea and from that idea create products that can help millions of people worldwide………..Do you have a unique life learning experience that could help other people through telling your story? Do you have special God-given talents and abilities such as writing and speaking in which you could teach others? If so, ask for God's wisdom in developing your Big Idea so that you can fulfill God's purpose for your life………….People who have accomplished great things in business, athletics, ministry, and life in general are always focused on one great, big idea……….So let me ask you this: do you have one great, big idea inside of you that can change lives and revolutionize today's world? If so, it's your time to unleash it!

EI From Orlem
I am a very sad person these days for the reason.... even my son... after moving around with Goans and Mangys has begun to criticize the way we east indians behave..... He is telling me "What East Indians?".... no one cares for each other... see how the Mangy's are united..... I tell him it has to start somewhere and he shrugs and says... "I think its too late".... I on the other hand am a person who never gives up... I am trying another angle... I have started praying for East Indian Unity.

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