आम्ही पुरोगामी आहोत ,सुधारक विचार आमच्या रक्तातच आहेत. आम्ही फुले, कर्वे,शाहू  आणि आंबेडकर यांच्या विचारांचा वारसा सांगणारे सेवक आहोत असा डंका पिटणारे खुप झाले. सुधारक म्हणवून घ्यायला कोणाला आवडणार नाही? पण खरच आम्ही पुरोगामी आहोत का ? हे स्वतः तपासून घ्यायची वेळ आली आहे. भुमाता ब्रीगेडच्या देसाई ज्या पद्धतीने समानतेचा धागा पकडून आंदोलन करत आहेत ते महिलांच्या हक्कासाठी योग्य असले तरी देव दर्शन  या साठी हट्ट हे पुरोगामी असण्याच लक्षण नव्हे. गाडगे बाबांनी देव देवळात नाही हे सांगूनही त्याच देवाच्या दर्शनासाठी कायदेशीर लढाई लढणारे आम्ही पुरोगामी असल्याचे सोंग रचतो . राज्य चालवणारे शासनही आपण पुरोगामी आहोत अस म्हणतात परंतू समाज आणि मतदार दुखावले जावू नयेत यास्तव अल्प संख्याक  समाजाला घाबरून निर्णय घेतात. आजही जात ,धर्म यांच्या नावाने आरक्षण दिले जाते. समाजातील प्रत्येक घटक आपल्याला आरक्षण मिळाव म्हणून आग्रह धरतात ,आंदोलन करतात. फुले ,शाहूंचे नाव घेऊन समाजाला नको त्या मार्गाने आपल्या मागण्या मान्य व्हाव्या यासाठी वेठीस धरतात. गुजरातचे पटेल आरक्षण आंदोलन आणि हरियाणातील जाटांचे आरक्षण समजू शकतो पण महाराष्ट्र ही छत्रपती शिवरायांची भुमी , शासकाची भुमी अस असुनही मराठा आरक्षण मिळाव म्हणून आंदोलन कराव  हे महाराष्ट्र  पुरोगामी असल्याचे    लक्षण नक्कीच नाही.

जो  पर्यंत जात आणि धर्म यांच्या नावाने आम्ही आरक्षणाच्या कुबड्या मागत राहू आणि शासन मतपेटीवर डोळा ठेवून ह्या कुबड्या पूरवत राहील निकोप विकास केवळ अशक्य. गुणवत्ता व ज्ञान नसणाऱ्या व्यक्ती लायकी नसतांना पदावर  आरूढ झाली की विकास ऊणे दिशेने प्रवास करू लागला अस ठाम समजाव.

विज्ञान आणि तंत्रज्ञान ही विकास साधण्याची साधनं पण आमच मागासलेपण आजही जात पंचायत आणि जादू टोणा यांना सोडायला तयार नाही.अगदी शासकीय योजनेच्या शुभारंभाला आम्ही मुहूर्त शोधतो. पाऊस पडला नाही तर दिर्घकालीन पाणी संधारणाच्या योजना आखण्या ऐवजी पांडुरंगाला साकड घालतो. विकासाच्या योजनावर खर्च करण्या एवजी महाकुंभ आणि मंदिर जिर्णोधार यांच्यासाठी लक्षावधी रुपये खर्ची घालतो. पुरोगामी असल्याचे कोणते लक्षण आमच्यात आहे ते खरच अन आकलनीय .

महाराष्ट्रदिनाला शहरात, तालुका पातळीवर अन अगदी गल्लीतही कार्यक्रम होतील. शिवाजीचे पोवाडे कानात दणदणतील ,नेते मंडळी  लिहून आणलेल्या भाषणाने सभेत जान आणतील ,दुसऱ्या दिवशी रकाने भरुन महाराष्ट्रदिनाच्या बातम्या छापून येतील पण त्यांनी महाराष्ट्रातील दीन दुबळ्यांचे प्रश्न सुटतील का? “ हौय मी मराठी आहे “ सांगून जनतेचे प्रश्न ,विवंचना सुटतील का?

महाराष्ट्रदिन आणि कामगारदिन साजरा करताना कामगार किती दीन झाला आहे हे जाणून घ्यावे. गिरणी कामगार गप्प गार झाला, कुर्ला ते वागळे इस्टेट पर्यंत ऊधोग अवसायनात गेले.चाळीत राहणारा कामगार  आणि भाईंची चाळ वस्ती लयाला गेली. मुंबईत आता इंग्रजी वातावरण असणाऱ्या स्काँटीश शाळा टाँवर संस्कृतीसाठी  दयाळू सरकारच्या आशिर्वादान ऊभ्या रहात आहेत. मराठी माध्यमातून शिकवण्याऱ्या शाळा प्लेगच्या साथिन माणसानी मान टाकावी तश्या विद्यार्थी संख्येत घट होत असल्याने मरणाच्या पंथाला लागत आहेत. या महान राष्ट्रत सरकारी सत्तेचा सोपान टिकावा म्हणून प्रामाणिकपणे काम करणारी भिडे सरकारला नको ठरत आहे. पुरोगामी महाराष्ट्र हळूहळू मरत आहे

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