Mumbai has become a mega metropolis thanks to the contributions of people from all parts of the country but Mumbaikars have to be thankful because Raj Thackeray, who has launched a "tirade" against North Indians, was not there 40 years ago to stop them, socialite and author Shobhaa De said on Saturday.
"People from various parts of India, especially North India, flocked to Mumbai and excelled in various fields including Bollywood and business ... Thankfully, Raj Thackeray was not there at that time," she said, taking a dig at Thackeray, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, for his recent comments against North Indians settled in Mumbai.
For, "it was those people who built the city in the respective fields, as a gesture of giving back to the city something which gave them something," she said at a seminar, "Does Your City Make you Feel Special?" here.
Given its cosmopolitan nature, Mumbai was bound to attract people from all over, and was "seeing 5,000 new immigrants every day," she said.
Comparing Mumbai to a "magnet", De said anybody would be attracted to it.
She, however, alleged that a nexus had developed between builders, gangsters and the administration in Mumbai to convert heritage buildings into residential complexes.