And even if there is a call for a separate state, so what? Mumbai does have a distinct culture different from the rest of the state. To use that tired adjective, it is also ‘cosmopolitan’, where no single culture dominates the other. Plurality is the norm here, with Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, and English spoken widely and understood by many, and virtually every Indian (and some non-Indian) sub-culture flourishing. It also makes Mumbai different from the rest of the state. That’s not enough to create a separate state. But it helps build the case.

There is a substantive economic argument too: Mumbai accounts for nearly 46% of the country’s economy, contributing 30% to income tax collections, 60% to customs duty collections, and 40% to the nation’s foreign trade. The city’s gross domestic product (GDP), or the total value of goods and services produced in a year, at $209 billion, is higher than that of any other state except Maharashtra (of which it is part, and accounts for nearly 85% of the state’s GDP). Read More