Tag Archives: Shiv Sena

An open letter to Uddhav Thackeray – By Rajdeep Sardesai

Dear Udhavjee,

At the very outset, my compliments for the manner in which you’ve literally ‘stolen’ the headlines from your cousin Raj in the last fortnight. After the Assembly election defeat last October, there were many who had written you off as a weak, namby-pamby politician, who would be better off doing photography. But now, it seems that the ‘fire’ which burns inside Bal Thackeray is alive in the son too. After years of struggling to establish yourself, you have finally discovered the mantra for success as a Shiv Sena leader: find an ‘enemy’, threaten and intimidate them, commit the odd violent act, and, eureka!, you are anointed the true heir to the original ‘T’ company supremo.

 Your cousin has chosen to bash faceless taxi drivers and students from North India, soft targets who are totally unprotected. You’ve been much braver. You’ve actually chosen to target national icons: Sachin Tendulkar, Mukesh Ambani, Shah Rukh Khan, powerful figures who most Indians venerate. Shah Rukh is no surprise since the Sena has always been uncomfortable with the Indian Muslim identity. Forty years ago, your father had questioned Dilip Kumar’s patriotism for accepting an award from the Pakistani government. You’ve called Shah Rukh a traitor for wishing to choose Pakistani cricketers in the IPL. That your father invited Javed Miandad, the former Pakistani captain and a close relation of Dawood Ibrahim, to your house is a matter of record that we shall not go into today.

 I am a little surprised that you chose to question Ambani and Tendulkar though. The Sena has always enjoyed an excellent relationship with corporate India. Why then criticise India’s biggest businessman for suggesting that Mumbai belongs to all? After all, no one can deny that Mumbai’s entrepreneurial energy has been driven by communities from across India. The diatribe against Sachin is even more strange. He is, alongwith Lata Mangeshkar, Maharashtra’s most admired and recognised face. Surely, you will agree that Sachin symbolizes Maharashtrian pride in a manner that renaming shops and streets in Marathi never can.

Of course, in-between some of your local thugs also attacked the IBN Lokmat office. I must confess that initially the attack did leave me outraged. Why would a political outfit that claims to protect Maharashtrian culture attack a leading Marathi news channel? But on reflection I realized that we hadn’t been singled out: over the last four decades, the Shiv Sena has targeted some of Maharashtra’s finest literary figures and journalistic institutions. That you continue to live in a colony of artists while attacking artistic freedom remains one of the many tragic ironies in the evolution of the Sena.

Just before the Assembly elections, you had told me in an interview that you were determined to shake off the Shiv Sena’s legacy of violence. You spoke of the need for welfarist politics, of how you were saddened that rural Maharashtra was being left behind. I was impressed by the farmer rallies you had organized, by the fact that you had documented farmer suicides in the state. I thought that Uddhav Thackeray was serious about effecting a change in Maharashtra’s political landscape.

I was obviously mistaken. Farmer suicides still continue, the after-effects of drought are still being faced in several districts, but the focus is now squarely on finding high profile hate figures. You claim to have a vision for Mumbai. Yet, on the day the Sena-controlled city’s municipal corporation’s annual budget revealed an alarming financial crisis, your party mouthpiece, Saamna, was running banner headlines seeking an apology from Shah Rukh Khan. You asked your Shiv Sainiks to agitate against Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Mumbai, but why have you not asked them to wage a war against the water cuts that have made life so difficult for millions in the city? At one level, I can understand the reasons for your frustration. The Congress-NCP government in the state has been thoroughly incompetent: the last decade has seen Maharashtra decline on most social and economic parameters. Yet, the Shiv Sena has been unable to capture power in the state. Your war with cousin Raj has proved to be self-destructive. The Assembly election results showed that a united Sena may have offered a real challenge to the ruling alliance. In fact, the Sena and the MNS together garnered around 43 per cent of the popular vote in Mumbai-Thane, almost seven per cent more than what was obtained by the Congress-NCP combine. Yet, because your vote was split, you won just nine of the 60 seats in the region, a result which proved decisive in the overall state tally.

Your defeat seems to have convinced you that the only way forward is to outdo your cousin in parochial politics. It’s a strategy which has undoubtedly made you a headline-grabber once again. Unfortunately, television rating points don’t get you votes or goodwill. There is space in Maharashtra’s politics for a regional force, but it needs to be based on a constructive, inclusive identity.

 Tragically, the Shiv Sena has never offered a serious social or economic agenda for the future. Setting up the odd wada pav stall in Mumbai is hardly a recipe for addressing the job crisis . Why hasn’t the Sena, for example, started training projects to make Maharashtrian youth face upto the challenges of a competitive job market? Why doesn’t the Sena give regional culture a boost by supporting Marathi theatre, literature or cinema? The wonderful Marathi film, “Harishchandrachee Factory”, nominated for the Oscars, has been co-produced by Ronnie Screwvala, a Parsi, who like millions of other ‘outsiders’ has made Mumbai his home. Maybe, I ask for too much. Tigers, used to bullying others for years, will never change their stripes.

Post-script: Your charming son, Aditya, who is studying English Literature in St Xaviers College, had sent me a collection of his poems. I was most impressed with his writing skills. Let’s hope the next generation of the T company will finally realize that there is more to life than rabble-rousing!

Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra!

About Rajdeep Sardesai

Rajdeep Sardesai comes with 20 years of journalistic experience during which he has covered the biggest political stories in India. Prior to setting up his own channels, he was the Managing Editor of both NDTV 24X7 and NDTV India and was responsible for overseeing the news policy for both the channels. He has also worked with The Times of India for over five years and was the city editor of its Mumbai edition at the age of 26. During the last 20 years, he has covered major national and international stories, specialising in national politics. He has won numerous other awards for journalistic excellence, including the prestigious Padma Shri for journalism in 2008, the International Broadcasters Award for coverage of the 2002 Gujarat riots and the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for 2007. He has won the Asian Television Award for talk show presentation and has been News Anchor of the year at the Indian Television Academy for six of the last seven years. He is presently the President of the Editors Guild of India. He has done his Masters and LLB from Oxford University and has also played cricket for the Oxford University team.

The original letter can be found here

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under MNS, Raj Thackeray, Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray

BalaSaheb at Echo Valley ..Straight for Pigs Mouth

And in another news, Balasaheb visited the Matheran Echo Point to scream his heart out. See what happened next. Pigtale’s 1st attempt at cartoon .

Click here for enlarged image

About Pigtale : Pigtale is a blogger from India who in his own words is “just a shadow of his past”. His interests include writing short stories and articles , theater , Painting and art. You can also visit his blog at http://www.pigtaleblogs.com

1 Comment

Filed under bal thackery, Maharashtra, MNS, Shiv Sena

Maharashtra – A Banana Republic ?

Killing of a 25 year old laborer is infact is a matter of shame for all Maharashtrians . A state which has produced such great leaders has also produced goonda’s like the Thackerays. A society that cannot gaurantee security to its citizens in my view has failed.

Maharastrian civil society is scared of speaking against Raj Thackeray. How can educated Maharastrians not stand up against this goondaraaj? 

A friend of mine asks on his blog 

What does the term citizenship refer to?

What does the term Nation mean?

Will I have to specify the State Nativity whenever I introduce myself?

Will I need a visa to travel from one state to another, in my own nation?

I am going through an identity crisis. Who am I?

Not only has the local government failed , even the central government has failed . They cannot even guarantee  safety of north indians in this state. 

And for Raj Thackeray who is “supposedly” fighting for marathi honor must remember that honour does not have to be defended.

And to Congress for being a spineless government , you just lost my vote.

4 Comments

Filed under Delhi, India, Indian Politics, MNS, Mumbai, News, People, Politics, Raj Thackrey

Raj Thackeray – King of Mumbai Or is he a Crackpot ?

 

 

He is a leader of a regional political party operating in Maharashtra, India. It was founded on the 9th of March 2006 in Mumbai after splitting of the parent party Shiv Sena. He and his party recently attacked north Indian aspirants for railway jobs demanding that only Maharashtrians be recruited to fill vacancies in Central and Western Railway. 

 

He dared Maharashtra government to arrest him and warned the state will have to “regret” the consequences in the event of that.” Arrest me and be ready to bear the consequences…. you will have to regret,” Thackeray, who was attending a ceremony at Bahadursheikh Naka in Chiplun, said. “If Raj is arrested, entire Maharashtra will be set on fire,” . 

 

 If Raj Thakre is Pro Mumbai then why the hell does he wants Maharashtra to burn? In a seperate incident  a school on Maharashtra Bhawan premises in kanpur  was on Monday vandalised by Dalit Panther activists who were protesting against attacks by Raj Thakeray-led MNS members. Will Raj Thackeray and his supporters help Maharashtrians if they are thrown out of other states? 

– I’m From Goa. And would like to say that if we go by Mr. Raj Thackeray’s logic then I guess we should be sending back truckloads of Maharashtra’s who come here in droves and thus depriving the Goan Youth the opportunities. 

– Shoot the bas****. The Government needs to show that it’s got a spine to protect the constitutional rights of every citizen. 

– Arrest and throw this guy in Kashmir Valley. Let this idiot and his followers fight for something which is good. 

– One guy challenging the entire police force of a state “arrest me if you can” is a shame on Maharashtra govt.

It is disturbing to see that employees of Jet Airways sought the help of the MNS when they were given the pink slip. It is as if they were contracting the mafia to serve their private needs.

The party has taken a cue from the Shiv Sena which built its political base in Maharashtra in the 1960s and 1970s by promoting an aggressive agenda . It worked then , but it won’t now.

MNS is noting but a threat to national unity.

Albert Einstein once said ” Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.”  I hope our government makes the right move this time


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 Comments

Filed under Congress, Delhi, India, Indian Politics, MNS, Mumbai, News, People, Politics, Raj Thackrey, Random, Uncategorized