Wednesday, September 29, 2021
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Dear Raj, great power comes with great responsibility

There was headline in media, “Raj Thackeray breaks silence: ‘dirty politics by Uddhav, he will regret it’.” I was really amused; the reason is that, both are born out of same political ideology and mentor. It is the ego that has divided them otherwise both are two sides of the same coin. Uddhav has legacy behind him, the name and goodwill of Balasaheb Thackeray and also the strength of workers. Whereas, Raj has no legacy or backing, he rose on his own but strategies to survive are almost same. Balasaheb was an independent thinker, but both the juniors are directed by their better half and their men just follow them. Most of the decisions are taken in the kitchens of Matoshri and Krishna Kunj.

Six Maharashtra Navnirman Sena corporators in the BMC joined the Shiv Sena. When Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) was formed, many Shiv Sainiks who thought Raj is sidelined and neglected by Balasaheb, all went with Raj. But the same people when realised that Raj is just a good speaker but not a good politician they shifted loyalties towards Sena. Internal hierarchy in MNS has bothered many of the leaders. They were used as fund raisers, the one who generated more fund is pampered further in the party.

Raj accused the Sena President of betraying the “Marathi Manoos” by inducting MNS corporators. The Marathi Manoos felt the same about MNS as they joined the party but later on nothing resulted same as promised. This is the reason his party workers are open in the market, whichsoever pays them big, they join that party. The corporators’ induction into the Sena came a day after the BJP won a bypoll in Bhandup and claimed it would soon install its mayor in the BMC. After the six MNS corporators joined the Sena, the latter’s tally in the civic body increased to 90 corporators, not counting the support of four independent corporators. The BJP has 82 corporators after winning the Bhandup bypoll.

Raj has made immigrants and infiltrators of his own countrymen, but he hardly stood for Marathi manoos. He thought attacking Bihari and UP residents will please Mumbai manoos, but that will never happen as 90 per cent of Mumbai is run by the migrants. In this day and age, when our country suffers from poverty, drought, disease and corruption, aided by the crutches of religion, caste and creed, he has managed to squeeze in through the cracks yet another form of discrimination. He wields his baton of power like it was a personal watchdog, striking down what he dislikes and promoting what he likes on a whim. The day has come when the masses awake to the extent of his unreasonableness.

Mr. Thackeray should realise, this country belongs to Indians. Each and every citizen is rightfully allowed to live and work in any part of his nation except a few exceptions as Kashmir. Please don’t play politics and poison the mind of the younger generation. This is the question of livelihood of poor people who have nothing but physical labour to earn their daily bread. He is not the first and will not be the last to proclaim the fiefdom over Mumbai as their ancestral property. Balasaheb Thackeray started the crusade against all South Indians and Gujaratis way back in 80s. They believe in politics of hatred, be it regional or communal or whatever and whenever it suits them. No central government either headed by Congress or BJP ever raised any serious objection or action against it. They thrive in the fear of masses and portray as a saviours to garner their votes. This is going on for ages and will continue as long as masses follow their crazes and command. As recently as this week, MNS activists went on a rampage in Sangli’s Kupwad industrial area, thrashing migrant workers alleging that jobs rightfully belonging to locals were being taken over by “outsiders”. Sena-MNS follow similar line of politics and they have common agenda too, apart from Hindutva politics.

The MNS played spoilsport for the Shiv Sena in the 2009 Lok Sabha Election by dividing votes of Marathi-speakers in Mumbai, contributing to the defeat of all six candidates of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in the city. The MNS was established in 2006 for “securing the rights and interests of Marathi manoos” after Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray anointed his youngest son Uddhav as Executive President while putting aside nephew Raj Thackeray. Seeking to grow his party, Raj Thackeray went hammer and tongs against North Indian migrants, accusing them of stealing jobs from native youths.

Today, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, set up in 2006, has been floundering after tasting initial success. MNS had 27 corporators after the 2012 BMC elections. The number dwindled to 7 in the 2017 polls, and is now reduced to just one after the recent dramatic development. Similarly, the party’s tally in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has come down from an impressive 13 after the 2009 polls to just one MLA after the 2014 elections. The party’s fortunes, which were on the upswing after it came to power in the Nashik Municipal Corporation in 2012, declined in the next polls, with many of its corporators in the north Maharashtra city quitting ahead of the polls. Now, there are just five MNS corporators in Nashik–three in Pune and one in Pimpri civic bodies, once considered pockets of influence of the 11-year-old party. MNS, which promoted jobs for “sons of soil”, created ripples on the political scene with its violent agitation against North Indian migrants in 2008, during which its workers assaulted candidates from northern parts of the country appearing for the all-India Railway Recruitment Board entrance exam for the western region in Mumbai. Despite getting some mileage in the 2009 Assembly election, Raj Thackeray’s party has been on the decline since the 2014 Assembly election, with many top leaders jumping the ship. If the MNS leader refuses to mend his ways, soon he will remain alone in his party or he will be seen as loser by all means.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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