We all know that the local body polls are ahead and all those wanting to win these elections are attacking Maha Vikas Aghadi ruthlessly. Raj Thackeray sounded very different in his Gudi Padwa rally speech. He said the change will not come unless voters keep politicians at home. Tomorrow, if he acts sloppily, people should disown him. Interestingly, Raj is yet to realise that the people have already voted him out, and he is sitting at home since the 2014 elections. He is struggling hard for his political survival. His rallies are always power packed with a huge number of people but they don’t turn in votes. This is the Vachak of Marathi manoos. They enjoy his speeches; they laugh at his mimicry, but don’t take him seriously.
In 2019, BJP called MNS a ‘B’ team of the Congress and the NCP. In those days, Raj Thackeray restlessly campaigned against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Raj had put out many videos and documents to level allegations against Modi by calling him names. He thought he can seal the fate of Modi, but to his surprise, Modi and BJP won with huge margins. In the meantime, we saw him crawling around Sharad Pawar with some kind of TV shows and interviews. Pawar is a powerful politician; he knows how to create leaders. Raj saw some opportunity hanging around Pawar, but his face never changed. They made Uddhav Chief Minister of Maharashtra, and that irked Raj. BJP lost to power on a humiliating note and both Raj and Devendra were sulking. Devendra emerged as the strongest opposition leader, whereas Raj went on hibernating. Whenever he appeared on TV interviews or news coverage, he was more specific on his itinerary of Marathi Manoos and Maharashtra.
Raj Thackeray should understand, communal hate will not benefit MNS. It is going to help the BJP. People have already dumped MNS for his unsteady approach. He took up several issues in Mumbai, but none of those matters reached a logical conclusion. MNS supporters make noise, vandalise properties, hit people and then disappear by making some headlines. If given a choice between BJP and MNS, people will choose BJP but not MNS. That’s why he should avoid getting into communal conflicts. Since yesterday, I spoke to many Muslims of Maharashtra from prominent leaders to commoners. They have no problem with Hanuman Chalisa, artis or bhajan. It accustomed them; most of the Muslims live in Hindu populated areas. Ganapati, Holi, Navratri, and Maha Shivratri are not new to them and no Muslim ever made any statement or took any objection. I saw Muslims taking part in Hindu festivals. They also love Raj Thackeray because in the past he met them and gave them membership of MNS.
Mimicry suits Raj Thackeray; he gives us those glimpses of Balasaheb Thackeray’s speeches. But in the recent past, his mimicry has gone too eerie and obvious. His attacks are selective; his agendas are to disgrace the ruling government. It was Devendra Fadnavis who was desperate to come to power by hook or crook and approached Ajit Pawar. But Raj Thackeray did not dare to say anything against BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis going with NCP. BJP was in power for five years in Maharashtra. What stopped them from taking action against Nawab Malik? For thirty years, BJP was mostly in opposition. Why did they never recognize Nawab as a Dawood man? BJP was in alliance with Shiv Sena for 25 years. Why were they silent on corruption by Sena leaders? Why do they realise everything after losing power?
Raj should know Uttar Pradesh is one of the most polarized states since BJP came to power and its rank in poverty, illiteracy and health infrastructure are better known to all literate people. If Delhi’s bordering district of UP gets separated, then UP will be below Bihar in all parameters. Raj’s love for Yogi and BJP shows the merger of MNS with BJP. This time he looked like the most gullible politician of all time. Pre 2014 he was playing in the hands of congress and now playing for BJP. Knowing that communal cards are paying rich dividends, all these failed politicians are trying to revive their fortunes by making these statements.
What if Ajit Pawar and Devendra Fadnavis’ alliance would have worked? They would have been breaking bread with Nawab Mallik? Sushant Singh’s case would have been a suicide case? Anil Deshmukh would have been an uninterrupted home minister. I am sure that the primary target could be only Shiv Sena. Sena is at the receiving end in both scenarios. Raj Thackeray had criticized Sharad Pawar, accusing him of being responsible for caste politics in the state. While attacking Pawar, Raj was openly playing religious politics in the name of loudspeakers in mosques. Do you think such stunts will woo Hindu voters to vote for Raj Thackeray? This might benefit BJP, but Raj has hardly anything to get out of it. Raj is getting used as a Hindutva tool for BJP’s campaign. God forbid, if Raj cannot get good numbers in BMC elections, it would compromise his credibility.
I am sorry but I missed Raj Thackeray, who used to speak for the people. Yesterday he was speaking for the BJP. Raj did not mention unemployment; he did not utter a word about petrol and diesel prices. Raj did not question BJP leaders and their intentions to go with NCP to make it to power. Raj missed out on crucial issues such as inflation, heat, lack of labour and the development work done in Maharashtra. He did not utter a word about Modi or Shah. He was all out for them from going to Ayodhya and development works done in Uttar Pradesh. His only emphasis was to vote out Maha Vikas Aghadi.
Indian politics is so competitive today that if you want to be heard and seen, generates controversies even at the cost of societal good. Five times every day azaan amplified through the loudspeakers is certainly a counter to civic sense. Even in Hindu temples, where this happens, is wrong. God will listen, even if you pray in your heart. Remove loudspeakers from mosques and temples, primarily from the election rallies from where these politicians spew venom and divide people.