An average man with an extraordinary journey, he has his weaknesses and strengths. He makes controversies; he is always vocal when it comes to his government and state affairs. You might like him, hate him, criticize him, but you cannot ignore him because he has his sturdy presence in Maharashtra. If you ask any outsider to name the top ten known names of Maharashtra politics, I am sure one of them would be Sanjay Raut.
Opposition gets rattled with his writing; he hits where it hurts the most. This always gets translated as Sanjay Raut is a cunning person or a spoiler; the perception is created by some of his opponents and their supporting media houses. Or in other words, when it comes to Shiv Sena and their opponents, it’s always Samna Vs the entire mainstream media.
He is not only a strategist but a lifebuoy for his party and people. Raut has a better understanding of the Thackeray family and Shiv Sena. He is very loyal to his party’s leadership but yet has his own voice. He is considered to be very close to the core decision-making process of his party. He is also hated by most of his party men because of his largest presence above all of them.
His firebrand and provocative statements will remind you of Balasaheb’s peculiar style of humour. With time he has softened his aggression towards religious politics, again which does not decipher that he has compromised his approach towards Hindutva. He is currently a member of the Upper house of Rajya Sabha and not directly elected by the general public. Raut has never taken any position in Government or cabinet but gave his hundred percent towards the decision-making. He is too artful, and always be pungent in his advice.
There were rumours that Sanjay Raut was the reason for withdrawing the support to BJP. Some say it’s he who has diminished the arrogance of BJP and kept them in their size. He is one of those brains behind the formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance that has managed to deprive the BJP from power.
Raut is an uncompromising journalist and Executive editor of the Marathi newspaper – Saamna, which is Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece. He has been an active Shiv Sainik since Balasaheb Thackeray’s time. Raut worked very hard to reach here.
Balasaheb always trusted in his ability to write and express. He has not only guarded the stand of his party but always worked in its interest. He is the one who is always at the receiving end for all odds and evens. Post Balasaheb era, he stood with Uddhav Thackeray in every decision making.
Journalism and politics, this lethal combination is an epic of his personality. There was an era when all the prime-time debates and headlines were attributed to Samna edits. His writing speaks volumes, he is mischievously humorous and strong-willed, maybe this is the reason he has earned more trolls than the fans.
He is a music lover, plays harmonium, and enjoys Cinema and movie making. He has his utmost gentle side as a family man. His wife came under the scanner of Enforcement Directorial (ED) but so far no involvement of his is proven. His biggest strength is his simple individual background.
Once upon a time, Shiv Sena was known for violence, the party was known for threatening people. Gradually it’s the Samna edits and conduct of their leaders that has cleared the air on this set discernment. Shiv Sainiks extended a hand in cooperation, they earned the confidence of the people, they never displayed their power over the common public rather they serve them, CM Uddhav Thackeray is a perfect example of humility, which gathers loyalists on the basis of exclusive rights of Maharashtrians to live and work in Maharashtra also believing in the inclusive, cosmopolitan nature of Mumbai. Shiv Sena has today become the beloved of Maharashtra, as it breaks away from its old ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party. Businessmen to back-office employees, all are breathing. To my surprise, Uddhav (whom I never imagined in active politics) proved himself the best CM of Maharashtra by keeping up his demure against all unwanted attacks.
Unfortunately, whatever Sanjay Raut has spoken in the recent past was twisted by mainstream and social media to their advantage, some for political gains and others for TRP. Today, most of the Indian Media houses are sold out. They are busy creating perception and changing the narrative. Post Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, Sanjay Raut was a one-man army of Sena to render befitted replies to opponents and Supari journalists. I am not saying, Raut was always right, but I am sure he was not always wrong either.
His day begins with his hard-hitting and annoying editorials (for opponents). Soon after he gets surrounded by the journalists, thereafter the entire day he rules news spaces as if there is no other topic in our country. Or you will suddenly realize that he has tweeted something that shook social media and all the army of IT cells are irked. He never sits calm and does not allow his opponents to sit idle. He makes sure he has empowered everyone including media, social media, and their opponents. He just sparks the debate and gets back to his work making sure that they talk about him for the rest of the day. He brilliantly engages people and the news space. These days, Sanjay Raut is all over the place and is persistent too.
This is my personal observation; being Maharashtrian, having lived in Girgaon Mumbai for most of my life, grew up seeing Shiv Sean and its leader at different times.