I can smell something while Shiv Sena is praising Hardik Patel, and in reciprocation Hardik Patel too saying that I am walking on the footsteps of Balasaheb Thackeray.
After organising 163 demonstrations in Gujarat, Hardik Patel is making his way to New Delhi. He emerged as a leader in a massive rally on August 25, demanding backward class reservation for the huge land owners, economically and socially forward Patidars, who are known as Patels. Now, he is hoping to unite all those who are demanding reservation for their caste in UP, Bihar and Haryana, to form a “national alliance” which helps his demands.
On the other hand, the mass appeal of Hardik Patel in Gujarat “does not augur well for the BJP”, but the Shiv Sena said, calling him “a hero” who had punctured claims that Gujarat was a peaceful state.
Here irony is that, Hardik says “Balasaheb Thackeray is my idol”. It seems, Patel is unaware that Balasaheb staunchly opposed caste based reservations. Another ridiculous statement Hardik made is that “he would like to work with Raj Thackeray. He should know that Raj himself is fighting for his political survival and does not believe in teamwork but dictatorship in party so his cooperation to Hardik is out of question. Anyway, ignoring Balasaheb and taking advantage of the situation is need of the hour for the Sena. That’s why they are praising young Patel leader while attacking PM Modi to its best.
“Until now, (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi was considered the only political ‘neta’ who could pull crowds,” a hard-hitting editorial in the party’s mouthpiece “Saamana stated. Now, Hardik Patel has become the ‘king of crowds’ which does not augur well for the BJP,” the Sena said, referring to the Patel community leader who has taken on the Gujarat government over job reservations.
Hardik Patel is a hero of Gujarat. His rallies attract four-five lakh people. With his super-mammoth rally in Ahmedabad, he has thrown the gauntlet at the state government. Until now, Modi uses the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s name, now this had been usurped by Hardik Patel.
The state government committed the misadventure of detaining Hardik Patel after the rally and it paid for the blunder. Violence erupted all over the state; even ministers had to bear the brunt of Patidars’ ire. Now, Hardik Patel has threatened that if the Patidars were also not given job reservations, “then the lotus (BJP party symbol) will not bloom in 2017. The manner in which the Gujarat youths have responded has created waves in Gujarat political circles,” the editorial said.
It thumbed a nose at Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, who had invited Maharashtra businesses to her state, saying Gujarat was “peaceful, stable and well-administered”.”Now, what?” the Sena asked. “A person who has yet to grow a moustache has proved her claims as bogus… and revealed the true face of Gujarat.
Shiv Sena has time and again rubbed the salt on the wounds of BJP. However, the Sena questioned the legitimacy of the Patidars’ demands for inclusion in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category, saying the Patels enjoyed the same social-political status in Gujarat as ‘Marathas’ in Maharashtra. The Patels were in the forefront in various sectors like diamonds, realty and big business and also formed a huge chunk of the Gujarat NRIs, trading and commerce.
“They are leading in politics with Chief Minister Anandiben Patel hailing from the community; earlier, Chimanbhai Patel, Keshubhai Patel and Babubhai Patel ruled the state. Yet, the community wants to become ‘backward’ and takes to the streets. Similarly, the ‘Marathas’ are also powerful in Maharashtra but asking for reservation. However, till date their agitations were peaceful.
Meanwhile, Gujarat’s Patel agitation’s intensity becomes lesser. This agitation got prominence in media because of two reasons. Media never covers silence protest and they give coverage to violent protest. Till the Patidars were protesting silently they received no footage on television or space in newspapers. As the agitation became violent every news channel and newspaper has started covering it.
Hardik would tour India to garner support but his base in Gujarat would be weakened. A high profile murder drama has emerged and the spicy juicy story full of suspense, mystery intrigued relationships has overshadowed all other news. On the day Sheena’s murder news broke out17 murders occurred at various cities and 9 women were reportedly raped but Indrani being high profile VVIP the focus is shifted to her leaving even Gujarat Patel agitation to backstage. Media has its own ways and priorities than the people and viewers.