Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) and Shiv Sena spokesperson Dr. Manisha Kayande is also an accomplished Associate Professor of Zoology in Mumbai MD College. Known as a good orator, Kayande actively entered politics since 1992 and has worked as a member of the BMC education committee for 11 long years. She is the holder of honorary doctorate from Mumbai University and was also involved in agitation against the then state government for women reservation, inflation and violence against women. Kayande spoke to our Correspondent Mohit Soman about her experience of being a part of Shiv Sena, Sena-BJP relationship and the possible future course of Maharashtra politics.
How do you balance the roles of both a professor as well as a Spokesperson? Which work atmosphere is more comfortable — Politics or College Campus?
Both teaching and politics are and have been my passion since a very long time. I am comfortable both in Politics as well as College campus.
Being a Spokesperson requires me to be thorough with party ideology and keeping minute to minute update about political developments through print, TV and social media. It involves a lot of reading which is possible along with my college job.
Do you think Shiv Sena changed its ideology over the period of time from social work and Politics to complete Politics now?
No. Shiv Sena’s ideology formulated by Hon. Balasaheb Thackeray is being successfully carried forward by Hon. Uddhav Thackeray, the party president. Lakhs of Shivsainiks, even today, follows Balasaheb’s principles and preachings.
There are thousands of shakhas in Maharashtra; people flock there for getting their work done.
Is being a Spokesperson a tough job to pursue as a career or being a Professor helped you to learn better communication?
Being a professor definitely has an added advantage as far as communication in concerned as it gives me better understanding and comprehension. It also gave me good presentation and oratory skills.
Why do you think Shiv Sena failed in making their base in the National Politics?
Although a regional party, it has made its mark on the national canvas. Shiv Sena’s opinion is sought after on all National Issues From terrorism to uniform civil code to the Ram Mandir issue. Shiv Sena originated in Maharashtra and came into the limelight by focusing on problems of the Marathi community and fighting for the rights of the sons of the soil.
Is Shiv Sena working under pressure in the state government? If yes, then what are the reasons that the party is not withdrawing support?
No. BJP got highest mandate, NCP was also ready to join the government and we were ready to sit in opposition but people gave mandate to us also after BJP. To serve the people, we need to take the responsibility of being a part of the government as just keep crying as opposition won’t help. It will help us to work for the administration as the co-ruling party and we are able to work for the welfare of the people and simultaneously, we have control over the BJP–led government, if the decisions are not in favour of the people. Being a part of the government, we are doing the reality check and also controlling the government affairs. We have 63 MLAs but there is not a full mandate to any party. Yet we did not take any decision to leave from the government. Party president Uddhav Thackeray will take decision pertaining to it. People have chosen us for working towards the betterment of Maharashtra which we are doing.
Shiv Sena was born after Samyukta Maharashtra Movement which was associated with the hardcore left wing ideologues. Shiv Sena is known to be an extreme right wing party. Do you think the party is still confused about their stand?
Not at all, we are very clear about what we are doing. Previously, we were fighting to get justice for the local and native people. We did agitation to get justice for the Maharashtrian people and we contributed to the movement of Marathi Nationalism. We had a fight for the sons of soil but since Congress had done Minority appeasement for so many years somewhere down the line, Hindu was oppressed in their motherland. During the era of Amarnath Yatra, Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray took a stand for the Hindutva. This is how it started but it is not that we changed our stand, we are still fighting for our sons of the soil through Sthanik Lokhadhikar Samiti at the same time, somebody has to speak for the Hindu, take a stand to protect Amaranth yatris and support the Kashmiri pandits etc. and nobody is speaking about them so we are with Hindutva.
What are the steps that BJP at the Centre failed to implement?
BJP government at the centre is losing faith of the people much before we expected. The party needs to take efforts to instill faith in its allies, work towards crushing terrorism in J&K, successful implementation of schemes for farmers, youth and women. They should also get back black money and also put behind bars those who committed the 2G, 3G and coal scams if they believe it happened.
After Uddhav Thackeray’s appointment as the Sena President, ‘Shiv Sena-style vandalism’ has decreased. Do you think the change in Shiv Sena is a positive one?
What you consider as vandalism, we consider it as fighting for justice.
With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, how do you anticipate the Maharashtra Politics in the future?
Shiv Sena is growing as a party and our vote share has increased manifold. Party president declared to go solo in the forthcoming elections and he has directed the party workers to gear up for the same.