As you sow, so you reap



Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari, speaking to me in another context (of Pramod Mahajan’s troubled son Rahul), had once said, “Jaisa beej boya, vaisa hi phal paya (as you sow, so you reap).’’

Now those words come back to me as I think of Bal Thackeray – sometimes I really do feel sorry for the Shiv Sena supremo. Soon after his party had come to power in Maharashtra, one son, Jaidev, was caught illegally hunting deer in the Borivli National Park to the north of Bombay.

Then there were rumours, never fully accounted for, that Sena supporter and actor Nana Patekar had fallen out with Thackeray over the misbehaviour of his eldest son Bindumadhav with actress Manish Koirala during the shooting of Agnisakshi (Bindumadhav was the producer). The incident was said to have given Thackeray the heart attack that ended in a bypass surgery.

Then, of course, Jaidev’s friends were briefly held by the police for extortion in Thackeray’s name; he is also alleged to have ended up at Matoshree, Thackeray’s residence, one evening, firing randomly into the air, complaining of favouritism by his father, and had to be overpowered by the cops on guard duty outside.

Now that one generation has more or less mellowed and settled down to the business of life, another seems to be erupting into focus for all the wrong reasons. The police this week busted a girls’ dance bar (dance bars were outlawed in 2006 by the Congress-NCP government), owned by the late Bindumadhav and now supposedly managed by his son Nihar, for allegedly running a prostitution racket from within its premises.

Thackeray and his son Uddhav, the working president of the Sena, have so far said nothing about it. But Thackeray’s estranged nephew, Raj, has come out in defence of his dead cousin’s son, saying he had nothing to do with its running. Yet, Nihar is a fugitive today.

I recall Rashmi, Uddhav’s wife, telling me years ago when her sons were still in their infancy, “There is no one here to discipline them but me. I am the only one who can wield the rod against them and I have had to set my own ambitions aside (she had wanted to start a boutique crockery store) to ensure that my sons grow up into well-adjusted human beings.’’

Rashmi had then told me that the aura of power at Matoshree was so thick that no one at Thackeray’s residence seemed to be able to overcome it. “I noticed that my son sometimes tends to pick up swear words from my father-in-law. None of the people hanging around him are able to tell the children that using such language is wrong. On the contrary, they tend to laugh as though the boys have said something clever and that subtly encourages them. Now, if I don’t stay at home and watch them like a hawk all their waking hours, they will grow bad by the time they hit their teens and then it will be very difficult to correct them and bring them onto the straight and narrow path again.’’

The years of effort have paid off. Uddhav’s sons have grown up into trouble-free boys. But obviously Rashmi’s exhortation to her brother-in-law’s children never to be caught even on the fringes of an anti-social activity did not have the same effect on her husband’s nephew.

I know as a matter of fact that Rashmi had once told all the children in her family `never to be caught drinking beer, to always stick with Thums-up’ and never even to hang out with children who might do drugs or indulge in some other anti-social activity. “We are Thackerays. So even if we have committed an offence that should be rated as two, people will make it out to be four and they will pin other people’s blame on to your shoulders.’’

Now, if Raj Thackeray is right, that’s exactly what may have happened to Nihar. But running away from the scene of crime somehow seems to compound the offence and, even if he is just a scared kid (though he is out of his teens and a young adult by now), each day that he evades the authorities adds to his guilt in the eyes of the law.

Thackeray has bailed out his sons before. I am sure he will bail out his grandson even now. But, I believe, he could have done without this second generation scandal in his family adding to his (already overflowing) plate, full of woes.

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  • http://- Rajeev

    Thackreys are scumbags. They are a curse to Maharashtra. I simply fail to understand why BJP is wasting its time with Shiv Sena.

    [Reply]

    M.Farooque Reply:

    My dear Rajeev, BJP is equally corrupt and communal. For that matter no political party is worth its name in our country.

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    Same is true for congress. Congress is not only corrupt, communal, casteist, anti-national but morally shameless.

    [Reply]

  • JOHN DAHODI

    Bal Thackeray and other Thackeray of Mumbai are nothing less than the members of mafia goons. They have created and expanded their political Empire using mob making and fear mongering tools. They have harmed not only non-Marathi but Marathi too. Bal Thackeray has not shown any morality, human respect and respect for laws and rules but used his dictate to achieve his wrong or right goals. His own kins are showing the worst social conduct and behavior, which are not shameful but need to be condemned by all including the Thackeray.

    [Reply]

  • Raj

    Does India really need this ‘Godfather’ myth? Is the Marathi community that weak that it needs such mindless power centres, least mythical…?

    Now what, Thackerays are Ram chandras of Maharashtra? Wow, ‘we’re Thackereys’… right, so is every family out there. If they think they’re that different, then one has to think how deep this self-outlook goes… when Bombay was attacked, I saw no Thackeray anywhere…

    Raj Thackerey, for all his rhetoric, hid somewhere safe, so did his uncle… and then what, they’re some Marathi saviour all of the sudden?

    Nonsense, when trouble strikes, the Thackereys run with their tails behind their back, like anyone else… so where’s the difference?

    [Reply]

  • http://seffronterrorism aum

    Thakre family is anti national family and anti marashtra in perticular. They are just for power and money at the cost of maharashtra, baal thakre was a cartoonist, how did he and his family accumulated this much wealth?

    [Reply]

  • akul

    YYYYYYYYYYYYYAWN!!!! Enough of fiction writing.

    [Reply]

  • shikha

    This is a gift to Sujata!!

    Robert Vadera and his corrupt ventures -

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-company/corporate-trends/robert-vadra-ties-up-with-dlf-makes-low-key-entry-into-real-estate-business/articleshow/7698241.cms

    I do not have issues with exposing netas even if they belong to right wing. But protecting party A while only exposing party B is something any conscientious journalist cannot do. Sujata clearly has a conflict of interest.

    [Reply]

    Ankit Reply:

    You are dialing wrong number. Sujata Anandan has already said that she is “proud to be on the same side” of the disgraced journalist Vir Sanghvi. That explains her shameless and persistent defence of the monumental corruption that this government has been engaged in.
    Trying to reason with these journos is futile and foolish; they are fully invested in the survival of this corrupt regime and will go at any length to defend their deeds.

    [Reply]

    shikha Reply:

    Agreed!! Oh.. but wait. If we expose UPA, we become internet loonies, Hindu extremists or even Hindu terrorists :-)

    [Reply]

    Rajeev Reply:

    I won’t be surprised if it is revealed that Sujata is on Pawar’s payroll. She is fully qualified as she comes out morally corrupt, perfect fit for Congress kind of anti-national pro-terror parties.

    [Reply]