So who’s afraid of Bal Thackeray?



Sometimes, I despair for the Shiv Sena after Bal Thackeray. Many of the party’s leaders have learnt well from the Sena supremo but I believe it is high time those who have inherited Bal Thackeray’s party unlearn all that the Sena tiger taught them and chart thir own course, for that is the only road to survival.

Thackeray was wont to take credit for each and every event that would boost his image as a rabble rouser, even if he hadn’t been guilty of that particular transgression. For example, knowing that his Shiv Sainiks had not been present in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was brought down by a bunch of Bajrang Dal workers, Thackeray claimed he was proud of his Shiv Sainiks for having destroyed the mosque.

It was only when he got into trouble with the special court in Allahabad which was probing the demolition that he backtracked, putting the blame squarely on the BJP, abusing its leaders for having been cowards and failing to admit to their crime. “I knew my sainiks had done nothing. But everybody said that they had demolished the mosque. I am afraid of no one or nothing so all that I said was, ‘if’. ‘If my sainiks had brought down the mosque, then I could only be proud of them.’ I was not afraid.”

But he was, as his followers should now be. While the police action against the two girls in Palghar who posted an innocuous message on Facebook on the day of Thackeray’s funeral is a separate debate, I wonder if the Shiv Sena actually verified who was responsible for the vandalism of a nursing home run by one of the girls’ uncles. A little bird tells me it was not the Shiv Sena at all but a notorious local don, much feared by the cops, whose goons attempted to destroy that hospital.

Even before Thackeray’s ashes had turned cold, there was an attempt by rival political parties to counter the enormous sympathy that the Shiv Sena seemed to have received following Thackeray’s death. The same little bird tells me, both cops and politicians fully expected Shiv Sainiks to run riot in Bombay on the day of the funeral. But while the city might have shut down, people were highly impressed by the military precision of the funeral procession as well as the fact that the overflowing emotions seemed genuine and that the city had heaved a huge collective sigh of relief that no lives were lost or property damaged.

Lest that feeling of sympathy and appreciation grow roots, political rivals of the Shiv Sena were quick off the mark, making use of a don close to some powers that be to vandalise in the name of Shiv Sainiks. And the Sena fell right into the trap with Sanjay Raut, editor of the Saamna, the Sena mouthpiece, claiming that the Sainks did right, without even verifying their identities and other credentials.

The Shiv Sena left behind by Bal Thackeray is unlikely to wriggle out of such mess as easily as Thackeray used to do in the past. Already a furious debate is raging round the country about the denial of freedom of expression to even people who post innocuous messages on social networking sites with even the union government compelled to modify the rules to disallow junior level cops who do not understand the IT act to apply it to people of their own accord. Outrage has overtaken sympathy even in Thackeray’s core Mumbai support base and while two innocent girls were needlessly traumatized, the purpose of some diabolical rivals of the Shiv Sena has been served. They need do nothing further – the natural stupidities of Shiv Sainiks will soon take over and destroy the party, in the process, if not already begun.

I can understand that Thackeray’s son Uddhav is in deep mourning and his nephew Raj is s estranged from his cousin but I would have thought there were other intelligent leaders in the party who would have seen the conspiracy for what it was. For not even when Thackeray was alive, was a bunch of junior cops or a magistrate so eager to jump into action and shoot themselves in the foot.

It is said about Bal Thackeray that his party gained over the years because of the mistakes of his rivals. But Uddhav must now ensure that the Shiv Sena does not fritter away those gains because of the mistakes of his own rank and file.
There was already a similar action attempted in Wardha district a few days after the Palghar incident. However, by then the outrage over Palghar had gone so viral that the authorities swiftly pulled themselves back from the brink. Wardha is not a region where the Sena enjoys any significant support, so the conspiracy s very apparent.

The Shiv Sena must now read the writing on the wall and understand that in a globalised world their party cannot work on the support of local goons alone. It had to have a new agenda that helps the youth – who were always the core support base of Bal Thackeray – connect with the party again. It must also realise that they are giving Maharashtrians a bad image outside of the state and that a common goonda is not what the average Maharashtrian wants to be seen as.

There are no brownie points to be earned at taking credit for other people’s acts that might seem brave and fearless but are in essence only criminal and self- serving. Courage is not about beating people up, it is about admitting to one’s mistakes, however much that might cost one in pride and ego and in correcting the course of one’s past action which otherwise could only be disastrous in the long run.

High time, then, that the Shiv Sena wakes op and smells the coffee.

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  • http://twitter.com/rahulrahi24 RAHUL SHARMA

    How come it took so long to understand criminal and terrorist mind of Shiv Sena. I hope Mumbai people are not so dumb any more, and will never support this gang of goons.
    More than any one, Bal thakray hurt sentiment of Hindus, by naming this gang of Goon on the name of Lord Shiva. Same for Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena. These are the worst enemy of Hinduism.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/rahulrahi24 RAHUL SHARMA

    How come it took so long to understand criminal and terrorist mind of Shiv Sena. I hope Mumbai people are not so dumb any more, and will never support this gang of goons.
    More than any one, Bal thakray hurt sentiment of Hindus, by naming this gang of Goon on the name of Lord Shiva. Same for Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena. These are the worst enemy of Hinduism.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/rahulrahi24 RAHUL SHARMA

    How come it took so long to understand criminal and terrorist mind of Shiv Sena. I hope Mumbai people are not so dumb any more, and will never support this gang of goons.
    More than any one, Bal thakray hurt sentiment of Hindus, by naming this gang of Goon on the name of Lord Shiva. Same for Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena. These are the worst enemy of Hinduism.

    [Reply]

    prasad Reply:

    make ur facts clear shiv sena is not named after lord shiva its named in reference to chatrapati shivaji maharaj

    [Reply]

    prasad Reply:

    make ur facts clear shiv sena is not named after lord shiva its named in reference to chatrapati shivaji maharaj

    [Reply]

    marathi Reply:

    idiot…..shivaji was himself names after shiva

    [Reply]

    marathi Reply:

    idiot …..shivaji was himself named after lord shiva

    [Reply]

    prasad Reply:

    make ur facts clear shiv sena is not named after lord shiva its named in reference to chatrapati shivaji maharaj

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/rahulrahi24 RAHUL SHARMA

    How come it took so long to understand criminal and terrorist mind of Shiv Sena. I hope Mumbai people are not so dumb any more, and will never support this gang of goons.
    More than any one, Bal thakray hurt sentiment of Hindus, by naming this gang of Goon on the name of Lord Shiva. Same for Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena. These are the worst enemy of Hinduism.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/rahulrahi24 RAHUL SHARMA

    How come it took so long to understand criminal and terrorist mind of Shiv Sena. I hope Mumbai people are not so dumb any more, and will never support this gang of goons.
    More than any one, Bal thakray hurt sentiment of Hindus, by naming this gang of Goon on the name of Lord Shiva. Same for Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena. These are the worst enemy of Hinduism.

    [Reply]

  • Mayur

    Article must have been return by some muslim *******…People like Balasaheb are born once…,,,Respected always….This article is return by some motherfucker who things people actually respect his thinkings…Actually truth is such articles are used in toilets and washed away….

    [Reply]

    pintya Reply:

    LOL :D :D:D it is “returned” BY SUJATA ANANDAN :D :D

    [Reply]

  • Mayur

    Article must have been return by some muslim *******…People like Balasaheb are born once…,,,Respected always….This article is return by some motherfucker who things people actually respect his thinkings…Actually truth is such articles are used in toilets and washed away….

    [Reply]

  • Ashish

    Balasaheb always loved his critics…You are just one of them…More the critics, more ShivSena will become stronger..Good Going….

    [Reply]

  • Ashish

    Balasaheb always loved his critics…You are just one of them…More the critics, more ShivSena will become stronger..Good Going….

    [Reply]

  • Not Maharashtrian

    Hope no sucker sainiks make a big deal about this article.
    Breaking of that girl’s uncle s hospital was a very amateur act by the SS. Funny to see they still get support from maharashtrians when the entire country is laughing at them.
    What if the rest of the world think like Bal Thack and start beating up maharashtrians for settling elsewhere.
    Well we insult the taliban… but we are letting one grow in our country called the SS.

    [Reply]

  • Not Maharashtrian

    Hope no sucker sainiks make a big deal about this article.
    Breaking of that girl’s uncle s hospital was a very amateur act by the SS. Funny to see they still get support from maharashtrians when the entire country is laughing at them.
    What if the rest of the world think like Bal Thack and start beating up maharashtrians for settling elsewhere.
    Well we insult the taliban… but we are letting one grow in our country called the SS.

    [Reply]

  • nitin

    such a pity dogs started barking after tiger left!!! with all due respect dont tell ppl what to learn and what to unlearn… we are capable enough to decide what v want…..

    [Reply]

    Uma Reply:

    What you want and need are two different things. You need your head examined

    [Reply]

  • Mohit

    I understand that Shiv Sena and balsaheb tied to raise extemism in hindus. But that was all reaction of all suffering that hindus are going through in all these days in India and subcontinent, specially after independence. Every hindu understand that what shivsena is doing is not right but still find better that Congress and other secular thugs, who are always out there to harass hindus. You cannot compare silent sufferings of hindus with muslims and all what is going in there religion. Balasaheb’s false assurance just gave some confidence to helpless hindus, who are and in future will suffer in the hands of our so called minorities and secular thugs. Anyways, just pray for any miracle to happen.

    [Reply]

  • Mohit

    I understand that Shiv Sena and balsaheb tied to raise extemism in hindus. But that was all reaction of all suffering that hindus are going through in all these days in India and subcontinent, specially after independence. Every hindu understand that what shivsena is doing is not right but still find better that Congress and other secular thugs, who are always out there to harass hindus. You cannot compare silent sufferings of hindus with muslims and all what is going in there religion. Balasaheb’s false assurance just gave some confidence to helpless hindus, who are and in future will suffer in the hands of our so called minorities and secular thugs. Anyways, just pray for any miracle to happen.

    [Reply]

  • Mohit

    I understand that Shiv Sena and balsaheb tied to raise extemism in hindus. But that was all reaction of all suffering that hindus are going through in all these days in India and subcontinent, specially after independence. Every hindu understand that what shivsena is doing is not right but still find better that Congress and other secular thugs, who are always out there to harass hindus. You cannot compare silent sufferings of hindus with muslims and all what is going in there religion. Balasaheb’s false assurance just gave some confidence to helpless hindus, who are and in future will suffer in the hands of our so called minorities and secular thugs. Anyways, just pray for any miracle to happen.

    [Reply]

  • INDIAN

    f**kin bal thhakre and raj thhakre ,,,are more dangerous than LeT and Lashkar….Indian govt or UN should ban these two outfits siv sena/bajrang dal and all….

    [Reply]

  • Amit

    People should understand simple things.. A gunda cannot bring a crowd of 20+ Lakh follower on a funeral. A Rulling party (whis is Congress & NCP) for the first time in Indian histroy gave the state honours, such as a guard of honour and a 21-gun salute, to a person who did not hold ANY post in Indian Govt.
    Also, He is the only non-member to get obituary references in the two houses of India’s parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on Friday, on 21 November 2012, the first day of the winter session of parliament.[81] Thackeray is amongst the few leaders ever to get obituary references without being a member of either house..
    So simply using the word f**k does nto mesn u know more things..!!

    [Reply]

  • R chopra

    Shiv Sena leaders are combination of thugs, gangsters, extortionists and corrupt politicians. An explosive mix.

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  • Neha Mattoo

    Shiv sena under Bal Thackrey followed the path of non violence and till some extent a form of terrorism. And what happened to the Muslims in the world is what will happen to Maharashtrians in that scenario. Just advising the entire nation to abide and follow the path of peace and unity to grow together as Indians and not let some political party divide us on the name of state,religion whatsoever. I guess we have grown up since the Bombay riots and Gujrat Riots and can see the political picture more clearly and don’t let these goons fool us anymore.

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  • Kushagra

    Another self goal by Shiv Sena

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  • Umang

    So why don’t you name the guy who was the aithor of the book on rape?????

    [Reply]

  • Ipsit

    Siba, you are right. Hope we too make the grade someday.

    [Reply]

  • TS

    Hi Promit

    Excellent article summing up Indian potential or rather the lack of it in the year that just went up. Not too long ago Indian cause was being championed whether be it economy or trade or security council…all that has been dashed. I think people are fed up of the current regime so much so that just out of that spite they will vote for the other party.

    By the way enjoyed listening to your University of Melbourne interview on youtube as well as your opinion on the NDTV debate regarding Devyani issue.

    Looking forward to reading and listening to more of your stuff!

    TS

    [Reply]