Monday, October 26, 2009

Thackrey's Marathi Manoos card is irrelevant

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Indian democracy and its political is regularly known to touch lows. And perhaps the most recent example when Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said that the 'Marathi Manoos' had betrayed him. The 83 year old Godfather of Maharashtra Politics who had establish his party for the cause of the sons of soil said that he won't ever trust the Marathi manoos. To sum up his anger on the Marathis he said “The Marathi manoos has ditched me.”

It is perhaps only in Indian democracy that a leader can make such a statement after loosing an election. Does he have any respect for people's mandate. Do the words 'democracy' and 'elections' mean anything to him. On what grounds does he accuse the Marathis of betraying his cause (what ever the cause he may understand). Does Marathi nationalism (he would like to read regionalism) have to start and end with Shiv Sena.

What right does Mr. Bal Thackrey have to blame the people of Maharashtra when he was unable to set his house in order. What forced him to become bias and chooses a inefficient son over a more efficient nephew as his political heir? Isn't he answerable to the people of Maharashtra on this? Mr. Thackeray should realises that there has been a sea change in the society over the years and his regionalism card is no longer an ace of spades.

There has been a pattern in the election starting with the Lok Sabha polls and across the country people are preferring to back the national level parties and do away with regionalisms. The violent Marathi manoos campaign patronised by Shiv Sena and later the MNS has cost many individuals their lives. A mandate against such breed of politics is a welcome change in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena's biggest defeat has been that it was unable to polarise people this time around.

One more factor which has been a disguise setback for the Shiv Sena has been that its coalition partner BJP has won more seats in the assembly for the first time. This means that BJP will play a larger role when it comes to heading the opposition in the house. Perhaps another signal that people prefer a national party more than a regional in Maharashtra. Mr. Thackeray should see the signs written on the walls all over Maharashtra rather than taking a dig at the Marathi people.


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