Monday, November 16, 2009

Is Thackrey Marathi-Indian or a Indian-Marathi?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It is not too often that Indian cricketers indulge themselves into politics and controversial matters. So when Sachin Tendulkar was asked about the language row he honestly said "Mumbai belongs to India. I am a Maharashtrian and am extremely proud to proud of that, but I am an Indian first." It did not come as a surprise to many when Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray to slam the Master Blaster for being a Indian first and then a Maharashtrian.

This is not only is a sad incident as a person like Sachin Teldulkar is drawing criticism for being a nationalist but shows the kind of muddiness in which Shiv Sena plays its politics. According to Thackrey who considers himself as the 'great saviour of Marathi culture', Sachin has committed the heinous crime of claiming himself to be a Indian-Marathi rather than a Marathi-Indian. Mr. Thackrey may not be aware of this but Sachin is a pan-Indian hero.

Bal Thackeray "When Marathis shed their blood for Mumbai you weren't even born, you have been run out on the Marathi pitch," he added. True Sachin wasn't even born when Shiv Sena patronised regionalism as its core value in politics. But the Godfather of Maharashtra politics has also forgotten that he wasn't even born when people people Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Rajguru among others shed their blood for the cause of the nation and not for their state.

It is very difficult to expect Mr. Bal Thackeray, his son Uddhav Thackeray or his estranged nephew Raj Thackeray to understand what the concept of Union of India is. When was the last time any of them got a warm hero's welcome in any place outside their state. But Sachin Tendulkar has been cheered by millions wherever he has gone. People go crazy about this man irrespective of whether it is Calcutta, Bombay or Chennai.

The reason for this is very simple he has over the years given millions of Indians a reason to smile unlike the Thackerays who have caused pain to so many by encouraging riots, hooliganism and killings. People have stood hours in heat to get a glimpse of Sachin not for a free bottle of alcohol or a 50 Rs note at the end of the day but for love they have for him. Bal Thackeray is too insane to even realise it.

The defeat in the electiosn should have been a wake up call for Mr. Thackeray but politicians seldom learns lesson. The entire nation is proud of Maharashtra for producing an icon like Sachin Tendulkar. On the other hand its anybody's guess how many Marathis would be proud of the Thackerays


Syed March 22, 2010 at 4:28 AM  


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