Does Maharashtra need Raj Thackeray?
Mr. Raj Shrikant Thackeray, the ‘Self-styled Messiah of the Marathi Manoos’, is known to have moved to the upper echelons of power in the state of Maharashtra by virtue of his blatant political ideology of Regionalism. The cosmopolitan image of Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, has without a doubt been tainted by the man for whom Nationalism is just a sham.
What made him so powerful to enable him to rule the roost in the affairs of the state? Is his style of politics conducive to the health of Maharashtra or the nation as a whole? Does Maharashtra really need him to march ahead towards greater prosperity?
India is a democracy is it not? We as citizens of this great nation have every right to settle and work in any corner of the country as we dim fit. Who gives Raj Thackeray the right to use his hooliganism and sub standard sub-nationalism to prevent this? Unfortunately the vote bank politics and the absolute degradation of morals, ethics and ideology in the corridors of power have resulted in politicians like him thriving irrespective of ample charges against them.
It has been all over the news recently how Raj Thackeray in one of his speeches had termed the people from Bihar in Maharashtra as ‘infiltrators’. His action has of course drawn severe criticism from all quarters but has any action been taken? I dare say no. If people like Raj Thackeray are allowed to thrive in the country and go about practicing their prejudiced methods; then we would only be creating boundaries within the country itself. Beneficial to our nation’s well being? Certainly not! It will only set a dangerous precedence and hence the need to be curbed at the earliest.
The North Indians more specifically the Bihari’s have been at the receiving end of Thackeray’s identity politics. Remember how the North Indian candidates were attacked when they were in Maharashtra for appearing in the All India Railway Recruitment Board Examinations which lead to one candidate’s death and several being injured? It was incited by none other than Raj Thackeray. When he was arrested his party goons reigned havoc in the city and other parts of Maharashtra. So he is not only a liability to the people from other states but for Maharashtra too as his ritualistic politics evidently hinders a proper functioning of the state machinery.
Raj Thackeray’s argument is that due to the ‘immigration’ of workers from outside the state, the youth of Maharashtra suffer unemployment and deplorable living conditions. But if enough jobs are not created it is the failure of the Center and the state governments is it not? As a citizen one has the right to seek employments anywhere in the country. His antics of instigating violence against non-Maharashtrians is definitely not the answer; not morally and not legally as well.
His regional chauvinism has reached exceptional and disgusting heights with each passing year. He practices gangster politics instead of following mainstream practices. His way of getting things done his way is by disrupting the peace and calm of the city and the state. Recall the time when his home-bred goons went about the city shutting shops when they didn’t put Marathi signboards of the same size as the English ones. Not only that a North Indian businessman who dared challenge their rampage was killed and several injured. His party has always used force and hostility as weapons to make people toe their line and then he comes out and speaks of crime rate being on the rise in Maharashtra due to people from other states! Audacious!
His party workers attacked an MLA in the Legislative Assembly in 2009 for not taking the oath in Marathi. If this is not dadagiri, what is?
The only good at all that I can find has been done by Raj Thackeray is getting the Jet Airways roll offs in 2008 to be retracted and the insistence for introduction of Marathi Customer Service for Telecom. But what after that? Nothing at all. As a matter of fact he has only been engaged in professing narrow minded thought processes and advocating enmity on the basis of allegiance to a region.
It is amazing how instead of using his hold among a section of the locals to genuinely do something constructive for the state; his focus has always been to hog the limelight and catapult his political career to higher levels. How does he do that? Well as simple as making controversial and objectionable statements which are derogatory to the whole institution of democracy.
Once upon a time there were the British who played with India by using the divide and rule policy. Politicians like Raj Thackeray are no different; they just believe in dirty tactics of parochial politics for their own gain. He certainly doesn’t care hoots about Maharashtra or for that matter aiding the society. All he does and wants as always is plain and simple coverage.
November 26, 2008 is a date which is etched in the memories of every Indian. It was the day when Mumbai came under the attack of a group of Pakistani Terrorists. Of course, it wasn’t the first attack in the city. When the entire nation was outraged at the audacity and the inhumane nature of the strike, Raj Thackeray was nowhere to be seen. He went into hiding. The cacophony of his hate instigating speeches died down and he went and buried himself in some hole.
His regional chauvinism has reached exceptional and disgusting heights with each passing year. He practices gangster politics instead of following mainstream practices. His way of getting things done his way is by disrupting the peace and calm of the city and the state.
Where was he when his Maharashtra needed him the most? Where were his men? They never hesitated from using muscles against innocent civilians from other states or for that matter even those belonging to Maharashtra to enforce their diktats; but they chose to conveniently disappear at the hour their own ‘state’ needed them the most?
Would someone please enlighten Raj Thackeray that the NSG that fought so valiantly on 26/11 was not only made up of Marathi’s? What if they would have refused to bail out the people as they didn’t belong to the state? Is Nationalism and patriotism for Mr. Thackeray just a matter of convenience? Sad part is it is not the ordinary public of the state that has any problem with migrants from other states. It is only the paltry egos of the politicians that create ruckus on such non-issues.
It is strange Raj Thackeray proclaims he puts Maharashtra’s interest above his own but he doesn’t fight issues and concerns that most plague the people of the region. Terrorism which has come back to haunt the city at every interval doesn’t seem to feature high on his list now does it! Boycotting Pakistani artists or musicians by way of vandalism, is what his idea of fighting terrorism is all about. Recently Raj Thackeray had warned Asha Bhosle and the television channels against broadcasting a show which involves Pakistani artists. Do we really have place for such kind of vigilantes in our midst? Stooping to such lows to maintain his pro-Marathi political image is dastardly and offensive. Maharashtra certainly doesn’t need a vandal as a politician.
Take for example the damage and inconvenience caused by the incessant rains in Mumbai; if Raj Thackeray was actually bothered about the benefit of his state couldn’t he and his ‘band of bandits’ actually begin work in the ground level. Possibly do something to aid the common people for starters. Perhaps then we could take him and his blabbers seriously. Perhaps then he could be touted as one who actually is bothered about the future of Maharashtra.
Love for one’s state and regional language is no way the reason for hatred against anyone who may belong to a different region altogether. India is known for its diversity. Leaders such as Raj Thackeray are malignant growths which in no way can aid to the progress of the country. A city thrives due to the symbiotic relationships between people from all over the country; in fact the world for that matter. Raj Thackeray and politicians like him are nothing but obstacles in the path of prosperity and evolution.
There are so many issues to deal with and as a politician and so called representative of the people he ought to work towards those and not breed distrust and revulsion in society. His actions only point towards the fact that he is publicity hungry and his words are mere gimmicks. His answer for everything is exodus of people from other states or sabotage and destruction. Hence he is of no consequence to the society and his means and actions need to be severely reprimanded. Whether those in the law and order departments and the government actually have the power and the will to do so is a different issue altogether! Bottom line is Raj Thackeray can actually do no good. He is like a spoilt child who howls loud and relentlessly till his demands are met; not because he is right but for the reason that nobody wants to hear his cries!
We have had enough shenanigans when it comes to politicians. They have been using the pretext of region or religion to grind the hoi polloi. So it’s high time now for every politician like Raj Thackeray to be shown the door from every state of our country.
(img source: livephoto.in)