Education Scholarships

Direct link to the various education scholarships offered by the Government of India

List of Private NGOs offering education scholarships

Ummid Assistant

Application form for OBC & Domicile Certificate Certificates (Urdu)

Admission to UPSC Coaching Centre run by Dr Ambedkar Competitive Exam Centre (ACEC), Pune

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Views & Analysis

The Congress is the best friend of the Thackerays

Thursday, October 21, 2010 10:43:34 PM, Amulya Ganguly, IANS

Related Article

After burqa, Shiv Sena now objects to mosque loudspeakers

Stung by the proceedings initiated for violating decibel limits during the Shiv Sena Dussehra rally here Sunday, the party Wednesday hit back asking why action was not being taken against noise pollution created daily   

The rise of GenNext in Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's Mumbai household is unlikely to bring any change to the family's mean-minded parochial politics. As much is clear from the first boorish act of Balasaheb's grandson, Aditya, as head of the patriarchal party's youth wing.

By forcing Mumbai University's vice-chancellor to withdraw the Canada-based Parsi author Rohinton Mistry's book, "Such A Long Journey", from the syllabus, the young man has shown that he is a true inheritor of the family's hallmark of pettiness and insularity.

Those who believe that young people with fresh minds and new ideals are the harbingers of change will be disappointed. But when a family functions like a mafia outfit, as the two Bollywood films on the Thackerays - "Sarkar" and "Sarkar Raj" - showed, then the claustrophobic atmosphere of small-minded chauvinism infects whoever is associated with it.

The urge for a new beginning is perhaps also negated by the fact that the Thackerays - Balasaheb, his son Uddhav, nephew Raj (who has formed his own party) and Aditya - have faced almost no major obstacles in their pursuit of aggressive policies directed mainly at the immigrants in Mumbai.

Right from 1966, when Balasaheb founded the Shiv Sena, his cadres have had an unchecked run of intimidation and even assault on "outsiders" for - in the Sena's view - depriving local Marathis of their livelihood.

There are two reasons why the state government's response to their violence has only been in fits and starts and has never caused any serious discomfort to the Thackerays for breaking the law. One is that the ruling parties like the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which are in power at present, have tended to use the Sainiks for their own political advantage.

For instance, the Congress used them in the 1960s and 1970s against communist trade unions. As a result, the Left has hardly any presence in the state today although Mumbai could once boast of being the home of a leader like S.A. Dange, the Communist Party of India's chairman. Similarly, the socialists, too, have been weakened although they had in their ranks prominent individuals like Madhu Dandavate and Mrinal Gore.

What the Congress could not always do on its own to safeguard its reputation, it achieved by utilising the streetfighting capabilities of a fascist outfit like the Sena. Although the latter outgrew its usefulness for the Congress and became something of a Frankenstein's monster, it never posed a serious political challenge because of its narrow base comprising mainly the Marathi urban lower middle class.

The second reason why the Thackerays have thrived is that despite the limited nature of their base, it is still a constituency which the ruling parties cannot ignore or afford to antagonise by entangling the family in legal difficulties. Only a charismatic, high-minded leader of obvious popularity could have reminded the pro-Thackeray elements about the damage they are inflicting on Maharashtra's image by their intense provincialism. But neither the Congress nor the NCP has such a leader in their ranks.

This deficiency of the major parties explains why the chief minister lost no time in endorsing the Shiv Sena's stance on Mistry's book by calling it "objectionable". Although a Congress spokesman in New Delhi timidly decried such "censorship", both the party in Maharashtra and the state government know that their essentially pro-Shiv Sena line is in no danger because of electoral compulsions.

These stem not only from the need to keep the Marathi manoos (people) in good humour but also from the fact that keeping both the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) - which is Raj Thackeray's outfit - politically viable helps the ruling parties by dividing the parochial vote between the two parties.

But even as the Congress and the NCP play their opportunistic games with the Shiv Sena and the MNS, there is little doubt that Maharashtra's reputation is taking a beating. After the latest incident, for instance, few will regard the chief minister as a man of education and discernment or Mumbai University as a haven for academics.

That there are no fundamental differences between the apparently secular and liberal Congress and the sub-nationalism of the Thackeray outfits is evident from the ease with which the former has accepted defectors from the Shiv Sena like Narayan Rane and Sanjay Nirupam. The NCP too has accommodated Chhagan Bhujbal who had once - when he was a Sainik - said that the statues of Mahatma Gandhi would be replaced by those of his assassin, Nathuram Godse.

Given the bonhomie between the guardians of law and order and the lawless elements, it is hardly surprising that despite the Supreme Court's lifting of the ban on James W. Laine's biography of Shivaji, the state government has done nothing to ensure that the bookshops can sell its copies. One can expect a similar reluctance on the part of the authorities to assure the shops that selling Mistry's book is safe. For all its protestations, the Congress is the best friend of the Thackerays.
 


(Amulya Ganguli is a political analyst. He can be reached at aganguli@mail.com)

 

 

 

 


 

  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page

Comment on this article

Name:
E-mail Address:
Write here...

News Pick

IGNOU holds orientation programme for madrassa teachers

An orientation programme for madrassa (Islamic seminary) teachers was held recently by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), a university official said Friday  

NATO chief warns against WikiLeaks Iraq release

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned Friday against the expected release of a massive dossier of leaked information on the Iraq war. WikiLeaks, a whistleblowing website that in July released more than 75,000 classified 

Congress hopes minorities will turn the tide in Bihar

Desperate to erase the shame of having won only nine seats in 2005, the Congress hopes its fortunes in Bihar will improve this time because it has fielded more Muslim candidates and also tried to expand the party's social  

Nepal's diplomatic scale tilts towards China

Nepal's diplomatic scale continues to tilt towards Beijing with an unending procession of high-level visits to the Middle Kingdom despite ruling parties and the opposition Maoists maintaining they want to keep equidistance between  

VSAT enabled training for primary teachers launched

A VSAT-enabled teachers' training programme was launched in nine cities across the country Friday to impart conceptual clarity in key areas of primary school teaching. The cities are Noida, Delhi, Patna, Guwahati  

Mumbai Islamic Conference promises to be bigger, better and more effective

The Indian Business Capital Mumbai is once again ready to witness the Islamic Dawah Conference, this time in Urdu. The ten-day conference, all set to get under way October  

More Headlines

Security up in Bihar after Maoists kill six policemen

Clinton condemns WikiLeaks pending release of Iraq documents

Ehsan Jafri's widow breaks down as she recalls Gulberg Society carnage

India-based documentary 'Pink Saris' wins at Abu Dhabi Film Fest

MANUU prepares to celebrate Jushne Maulana Azad in a big way

Former priest jailed for sexual abuse of boys

NATO chief warns against WikiLeaks Iraq release

Second phase of Bihar elections - Factfile

IGNOU holds orientation programme for madrassa teachers

VSAT enabled training for primary teachers launched

Remarks about Muslims landed Journalist in trouble

Jamia Millia to organise Arab film fest

Nepal's diplomatic scale tilts towards China

States issued notice on common medical entrance tests

 

Top Stories

Ehsan Jafri's widow breaks down as she recalls Gulberg Society carnage

Ehsan Jafri was dragged out of his house by a murderous mob, that stripped him, chopped off his limbs before burning him alive, a sobbing Zakia Jafri told the court here Friday while    

Witness claims Modi abused Jafri when he called for help

 

Picture of the Day

The Interlocutors for J&K, Dr. Dilip Padgaonkar, Prof. (Mrs.) Radha Kumar and Prof. M.M. Ansari calling on the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on October 21, 2010.

(Photo: B M Meena)

 

  Most Read

MANUU prepares to celebrate Jushne Maulana Azad in a big way

If activities at MANUU are any indication, colourful celebrations, competitions and various programs focusing the life of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad would mark the 122nd birth anniversary of the great Indian leader in a big  

India-based documentary 'Pink Saris' wins at Abu Dhabi Film Fest

British director Kim Longinotto's "Pink Saris" bagged the best documentary Friday at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the director says she will use the prize money to help the girls who featured in her film. Longinotto shared the prize money of ($100,000) with director  

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Religion

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Culture

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

 

Contact us

Business

Career

     

Education

       

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.