Ummid Assistant

Indian students in Germany need not pay to study: Envoy

Microsoft offers tech courses to Indian academia

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Views & Analysis

INDIA: State legitimise a hate propagandist

Tuesday November 20, 2012 05:54:39 PM, Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Related Article

Thackeray's parochial brand of politics

What this obsessive parochialism, which has been accepted as a creed by Balasaheb's son Uddhav and nephew Raj, means is that Thackeray has never acquired the kind of political respectability which other provincial leaders like the DMK's M.   

Bal Thackeray: Identity Politics to the Fore

Action after Katju's reaction: 9 arrested for vandalising Palghar clinic

CPI-M blasts Shiv Sena, demands action against Palghar police officials

Girls' arrest for questioning Mumbai shutdown: Katju e-mail forces govt. to order probe

He 'exempted' me from the riots: An encounter with Bal Thackeray

Bal Thackerey is no more. His funeral attracted lakhs of people. Mumbai remained shut for so many days. It is time to sit and ponder over what really is the legacy of Sena. The champion of Hindu Nationalism enjoyed every damn thing, which we claim as 'western' influence while spiting venom at 'outsiders'.

Mumbai's biggest event management show is over as the person who converted a cosmopolitan Bombay to a parochial narrow Mumbai was cremated with State Honour. A man who did not hesitate to violate the very principles of Indian tricolour was taken in the state carriage with his body wrapped in the Indian National Flag and was finally provided guard of honour before his mortal remains were consigned to flames. Is not it a tragedy that the Indian state that the man who should have been asked to account for his role in various riots in the city actually was seeking the same from others? A modern city of Bombay actually pathetically turned into a medieval one where fear became the buzzword.

The crowd assembled there was undoubtedly huge and it also shows how the issues raised by Thackerey touched the chord of the people in Maharashtra. It reflects the failures of the secular leadership of the state, which needed a Thackerey to legitimize itself to fight against 'communal' Shiv Sena. The party though wanted to dominate Maharashtra politics yet never believed in democracy itself. The fact is that Thackerey was not a believer in democracy but Shiv Sena was necessary evil for him through whom he could run his 'Sarkar' and bargain with political parties particularly Congress which gave him strength and protection.

Often we hear from commentators that Thackerey was unambiguous and spoke what his heart wanted. Yes, that was a great quality but it is also a fact that those who believe in democratic voices and dissent can never speak like the fascists who damn care for anything and are ready to even kill people for dissenting with them. There was no space for dissent in Shiv Sena as party never really believed in democratic values, as its core values were absolutely fanatic and fascist. That is why funds and crowd was never a problem for Shiv Sena as their core constituency ensured that 'everyone' participate in their programmes. Hence it was not out of 'love and affection' that people kept their market closed in Mumbai but out of fear. And here the elected government of Maharashtra remained complete failure. It may have handled the situation politically but it allowed the atmosphere of fear to grip the city and that was condemnable.

The hypocrisy of the Indian elite from Bombay Film world as well as political class was visible. From the day when Thackrey's was on ventilator, Amitabh Bachchan tweeted and asked for prayers. If anyone who follow politics know about Amitabh Bachcchan then he turn out to be the biggest hypocrite who can keep one 'secular' Mulayam in his pocket on left side while the absolute right winger Narendra Modi on the other side. It is the same 'bhaiyaa' from UP, who would always flaunt his Hindi background in Puritanism while dining with Bal Thackarey in the evening. How these contradictions are managed by these stars are well known to us but the people who throng at their films and shows must ask this question whether Amitabh Bachchan support Thackrey's fulminations and hate propaganda against the North Indians? Whether they and others who feel that Mumbai is now 'anaath' without him support Sena's digging the pitches before an Indo-Pak match? Whether Thackerey's threat to throw

Maharashtra is the land of extreme contradiction. It was land where Tilak and later Sangh Parivar grew up. They always used the religious identities to build huge crowds during Dushara festivities. In true sense Maharashtra was a purely brahmanical land. But this Brahmanism also got the biggest challenge in Maharashtra and in the heart of their places. Right from Jyotiba Phule to Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Maharashtra was a land of revolution of also. It created a new wave of assertion among the Dalits and other marginalized communities. Those commentators who are making the entire issue as unprecedented must visit Diksha Bhumi on every Dusshera day in Nagpur and Chaitya Bhumi on every December 6th to see what is unadulterated devotion to leadership and ideology. If the crowds are the measurement of popularity then definitely many in India can be unparalleled in that and particularly the cadre based parties are managers in bringing people but the crowds that throng Nagpur on Dusshera and Mumbai on December 6th come at their own to pay their respect to Baba Saheb Ambedkar. How many times, we report this event on our TV screens. Hence it is essential to understand why our political class as well as 'mainstream' media loves to create a larger than life size image of even the so-called 'undemocratic' people who it was crying against just few months back on the Marathi Manus issues. It want to create an impression that Brahmanism and Hindutva have got wider support in India and government must understand this but then Karunanidhi, Maywati, Lalu Yadav, Communist Parties can always manage huge crowds and have shown that too. How many time, we had live broadcast of their meetings and programmes?

There are few things about Thackerey, which most of the commentators portray, that he was very unambiguous about his views and that he never hid his words and that he spoke what he wanted. But that is exactly the quality of fascist characters. Since, they do not believe in any dissent and democracy they do not care what other think. A person like Thackerey was promoted by Congress to protect its own interest. The more his abuses and fulminations against Muslims and North Indian, the biggest was the opportunity for the party to project itself as the 'well-wisher' of this section. This has resulted in the marginalization of the Muslims in particular because their issues never got that much highlight as the north Indian media went on the other issue of Thackerey on the issue of Marathi Manus. For the votaries of Hindutva, Thackrey's anti-Muslim rhetoric made him an iconic figure but when the same Thackerey spoke against the North Indian or Mumbai becoming 'dharmshala' then the same clientele of Thackerey turned against him.

And that is why question may be asked as how has a person who spat so much of venom against Indian nationals from other state and different religion that he practiced, is given state honour in cremation and allowed the 'public' farewell. It has two meaning for me. One, that the entire Maharastra is sharply polarized like any other parts of the country on caste, religious and ethnic lines and that whatever Bal Thackerey spoke was accepted by the local Maharashtrians particularly upper castes. Of course, it is also true that the Shiv Sena's largest vote share come from OBCs too who were used against naming of Marathwada University as Dr Baba Saheb University, against Dalits. Strange that we do not find much of the Bahujan politics in Maharashtra where it originated in the form of vast struggles and social movements of Jotiba Phule and Chhatrpati Shahuji Maharaj. Is it not an irony that son of Prabodhan Thackerey, who was a devout follower of Joti Ba Phule and his Satya Shodhak Samaj rarely spoke about Phule and the struggle that he committed himself for social change.

It need to be analyzed whether we are witnessing an upper caste counter revolution in India these days which is being reflected in the form of Hindutva, anti-corruption movements or various other urbanized forums and then in the name of farmers, to make it rural also. There is a commonality among them. If the crowd at Thackerey's funeral or at Anna's Ram Leela or Arvind Kejriwal's dramas in Delhi, they are quintessentially upper caste middle class background people with deep prejudices towards the Dalits and Muslims. They were accused of not stepping out of their homes and were not a vote bank. Perhaps, it is indications that they too are now becoming solid blocks so get their issues addressed by the power elite. Corruption never matters for Thackerey and the anti-corruption messiahs of India never bothered to touch him for it was clear that they know he never believed in niceties. As he was very clear about his perception, many times, it was felt, he spoke the language that suited political parties and other people.

The Babari Masjid was demolished on December 6th, 1992 in Ayodhya and Thackerey got an opportunity to spread his hate agenda in Mumbai. Another Maratha veteran Sharad Pawar was the chief minister of the state and yet when the communal riots began in Mumbai in January-February 1993, the police and administration was closely working with Shiv Sena gangs. Hundreds of Muslims were killed and there are proofs of the participation of various political leaders yet the state government did nothing. It never pursued cases against those culprits in these riots. What happen if the people do not get justice when their near dear ones are killed and butchered in front of them? We know international terrorism is there but we also know that this terrorism or ideas will never get support from people if justice is there. And in the aftermath of bomb blasts in Mumbai where underworld dons are considered to be the real culprits, the Mumbai police have been active in arresting Muslim youths. It is clear that the organisations like Sena were there to pressurize and communalise the entire administration and they succeeded. Today, Mumbai live in uncertainty as the underworld uses different guerrilla tactics to retaliate and avenge the attacks or discrimination against Muslims and Sena and its gang have active state support to protect the 'Hindus'. It is strange how they change their tactics. When the anti-Muslim or anti-Pakistani rhetoric does not work then Marathi Manus issue is raised so that non-Marathis live in constant fear.

The dirty games of Sena are well known. Bala Thackerey was not just rabidly accusing and abusing Muslims but he stood against all forms of rights granted to Dalits and OBCs under Indian constitution. He vehemently opposed reservation for Dalits and OBCs and his Sena was responsible for bloody war in Aurangabad for the renaming of Marathwada University in the name of Baba Saheb Ambedkar in which thousands of Dalits came on the street and many sacrificed their lives for the cause. So, it is clear that the caste Hindus, afraid of Dalit assertion and rights of OBCs and Muslims found Shiv Sena 'candid' and 'unambiguous' but their own hopes were dashed when 'all of them clubbed' together in the name of 'Bihari' and were threatened with dire consequences. That way, Thackerey and his clans were helping Bihar's 'secular' leaders to get united under one umbrella shedding their caste identities which is still impossible for any state in India, leave alone Bihar.

In one of his interviews with Shekhar Gupta, on ' Walk the Talk' at NDTV, Thackerey was proudly drinking white wine with him which makes him different than others who will speak against smoking and drinking in public but will do the same in private. It is well known that he loved warm Indian beer. His Cigar was very famous and unlike other Sangh Parivar wallahs, he enjoyed life particularly with the glamour world and never hid his relationship with film stars. Irony is that the Hindutva brigade used Nehru's lifestyle to target him as a 'westerner' and always created an image as if smoking and drinking was the sign of an 'evil' person. Hopefully, with Bal Thackerey's open love for all these things, they will change their views and take people based on their ideology and action.

It was an open secret that he deeply respected personal relationship and fulfilled them. That is why even Sanjay Dutt who had problems in 1992 riots cases, got support from Thackerey. He admired Hitler though he said he was fan of his 'commanding' loyalty and communication skills. He admired Saddam Hussein and perhaps like them he too had a great fan following. Every fascist dictator world over has a greater fan following as they are attractive for many in the middle classes and for thousands suffering in poverty and misery find them as their real 'messiah'. In the democratic polity that we follow today, there are lots of ambiguities and pretensions but those who do not believe in these pretentions can speak unambiguously and challengingly and absolutely suitable for the status quo.

Bombay had a historic legacy of labour movement and inclusive culture. It was a city, which every Indian was proud of as it welcomed every one without making them feel insecure of their identity. Today, it is Mumbai with Shiv Sainik being the real 'Sarkar' and the common men who came to the city for his life and survival is living at the mercy of these goons as the state government has completely abdicated its responsibility to protect the citizens of the state. The Thackerey legacy has ruined Mumbai. It does not matter whether there were two lakh people or two crore in his funeral, the only thing we all will remember that Thackerey's divisive and hate politics made a cartoon of Bombay where people are insecure, the infrastructure is crumbling and goons are roaming wearing political hats. Thackerey did not create Bombay but he and his Sena ruined and handed us Mumbai with all its insecurities and parochialism.


Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a writer and human rights defender, based in India. The author could be reached at

The above article is endorsed and circulated byIHRO and  AHRC. AHRC, the Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.




Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS



More Headlines

Nearly 71 percent of Indian elders compelled to work: Survey

Bal Thackeray: Identity Politics to the Fore

CPI-M blasts Shiv Sena, demands action against Palghar police officials

IBM, Brazil's richest man to be partners in chip factory

UAE, Brunei hold talks on education

Bangladesh condemns Israeli 'atrocities' in Gaza

Girls' arrest for questioning Mumbai shutdown: Govt. orders probe

In Myanmar, Obama calls for end to Rakhine state violence

Bhopal Gas survivors to knock on PMs door on 28th anniversary

SC slams centre over 2G auction


Top Stories

Mamata's no-confidence move not useful: Karat

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's no-confidence motion against the UPA will not be useful at this stage as the government has the numbers, CPI-M leader Prakash Karat said Monday. He added 

Congress ridicules Mamata over no-trust move

Trinamool doesn't have the numbers for no trust: BJP


  Most Read

Israeli aggression continues, Gaza death toll 91

Newly launched Israeli air strikes killed three more Palestinians in the Gaza Strip Monday, taking the toll to 91 on the  

Nine members of family killed in Israeli airstrike: Medic

Action after Katju's reaction: 9 arrested for vandalising Palghar clinic

It was unfair, Shaheen Dadha who was arrested for posting a comment on Facebook after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death said Tuesday as police nabbed 

Girls' arrest for questioning Mumbai shutdown: Katju e-mail forces govt. to order probe


  News Pick

Sunita Willams returns from space with new record

Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams has returned to earth after 127 days in space with a new record under her belt - the most spacewalking time by  

SC slams centre over 2G auction

The government Monday came under fire for not complying with the Supreme Court's order to auction the entire spectrum that became available following the cancellation of 122 2G licences in 22 circles in February. "We were very unfairly 

Stampede during Chhath festival in Patna, 18 killed

At least 18 people, including children and women, mostly devotees, were killed and several others were injured in a stampede during Chhath festival celebrations in Patna Monday 

India draw first blood in series against England

India Monday won the first cricket Test comfortably, making light work of a spirited fight back by England after following on. England, who put up a gritty batting display in the second innings on the fourth day, gave up rather tamely, their last 


Picture of the Day

President Pranab Mukherjee at the National Education Day 2012 function to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in New Delhi on November 11, 2012.

(Photo: Sanjiv Misra)


Recommend the story to your friends



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us


The Funny Side

Education & Career

    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange 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.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.