The Raj Conundrum

23 10 2008

The Raj Thackeray’s episode has been rankling for the last few months now. The governments, both central and state, are doing precious little to address the fissures Raj is so hell bent upon on creating. The decisiveness of those who matter is again conspicuous only by its absence.

Mumbai, a truly cosmopolitan city and the melting pot of India, is under threat of becoming a regional bastion because of one man’s tryst with power. The common Marathi Manoos is safe and forward looking. Of all the people I have met of all the regions, Marathis are probably the most progressive of the Indian lot. They are intelligent, they toil hard, and they receive just rewards. Then how so suddenly are they in such a grave danger, that a taxi driver from a remote Bihar village can tear their collective lives apart.

This unsavoury and unethical game of whipping up the regional sentiment for one’s personal gain, without regard of the effect it may have on the integrity of the whole nation. Maharashtra has always been a very important part of the India. This polarizing of communities is not going to help anyone but provide Raj Thackeray his temporary political gains.

Besides, the violent nature of the party workers is a clear indication of what is going to be the mode of implementation of the party manifesto. You tow OUR party line or you suffer. Its not suprising in itself then that the first casualty of the violent elements of MNS was not an out of state Bihari or a UPite or Orriya or Jharkhandi but a hardworking Marathi citizen – Ambadas Haribhau Dharrao.

On the flip side, the polarizing effect in other parts can also be witnessed. The indications coming out of Jharkhand and how they are now ready to target Marathis, is clear indications that things have come to a head. Even though Marathis had nothing to do with it.

Even as day before Raj Thackeray was put behind the bars, his goons wreaked havoc on Mumbai and non-Marathis. And the subsequent bail today just points to the laxity of our system in curtailing influence of people who openly promote sectarian violence.

Are we seeing a Bhindranwala all over again and aren’t we again turning a blind eye, hoping that the situation would somehow resolve itself. It will not and if government does not start taking absolute decisive action against people or organization who think they can hold the society at ransom by violence, we are going to see a whole new Punjab and repercussions of this would be felt across the country.

Lets not confuse the issues. Raj Thackeray is not a visionary; if anything he just has the next elections in his sights and a vision to overturn Shiv Sena and his cousin Uddhav Thackeray.  He does not even fall in the category of “one man’s terrorist, another man’s revolutionary”. He should be held accountable for any deaths resulting from his “rule of the sword” politics and inducing violence.

In the age, where India is already dealing with region and religion based terrorism across the country, we do not need the most important state in India to become embroiled in regional violence.

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Des mere…

17 08 2007

Time flies bye. It seems just yesterday that I had posted my “Desh ke Naam Sandesh” on the 59th Anniversary of Azad Bharat. And here I sit again into the 61st year of our independence. This year I was laid low with a bout of fever and cough but got a chance to watch the Independence Day Special on Discovery channel.

Also got to listen bits and pieces of PM Mr. Manmohan Singh’s speech. The speech was unfortunately very very ordinary, I have grown used to these speeches now. The agenda remains same, the script sounds eerily familiar every year. However, the the optimism of a roaring economy is in the air and on every news channel – Indian and foreign alike.

India is fast redefining its image and India of Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram sounds like one from a different lifetime, eventhough I grew up in that India. I never imagined even in the year ’97, that in ten years I would be sitting in my house with a laptop connected to internet through a wireless switch and typing away at this blog entry.

I remember reading a definitive commentary on Indian culture and heritage – “The Wonder that WAS India” by A.L. Basham. Even as the book was amazing in its content, the “WAS” in the title was quite damning in itself of the fact that India had become a pale shadow of its glorious past. Its unfortunate that Mr. Basham is not with us anymore, else I could see him writing a sequel to the book and call it “The Wonder that is India”. The paradoxical economy thrives. Umpteen regulations, countless cases of corruption, politicians devoid of vision and commitment, anarchy rules. And even in anarchy its the common Indians who drive this country in face of numerous challenges.

This post is dedicated to INDIANS. To our hopes and to our ambitions. To our tribulations and our perseverance. To our marvelous & haunting past, to our ascending present, and to our glorious future.

So what if Sensex crashed 660 points today, tomorrow it would rise a 1000. Optimism is all around and I can not help it rubbing on to me.

Jai Hind!