Thackerays: India’s Legal Terrorists!
POLITICS OF FANATICISM
Time has come to take action against those individuals, organizations and parties practicing Nazi and Fascist ideology against their own countrymen. Thackrays are a case in point, writes Surinder Mohan.
In a liberal democracy like India, it is shameful to see that those who are toiling and sweating for its economic development, intellectual progress and societal happiness are getting racial and terror blows—as reward for their impeccable service to the nation—from political goons. The last couple of years witnessed Thackerays of Shiv Sena and MNS consistently wagging racial, cultural and regional war against Indian citizens which is, technically and legally, no less than terrorism. Outside Maharastra India’s almost 100 crore population resides, yet Thackerays minority organisations’ confidence is so high that they are defying the law of land at ‘will’. They have not only challenged the rest of country in theory, but also have proved their chronic mental, in practice, against North Indians, Tamilians, Muslims, Christians, foreign nationals, artists, actors and players through their tested weapon of humiliation, hatred, beatings, threats and expulsion. Now situation has arrived to the worst climax ever. An ordinary citizen cannot go and work freely in India’s economic capital—Bombay (in protest to Thackerays terrorism throughout this article I am mentioning Mumbai as Bombay). Actually, at present, India’s aam aadmi is hostage of Thackerays’ terrorism.
Thackerays consistent notoriety has even forced a layman to conclude that they are no less than terrorists! However, layman’s this claim, that Thackerays are terrorists, looks ordinary but it is not as ordinary as most of us think. Because it can be supported by two forceful guiding reasons which are well enshrined in and adhered by our today’s ‘flat global’ society. First, the use of violence for the achievement of political ends by any individual or political group in any liberal-progressive society is generally acknowledged as terrorism. Second, the United Nations accepted definition on terrorism (17 December 1996). This definition states that: the “Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them” is terrorism. Both the above classified reasons show that whatever Thackerays are doing comes under the prohibited act of terrorism. Therefore, they deserve their right place in a progressive society—the other side of the legal fence—than where they are right now.
On the basis of these two reasons, several times, New Delhi slapped Kashmiris, Maoists and Naxalites with stringent terrorist acts but why did it not dare once against Thackerays? If, on behalf of dubious sources, an ordinary person can be booked under AFSPA in Kashmir and North Eastern states, and nationally under TADA, POTA, RASUKA like inflexible acts; then why not Thackerays? Are ‘wilful’ violators above the law of land? Or, Indian constitution is meant only for powerless poor? How New Delhi justifies its discriminatory position on terrorism which is based on the strange distinction between ‘bad or illegal terrorists’ and ‘good or legal terrorists’. Today aam aadmi is asking questions to the government of the day: why our system approves Thackerays terrorism? Why double standards are in practice?; and why should aam aadmi only bother about law when powerful political elite is not bound for the same?
The story of Thackerays terrorism is not new, if we prepare a list of last 10 years major incidents. It begins with first week of January 1999 when Shiv Sena activists—before Indo-Pakistan Test series—have dug up New Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla pitch. During the same period, Thackerays threatened to disrupt New Delhi-Lahore bus service. On several occasions they encouraged their activists to disrupt Valentine Day by using weapon of vandalism, threats and cultural policing against innocent retailers and youths. In subsequent years Thackerays terrorism has out-fashioned Indian administration by using power to abuse innocents and in spreading hatred against minorities. After 1992-93 Bombay riots, their major shows occurred between February-October 2008. During this period their activists have publicly beaten North Indian vendors, shopkeepers, students and labourers. Similarly, recent high-profile controversies tell us a parallel tale, like: director Karan Johar’s apology for using Mumbai’s previous name, Bombay, in his film; Amitabh–Jaya Bachchan’s humiliation in the name of Marathi superiority and culturalism; hooliganism inside the CNN-IBN7 news channel’s Bombay office; slapping of Samajwadi Party’s legislator Abu Azmi for taking oath in Hindi; Sachin Tendulkar, Mukesh Ambani and Rahul Gandhi’s criticism for their upholding statements that Bombay “equally belongs to all Indians”; Shah Rukh Khan and Amir Khan’s criticism for their stand on recent IPL controversy over Pakistani players. All these incidents tell a shameful story—in which Thackerays have not spared anyone from lower classes of the society to higher—of open breach of law.
By boosting Raj Thackeray’s MNS, Congress and NCP have committed blunder because they have spoon fed a kid who is going to be tomorrow’s moral and cultural policeman—the next avatar of Bal Thackeray (with overtones of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale). By supporting MNS, Congress repeated its old policy of mid-60s when, in order to weaken CPI’s dominant role in Bombay’s labour and trade unions, it supported Shiv Sena. From that day, Shiv Sena’s militant ideology begun to blossom i.e. Maharashtra belongs only to the Marathi community and they should be given preference over migrants; similar to its today’s policy in favour of MNS and against Shiv Sena-BJP. Now, after the split in Sena, two genies are competing for dominance. This race for dominance, across Maharashtra, assures a spread of violent conflicts and its huge devastating impact on the common man. These genies’ violent show might turn so huge that even their groomers might sweat to put them back into the bottle. Before feeding MNS, the Congress could have opened its dusty files of past mistakes, like Punjab’s Bhindranwale episode. Now similar to Bhindranwale, Thackerays are showing true colours by increasing their stake for separation. Similarly, on the other side, organisations like Pramod Muthalik’s Sri Ram Sena, Bajrang Dal and VHP have adopted Shiv Sena-MNS as their role model. As replicas of Shiv Sena, they are also competing to spread hatred across India. In last two years, (on 24 August 2008 and on 24 January 2009) Sri Ram Sena showed its muscle power by vandalising an exhibition of M.F. Husain’s paintings in Delhi and by attacking girls in a pub in Mangalore. Right now, however, VHP is silent and Bajrang Dal is dying, but their equivalent past stories of shame are not less notorious. Collectively, they all are giving signals that ‘Shining India’s’ tough days are yet to come.
At present common man is scared of bhagwa brigade’s hatred fire, but government believes in ‘no action’ policy. Manmohan Singh government’s this inability is a remarkable mirror reflection of Mahabharata’s Dhritarashtra’s rule. Dhritarashtra was not only blind by nature but was also by his deeds which finally led the Kauravas, Pandvas, and millions of countrymen to the “Battle of Kurukshetra”. Is this government also waiting for a similar battle? I think yes, it is. Because the current chaotic environment of the country is at point blank range—just a whistle away from the second battle of Kurukshetra. But the great danger, beneath Kurukshetra-II, is that it is loaded with Thackerays ‘regionalist nuclear bomb’ which has potential to disintegrate India. For a possible way out from this tough situation, aam aadmi would like to remind Dhritarashtra’s cabinet (and also to the UPA Chairperson) about Gandhiji’s talisman, which says that: “Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny?...Then you will find your doubts and yourself melt away”. To restore the system, if aam aadmi’s this last hope also turns ineffective, then government should ask itself three questions: first, why it proudly advertises and publishes Gandhiji’s message?; second, why it is burning tax payers money if it has no faith on Gandhiji’s talisman; and last, why it is ridiculing Gandhiji by only advising aam aadmi?
Finally, Marathi manoos should not fall into Thackerays trap. Like Bal Thackeray’s recent hard-talk against Australians racial attacks on Indians. It is an ultimate piece of self-mockery. Because the same Indian is facing an equivalent bouncer from Thackerays on the land of Martha’s! How can one racial attacker, who himself defies the law of his own country, preaches other equivalent deifier? How do two wrongs make a right? Thackerays attacks and New Delhi’s inability to tackle within its own territory makes India’s stand paradoxical against Australia. The negative impact of New Delhi’s hesitation to control and constrain Thackerays attacks is that it has lost leverage over Australia.
Now time has come to take action against those individuals, organizations and parties which are practicing Nazi and Fascist ideology against their own countrymen. Therefore, the government should sense call of the hour and take steps to deter Thackerays nonsurgical hatred cancer with final arsenal—the legal action. Before ordinary person take law in his hand it is better that Dhritarashtra government shrug-off its impotency. Otherwise aam aadmi knows how to settle a score! New Delhi should stop its “no action” policy because it is provoking aam aadmi to give it a similar response—with “red bangles” as a symbol of courage and bravery—as recently he/she has given to Sri Ram Sena’s Pramod Muthalik through “pink chaddi” campaign.
Finally, like Congress party’s spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, three quick points: first, Thackerays present actions are just a trailer of India’s disintegration. The full script of country’s withering away (along with releasing date) is under serious consultation with Dhritarashtra’s cabinet; second, our visionary government’s response shows that it has no problem even if GenNext would follow Thackerays foot prints by forming a new political outfit—Rastrawadi Deshdrohi Party!; and third, I distinguish it very personally, our Dhritarashtra is not afraid from anything because he knows that kala akshar bhains barabar!
(Surinder Mohan is Pursuing PhD in International Relations from School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi. Feedback at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 16 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 16 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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