The big news now-a-days is the anarchy in Maharashtra led by the ShivSena(SS) goons. There are several new incidents that occurred this time, may it be the BJP speaking against SS’s acts or prince Rahul Gandhi being heckled by youths of Bihar (though this news is not followed by the media due to some unknown reasons). So I decided to write my 1st political blog on this issue.
The regionalism is always a big issue in the Maharashtra. The party, ShivSena, is based on the very concept of Marathi Asmita. Chatrapati Shivaji is its hero and for the party Shivaji stands for the Marathi Asmita. I do not know how can a legend like Shivaji be a part of parochialism. Shivaji was a great Maratha warrior who collided with the Mogul dynasty. Whole India takes pride in Shivaji and do not believe that certain party can bind the legacy of the great nationalist by the concept of regionalism.
SS has become a considerable political force in the state of Maharashtra by playing the Marathi Manoos card. Its founder Balashaheb Thackrey is known for his strong bias against the non-marathis and the Muslims. SS led a political revolution to free Mumbai from the Madrasis and got the support of many of the marathis. Why such revolutions got the support at that time? The main reason is the then social condition of India. Unemployment was the biggest problem and if people of other states come to your state and get the facilities ahead of you, you will surely be heated up. But the situation today is different. The present generation do not face the same problems. But the party, it seems, is not willing to change with times. It has always depended the hardcore marathi vote bank believing in such concepts and whose number is decreasing day by day. With a new president in Uddhav, the SS looked for an image makeover, but with serious drubbing in elections, it reverted back to its original brand of politics. As MNS took away a large chunk of the traditional SS votes, it decided to start its maratha centered politics once again. In the process, it actually failed to recognize that this vote bank is actually a shrinking one.
While analyzing recent incidents, it is noticeable that the RSS and the BJP (ally of SS for last 15 years) challenged the SS and opposed its acts. Why BJP and RSS did not oppose SS before when it led agitations against the madrasis? The clear reason is that the BJP and the RSS have almost no base in the south-india. But this time the attack of SS is against the north-Indians especially from the hindi heartland UP and Bihar. Most important factor for every national political party is that both UP and Bihar are going to have state elections in near future. So BJP (read RSS) and congress opposition to SS was expected. But direct opposition by the BJP and late opposition by the Congress is noticeable.
The BJP had never opposed the SS like the way it did this time. In fact, it was undecided at first. When the RSS came forward to save the north indians, BJP had no other way but to toe the RSS line. Its national president made strong statements and threatened the Sena by saying that the ties with the sena should be reconsidered. In the whole process, the Government of Maharashtra and the ruling party Congress again proved their incompetence. In fact its General Secretary and youth icon Rahul Gandhi was heckled by the youths of Bihar when he made some adverse comments against Gujrat. The youths asked him what his party’s govt. is doing for Biharis in Maharashtra. He had to apologise at the end. Here is the link of the video, you can here what the protestors said to Mr Gandhi: http://blip.tv/file/3160329/. I do not know, why the media refrained from reporting this incident (only India Today website had a small story about it. link: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/81925/India/Rahul’s+Gujarat+remark+kicks+up+row+in+Bihar.html), but the incident made Rahul Gandhi to take up the issue and he made statements against SS the same evening. Then the Congress came into action, almost after 24 hrs of BJP/RSS reaction. What has surprised me is the silence of the MNS. Why Raj Thackrey is silent on the issue which is actually re-invented by himself? I am sure we will hear something from him in near future.
It is quite clear that every single party is politicizing the issue. All national parties are trying to woo the North-Indians for the upcoming assembly elections. What helps them is that there is no major elections in Maharashtra in coming days. Same with he SS. It want to get its vote bank back from MNS before the 2011 civic polls of Mumbai. So we see, everyone is gaining from these incidents except the aam admi.
Our constitution clearly states that every Indian can go to any place inside India, live there and can earn their livelihood. As an Indian, we should abide by these laws. Our constitution has given enough space for the states’ interests. No one stops any body from respecting their states but at the same time they should respect the other states and the country. but clearly the concept of regionalism is still in our minds. We can not say that this problem is only the problem of Maharashtra. In fact, many states have their own laws barring people from other states getting the jobs. The hearts of Indians are divided on the regional lines. We hear issues like sharing of water of the river between two states, border disputes etc. People of south have problems with the North Indians and they do not respect the Hindi language (This scenario has changed but still the dispute is there like an undercurrent). It seems the concept of nationalism has lost to the concept of regionalism. I can only say that my RASHTRA lost to MAHARASHTRA.