Saturday, August 28, 2010

Raj Thackaray, I and National Integration........Lets think and then speak.

Swararaj Shrikant Thackaray, aka Raj Thackaray. I came across this name when I finished my school and about to step in college. To be frank and precise, days when I was supposed to get along with something which attracts or provoke young minds, something which gets popular very easily but may not have the touch of reality or seriousness.Those were the days when I was slowly getting exposed to the environment around me, trying to lookout of nest and the safety cover of my parents. Once, while passing by the Dhuru Sabhagruha ( Dhuru Hall, Dadar west , near Ideal book depot), I found that meritorious students of UPSC exam being felicitated by a person called Raj Thackaray. With curiosity I went inside, and in very a short period I realized that the only place from where I could see the ceremony is the small wall nears window. The Hall was jammed packed and there was very little space for any new comer. Initially I thought that the crowd was gathered to see the UPSC toppers from Maharashtra, but my misunderstanding was quickly got cleared when a loud cheer welcomed the chief guest of ceremony, Raj Thackaray. He came, took his seat and the ceremony began. The first thing I noticed about him was he was on time for the ceremony. I was aware that he is the nephew of the very popular and well known politician Balasaheb Thackaray. And then as he was known for his skills of oratory, impressed again his supporters along with me. Every issue he raised in his speech was cleverly articulated, well analyzed and most importantly was presented with a hint of solution. I guessed the last thing stroked me most. It was then way back in 2000-2001, when he had not formed his own party i. e. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Today Raj has positioned himself as one of the prominent leader in Maharashtra, fully focused on regional politics and even today he holds the same place that he created in my mind way back in his first speech that I have mentioned above. The reason to write this post is the answer to question why I feel the same for this person as I feel many years ago. Today there are many issues, controversies which are surrounding him and I do not support all the things which he does but still I have reasonable points which give me no option but to back him.

1. Raj never denies what he says. Be it the statement against people from few states, or statements against Jaya Bachchan or anything else. If I go and search for a politician with such a quality specially in India, I think I have to stop search.

2. Raj is graduated from J.J. School of Arts, one of the prestigious college in Mumbai. He is educated and an artist. A gifted painter and cartoonist. How many politicians in India are well educated and have an artistic mind is a big question.

3. Those who know Marathi and can dare to watch the footage shown on National Media channels ( Hindi and English) can easily understand that Raj is highly misrepresented by these channels.The problem with national media is that they just focus on a few sound bytes and twitter-length talking points, and often tend to talk past Raj.The media never goes down to the granularity of the points he raises and instead goes after him with a hammer.Also it has became a fashion to speak against Raj.

4. Raj  is very smart and intelligent POLITICIAN. Today politics in India has reached to such a level that if a white collar, sophisticated, gentleman decides to enter the politics then it will be a subject for PhD that how long he can sustain in the system and how long he can manage to be honest, uncorrupted and as he was when he enters politics. Corruption has reached to such extent that it will be a cruel joke to expect our politician to be philanthropic and uncorrupted. It is a system where one needs to be selfish to be selfless. And I don't think we should expect Raj to be ideal politician. But I can always expect him to be a smart intelligent and hopeful person . The reason why I called him smart can be depict from an incident when he was asked to give reaction on the statement made by Sachin Tendulakar regarding Mumbai. Sachin said that Mumbai belongs to whole India.Shivsena spoke against it and had a tight slap from all over India.

The ans given by Raj was, what do you expect if you ask Sonia Gandhi, who will qualify for semi final of FIFA football world cup. I request to keep aside your preconceived notions and ask yourself, how many politicians in India can give such smart and impeccable answer?

5.Listen to his speeches in Marathi, and you will realize, he is not explicitly anti-outsider or even anti-North-Indian. He is anti-UP-Bihar. And there too, he is opposed to the hordes of uneducated homeless people that supposedly pour into the city, adding to the competition for jobs and burdening the infrastructure of the state.North India also has Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal, all states that have built their own economies and infrastructures.

6.There are two political events in Mumbai where crowds do not have to be hired and trucked in to create a false show of strength: the death anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar on 6 December and the annual Dusshera rally addressed by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. These are the two days when loyalists come on their own in packed trains, alight at Dadar railway station and then walk another 15 minutes to reach the Shivaji Park area where the city’s big political rallies are traditionally held. The Third entry in the list in above category is the rally conducted by Raj. Raj did not go around making empty promises as most politicians do. It almost seemed as if he was shaking people out of their inertia. Every rally was like a wake-up call. When someone has such a power to touch the hearts of so many people, it is really hard to believe that whatever he is saying is absolutely wrong and stupid.

7. A prominent issue raised against Raj is his violent campaign against candidates from other states who came to attend Railway recruitment exams in Maharashtra. Let us understand one thing, the land given to INDIAN RAILWAY in Maharashtra state was belonged to farmers in Maharashtra and hence it is promised to them that they ( or their sons/daughters) will get job in return. This law is not at all specially for Maharashtra but it is for every other state in India. I think the law is very correct and I don't think anybody has any objection against it.Now, the issue is, it has been seen that the advertisements for the recruitment for Maharashtra region appear in newspapers which belong to other states. ( I don't think I have to mention the names of states, it can be clearly seen from where the major candidates come from ). The question is how to stop such exams? Nobody can support the violence conducted against innocent candidates. They are not in fault and they can't be blamed for anything. They come here to earn bread and butter in the manner it is available. But shouldn't' we think of the candidates who loss their right to get these jobs just because they were kept in dark about the vacancies? What is the source of income left with the farmer who gave his land to Railway and now waiting for the vacancies which could provide his family a constant and secure source of income?
Filing a case against railway recruitment board is the last option one can opt for, looking at the situation of our judiciary system. What is the way to stop the exam at that moment of time, so as to avoid the malpractice conducted by few officers to make available jobs for only a particular states? When I will get the satisfactory answers for these question I will be the first person to criticise Raj for his violent actions against poor candidates.

8.While one must condemn anything that weakens our unifying Indian identity, it would be hypocritical to turn a blind eye to certain harsh social and political realities of Mumbai. Fifty-four per cent of its residents live in slums, most of which are so unbelievably congested and squalid that it is criminal on the part of any government to let people live in such inhuman conditions. It is well known to authorities that tens of thousands of Bangladeshis, many with voting rights, are living in Mumbai. Mumbai is decaying everyday, every single minute and it really hurts to see a city dying in such a manner. But very few politicians in the city, state or country are taking a serious and comprehensive view of its chronic condition, and fewer still are willing to take the tough decisions to set things right. By tough decisions, one does not mean banning ‘outsiders’ — north Indians or Indians from any other part of India — from settling in Mumbai. That certainly is wrong. But is it wrong to hold that encroachments should be stopped, that people must not be allowed to occupy pavements and places earmarked for public utilities, or that the cut-off years for regularization of slums must be strictly adhered to.

9. Raj is one of the few such politicians who have raised the concern about the growing slums that are paralyzing the Mumbai. The question that Raj Thackeray and many people in Mumbai are asking is: How can slum redevelopment and rehabilitation ever succeed if there is political patronage for the creation of new slums? How can Mumbai ever see orderly urban development, with world-class infrastructure and civic amenities for all its residents, if there is deliberate and corruption-induced disorder in the use of its most scarce resource — land? Indeed, which Indian city can grow well if short-term and partisan political interests undermine a long-term and integral vision of urban renewal?And while putting forward his demands, Raj never complains about the tax paid by Mumbai and things Mumbai get in return. Niether he asked to stop paying tax.So where comes the question of Raj putting threats to National integrity? National integrity doesnt get affected when few states refuse to accept Hindi as national language? Only when Raj speaks about Marathi threats being created?

10.Our constitution has given few basic rights to every citizen and I guess they have been given to citizens staying in Mumbai. These rights are, right to livelihood, right to decent environment, right to good health, right to food,water, education, medical care and shelter. The common man pays income tax (Mumbai pays 33% of total tax to govt. of India) doesn't deserve the safe and secure journey of in public transport? As a city Mumbai has already crossed all its limits and how long we are going to burden this city in the name of the 'Right to go and settled anywhere in India'?

11. Whether in right or wrong way, this man Raj, has the power to give results specially from a stubborn and inflexible system called Indian Politics.His campaign asking shopkeepers in Mumbai to put the sign boards in Marathi could be the perfect example. Every city in India has this law ( recently in Chennai 3000 sign boards were pull down, because they were not in Tamil). So what is wrong if Raj asked concerned people to follow the law. And if they dare to go against it, in which launguage we are supposed to teach them? Don't we punish children in schools for not following rules and regulations of school?  

12. Many people raised the question, Where is Raj Thackeray when NSG people from north India came for operation 'Black Tornado'. Not MNS but NSG people save Mumbai etc etc.
Now consider following things and again ask yourself these questions:
   a> When operation were being carried out, Mumbai police were already under tremendous stress and is it really logical that a politician to visit operation site or hospital and give media bytes? Doctors from hospitals were pleading to politicians to not to visit hospitals and injured people because security around politicians and media people are making things difficult for hospital management.
   b> NSG commanders are from all over India and they have people who are from Maharashtra. Also the motive to visit Mumbai is very different from the motive of people against whom Raj has opened up a campaign. How stupidly one can compare these two things.
  c> Raj is the only politician who visit the funeral of all the three police officers who were killed in Taj attack. He banned all the media people to cover who wanted to cover him saying this is not the place and time and he is not doing this for any kind of publicity. How many politicians in India can show such kind of sensibility?
13. Raj is one of the few politician who play National Anthem in the end of every Rally, with due respect (these is a video going around on net which shows Lalu prasad and his wife are sitting when National Anthem was being played and every other person around them was standing). May be we would like to know how many politicians in India know our national anthem.

14. People spoke about Raj's kids going in English medium school. I feel Raj has never said things against other language schools, but he demands that every school should teach Marathi (which is Official language of Maharashtra and it is mandatory to teach in every school running in Maharashtra). So what is wrong with his demand?

Even after writing so many points I am left with many such issues which can be enlisted under this topic. But somewhere someone has to stop. We all proud to be Indian Aren't we? but can't we love our mother tongue and promote it in our own state? I wish to write the whole topic in Marathi, but can I try to reach maximum people by writing it in English? This blog is not to support MNS or Raj Thackaray. But isn't it my duty as An INDIAN to oppose if I feel something is being wrongly portrayed by media without understanding the depth and reasons behind it? I feel National Integration is in great danger when the fourth pillar of Democracy is wrongly used by few people for personal benefits. 

Jai Hind, Jai Bharat, Jai MAHARASHTRA


  1. Its great daring and smart effort of thoughts to write such a blog ..really appreciable.
    True Indian can only hope for betterment
    of each and every part of India , so that
    every citizen at least get his basis
    rights and feel contended.At present
    India and to be more specific city like
    Mumbai has got badly trapped in politics.
    So there is nothing against raj thackeray
    if his smartness can make a positive
    change for the people of mumbai.

  2. changle lihle aahe...ekdum MBA professional sarkhe...pointwise! :) analysis khoop chaangli maandlis...pan fakt ekach perspective ne..ase mala waatle..George Bernard Shaw ne lihle aahe.. “The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it."
    mee tuzya hya postshi mostly agree karat nahi...he mee fashion mhanun boltoy ase nahi..pan manala vaatle mitrala aaple opinion sangave mhanun... :)
    kunache opinion badalne mhanje jagaat sarvat kathin udyog aste bagh..maze opinion fakt ekach vyakti badlu shakto aani to mhanje meech... :)
    ..kadhi tari nivant pane lihayla vel milala tar mee pan analysis karnyacha prayatna karin...
    to paryant... lihat raha!

  3. Gr8 job Niks !!!! Really gud. As a true MUMBAIKAR, u have expressed ur concern for aur beloved city in gr8 detail. It's really hard to see our city getting ruined day by day. Though I feel that Raj is too truly concerned about the city and want to change the current pathetic condition of Mumbai, let's not forget that he is a politician too. He knows that the MARATHI issue is the only one which can appeal to most of the marathis and will give a quick headstart to his newborn party. Still, compared to other politicians right now, Raj definitely stands out and will be the one to bring the change we want in Mumbai.

  4. Mr. Raj Thakrey is definitely different from really abysmal other politicians..the garbage that clutters politics...The bar of comparison itself is too low....d article is heartfelt n penned down with strong emotions.But i still feel there are ways of getting things done. If our objectives r good but means to achieve them is not right it becomes unlawful. You say "Don't we punish children in schools for not following rules and regulations of school?" Well, if we do that,give severe punishments,we do very wrong....