Why the Kid Glove Treatment for Raj Thackeray?

October 26, 2008

The drama over Raj Thackeray is reaching a new high. Raj Thackeray, once he split from the Shiv Sena had to make a separate image for himself. So, one of the ways to do this was to try to appeal to the parochial nature of people; blame outsiders for whatever is the economic poor condition and try to inflame their sentiments. He has managed to be somewhat successful in this quest, inflaming sentiments and overall leading to a situation where immigrants from North India have been attacked inside Mumbai and other parts of the state of Maharashtra. In the past, this led to panic and the temporary stoppage of many industrial units with many of their workers running away.

And how does the Chief Minister handle this whole situation. The Shiv Sena has long been a thorn in the side of the Congress in Maharashtra, with their more pro-Marathi position and higher propensity to appeal to populist sentiment. The Congress cannot afford take such positions, since it needs to appeal to all sections of people, and cannot afford to antagonize the voters of North Indian origin. And of course, taking a more extremist position in Maharashtra would expose them to a backlash elsewhere; and their chief Sonia Gandhi would be targeted for such positioning; so if you get a person all ready to be more extremist than the Shiv Sena, you can imagine the scenario of a Congress Chief Minister salivating over the prospect of the Sena's divided vote.

What this has resulted in is the Congress treating Raj Thackeray with kid gloves; they come out with empty soundbeats about 'The law will take its own course', 'We will protect everyone and not let violence happen', and so on. And yet, they allow the lumpen elements of the MNS to attack and do violence in broad daylight, they do token arrest of Raj Thackeray, keep him in absolute comfort and let him out by the next day (first time, they let him out within a few hours, and the next time overnight). The police officers claim that they have nothing against Raj Thackeray.

And they can see the campaign working, the Shiv Sena is now unsure of how to behave and is trying to take credit for the campaign of the MNS. Read this report of the treatment of Raj:

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray need not worry about being arrested during Diwali, at least in the case filed by the Kalyan railway police. A Kalyan sessions court on Friday extended its interim protection to Thackeray till the next date of hearing, which falls on November 11. Sessions judge K K Tantrapale, however, emphasised that one of the conditions for the interim protection was that Thackeray will have to refrain from giving provocative and inflammatory speeches.
This whole situation has seen a woeful lack of an attempt by the State Government to try and prevent the violence, and the whole atmosphere of intimidation that is equally bad. Even after large scale condemnation by various parties (including allies of the Congress), there does not seem to be any clear attempt to show Raj Thackeray the violations of law that he has committed. Instead, after seeing the repeated statements of Raj (followed by direct action of his partymen), I am reminded of the way that the militants expelled most of the pandits from the Kashmir Valley. It is like a 2 step process, where Raj does not directly state violence, but leaves nothing else to be desired, and then his partymen carry out the actual violence.

Ashish is a blogger who got bit by the blogging charm a few months back, and it has hit him good. He is able to express himself through his blogs. Currently working with a software manufacturing company in NCR, India. Did a BE and then an MBA and has been working for around 9 years now. Is pretty passionate about current affairs, but did not have a vehicle to express his opinions till now. I primarily blog at Modern Indian Man, also write about Delhi, Tech News, and Photos 1 & 2
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October 26, 2008
03:58 PM

Well analysed article. However, the article misses the act of provocation that Laloo and co have resorted to in the months preceding the event. It also misses this little news item from the Indian Express

October 26, 2008
06:31 PM


Creating job opportunities for the locals and giving them priorities in local employment is a good economic policy. That is why local governments are elected by locals. We should force local governments to focus on job creation for their respective constituencies. We should decentralize and localize job creation and development. We should reduce pressure on migrations and big urban centers. These are the issues that India has to face up and they need constructive debate and consensus, not the kind of divisive demagogory that is seeking to pit north vs Marathi, son of soil vs migrants, being Indian vs being marathi, Bihari etc. It seems people who are opposed to pro-development economics are bent on making a demagogory out of serious issues for petty election grimicks. That is what congress-Lalu-MNS combine are seeking to achieve out of it.

Chaitanya S
October 26, 2008
09:08 PM


"I am reminded of the way that the militants expelled most of the pandits from the Kashmir Valley".

Kindly verify your facts. The Pandit's BELONGED to the Valley and had to vacate their OWN homes. So your example is baseless.

It is valid only if you wish to infer that the Biharis will drive the "Marathi manoos" out of Mumbai and turn the city into another Bihar.

October 27, 2008
03:17 AM

Chaitanya, point taken.
A different example where the militants terrorized Bihari laborers working in the Kashmir valley and forcec them to leave. We are not China where the Government forces people to get 'visa' equivalent documents to move from place to place.

October 30, 2008
02:32 AM

by not taking action against Raj ******* Thackeray for as long as possible, the congress govt actually endorsed the goonda raj. After all, they don't want to lose any marathi votes that might be coming to them. Only when it is ascertained that the common middle class Maharashtrian isn't with Raj really, they take action but of course that was just a rap on the knuckles nothing more.

the gunning down of Rahul Raj also sends a clear message, MNS hoods and their leader can do whatever they want be it insulting our culture or beating up people from our states, the maximum Raj gets for all of this is 1 only1 night in a lockup, where the marathi cops suck his cock the whole night.

it's shite state of affairs, if out of the blue Maharashtrians feel like insulting up/bihar people and beat us up, they can do so without any worries, I mean after all, its tyanchi Mumbai! While we dare not respond in anyway, if we do, we are gunned down

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