In Indian politics, whenever there is discussion about the separatists, our attention immediately reaches towards the movements in Jammu and Kashmir or in North-East India. Attempts are made to crush these separatist movements with the help of state governments and local administration by the government of India.
If the need arises, the government takes the help of army or local police. The organizations that run such separatist movements are blacklisted and possible stern actions are taken to deal with them. But now it seems that separateness has come out with the new face of ‘nationalism’. It has started in India, in the prosperous state of Maharashtra.
The organization of Shiv Sena, a regional political party, in Maharashtra, an industrial and economically prosperous state in India, was formed to encourage regionalism. But Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray showed himself a nationalist and a ‘Hindutvavadi’, to set himself up in politics. And treading this path, there remained an alliance for many decades between Bal Thackeray and another ‘Hindutvavadi’ national party, Bhartiya Janata Party, to take hold of power, that is ongoing.
By adopting the extremist thoughts of Bal Thackeray, the Bhartiya Janata Party might have enjoyed the power but with the main role of regional party Shiv Sena. Now the nephew of Bal Thackeray, Raj Thackeray is also working on the same lines as his uncle.
Because of the controversy about succession of Bal Thackeray, his nephew too has started his own party on the basis of regionalism and ‘Marathism’. The Thackeray family says they are nurturing Hinduism, that they are patriots at the core of their heart.
Their flags and dress also gives the impression of their being true patriots. But for the last few months, the Thackeray family has been giving air to the regionalism for their political rivalry and showing cruelty to Non-Marathas, that reveals that their patriotism is a mere show and nothing else.
The nephew Raj Thackeray uses his political energy in such a way that he wants to defeat his uncle Bal Thackeray in state politics. To achieve this, Raj Thackeray set up a new regional party ‘Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’ (MNS). He talks of ‘Marathism’ instead of Nationalism in his speeches. He wants to tell the Maratha people that only he is the best well wisher for them.
For this movement, Raj Thackeray is sowing the seeds of hatred against the North Indians. Last days, many such incidents took place where in Maharashtra specially in Bombay, miscreant supporters of Raj Thackeray have beaten North Indians, who were unarmed and were working as taxi drivers, shopkeepers and servicemen or students who have are there to participate in examination for their services.
The violence that was ongoing for many months was eventually retaliated. Indian Railway Services were disrupted. There was loss of property and buses were broken and set on fire. In all, there was a great loss of national property.
Now the question arises, will these leaders who call themselves nationalists and give air to regionalism, remain free? Is their false drama of patriotism is not a mere drama to get power? In fact, the two decades of regional party importance has shown the big leaders what they are in politics.
At present, there are very few leaders in India who have recognition and regards from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Now the second line politicians are trying to encourage regionalism. These leaders are trying to recognize the points for regionalism and then working on them. For this, the local leaders present themselves as the true well wishers of the regional people and if being a well wisher doesn’t impress the public, they spread hatred for the remaining Indians.
Indian nationalists are now in doubt if these separatists, intent on capturing power, may not divide the country in many parts as was done in Afghanistan where many tribes used to rule in different areas. The central government should severely deal with such regional leaders who encourage regionalism. For it, Indians should feel that they are first of all Indians and not natives of any special state.
The boundaries of the state are marked just for the easy administration and regional development. There is no need to praise the narrow minded leaders. The people of the country must be aware of the separators. The parties or the leaders or a regional party that shows the path of regional superiority over the national or encourage such views should be avoided and people should be watchful in this regard.
Leaders who shine their politics in the name of religion, caste, region or language are only hungry for power and have false sympathy for the people. To keep India united, there is great need to recognize such people so that India may not be fragmented.