It’s a National Shame Regionalism Has Undermined Nationalism in Mumbai


It’s a relay race between Raj Thackery’s MNS and Uday Thackery’s Shiv Sena. If one stops, the other starts. It’s what’s happening in Mumbai of late. After the outrage against the Biharis and UP walas unleased by Raj Thackery, it’s the turn of Shiv Sena Uday Thackery to go after Shah Rukh Khan and Pakistani players. What was an inadvertent comment by SRK turned out to be a cause for all-out war against him. The Shiv Sena is so upset with the comments by SRK on Pakistani players and their uncharitable omission from the next edition of IPL, they decided to take him head on.

Incidentally, SRK is the third celebrity to become the target of Sena’s attack. First it was their own son Sachin, who was attacked for having said nothing but Mumbai belongs to all Indians. Second came Mukesh Ambani, who said the same thing. What’s wrong with those statements, nobody knows.

Maharashtra for that matter Mumbai is in India and as per the constitutional guarantees, every Indian has a right to live and own property in any part of the country except the state of J&K. How Mumbai claims exclusive right to the sons of the soil policy, is baffling to one and all.

It is outrageous further when P. Chidambara was called the Home Minister of Pakistan by Uday Thackery. What was his fault. He said that it was unfortunate to omit the Pakistani players from the next edition of IPL. As a sports lover and being the Home Minister, Chidambaram wanted to send a strong message to Pakistan that there was no government hand in the snub of the Pakistani players at the IPL auction as Pakistani government and people have not taken lightly the insult heaped on their players by Indian franchisees, who refused to buy anyone blaming the Indian government. But after the statement by Chidambaram, Pakistanis hailed his stand on the issue.

All the former cricketers came out openly in support of the Pakistani players, who were considered the best players of the T20 short format of the game. SRK also said the same thing. Besides, talking about Mumbai, he said nothing insulting except that Mumbai belongs to all Indians. It is really a matter of shame that two Senas have taken over the rights of Mumbai treating it as their exclusive property. It is also not clear who is ruling in Maharashtra, it is Senas or Congress. These extra-constitutional authorities are trying to undermine the unity of the country and create an atmosphere of distrust between the people.

Rightly, Chavan Government have initiated action against Thackerys for their unsavoury comments on the celebrities including an article of Sena’s mouth piece ‘Samna’ by the elder Thackery. They are examining the contents as to what extent they are seditious and anti-national. All said and done, the social fabric of the country is at stake for the stand taken by these Thackerys who are up in arms against all at the drop of a hat.

Now it is the turn of Rahul Gandhi to face the music of the Senas. Recently at a rally meeting, Rahul said if Biharis and UP walas have to be sent out of Mumbai, who will be left out there in Mumbai. If the Senas were against these states, they must understand that the commandoes who stormed the Taj and killed all the terrorists were from Bihar and UP. Where were these Thackerys during the trying hours of 26/11? They were not seen or heard in Mumbai. Rahul rightly questioned them and their credentials. Chavan, CM of Maharashtra, has given a strong statement that any one disrupting the national unity would be dealt with sternly. More particularly, he had cautioned Senas to keep off Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Mumbai today.

One thing is clear from the actions of Senas. Uday wanted to upstage Raj Thackery and hijack his agenda on Marathi manoos. Shiv Sena felt its existence threatened when Raj was reigning in Mumbai with his hate Bihari campaign. However, both the Thackerys have got the snub of their life in the recent elections, where people have overwhemingly rejected Shiv Sena and BJP. The people of Maharashtra have grown mature enough to dismiss these Senas from the scene.

Let us wait and watch, what is next in Mumbai. But the Centre has a role to play to stem the rot. It should act decisively against the Thackerys, if they cross the tolerable limit.

Jai Hind.

A.M. Jamsheed Basha is a Chennai-based columnist, political commentator, who writes on matters of importance, political, social and self-improvement.