Monday, February 11, 2008

Why Raj Thackeray is wrong

By letting his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists attack poor north Indians of Mumbai, Raj Thackeray is under the mistaken belief that his pro-Marathi parochialism will win him votes. A similar tactic by his uncle Bal Thackeray 40 years ago against south Indians failed, so much that he has now made his policy an inclusive one.

Raj has justified his tirade saying if Manmohan Singh can raise the turban issue with the French President, if TN CM Karunanidhi can raise Tamils' issue with the Malaysian govt, if Bengalis can rally for cricketer Sourav Ganguly, why can't he speak up for Marathis. Raj is not only citing wrong models but resorted to violence. It's like the student who justified copying saying he was only following what others were doing.

When in Rome, do as Romans: there are no two opinions on that. Every resident of Mumbai has to respect the local customs and traditions. If sommeone in Mumbai is not doing it, then that's the issue. And, the solutions lies not in making life difficult for them, but addressing the issue and sending out positive vibes on how important local traditions are.

In today's globalised world isolationism doesn't work. Parochialism can have a chain reaction, leading to catastrophic consequences. If Raj Thackeray is looking for an identity, if he wants to promote Marathi -- nothing wrong in that -- he must work on constructive models by pro-active engagement, not by dividing Mumbaikars.


  1. I think in politics nothing can be right , nothing can be wrong. It is mob frenzy, whichever way a politician can fan it. From common man's point of view I agree with the reasonings that you have given.

  2. look - i think the mumbaikars will eventually learn to disregard this guy and for that matter the whole thackrey clan. Bal became famous when he started this south stuff & shive sena at a time VKKM was standing for elections in Bombay. to a certain extent mudaliar held him in check...

  3. Hi. Thanks for participating in the Bangalore bloggers meet scheduled for tomorrow, Feb 16. I would like to confirm your participation and I am looking forward to meeting you in person and other bloggers as well. As of now 50+ bloggers have confirmed their participation. Email me at or call me on 9880518019 for anything regarding the bloggers meet.