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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Shiv Sena

My blog needs an update and I think I've rattled on long enough about myself. Also it's been a long time since I've had a chance to vent my spleen at someone or something. So instead of focusing my illuminating spotlight on myself today I shift the focus onto one of my pet peeves: The Shiv Sena.

Warning: If anyone reading this is a supporter of the Shiv Sena, please stop here and go back to inciting trouble somewhere. You're not going to like what follows.

For people expecting an unbiased post: get real! I know I'm right. Why shouldn't I be biased.

Ok, for starters, if I had to test a nuke device I'd stick the Sena on an island n try it on them. They are communalists of the worst kind. The kind that portray themselves as nationalists. In fact they actually seem to believe that. Poor souls. I don't know what the Sena high command i.e. Bal Thackeray, really believes, but he banks on the frustration of the middle class and keeps the fires burning.

If the Sena doesn't have a viable issue to riot about, lo and behold, they'll create one. I've been trying to remember all the stuff they've done over the years. It's tough. I think I'll just start this off with what I can remember from the top of my head and I'll post a scrap or two everytime they riot again. Just following their antics will ensure I post often.

In 1998 Shiv Sainiks attacked movie theatres in Mumbai over Fire, a Deepa Mehta film with a lesbian theme.

In 1999 I remember their outcry against the visit of the Pakistani team. The threat that they'd dig up the cricket pitch at Mohali. In fact they actually did vandalise the cricket pitch at Firoz Shah Kotla in Delhi to stop the Pakistani cricket team from playing there.

I remember the protests each year against the celebration of Valentines Day. The Hallmark stores that were stormed and the cards that they burnt. Their reasoning... The celebration of Valentine's day is a western concept that should not be allowed in India. Whether they believe India and Indians are the personal property of Bal Thackeray is a question that should be settled sometime soon. Maybe a few open debates on the issue would help settle my queries. Unfortunately the Shiv Sena isn't known for it's debating skills. The last editor of a local daily that tried to take them on was attacked.

I'm not sure what the official Sena response to that was but they have a pretty standard spiel that they use each and every time the violence goes too far and they have to excuse themselves.

They used it when a statue of Bal Thackeray's wife was defaced in July(someone threw some mud on it... big deal). I think even their own supporters would have said their reactions were disproportionate to the original incident. However the standard Shiv Sena response was parroted forth as usual. "Of course we don't endorse violence, but our people are very high spirited. They could not bear the insult." Details below

Earlier, the statue of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's wife was allegedly desecrated at Shivaji Park on Sunday morning by unidentified miscreants.

In protest, Shiv Sainiks went on a rampage and torched a tourist bus in the area. They also blocked the main road at Shivaji Park.

The Sainiks claimed that the miscreants had thrown mud on Thackeray's wife, Meenatai's, statue. Meanwhile, a bandh has been called by the party in Navi Mumbai.

Shiv Sainiks also damaged a police outpost near Shivaji Park alleging that the police failed to nab the culprits although the outpost was just a stones throw away from where the incident took place.

Shiv Sena has said that it would not allow state Assembly proceedings to go on until those responsible for the defacing of the statue are arrested.

A clash was reported from Andheri in which a senior police officer, Rajendra Thakur, was seriously injured. Sainiks burnt effigies at Andheri West and all shops were shut down in the area.

Meanwhile, at the Mumbai domestic airport the ground staff has gone on a strike to protest against the incident.

"Things had gone out of control but now the situation is returning to normalcy. However, sporadic incidents of stone pelting have been reported. Extra reinforcements have been called and Sena leaders have assured us that law and order will not get out of control," Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police, Arup Patnaik said.

At Shivaji Park, the police fired teargas to disperse protestors.
Senior Sena leader Manohar Joshi has threatened drastic action against those involved in the desecration of the statue.
Joshi has threatened to bring life to a standstill in Dadar and other Sena strongholds in the city.

"Meenatai, whom the Shiv Sainiks called Maasaheb, is like God to us. Our God has been insulted here. There will definitely be reaction to this," an agitated Joshi said.

This was said of a woman whose greatest role was the one she played as wife of Bal Thackeray. Whether putting up with him, earned her a statue in a public place is anyone's guess.

This was said of a woman whose husband was prosecuted for inciting communal violence and who very famously threatened "India will burn."
Thackeray warned. "I am not threatening but warning. The NDA Government had better be aware. This is not a virus that will be restricted to Mumbai and Maharashtra. It will spread through the country."

What more can I say...

You may wonder what today's violence was about... The Shiv Sena is starting to feel the pangs of succession. Bal Thackeray's nephew n protege Raj Thackeray, left the party and set up his own, when his uncle decided to stick with his son Uddhav Thackeray as his successor. Today the workers of both the parties clashed. Yippee. It may be bad for the average mumbaikar but as a distant observer I can't help but gloat over the idea of dissension in the ranks. Maybe they'll all kill each other.


SwB said...

Well, everyone is praying that come Feb 07 the people of Mumbai will vote them out of the BMC.

And you're right - in all the years they've been around, the SS have served no useful purpose whatsoever. I too sincerely hope they all end up killing each other.

SwB said...

And this is my take on statues :)


KD13 said...

@ saltwater blues - When most people seem to feel the way you do, I've no idea how the Sena has managed to maintain its hold over Mumbai.

And I really enjoyed reading that post of yours. :D

glenn said...

The shiv sena, the RSS, VHP.. they're just a bunch of fuc**** a**holes. second biggest hypocrites to those fanatic islamists. They're like a plague everywhere you go.

KD13 said...

@ Glenn - a plague with no relief in sight :(

sudden_sue said...

they r fuckin assholes @%&$#. Their morality policing is the worst form of double standards ever. The worst of these 'moral police' r pervs who get a kick out of peeping and watching others n then to cover up they pretend to be disgusted n act like sickos

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with bachelor boy. I was out with my boyfriend once and when we'd stopped at the traffic lights some people in the next vehicle started passing all these lewd comments about us that we were meant to here. Maybe they wanted to start a fight or somethng.

sudden_sue said...

They're just looking for someone to blame all their problems on.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I don't live in Bombay but i'm scared cos intolerant behaviour seems to be spreading everywhere.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe they'll all kill each other."

I got turned on just thinking of that!

KD13 said...

@ b_b and Susan - i agree totally.

@ harassed_girl - I know what you mean. they try n act superior cos that's the only was they feel good about what they do.

@ amy - And that's the scariest part of it all. Like what happened in B'lore when that actor died. Riots n violence against people who didn't observe the bundh called in his name. What shit!

@ anonymous - um... ok. Whatever works for you!

Anonymous said...

oh i could hug you for this! you've articulated so clearly what i've always felt....and yes, i agree, i can't help but feel gleeful each time i read reports about the two senas clashing....may they burn, tormentors of my beautiful city!