Sonu Tula Shiv Sena Var Bharosa Nahi Ka – Mumbai Needs to Put an End to The Shiv Sena Menace

Shiv Sena was formed by the Late Bal Thackeray in 1960’s. He fought against the growing clout of South Indians in Mumbai

Sonu Tula Mazya Var Bharosa Nahi Ka is a popular & catchy Marathi song. RJ Malishka – one of the most widely followed RJ’s in Mumbai used the song beautifully to taunt BMC for its long heritage of giving pot holed roads to Mumbai. The video shot in Red FM’s Lower Parel office, quickly went viral. Though nowhere does the RJ mention the Shiv Sena in the video – owing to Shiv Sena being the incumbent party running the BMC & having ruled the BMC for close to over two decades, the Shiv Sena took it as a personal insult. Instead of tactfully letting the video play out its shelf life, Shiv Sena corporators slapped a fine on Mrs Mendonsa – RJ Malishka’s mother for letting water accumulate in her plant pots, which resulted in mosquito breeding & threatened to raze a part of her building owing to construction irregularities. RJ Malishka was in New York, when this incident happened & wasn’t in the city to give a fitting reply to the BMC. Although she did tweet that she has 6 more songs ready & would not give up without a fight.

The Shiv Sena is a Maharashtrian Party founded in the 1960’s in Mumbai by the charismatic Bal Thackeray. He used Mahrashtrian resentment against the growing clout of the South Indian community to his advantage & became a name to reckon with. The fact that he was a cartoonist, a satirist worked to his advantage & this topped up with his superb oratory skills made people sit up & take notice. Shiv Sainiks as the partymen are known started thrashing South Indians in the city in offices, on the roads & other public places & asked them to stop the inflow of more of their ilk. Shiv Sena started demanding more jobs for ‘Marathi Manoos’. This was a time when India was reeling under the socialist policies of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty. India was a poor country, where literacy was low & jobs were few. Thus the Shiv Sena had no difficulty in recruiting Shiv Sainiks who would riot or trash happless people at their leaders instance. Their loyalty to him was unquestioned. The Congress let the rise of Shiv Sena go unchecked, as they though of them as a good counter to the Communist menace which plaguing Mumbai’s factories. Even Shiv Sena’s detractors will agree that had it not been for the Shiv Sena, the city would have been under the vice like grip of the Communists & would have suffered the same fate as Kolkata – which once was India’s most prosperous city, but is now the least prosperous city amongst the 4 metros. The Shiv Sena for the longest time was Mumbai party, with hardly any inroads in rural Maharashtra. While the Shiv Sena kept winning BMC & Lok Sabha seats from Dadar, Vile Parle, Thane & other Marathi bastions, the Congress kept winning the state elections. The Shiv Sena’s crowning moment came in 1992 during the Hindu-Muslim riots, when Shiv Sainiks are alleged to have been involved in rioting, which led to the deaths of several Muslims in the city. Bal Thackeray pulled no punches while making inflammatory speeches against Muslims & instigating his people to riot against them. Despite having tons of evidence the law or the nation’s judiciary did not have the guts to arrest the party supremo. Shiv Sainiks labelled him the Hindu Hriday Samrat. Even educated Hindus in Mumbai coming from different parts of the country were heard saying “Had it not been for Bal Thackeray & the Shiv Sena, we would have been battered by the Muslims”. As expected the Shiv Sena – BJP swept the state elections for the first time in 1995.With the state & BMC under Shiv Sena control & BJP being the minority partner, Bal Thackeray was the uncrowned King of Mumbai. Due to anti-incumbency issues they lost the next state elections to the Congress-NCP combine, which went on to rule for 15 long years, before losing to the Shiv Sens-BJP combine on 2015. But this time, the BJP – owing to Narendra Modi’s charisma was the bigger party in the alliance & the Siv Sena was relegated to second place. To make matters worse, Shiv Sena couldn’t get a majority in the BMC election either, with the BJP coming a close second. Since 2015, the party or their leader – Uddhav Thackeray have never missed a chance to pull down the BJP on national or state level issues.

The electorate of Mumbai has been voting for the Shiv Sena mainly as an alternative to the corrupt Congress-NCP combine which has looted the state for decades. The Marathi Manoos hoped that Shiv Sena would fight for its right. But even a staunch Shiv Sainik will concede, that the party hasn’t done much for the Maharashtrians in the city apart from providing lip service. In fact they have in some cases come across as worse off than the Congress party owing to their history of violence. It is a well known fact that through the decades, any statement against Bal Thackeray or the Shiv Sena or any action which would hurt Marathi sentiments would lead to Shiv Sainiks barging into your office or home to blacken your face & beat you up. Shiv Sainiks have damaged public property including buses, railway stations & stores promoting Valentine’s Day celebrations (Bal Thackeray thought Valentine’s Day is against Indian values & culture). Hapless people from UP who worked as rickshawallas, milkmen, laundry guys were thrashed Shiv Sainiks & MNS as they “stole jobs of poor Maharashtrians”. Bal Thackeray even spoke about the encounters of several mafia dons like Amar Naik & several others in the late 1990’s by the Mumbai police, referring to them as “Aamchi Mule” (our boys). People have perpetually lived in fear of the Shiv Sena. Shiv Sainiks are known to collect ‘hafta’ (extortion money) from illegal hawkers, restaurateurs, retailers across the city. Shiv Sena corporators are known to own tons of gold, despite earning a measly INR 10,000 salary. The source of wealth of the Thackerays is never questioned.You can file corruption cases against Lalu Yadav or Mulayam Singh Yadav or Jayalalitha, but no one has dared to filed corruption cases against the Thackerays. Despite batting for Marathi culture all his life, Bal Thackeray’s grand children are all English medium educated. Bal Thackeray kept taunting the Gandhis for their dynasty politics, but when it was name his successor, he nominated his son Uddhav Thackeray as the next party Supremo. this led to Raj Thackeray forming his won party. Although people wrongly assume that pot holes do not cause severe harm, one look at statistics will tell you much fuel is wasted & the fact that pot holes have caused several deaths The party & their workers have made tons of money through corruption in the BMC, mainly through kickbacks from road contracts. A road built with good material will earn Shiv Sena kickbacks just once, but a road built low quality material will earn you kick backs from contractors year on year seems to Shiv Sena’s ideology. This has helped them fund state & BMC elections for decades. Just like Congress, NCP, TMC, RJD, SP, BSP the Siv Sena is a a party which cannot let corruption die. It is an unsaid rule, that you do not go or say against the Shiv Sena. Be ready to face consequences if you dare to do so. Journalists, rival politicians all have been victims of the “Shiv Sena Style” bullying.
With the advent of social media, one thought things have changed drastically in India. With minute-by-minute updates available & people openly airing their opinions on various social networking sites, the Shiv Sena too has realized that their actions cannot go unquestioned in the digital era. The Nirbhaya rape case, Jessica Lal murder & outrage on social media has put fear in the minds of the Shiv Sainiks. With Marathi boys getting employment in malls/MNC corporations/e-commerce setups as delivery boys the agendas of the saffron party are largely redundant. An FIR against a Shiv Sainik may lead to him getting sacked from his daily job. It is an open secret that people of Mumbai dont fear Uddhav Thackeray as much as they feared his father. It is a fact that Bal Thackeray violent antics would not get him many fans in this era.
But when the Shiv Sena harassed an independent woman for airing her opinions & joking about the pathetic condition of roads in the city it crossed all limits of decency. Can’t one even joke or speak about issues affecting the city? Things haven’t really changed after all. The Shiv Sena still thinks Mumbaikars will continue to stay quiet & look the other way when Shiv Sena’s goondaism rears its ugly heard. What party targets & harasses a single woman? Truth be told the Shiv Sena is scared of public backlash in today’s digital age & tried to gag the RJ. they want to reimpose their fear in the hearts of Mumbaikars & hence reacted this way. They have made a blunder & we need to show them they can’t walk all over us no more. Every time they indulge in corruption which adversely affects the quality of Mumbaikars or when they harass us for airing our opinions we need to hit back.

Mumbai we need to let got of our “chalta hai” or “the city which never stops” attitude & show the Shiv sena or any other party which tries to suppress us that we will hit back. It is we who have voted for them & we will not let a party which harasses women stay in power. If they come in 10’s we will strike back in 1000’s or Lakhs.
As we speak several NGO’s & citizen forums are protesting against BMC’s response to RJ Malishka. RJ Malishka too is expected to give a befitting response as soon as she is back in the city. Several Mumbaikars have spoken against BMC & the Shiv Sena for their actions on twitter & other social media platforms. It’s time we do not let go of this momentum Mumbai & show the Shiv Sena that we had have enough!

Narendra Modi: The Unchallenged Emperor of Modern India

People call it the golden age of tennis. Not just because, tennis is being played at the highest level ever, but because of the intense competition between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic & Andy Murray. Nobody can predict who’s year its going to be. Roger Federer dominated for a quite years & annihilated his opposition to rack up 12 grand slam victories, but the journey from 12th to 18th grand slam has been a difficult one, thanks in particular to Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer might do down as one of the greatest ever, not for his number of grand slam victories – records are meant to be broken after all, but because the legends he had to defeat to win those titles.

But, not everyone has to struggle as much as Roger Federer to retain their crown. Some struggle initially to reach the pinnacle of success & then manage to torpedo the opposition into oblivion. One such person is PM. Narendra Modi.

The fact that he walked away from his marriage & family to devote his life to this country is part of folklore. Hailed as one of the best CM’s in the country, what astonishes us is that he never held public office, before being made the CM of Gujarat. Ironically it was LK Advani, the very man who was overlooked by his party, in favor Modi as the PM candidate during the general elections of 2014. If stories are to be believed, Modi is not someone who forgets an insult. L.K Advani & Modi apparently were travelling in a car with two more people, when they happened to spot Mr Govindacharya walking. L.K Advani promptly asked then ordinary RSS worker Mr.Modi to get out of the car & walk to the venue so that Govincharya could be accomodated in the car. Truth be told, had L.K Advani been nominated as the PM candidate by the BJP, they would have lost & the country would have had to suffer another 5 years of gross mismanagement under the UPA & other secular cum corrupt parties.

Modi promised to cleanse India of corruption, strengthen the economy, bring back black money & reduce poverty. After three years, since Modi was given the mandate to govern the country, even PM Modi’s harshest critics will secretly admit, that Modi has left no stone unturned to achieve these goals. Jan Dhan, Swach Bharat, Make in India, surgical strikes, cashless economy & even the much discussed Demonetization are hugely popular moves. Despite changing the base year, the Modi government must be given the credit for getting the economy back on track. The economy is expected to get significantly better post introduction of GST.

Post the UP elections, it is a foregone conclusion that Mr. Modi will be given the mandate to govern India for another 5 years. But this article is not about glorifying Modi, it is in fact about the perilious situation of India having no strong opposition leader to stand up to Modi. All the leaders in the opposition across the country, have been badly wounded by the Modi wave. For a democracy to function at its optimum capacity, it is imperative to have a strong opposition. This helps keeps, the ruling party in check, barring which the ruling party gets a free hand to do as they please. In no way are we doubting PM Modi or his government’s intentions, truth be told BJP comes across as pious as Mother Theresa when pitted against the RJD’s or the SP’s of the country.

We list the steps to be taken by the opposition parties to get their ship back in order

  • Congress: The GOP needs to shun its anti hindu & corrupt image. The thought of a Congress MP conjures up images of power hungry, corrupt & laidback politician who surfaces once in 5 years. Congress needs to sack MP’s with corruption charges against them. The leadership has to make it abundantly clear that corruption, won’t be tolerated. Despite Karnataka, being the only major state where Congress is currently in power, stories of corruption in Karnataka never seem to die. To be concerned about the welfare of minorities is one thing & to give them way too much leeway in order to cultivate a vote bank is totally another. Congress needs to shed this pro minority & anti hindu image. Last but not the least, Rahul Gandhi & the Gandhi family needs to be sidelined. Can’t a 100 yr old party find one candidate outside the Gandhi family to lead the party? Why the obsession & dependence on that family? Due to the National Herald Case, corruption charges against Robert Vadra, Rahul Gandhi being the country’s  biggest joke, the Gandhi name is more of a liability. There needs to be a democratic structure in place within the party to elect their leaders.The party needs to realize that the modern voter is well aware of all government actions & is not as stupid of voters in the 1960’s to blindly vote for them. The party survived the exit of several politicians when Mrs Gandhi took over the reigns & edged out Sitaram Kesari. It is interesting to note, that Congress seemed to be in shambles during Mr. Kesari’s leadership, when PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the toast of the nation. One must give credit to Mrs Gandhi for getting the party back on track. Thankfully for them, owing to theirs being the oldest party in the country, voters will always have a soft spot for them. But, they have to transform & at a swift pace or else the GOP will be blasted into oblivion in a few decades time.
  • TMC: Mamta Didi’s party has recently won 4 out of 7 municipal bodies in West Bengal. Since the times Mamata Bannerjee has been the CM, her party the TMC, has been accused of being more left than the left. She is accused of employing the same old tricks of sending goons to beat up opposition workers, corruption, vote rigging, minority appeasement to stay in power. The state has no major achievement o boast of. Mamata must transform into a development oriented CM with jobs, economy, law & order before she suffers the same fate as Akhikesh Yadav.
  • BJD & JD: Naveen Patnaik & Nitish Kumar both have an image of being pro- development. Although there have been murmurs of corruption against both these parties, The Opinionated Indian truly believes, that if not for Modi, Naveen Patnaik & Nitish Kumar are the best suited for the job of governing the country. But Nitish Kumar does badly need to distance himself from RJD, barring which his clean image might take a beating.
  • Shiv Sena: It is an open secret that Mumbai’s BMC & TMC’s both run by Shiv Sena are hotbeds of corruption. The Shiv Sena is just as corrupt as Congress or UPA ally – the NCP. It needs to shed it corrupt & laidback image, or else face the wrath of the restless voter. In the recently held state & municipal elections BJP stunned the media & all political parties alike with their superlative performance. Despite coming second to the Shiv Sena in the BMC elections, it was the BJP who made waves with their performance. In spite of being an ally the party wastes no opportunity to criticize the BJP government at the state & the centre. It is the ally who criticizes the government more than the opposition. Shiv Sena has no achievements to speak about apart from criticizing the government. The once clear rulers are reduced to playing second fiddle to the BJP. Unwillingness to change will cost them dear.
  • SP & BSP: The SP needs to get their house in order. The infighting between father, son & uncle has damaged the party’s credibilty amongst the voters, BSP needs to come up with a new positioning apart from just being a Dalit & Muslim friendly party. If on ground reports are to believed, the SP & BSP should pray for a miracle for them to win or rather even put a decent performance in the next UP state elections, owing to the tremendous popularity of CM Yogi Adityanath.
  • MNS: The party which was tipped to erase Shiv Sena from the hearts of Maharashtrians is now in deep trouble. Several party members have quit, post the dismal showing in the general, state & municipal elections. The party lost the Nashik municipal elections (the only place where they were in power) to the BJP. Raj Thackeray needs to wake up from his slumber & set the agenda to get his party back on track.
  • NCP: The party dubbed as the Naturally Corrupt Party, too is going through a bad phase. With several party leaders facing corruption charges & faced with charges of mishandling the drought situation in Marathwada, the party needs to reorganize & stand a chance in the next assemble elections. Although we predict, it will be the NCP & not the Congress which will be BJP’s biggest threat during the next assembly elections.

If sources are to be believed even the combined might of all the opposition parties won’t pose much of a threat to BJP in the 2019 general elections. A nationwide alliance of opposition parties might be the answer, but seems highly unlikely. Imagine Shiv Sena-MIM, TMC-CPI(M), SP-BSP being in the same room! RJD-JD alliance has developed cracks & it remains to be seen how long the alliance will last. Rumors suggest JD might ally with the BJP in the next Bihar state elections.

Is it plain luck, hard work, political manipulation, aura of Narendra Modi or all of these factors combined is something which few can answer. But, he is in a position many would love to be in. Only Jawaharlal Nehru & Indira Gandhi have had the distinction of dominating the political scenario, like Modi.  History tells us, that there are very few leaders who have had the luxury of not having much of an opposition to contend with. The way things stand today, all that the BJP needs to do is to continue the good work it has done till now & not give the opposition a chance to bring it down.