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!

Stop Glorifying The Farmer!

I recently came across an article on social media, which exhorted Indians to spend on farmer welfare rather than blowing it on a lip syncing pop sensation. Although a lot of people who went to the concert will tell you that felt as cheated as a Nigerian lottery scam victim & the fact it is no Ines business how I spend my hard earned income tax deducted money , this article is not about that.

What I want to throw light on is  about is the unending mollycoddling of the hallowed Indian farmer by its populace.

One can’t challenge the fact that, most of the Indian farmers continue to remain poor, have low levels of education, lack basic infra, low standards of living etc etc. But then again look at the benefits of being a farmer in India – they pay no taxes, get free electricity, free education , free/subsidised fertilisers & get their loans waived off every now and then! It’s in stark contrast of the urban population  or people from rural India who are not into agriculture or related activities – pay taxes, pay for electricity & no loan waivers. Even a daily wage laborer- say a porter or a cobbler –  who is making minimum wages never has the good fortune of getting a loan waiver! So if your are not a farmer & are neck deep in debt, the Indian government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your situation. Picture this – even if you have died fighting for your country, your family won’t be fortunate enough to receive a loan waiver from the government. And yes, you will have to pay your income taxes for as long as you live. So what the government is trying to say is farmers are way more important than its army men!


The middle class Indian – the ATM machine of the country too  will be shown no sympathy in the event of a debt issue, or a cash crunch. This, in spite of paying taxes & for everything that you can imagine. Yes, even for using a bridge, for which he has already paid in terms of direct & indirect taxes.

The wealthy farmer is the luckiest of the lot. Not only does he enjoy all the perks of being a farmer, he doesn’t pay a single penny in taxes. If demonetisation was a success among the masses, owing to sadistic pleasure they got from seeing the rich run helter skelter trying to save their ill gotten wealth, we can bet on the success of income taxes for the millionaire farmers in our country.

The farmers are not the only poor people in our country. Despite rapid economic progress, large swathes of our population continue to remain below poverty line. India’s per capita income of $1600 is one of the lowest in the world. Many of Indian poor – who works as security guards, cobblers, domestic maids, vegetable vendors, continue to live in urban slums or rural hutments in deplorable conditions.

Why then are politicians & public in general so protective about farmers? The answer is not to difficult to decipher.

It was Lal Bahadur Shashtri one of the first few PM’s of independent India who coined the term “Jai Jawaan Jai Kisan”. Those were times when most of India was poor, lived in villages & agriculture contributed approx. 80% of its GDP. 70 years post independence the dependence on agricultural income has drastically reduced. In spite of agriculture contributing only approx. 25% towards the nation’s GDP, a large part of our population continues to depend on agricultural income.

Our slimy, power hungry politicians have smartly been sourcing funds from the urban middle class to suck up to the farmer & spoil them with social welfare benefits. Even a middle class sympathising party like the BJP couldn’t resist the temptation of handing out a farm loan waiver during UP elections.

Such cushioning has deeply spoilt the Indian farmer, who is now just as sick as our national carrier. Studies by eminent economists, have shown that farmers tend to relapse into huge debts a few years after receiving a farm loan waiver. They tend to rack up huge debts, expecting a farm loan waiver again. Farmers tend to be reckless while using fertilisers/ pesticides due to it being given free of cost or at a throw away price. This badly affects productivity.

I am not alien to the concept of charity. All should do their bit for society & it’s under privileged. Taxes are a form of charity or wealth redistribution, where money is taken from the better off & given to the needy. But, what if the wealth is being handed to someone who shows no signs of improvement?

It’s time India asks its farmers to look after themselves, like the rest of the nation does. This may lead to short term pain, but will lead to huge gains in the long run. India may cease to depend so heavily on agriculture, and may turn to manufacturing, animal husbandry & other fields instead. Thereby making the amount of rainfall less relevant if not irrelevant. The money saved can be used for building infrastructure – which will create jobs, army welfare or the welfare of the differently abled people of the country.

Nay Sayers will be quick to ask me – if the farmers stop farming, what will you eat? My reply is simple. If doctors stop working, who will treat your illnesses? If media industry stops working who will give you your daily dose of news? If IT engineers stop working, who will make the software required to run apps/ large corporations? If teachers stop working, who will educate your kids? Everybody in this country is helping in building the nation, farmers are no different!