#Pune – MNS workers thrash north Indian parent #WTFnews


PUNE, March 5, 2013, tHE hINDU
A group of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party workers thrashed the father of a north Indian student in Satara on Monday afternoon, alleging that he had forged the age certificate which would get his son admission into the 5th standard of the Sainik School in Satara.

“The outsiders (north Indians) come here with 15-year-old boys and take admission into this prestigious school in 5th standard which is meant for 10-11 year olds. Can we not make out the difference between a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old boy? Some parents complained to us and decided to take appropriate action against them,” Satara MNS chief Ranjit Bhosale told The Hindu.

According to eye witnesses, the victim Mukesh Kumar who hailed from Uttar Pradesh, was accompanying his son for the mandatory medical check up before the admission at the government hospital in Satara, when MNS workers came and conducted an identification parade.

“He (Mr. Kumar) spoke rudely with us, hence we had to tackle him physically,” Mr. Bhosale said.

“Those people pay doctors to give them fake certificates, and then top in sports, academics and our boys are left behind. We do not oppose the 30 per cent reservation for students from other States, but cheating the school has to stop,” he stated.

Asked whether he had complained against the hospital and the school for issuing and accepting fake age certificates, Mr. Bhosale said, “The ones who issue the certificates accept bribe, and some of the school authorities, too, are outsiders.”

However, no police complaint was registered against the MNS workers. There was a police bandobast at the school after the incident.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray said in Mumbai that he was not aware of the incident, adding, “wherever outsiders get opportunities meant for Maharashtrians, we will oppose.”

 

If only we had more Rekhas… #Vaw


 

19-year-old maid puts her life on the line to save minor from rapist dad

by-Sunchika B Pandey, DNA , Mumbai, Dec 10, 2012 

Enlarge Image

A fortnight after a 3-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her father near Kalyan, it has come to light that it was the courage and concern shown by a 19-year-old domestic help, who was completely unknown to the girl, that saved the child.
On November 24 around 11pm, Rekha Timple first noticed the man sexually assaulting the child in a thicket of bushes near Kalyan station. Rekha, a Vashi resident, had just met her boyfriend in Kalyan and was on her way to the station to get home. However, she said she could not move ahead as she was too disturbed at what she had just seen.
DNA had reported about the sexual assault of the 3-year-old who is currently undergoing treatment at Sion hospital.
“I lunged forward to save the girl from her father’s advances. But I moved away he stared angrily at me,” recalled Timple. “The only thought on my mind was to save the child. But I knew that if I acted impulsively, he would attack or kill me. Not that I was scared of death, I just wanted to live to save that little girl from that torture.”
Timple slipped out of the place but said she couldn’t stop crying. “I lurked around the spot to look for the girl and her father,” said Timple, who let go of her train and stayed the night at Kalyan station.Around 2.30am and again at 4am, she went back to look for the girl.
“At first, I could not find her anywhere. Then, around 6am, I called my friend to join me. We found her near the Shiv temple close to the parcel office near Kalyan station. She seemed to be in pain; she was bleeding profusely,” said Timple.Timple and her boyfriend took the girl to a nearby washroom where they cleaned and dressed her and took her to the police. Just then the girl’s father spotted her with his daughter. “He tried to attack me, but there were people around. I raised an alarm and passersby caught hold of him and took him to the police,” said Timple.
The girl has now received several gifts

 

Mumbai, Cops detain boy for FB post against Raj Thackeray #censorship


Boy questioned for alleged Facebook post against

Raj Thackeray let off

POLITICS NEWS, Updated Nov 29, 2012 at 08:50am IST

Mumbai: The 19-year-old boy who was questioned for allegedly posting offensive comments against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Facebook has now been let off. The boy was handed over to the police by MNS workers on Wednesday to explain the comment posted about Raj Thackeray.

The party’s student wing president also filed a complaint. Police sources say that the boy’s Facebook account was hacked before the alleged offensive comment was posted.

Earlier, a bandh was on Wednesday observed in Palghar town in adjoining Thane district following a call by Shiv Sena against suspension of two senior police officers in connection with the arrest of two girls over a Facebook post, criticising shutdown during Bal Thackeray’s funeral.

Commercial establishments, schools and colleges at Palghar remained shut and there was no vehicular traffic in the town, party sources said. No untoward incident was reported so far, police said. The Palghar Bar Association had also called for a bandh in the courts today to protest the transfer of the local Judicial Magistrate First Class (JFMC) who had “promptly” granted bail to the two girls.

The girls, both 21, were arrested after one of them had lamented in a Facebook post the November 18 shutdown due to Thackeray’s funeral and her friend had ‘liked’ the post. Though the girl didn’t name Thackeray, the local Sena leader complained against the girls and police arrested the duo on November 19, sparking an outrage.

On November 20, police arrested the vandals who had damaged one of the girls’ uncle’s hospital on November 18, despite her removing the post and apologising that day itself. Maharashtra government had on Tuesday suspended the two police officers, SP (Thane rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar and senior police inspector Shrikant Pingle.

A 19-year-old boy has been detained by the police in Palghar for allegedly posting a scurrilous post on Facebook against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.

Yahoo! India News – 14 hours ago

MUMBAI: It seems that the police have learnt no lessons from the arrest of two young women over a Facebook post that has sparked off rage against the government over the misuse of Section 66A.

In spite of all the criticism that the police faced over the arrests, a 19-year-old boy has been detained by the police in Palghar for allegedly posting a scurrilous post on Facebook against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, NDTV reports say.

NDTV reports says that a mob of MNS supporters had forced the boy to come to the police station and was detained there but was not charged yet.

However, a police official from Palghar, declining to be identified, said the “youth had neither been detained nor arrested, but was merely being questioned” and no offence has yet been registered in the matter.

Identified as an 18-year-old meat shop assistant, Sunil Vishwakarmawas picked up Wednesday for quizzing by police after some Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists complained of objectionable matter allegedly posted under his name on networking site Facebook.

According to initial investigations, it was found that Vishwakarma was unable to operate Facebook and police suspected someone might have created his fake profile, pointing to hacking.

The official said the matter was beyond the purview of the Palghar police and would be transferred to the Thane police’s cyber cell for probe and action.

Vishwakarma “has been kept in the police station to protect him from possible attacks” as police probed the issue, the official said.

Today, Palghar town and surrounding areas remained shut Wednesday in response to a call by the Shiv Sena to oppose the suspension of the two police officials who had arrested two girls for their Facebook comments on Bal Thackeray’s death.

The shutdown call evoked a near-total response in the industrial town, around 100 km north-west of the state capital Mumbai in Thane district.

Two girls from Palghar, Shaheen Dadha and her friend Renu Srinivasan, had questioned on Facebook the shutdown after the death of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray Nov 17 and also the following day when he was cremated in Mumbai. They were arrested by two police officials, who were placed under suspension Tuesday.

 

Mr Bal Thackeray, The Capitalists And The Working Poor



By Vidyadhar Date

23 November,2012
Countercurrents.org

Mr Bal Thackeray was essentially a man the capitalists liked and they were very comfortable with him. That is why he was always boosted by much of the media as a larger than life figure and after his death there is more gushing praise of the man.

`The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with the bones,’ said Mark Antony in his famous funeral speech in Shakespeare’s play Julius Ceasar. Mr Thackeray has no such problems and this is not to suggest that he did evil. In his case there is no shortage of people going out of the way to write in support of him. Mr Thackeray’s father Prabodhankar Thackeray was an avid Shakespeare fan, he spent so much from his scarce resources on books that this alarmed his mother and he devoted a lot of time researching in libraries. Mr Thackeray was so unlike his father in many many ways. Prabodhankar was a rationalist, activist, supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Ambedkar and social reformer Jotirao Phule, he wrote several books. But how many remember him today ? Mr Bal Thackeray had little use for serious books.

Liberals have often criticized Mr Thackeray for his communalism, hate speech and chauvinism and rightly too. But during his time and after there is little recognition of the fact that he was very friendly with capitalists. The system everywhere has always needed an army of people to deal with others, especially dissenters. The Shiv Sena was seen as a solid ally.

There is justifiable and widespread anger over the arrest of two girls for their post on Facebook in the wake of Mr Thackeray’s death. But then killing someone with whom one does not agree is far more heinous. That is exactly what the Shiv Sena did and that is how it launched its foray into politics.The politics of terrorism of the Shiv Sena began in 1970 with the stabbing to death of Mr Krishna Desai, the Communist MLA, in 1970. That was the defining act of the Shiv Sena. It showed where it stood. It was a measured and well thought out attack on the Left movement which was fairly strong then. The murder aroused few protests from outside the Communist fold then .Even today few remember it today though it should serve as a warning for all times to come. Many of the political analysts writing on the Shiv Sena have often beaten about the bush, showered praises on Mr Thackeray for his ready wit and friendliness with them but most have overlooked the class affiliation of the Sena.

When it comes to confronting the fascists and hoodlums and the wealthy and imperialists, there is noticeable timidity and inactivity on the part of intellectuals. The German activist clergy man Martin Niemoller warned against this inactivity when drawing attention to the Nazi threat in Germany through his famous lines which state that if you do not act when others are attacked, there will be no one to protect you if you are attacked. . There is conspicuous omission in the gushing obituaries of Mr Thackeray of the Shiv Sena’s role in attacking the working people’s movements . As a young journalist then I still remember veteran Bhalchandra Marathe of Free Press Journal recalling what one of the assassins of Krishna Desai talked about. He said he thrust the knife and then turned the handle because that is what really ruptures the inner parts of the body. A murder most foul. If Mr Thackeray deserves a memorial, Mr Krishna Desai deserves it even more.

Mr Thackeray’s role also has to be seen in the context of the way the cities are being reshaped the world over to serve the interests of the rich and to exclude the poor. David Harvey, one of the most eminent thinkers of urban life , economics and politics , is our best guide to understand the issues. He asserts that the ordinary people should get a right to the city, access its services, shape its development. . It should be seen as a fundamental right.In a recent book Rebel Cities he shows how cities can be a harbinger of protest and change as in the case of the Occupy Movement in the U.S.

Unfortunately, Mr Thackeray intervened little on behalf of the poor though the poor Marathi Manoos was his main plank. Talk was seldom matched in practice when it came to the crux. But then how does one explain the phenomenal response to the funeral procession ? This question is aptly asked on Facebook by Mr John Game, a Britisher , who has done field work in Mumbai . A staunch leftist himself, he says we should realize that the Shiv Sena also did some service to citizens.

( As for the huge turn out at the funeral, let us remember that only some eleven people attended the funeral of Marx. ) True, Mr Thackeray took up the cause of ordinary people, channelized people’s frustration and economic hardships but he did it in a very negative way, reinforcing prejudices and encouraging violence, threats. Often, the poor were the victims, as in the case of those who were seen as outsiders. The rich had little to fear from him. It is opportunistic to criticize Mr Thackeray from a narrow perspective and not take cognizance of a system that is built on exploitation and then creates organizations that can divert the attention of the people from real issues.

He was expected to halt the gentrification of Mumbai and the eviction of the poor through physical and financial coercion. He has been called a tiger, an emperor and king of Mumbai and what not. Why was the king then so powerless to help the poor ?

The brutal gentrification of Mumbai, the extinguishing of its character as a working class city took place in the prime of Mr Thackeray’s political career. The most blatant and glaring example of the Shiv Sena’s role is evident right there in front of Shiv Sena Bhavan in the heart of Dadar You just cannot miss it. A monstrous, high rise, glass box , environment-unfriendly structure is coming up there distorting the character of the relatively environment-friendly area. It was from this building under construction that hundreds of people hung out to watch the funeral procession as seen in media photographs.

The land belonged to the Kohinoor textile mill of the National Textile Corporation and anyone would expect a party speaking in the name of Marathi Manoos to demand that it be used as a space for public use in this city which desperately needs public spaces. Strangely, it was bought for hundreds of crores and the buyers were Mr Raj Thackeray and Mr Unmesh Joshi, son of former Shiv Sena chief minister Manohar Joshi. Both have close ties to real estate. Mr Thackery is said to have made a huge profit by selling his stake, as reported by Economic Times of 15 November, 2009.

The mill once belonged to Laxmanrao Apte, the father former Test cricketer Madhav Apte, very much a Marathi Manoos. The Aptes were so affluent they owned a big bungalow on Peddar Road now converted into a high rise Woodlands apartments.

Had the big plot of Kohinoor mill remained vacant, the government would not have had to hunt for space for the memorial to Mr Thackeray now being vociferously demanded by the Sena. But then it is so much easier to prey on public resources. So there is a demand that the memorial be constructed on Shivaji Park, one of the few big open spaces in the city. One can only hope that the memorial is environment friendly and not some hideous and gigantic structure of cement and concrete .

There is clearly a sense of lack of proportion in the building of monuments. I was in Nagpur last week where life was as usual on the day of the funeral and death. Thee was no bandh anywhere. On the outskirts of the city is a cultural centre Pasayadaan with an anachronistically large statue of saint Dnyaneshwar.

Mr Thackeray comprehensively reversed the long liberal tradition of Maharashtra (my article on this subject in the Times of India 4 July, 1995). Mahatma Gandhi’s guru was Gopal Krishna Gokhale and favourite disciple was Vionoba Bhave. Mr Thackeray bore the title of Senapati, a military general, and acted ruthlessly. So different from another Senapati in Maharashtra, Senapati Pandurang Mahadev Bapat, a highly respected Gandhian who took the path of peaceful struggle after studying in college in England and learning bomb making.

He led the world’s first anti-dam struggle in what is known as the Mulshi satyagraha against the take over of the land of poor peasants, Mavlas, whose hardy forefathers were the backbone of Shivaji’s guerilla army. The same situation as in Singur, the government forcibly taking over fertile land for the Tatas. This was in 1921. The pillage of the land of the poor is now revived. The land of the Mavlas is now being overrun, vandalized by the rich and being turned into fancy townships but the Shiv Sena has not uttered a word against this though it speaks all the time in the name of Shivaji because this is politically convenient and easy to exploit. And the Shiv Sena does nothing to stop the complete removal of working class history and heritage.

Much of the political analysis and academic work overlooks the cosy relationship between the Sena and capitalists. But here is a surprise and it comes from unexpected quarters. One can read between the lines in an article by Mr Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj group, and an articulate spokesman of corporate interests, on the front page eulogizing Mr Thackeray in Economic Times of November 19. Says Mr Bajaj `My late uncle Ramkrishna Bajaj was a good friend of Balasaheb. When Parliamentary elections were taking place both Balasaheb and my uncle were anti-Communist. Though the ideology of the Congress and Shiv Sena was not common, they maintained a good rapport.’ . It was a time when anti-Left organizations were floated in different parts of the country in the wake of the debacle of the Congress in the elections . The reversal of the Congress and the rise of the Left had alarmed capitalists. As for the role of the Americans, any sincere police officer or political observer of the time will throw light on it.

Many people are in awe of the power wielded by Mr Thackeray. I found that even the highly respected cartoonist R.K. Laxman, my senior colleague in the Times of India , had this feeling . Both began as political cartoonists in the Free Press Journal in the 1940s. See how far ahead Mr Thackeray has gone, and here I am, he said to me one day in a sad tone. This was one time I could not agree with Mr Laxman.

Now, there is some consolation that there is more public awareness about the attacks on the freedom of expression. There was little of this in the past. A glaring victim of prejudice was Prof Pandharinath Vishnu Ranade, a Marxist professor of history. He was also an art lover , a poet and the author of a book on the art of Ajanta..This was in 1974, the year of the terecentenary of Shivaji’s coronation of 1674. It was celebrated in Maharashtra with much fanfare. Prof Ranade offered a dissenting note in an article in the weekly Ranangan. He was quite respectful towards Shivaji and only argued that hero worshipping him was inconsistent with democratic principles given the nature of the feudal era in which Shivaji lived. This created a storm. Mr Ranade lost his job in Marathwada university and he was reinstated only after protests by some leading progressive historians in the Indian History Congress. One day he was surrounded by Shiv Sainiks and threatened on Dadar railway bridge when he was returning after delivering a lecture. When I intervened I was assaulted and my spectacles were broken. Instead of condemning the attack on the freedom of expression, Mahaashtra Times, the leading Marathi daily, editorially criticized Mr Ranade. That is the tragedy . The public perception of many people is entirely at odds with reality. I have met any number of `well educated people` who firmly believe that it was because of Mr Thackeray that Hindus were saved from the onslaught of Muslims in the riots in 1992-93 !

It is easy to dismiss the masses who supported Mr Thackeray as riff raff. I believe they did this in desperation because our system is basically so unjust and unfair. If `well educated` people are so drawn towards fascists, one cannot really blame the common folk for supporting them.

Look at a comment made by Harsh Goenka, industrialist and art collector to the Times of India after Mr Thackeray’s death. He called him a revolutionary. That is contrary to the very term. If anything, Mr Thackeray could be called a counter revolutionary.

As for Lata Mangeshkar’s fanatical support for him, the roots go back to her father, the reputed singer actor Master Dinanath who was an ardent admirer of the founding ideologue of Hindu nationalism V.D. Savarkar. Her brother Hridaynath, music director, has frequently glorified Savarkar during television programmes, often going out of the way to do so.

Among the responses from political parties, Ideologially the most forthright comment I noticed was from Dr Ashok Dhawale, general secretary of the Maharashtra CPM. He has analysed Mr Thackeray in class terms.

I have covered several of the political rallies addressed by Mr Thackeray when I worked for the Times of India. Many of these were really impressive and one must grant him his sense of humour. Sometimes, he was pleased with my coverage and I heard this from his wife’s brother who worked in the administrative section of the paper. But when it comes to analysis of the Shiv Sena, the perspective has to be objective.

The negatives in the Sena were also too strong. At one meeting in Khar in Mumbai during the time the Shiv Sena was in power in the state, Mr Thackeray used such obscene words that I won’t be able to use them even in private conversation. Sadly, he pushed the political debate to extremely low levels. The most chauvinistic leaders in other states did not use such language of terror and hate as the Sainiks did.

Mr Vidyadhar Date is a senior journalist and author of the book Traffic in the era of climate change. Walking, cycling, public transport need priority.

Who is in Whose Land?- Thackeray Family’s Bihar Connection


CARTOON COURTESY-
Ram Puniyani
India is facing lot of communal-ethnic strife where the place of origin and religion of people is the marker due to which they are attacked. Many a retrograde political ideologies are based on the ‘first comer’ assertions. The deeper problems related to social resources, economic deprivations and socio-political inequalities are being presented as problems related region or religion of people. In Mumbai, one can see this in its extreme form, in the politics of Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Both these outfits have a regional-religious chauvinist agenda. They switch from region to religion at the drop of the hat. They also keep combining the two in the aggressive street politics.
The rising star of this sectarian politics, Raj Thackeray, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, threatening ‘others’ with his usual ‘methods’ of ‘direct action’. Why the state lets the ‘direct action’ of these sectarian outfits go unpunished, is another side of the coin of the story. Recently (Sept 2012) when the Bihar official wrote to Maharashtra police authority that Maharashtra police should have informed the Bihar police before arresting the two criminals who had broken Amar Jawan Jyoti in August 11, 2012 violence, Raj Thackeray retaliated by saying that MNS will declare all the Biharis as infiltrators. As such what Bihar police was asking was a mere routine followed by police of one state while acting in the other state. Thackeray, in order to bake his political bread made it an issue.
While he was talking in this language, an interesting point came up. Congress General Secretary Mr. Digvijaya Singh dug out some history from the writings of grandfather of Raj Thackeray and father of Bal Thackeray, Mr. Prabodhankar Thackeray (?Thakre). Incidentally the spelling Thakre was changed to Thackeray not too far back in History. Singh quoted Thakre senior’s collected works, Prabodhankar Thackeray Samagra Vangmay: Khand (Volume) 5, published by the Maharashtra Rajya Sahitya Ani Sanskritik Mandal when BJP-Shiv Sena was ruling the state. This quote is about the geographical background of the community from which Thackeray’s come, Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (CKP). Singh quoted page no. 45 of the volume 5, which says that Magadha’s corrupt Kshatriya king Mahapadmanand was persecuting his subjects by levying various taxes on them. Many a families from CKP community left Magadha to escape the persecution and greed of Kshtriya ruler and left for Nepal, Kashmir and Bhopal.
The same book mentions that out of those who left Magadh (now Bihar), around 80 families settled in Taal Bhopal and Prabodhankar’s family was one amongst them. As per Singh, Prabodhankar mentions that the Muslim ruler of Bhopal was very kind and was great help to the Thackeray family. This Thackeray family later migrated to Mumbai.  Uddhav Thackeray, cousin of Raj and son of Bal Thackeray, said his grandfather is generally talking about the CKP and not his family in particular. Still Uddhav did not give the alternate version of their families past. Interestingly Parabodhankar’s account breaks another myth. Today his descendents and the practitioners of sectarian politics propagate that the medieval period was a dark period of India as there were many Muslim kings and Nawabs, who were doing atrocities on Hindus. Their version also glorifies Hindu Kings in general. Here in Prabodhankar’s account, a Khstriya (Hindu, warrior caste) king is tyrannical forcing the subjects to leave his kingdom while the Muslim Nawab is helpful for Thackeray family. Stereotyping the kings as per their religion, communal historiography has played a very negative role in the history of our society. In Pakistan and India both, even today such perceptions are part of popular understanding. There is a need to learn from what Thackeray senior writes in his book.
How do we judge citizenship today? Do we have a right to go from one state to another or not? Theoretically it will be accepted by all that it is legally correct. Still in various places and more particularly in Mumbai, Shiv Sena and its clone MNS have been creating havoc on this issue. Their sectarianism is not restricted only to region, but also to religion. In both matters their basic understanding is also totally fabricated and far from truth. As migrants have been taking place in to Metros, big cities, depending on survival opportunities. In pre independence times major migration took place amongst other places to Kolkata in particular. In Mumbai in the decade of 1960s to 1980s, when industrial production was booming here major migrations took place. And the major migrations to Mumbai did not take place from outside Maharashtra. They were from mainly Konkan region of Maharashtra. Even today the migration is taking place, the major migration is to Delhi and Punjab, Mumbai is third on the list. The latest Tata Institute of Social Sciences report tells us that 70% of immigrants to Mumbai are from within Maharashtra itself. In these migrations employment is the reason only for 15% of those coming here to Mumbai. The major reasons for coming to Mumbai are related to such migration being a post marriage relocation and education.
Currently Thackeray family, the original inhabitants from Bihar in the past, are pursuing their spewing of venom against Biharis in particular. Their targets have been changing. The Shiv Sena was propped up by the Mumbai industrialists to break the strength of workers unions. Shiv Sena was then subtly helped by the ruling Congress. Shiv Sena initially attacked the South Indians, with the slogan ‘Uthao Lungi Bajao Pungi’ (Beat up the lungiwallahs, South Indians). Then their targets shifted to Gujarati’s for time being. In between Shiv Sena also postitoned itself on the bandwagon of Hindutva politics of RSS, and took the lead in 92-93 Mumbai violence with slogans like ‘Muslaman ka Do hi Stan: Pakistan ya Kabristan’ (Muslims can have only two abodes: Pakistan or graveyard). They demonized the Muslims, all this has come out in the Srikrishna report, which is yet to be implemented in letter and spirit.
Lately, North Indians are the major targets of the politics of regionalism. This Shiv Sena-MNS politics is totally against the norms of our Constitution. The aggressive politicians also need to present the reality in an honest manner. If 70% of immigrant to Mumbai are from Maharashtra are Marathi Manoos,(Marathi speaking people) what do you do with them? There are problems. But the problems are not with Biharis or Nepalis coming here to explore survival options. The whole concept of development and the state polices need to be organized in a way where some areas don’t get burdened by the pressure of population. The victims of politics based on region and religion are the poorer lot, while in later case the poor rich divide has been abolished during last two decades.
At another level, religion, nation state, and regions are concepts which should help the humanity grow. Spencer Wells has shown that genetic lineage of the human race goes to Africa! Nation state is the concepts, which came to overcome the tyranny of the kingdoms. Nation states have a contribution for human society, only in so far as they bring in democratization of society and do away with feudal values. Regions in a nation state are meant to provide mechanisms for regional growth and barring that they should be fluid and inclusive in all sense of the word. The ilk of Thackeray needs to learn the moral of story from their lineage. It will do us good if they can also learn a bit from Tagore’s universalism and Spencer Wells theories about migrations of human race.

Raj Thackeray: AN EXCLUSIVE CON #mustread #mustshare


(Translation of  FOUR PLUS PAGES , more to come )

 

Raj Thackeray: An exclusive con

 

 

 

That (non-existent) letter by the State Secretary of Bihar

 

 

 

On the evening of September 9, an exclusive interview of Raj Thackeray was telecast on ABP Mazha. A statement reveals that this interview was shot on September 6. The purpose for referring to the dates is a revelation made in the presence of Raj Thackeray himself, about a supposedly ‘threatening’ letter, never being sent by the Chief Secretary of Bihar. Using this letter as a ruse, Raj Thackeray had declared at a gathering of MNS officials held on August 31, in combative words that every Bihari in Maharashtra will be considered a squatter and driven away. Raj Thackerey says his ‘lie’ was based on a report published in the Samna [a newspaper run by the Shiv Sena] about a threat issued by the Chief Secretary of Bihar to the Mumbai Police that if the latter entered Bihar and arrested criminals there without a warrant, they would face charges of ‘kidnapping’. There is no need to ask why the makers of Samna resorted to such exaggeration. Samna’s expertise at creating a rift in society by spreading false news is well-known.

 

 

 

Abhay Anand, the DGP of Bihar had written a letter to Sanjeev Dayal, his counterpart in Maharashtra, expressing his annoyance over the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police not informing local police in Bihar when arresting criminals there. There is nothing wrong with that. If, for any reason they do not want to inform the local police [in Bihar] in advance – considering the covert relations between the police and criminals – then there should be no issues with them informing the local police immediately after the arrest. Due to this, the Bihar police will not have to needlessly face the anger of the locals. By twisting this routine letter by the Bihar police and exaggerating it, Samna turned it into a threatening letter sent by the Chief Secretary of Bihar. Raj Thackeray then upheld the news and created a ruckus in the name of Biharis. The caper here is that his family publishes hanky-panky and he wastes words by holding it up. It is infuriating that almost all media gave a lot of publicity to Raj Thackeray’s statement and to the non-existent ‘threatening’ letter by the Chief Secretary of Bihar, without verifying anything (which they should have done). It is a relief that this matter ended where it did; otherwise it could have taken an ugly turn and led to loss of life and limb for the common Bihari (or non-Marathi) and Marathi. What gives for leaders? They instigate people for their selfish ends, and walk away.

 

 

 

Bangladesh Passport scandal

 

The uproar created by goons during a morcha by Raza Academy on August 11. The ready opportunity it created for arm-flexing by way of retaliation, the quick support offered to Raj Thackeray by Sonia’s Congress – which kept mum over the entire affair – because it put the Nationalist Congress Party in a spot, Aaba’s [RR Patil’s] political rivals in the NCP, and most important of all, RR Patil’s mismanaged modus operandi – the amalgamation of all of this benefitted Raj Thackeray who is always on his ego trips. Under the excuse of lifting the low morale (?) of the police, Raj Thackeray held a big morcha on August 21. He declared in the morcha that illegal Muslim migrants from Bangladesh were responsible for the violence on August 11, and displayed a Bangladeshi’s passport found at the site of violence as proof. How does Raj Thackeray possess a passport found at the site of the violence in CST that took place on August 11? Whose passport is it? And why did the person who found the passport (Raj Thackeray definitely didn’t) send it to Raj Thackeray? From August 11 to 21, for 10 whole days why did Raj Thackeray keep the Bangladeshi’s passport with himself? If the morcha on August 21 had not taken place, would he have kept the passport with himself forever? Has Raj Thackeray directly or indirectly helped the Bangladeshi ‘rioter’ in escaping by not handing over the passport to the police? To this day, Raj Thackeray has the passport, which indicates the Bangladesh passport scandal is a publicity stunt, and that is why this incident becomes even more serious.

 

 

 

However, all politicians and the media seem to have conveniently turned a blind eye to such a serious incident because this could be a part of their politics. But when the common people accept such an incident silently, then its danger increases manifold – because this game started by the leaders of hankering after vulgar publicity by making a hullaballoo of national security, and the greed for increasing their vote banks may surely backfire on them. However, the leaders are not concerned with that; they are cozy in their burrows, in the huddles of their bodyguards.  Those who die and suffer are common people like you and me.

 

 

 

The heartburn of Indu Mill

 

 

 

In the morcha flagged off for providing encouragement to Mumbai Police, Raj Thackeray – as his wont – digressed to Dalit leaders, without any rhyme or reason. No one knows why, but Bal Thackeray and the generations after him have a ‘solid grudge’ against the Dalit community, specifically Buddhists. Be it relevant to the context or the topic or not, this generation after Prabhokankar will drag in Dalits. (Anyway, the Thackeray family does not need any reference to context; the practice is to consider their words as the context.)

 

 

 

“A statue of the Buddha was shown contempt in Lucknow, yet why are Dalit leaders silent? Why do they keep harping on in the Indu Mill?… Do they wish to construct a bungalow on the land?,” Raj Thackeray asked. Now, after banishing the workers of a mill that was closed down, only Raj Thackeray can tell how the land can be disposed off. So be it. By bashing up the Ambedkar-following young men and women who had gathered to protest against this unrestrained statement by Raj Thackeray, MN sainiks [workers of the MNS] have shown the spark of their ‘Maharashtra dharma’. Raj Thackeray, who cracked his knuckles because Dalit leaders did nothing after a Buddha statue was vandalised in Lucknow, made a blatant U-turn by saying in an interview with ABP Mazha, “Why are statues and memorials needed? The statues are vandalised, then riots happen”. Does Raj Thackeray not know why the statue of only one exemplary man is shown contempt for, even though there are statues of countless leaders in this country? The vandalism does not happen because the statues are, it happens because of the sick mentality to commit such vandalism. It seems that Raj Thackeray has conveniently forgotten that the mentality to show contempt for Babasaheb’s statue has thrived especially in his courtyard.

 

download orginal article in marathi by  milind bhanwar

Raj Thacakrey – exclusive

Letter to Raj Thackrey #mustlisten


 

 

 

 

Here is song penned and rapped by @alist,  Ashwini Mishra, must listen

LETTER TO RAJ THACKREY

Just hours after his sensational statement over “infiltrators” and “Biharis“, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chiefRaj Thackeray faced stern criticism from many. Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh‘sstatement on him might be the toughest one and hard to digest for Thackeray.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Saturday, Sep 1 claimed that Thackeray family itself belonged to Bihar and had settled in Dhar in Western Madhya Pradesh from where they migrated to Mumbai. Hence, is it true that Thackeray himself is an “infiltrator” in Mumbai, Maharashtra?

Criticising Mr Thackeray and discussing about hisfamily backgrounds, Digvijay Singh said, “If you look at the history of Mumbai, then it is a city offishermen. Rest all have settled there from outside.”

Digvijay Singh‘s shocking statement came when the MNS supremo showed his rage against the Biharis, the people who have migrated from Bihar to Mumbai.

Thackeray, whose party has often launched violent campaigns against Hindi-speaking people in Maharashtra, was reacting to a media report that Bihar chief secretary Navin Kumar has written to Mumbai police commissioner voicing displeasure over the arrest of the youth for vandalising the martyr’s memorial during Azad Maidan protest on Aug 11.

Thackeray said that the Bihar chief secretary had threatened legal action against Mumbai police.

“The letter says Mumbai police has to get in touch with the Bihar government before picking up any person from their state. If Mumbai crime branch picks up people from their state without the knowledge of the Bihar police they would face legal action,” he said referring to the purported latter.

“If the Bihar government tries to become a hurdle in the way of a police investigation, then my party would dub every Bihari in Maharashtra as an infiltrator and would force them to leave the state,” an angry Thackeray said.

 

Raj ki aag or Aag ka raj? #Rajthakre


  • September 2, 2012 , Deccan  Chronicle
  •  By Javed Anand
 

Bombay was renamed Mumbai in 1995. It was among the first things the Shiv Sena-BJP coalition sarkar did on coming to power in Maharashtra.

You might think the news has yet to reach ’em posh people who still refer to their quarter of the metropolis as ‘South Bombay’. In fact, it’s SoBo now!

Bombay, remember, is the New York of the East: SoHo, SoBo. Folks at SoHo might be deeply embarrassed at this likening. But for SoBo, appearance is what matters, darling.

Why not SoMu? Don’t even go there! South here is not about geography, stupid. Dude, it’s all about attitude. The Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena can have their Mumbai so long as they let SoBo residents keep up their pretences.

Could SoBo symbolise a cosmopolitan resistance to the chauvinism of the Senas? Banish the thought, the SoBoietis love their Thackerays. (Perhaps Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, too.) Call it the mutual attraction of the bold and the beautiful.

At five-star get-togethers during the 1990s, SoBo’s beautiful people never squirmed when Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray routinely referred to Indian Muslims as “green snakes”. What to do: Muslims need to be taught a lesson.

Mr Thackeray, incidentally, was the main accused in the Srikrishna Commission’s report on the anti-Muslim pogrom of 1992-93. Commission reports: who cares? (One of the honourable exceptions among the glitterati and the celebrati was Dev Anand who walked out of a meeting of Bollywood biggies at which Thackeray senior tried to spread the communal virus in the Hindi film industry.)

That was then. Now we have a new kid on the block. And isn’t he cute: Raj Thackeray! We are told that on August 21 the new ‘saviour’ took ‘a mature and restrained approach’, reinvented himself, performed ‘a political masterstroke’, ‘acquired a halo overnight’. How does a fire-breathing, violence-espousing, rabble-rouser turn into an instant ‘rockstar’? Well, you better believe it for SoBo Mouthpiece (Shobhaa De’s August 25 column, Raj ki aag: The new face of Thackeray) says so.

SoBoietis can do all the fawning and swooning they like. But the fact remains that shorn of all the rapturous adjectives and hyperboles, the picture that Raj Thackeray painted of himself and his MNS on August 21 was far from pretty. Except for the gullible, it was true-to-type, ominous and worse. In less than 24 hours, his sainiks were to bare their fangs again. But let me not run ahead of the story. Let what Raj Thackeray did and said that day speak for itself first.

The rally was ostensibly to demand punitive action against the then police commissioner Arup Patnaik’s allegedly abject failure to enforce rule of law during the August 11 rally at Azad Maidan organised by some Muslim organisations. Though police had only given permission for a meeting at Azad Maidan, in characteristic style, Raj Thackeray insisted on a five-km rally from Marine Drive to Azad Maidan in brazen defiance of the police order, thus creating a traffic chaos for several hours.

In short, break the law to protest the (earlier) breakdown of law. The “savior of Mumbai” presumably must be permitted a few indulgences.

At the Azad Maidan, Raj Thackeray hammered home three points.

First, he claimed it was Bangladeshi Muslims who resorted to violence on August 11. In a thought-provoking article he wrote in 2006, former editor and Shiv Sena-backed Rajya Sabha MP, had rightly observed that ‘pro-Pakistani Muslims’ and ‘Bangladeshi Muslims’ are but euphemisms while you target Indian Muslims as a whole. Why the euphemisms? To escape possible prosecution under the anti-hate speech provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

Second, Raj Thackeray took great care, reminding the police rank and file that they were Marathi manoos above all else and only incidentally upholders of the Indian Constitution and the rule of law. Nothing new here. This was exactly the tactic employed by Thackeray senior during the late ’80s and the early ’90s: stoking the parochial instincts of the cops, communalising them right under the nose of a benign state. The outcome of his noxious brainwash was the shameful partisan conduct of the Mumbai police during the 1992-93 carnage.

That the young Thackeray’s message immediately hit home was evident when a constable in uniform, Pramod Tawde, marched up to the dias, presented a flower to the new messiah and proceeded to address the media in gross violation of all rules.

Talk to top police officers and you’ll know how alarmed they are at this ominous turn of events. Yeh andar ki baat hai, police hamare saath hai (To tell you a secret, the police are with us)” was an oft-repeated chant of the murderous mobs in Gujarat in 2002. SoBoietis seemingly don’t lose much sleep over such mundane concerns.

Thirdly, at a tangent to his agenda for the day, Raj Thackeray ridiculed the dalits’ recent demand that instead of gifting it to the builder’s lobby, the Maharashtra government should reserve the defunct Indu Mills’ plot for a memorial to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Within hours, outraged dalits from several parts of Maharashtra were burning effigies of Raj Thackeray.

Twenty-four hours later, a bunch of MNS toughies led by their corporator Sandeep Deshpande mercilessly pummelled a small group of dalit men and women who protested against the ‘insult to Babasaheb’ near Raj Thackeray’s residence. Among the women victims of the MNS ire were Puja Badekar and Vijayta Bhonakar.

“They misbehaved with us in the same fashion that some Muslims misbehaved (sexual assault) with police women constables at Azad Maidan on August 11,” they told this writer. Despite a heavy bandobust the cops took their time in restraining the attackers. When the victim dalits tried lodging a criminal complaint at the Shivaji Park police station, they were threatened with a ‘rioting’ charge and driven away.

All this, of course, is not news for the media, much less for our beautiful people. SoBo thinks a film on the new saviour with the title Raj ki aag might be a great idea. I think Aag ka raj may be more appropriate.

The writer is co-editor of Communalism Combat and general secretary, Muslims for Secular Democracy

So what’s new about Mumbai burning? Our response


14 August 2012 , By Jyoti Punwani, The Hindu
MOB FURY: Police failure to anticipate and prevent Saturday’s violence is blameworthy. Photo: Vivek Bendre

MOB FURY: Police failure to anticipate and prevent Saturday’s violence is blameworthy. Photo: Vivek Bendre
Every time the Shiv Sena and the MNS have gone on the rampage in the city, the State government, police and even media have been mute bystanders

Saturday’s violence by Muslim youth has shaken Mumbai. This is probably the first time that policemen have borne the brunt of the violence — of the 63 injured, 58 are policemen. What kind of mob has the guts to attack the police and think it can get away with it? A Muslim social worker has filed a complaint with the police against the organisers for instigating the public; a Muslim lawyer has gone to the High Court with the same demand. The police have so far arrested 23, charged them with murder and other offences, and set up a Special Investigation team (SIT) to probe the sudden outburst of violence. With tons of visual evidence, it won’t be difficult to identify the rioters.

The questions

Despite all these steps, some questions remain. Is it not the organisers’ responsibility to control the crowd they mobilise and ensure that no inflammatory speeches are made? Why aren’t they being arrested, specially since one of the organisers has a record of instigating violence? Why has the man who made the inflammatory speech not been arrested?

Second: why has this flurry of activity not been seen on all the other occasions that mobs have “burnt Mumbai”? While this may be the first time that the police has been targeted, it’s not the first time the media or BEST buses or cars have been vandalised. Indeed, in the last two months, Mumbai has seen frequent displays of such hooliganism. On May 31, observing the National Democratic Alliance-called Bharat Bandh, Shiv Sainiks damaged 42 BEST buses. This despite the chairman and seven of the 17 BEST Committee members being Shiv Sainiks. The chairman explained away the vandalism by saying that “protesters become uncontrollable” on such occasions, and demurred when asked if his party would pay for the damage.

Mid-June saw the new saviour of the Marathi Manoos “kick-off” a campaign against the payment of toll tax. Within 72 hours, three toll nakas were vandalised. Visuals of those actions are pretty similar to videos of Saturday’s violence — the same iron rods, the same smashing of glass. But there was one important difference. After the violence, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) MLA Shishir Shinde declared in audibly slurred tones, his party’s intention to destroy toll nakas. The police obligingly waited till he finished addressing TV cameras before taking him away in their van. Saturday’s videos had no such bravado — after smashing everything in sight, the topi-clad youth could be seen fleeing for dear life from police lathis. Two youngsters died in the ensuing firing.

The fallout of the two incidents however, may not be too different. Today, an MNS sticker on your car can exempt you from paying toll. And last week, the Maharashtra Chief Minister gave an audience to the man behind the violent anti-toll agitation. Accompanying Raj Thackeray at the meeting with the CM was Shishir Shinde. Two days after Saturday’s violence, Maharashtra’s Home Minister gave a clean chit to one of the organisers of Saturday’s rally, the Raza Academy. Don’t be surprised if the outfit’s chief, Maulana Saeed Noorie, is soon seen sharing the stage with R.R. Patil, Congress Minister Naseem Khan and other influential members of our government. After all, Eid is just round the corner. Had the violence not taken place, the rally’s leading lights would have attended the CM’s iftaar scheduled for Saturday evening.

However, those who rioted aren’t getting the same treatment that Shiv Sainiks and MNS rioters do. It can be argued that attacking the police is more serious than attacking public property. But attacking unarmed citizens only because they belong to a particular faith or region — is that less serious? The MNS’s attacks on North Indians, all televised, are just four years old. Two innocents were killed then. When the National Human Rights Commission directed the State to pay compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to the victims’ families, the government spoke of financial problems. Incidentally, the MNS’s unique way of protecting Marathi pride in 2008 cost the State a loss of Rs.500 crore. As for the Shiv Sena’s record of targeting, often fatally, unarmed South Indians, Muslims, mediapersons, Valentine’s Day lovers, rickshaw drivers — it would be insulting the readers’ intelligence to list the details.

Looking back

Police failure to anticipate and prevent Saturday’s violence is indeed blameworthy. But what’s new? When the Mumbai police has had indications of Sena-led violence, has it ever tried to prevent it? Forget the 1992-93 riots. In December 2010, the Pune police, apprehending violence at a protest called by the Sena, tapped Sena leaders’ phones and heard Milind Narvekar, Uddhav Thackeray’s PA, instruct Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe (a former Socialist) to gather a mob, burn buses and inform TV channels. Everything went according to plan; 54 buses were burnt. Pune’s Police Commissioner repeated the Maharashtra police’s time-honoured motto: “Preventive arrests would have aggravated the situation” and R.R. Patil supported her, saying the police’s priority was to “safeguard law and order and protect the public.”

When Meenatai Thackeray’s statue was desecrated on a Sunday in July 2006, the Sena ran amok. The same man produced another gem: “If the violence continues on Monday, the police will take action.”

After the Sena attacked the IBN Lokmat office in 2009, senior journalist Kumar Ketkar, whose house had been earlier attacked by Nationalist Congress Party supporters because he had dared criticise the plan to set up a Shivaji statue in the middle of the Arabian Sea, told a news channel: “Mumbai has not become feeble, Mumbai has become used to [such violence]. It was in 1966 when the Shiv Sena was born and ever since Maharashtra has been used to this culture. The Shiv Sena worship and encourage violence. So Mumbai’s youth become more and more involved in this and this is a very dangerous trend.”

The Muslim youth who went on a rampage on Saturday are also part of Mumbai. Maybe they felt they would be treated like their Hindutva counterparts.

Their leaders, knowing that’s not possible, have tendered cringing apologies on TV and asked the culprits to turn themselves in. Imagine any of the Thackerays or Togadias doing that. On the contrary, the celebrity columnists and indignant TV anchors now foaming at the mouth at “Mumbai burning” see nothing wrong in conducting long interviews with the Thackerays, where the latter brazenly defend their tactics.

(The author is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.)