Balasaheb Thackeray was an inspirational speaker but before his oratory skills struck a chord with the people in Mumbai and across India, he was a cartoonist. He used is an artistic skill, wit, and understanding of the political situation to convey powerful messages through satiric cartoons.
He was respected, appreciated, and looked up to for his courage to share his views on the most serious concerns plaguing the nation at that point in time, using humor.
Today ironically and shamelessly, Shiv Sena goons attacked a 62-year old navy veteran for forwarding a satiric cartoon that came to him as a Whatsapp message.
Of course, the cartoon made fun of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray. That’s what cartoons are supposed to do, to make you laugh. More importantly, the genre of satirical cartoons always takes potshots at political leaders or political issues.
The last time I heard a satirical cartoon had a major uproar was the Charlie Hebdo case in 2015, which saw Islamic radicals go on a rampage in France. There was international condemnation to the violent protests. All Charlie Hebdo did was publish a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in a satirical manner. But Islamists all over the world took an offense and those in France went on an offensive.
The Shiv Sena is no different from some of the deranged Islamic radicals who do not have a sense of humor. I can understand the feeling of anger towards a satirical comic on someone’s religion. I cannot, however, understand the violent reaction by the Shiv Sena to the cartoon forwarded by a senior citizen, who did not even draw the satirical cartoon.
If some leaders in Shiv Sena were truly offended by the cartoon, then I suppose they could have raised the issue with the cartoonist itself. But no! The deranged men in Shiv Sena attacked a navy veteran who is 62-years old and had nothing to do with creating the cartoon, all he did was forward it to his building Whatsapp group.
I personally believe men who attack innocent and aged-people in a mob are basically impotent men. They have no courage to fight man-to-man. They lack basic manliness. Real men fight like real men. Sissies and pansies use the camouflage of a mob to show their strength.
If you look at the Shiv Sena mob who attacked the navy veteran, they look like men, but in reality, they are not men, nor women, nor others. They are a new breed of species with no spine and no potency.
A Shiv Sena leader in an interview with a news channel stated, “Every action will have a reaction. Shiv Sena has tolerated enough of fun made on our Chief Minister. I do not condemn the act of the Shiv Sainiks”.
Unfortunately, Shiv Sena believes that beating a senior citizen is a reaction to an action. But then slavery is a problem in India. We have not been able to eradicate it. We see this slavery mentality so evidently in Congress. Shiv Sena too which is a family-run political party also displays slavery to the family. And in this slavery, they loose all commonsense and humane sensibilities.
I would like to ask the impotent mob of Shiv Sena who attacked the 62-year old Navy veteran if they would have hit their fathers with such brutality. This man was old enough to be their father. More so, the Navy veteran’s contribution, sacrifice, and service to the nation would be immense.
Most shockingly in the Mumbai Police, as they do in most Bollywood movies, came after the scene of violence and wanted to arrest the Navy veteran under the IT Act for insulting the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray.
While I respect like most Mumbaikars the seat of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, I do not think we must be compelled to respect the person on that seat, when the person does not behave in a manner becoming of a person sitting on the seat of the Chief Minister.
We are a democratic country. We have a right to have a difference of opinion with the government. We have a right to also express our opinion. Satirical cartoons are one such form of expression. It is something Bal Thackeray himself used as a medium of expression.
The problem with the Thackeray’s just like the Nehru-progeny or the Pawars is that they assume power is absolute in a democracy because they have been veiling that power for years. They do not like to be challenged. The Shiv Sena does not have statesmen in their cadre, they have thugs. Thugs who believe that you need to beat, demolish, or scare people who think contrary to the Shiv Sena.
Uddhav Thackeray is a nobody. Someone in position because of his father’s legacy. Someone who betrayed the core idealogy of Shiv Sena in his greed for power and with all the other Shiv Sainiks slaves sold their idealogy at the altar of political power. Now that they have power, they do not know what to do with it. So they resort to their banal nature that of being thugs.
Such is the fear of Uddhav Thackeray as a leader that he will not contest an election and win. At least Aaditya Thackeray his son contested an election, which was staged for his victory, but Uddhav Thackeray was scared to even contest one. He simply got put in that position in smart political machinations of Sharad Pawar. Uddhav Thackeray got his CM’s chair but Pawar and Sonia Gandhi control that chair. Uddhav has become a puppet in the game.
Over the last few months, since the Sushant Singh Rajput case exploded, insinuations have been leveled against the Maharashtra government, Mumbai Police, and the Thackeray’s of a probable involvement in a coverup. The involvement of the Thackeray’s, however, has not been proved but their actions certainly raise serious questions. In this crisis, it appears that Pawar and Sonia Gandhi are sitting on the sidelines and watching the situation implode and explode.
The Shiv Sena camp lacking political astuteness and chutzpah are resorting to their inherent nature of violence because they have never been statesmen or political strategists. They have evolved in politics because of being goons.
If Shiv Sena continues in this manner they will end up becoming political pariahs and people of Maharashtra will reject them. I know the downfall of Shiv Sena has started.
It is only a matter of time Uddhav Thackeray will become politically irrelevant. His son will make him politically irrelevant as the truth behind the death Sushant Singh Rajput and Disha Salian unravels. I am not saying that he is involved directly but the actions of the Maharashtra government raise a lot of questions behind the importance of the person whom they want to protect.
Shiv Sena was never relevant in politics, they were just pandered to by political parties for political interests. Cowards can never be relevant.