I have been asked to write my opinion on Mr Raj Thackeray and his party, MNS. He is the nephew of Mr Bal Thackeray of the Shiv Sena and has been in the news of late because his followers have been attacking migrant labor from northern India to Mumbai.
Raj Thackeray appears to be a misguided, evil-minded politician. The reports I have seen are from the English language main stream media and therefore, to my mind, highly suspect. He apparently has provoked his gang of supporters to attack non-Marathi people seeking jobs in Maharashtra. Recently, a few people have even been murdered.
According to some people he is a problem and should be locked up. He should be tried and if found guilty, locked up for good. However, I think that he is not the problem but rather that he is a symptom of a larger and deeper problem that he is not responsible for.
Raj Thackeray is a bit player in a much larger political game. Had he been more shrewd, he could have been a national politician and a hero like the rest of the politicians in India. He could have been a Nehru or even a Gandhi. The problem with him is that he is impatient and not too clever.
Raj is playing the same game as the more seasoned politicians in India but as an amateur.
Take Dr Manmohan Singh, the figure-head prime minister of India. Dr Singh does what he needs to do to get votes. His strategy is simple: pitch one religious group against another and be assured of one religious voting block — the so-called minority vote — will support him. Dr Singh is playing the same game of divide and rule that the British overlords of India had perfected. Dr Singh and his Congress Party present an excellent example of why the politics of division work. That Raj Thackeray, a two-bit local Mumbai politician is following in the large footsteps of Gandhi, Nehru, Indira, Rajiv, and the rest of the unmentionable gang of unprincipled immoral politicians should come as no surprise to anyone even slightly familiar with Indian politics.
It is hypocritical to say the least to be shocked at what Raj Thackeray is doing. He did not create the dismal conditions in Bihar because of which millions of Biharis have to migrate out of the state seeking the most menial of employment. Hang Lalu Prasad Yadav for that crime. Raj Thackeray is not responsible for the dismal infrastructure of Mumbai. Hang the policy makers who extract most of the wealth that Mumbai produces and ship it off to support failing states across India. Raj Thackeray is only responding the only way he knows he can — by fueling the xenophobia that is latent in every human being.
I am not a fan of Mr Raj Thackeray. I think he is a fool. But before I demand that he be strung up, I have to inquire why the others who are guilty of much greater crimes than he is are not only roaming free but have the temerity to sit in judgment of Mr Thackeray.