Malice Towards All

For Maharashtrians, the subject is palatable and inquisitive. Therefore even the storm in the tea cup has subsided, all round postmortem continues.

Just last week, Pratap Bhanu Mehta dwelt on rot in Maharashtra. Later, Kumar Ketkar spent time writing on Bal Thackeray and Sharad Pawar’s politics.

Of late, the rest of India has been in habit to put to test Maharashtrains on the insider-outsider row. Unfortunately, to me, this state has been consistent enough to explore new low in this test. And the blame is to be solely shared by us alone.

To our fault, Maharashtra always overestimated its leaders ranging from Thackeray to Pawar. Parochialism is so ingrained in us that selection of dud like Nitin Gadakari as BJP president makes us revel in stead of questioning his qualities. When Marathi Vikram Pandit, who I doubt even has visited Maharashtra in decades, took charge of Citibank, we fired crackers. The otherwise routine story: Jockey Vijay Shiker winning the derby race, gets more than deserved place just because winner is Marathi. Hah!

We always contributed Shiv sena in legitimizing its sins. We are in the habit to call Thackeray’s purr; a roar, his abuse; a quintessential Thackeray-shaily (style), and his sins; a dare, often labeled after Hitler, to whom the sena chief take pride in idolizing. There isn’t the need to spend additional space on Raj, who belongs to the same ilk.

We believed, Thackeray Sr. stood by his principals; the principals he never actually followed. To enunciate, his flip-flop on Sharad Pawar and the penchant to offer RS seats to Uttar Bhartiyas.

He always squeezed controversies to remain in focus. Thackeray took on P K Atre (by caricaturing him Worli cha dukkar – Worli’s pig), P L Deshpande (for his remarks: Hee Shivshahi nasun Thokshahi aahe – this isn’t the Shivaji-like governed rule but a mobocracy) and Sachin Tendulkar (for innocuous remarks: Mumbai belongs to India). Many saw, by taking on stalwarts, Thackeray stood by his principals. The truth was he strived to derive maximum mileage. But, in such attempts too, Thackeray failed as in 45 years of Sena, he could rule the state only once – for 5 years.

Ketkar liken Thackeray with Ayatollah Khomeini. I consider this an over-valued sobriquet. Khomeini controlled entire Iran, no mater how flawed principals he harboured. Thackeray on the other hand could not keep his own house in order, though he has credit to his side of saving Maharashtra from dividing on caste lines. But then that too was in Thackeray’s own interests, especially when different sects had loyalties to different parties.

Maharashtra’s another big leader (notionally) is Sharad Pawar. Mehta argues: “Pawar, once a politician of considerable promise, has proved to be one of the biggest spoilers in modern Indian politics.” How true.

Maharashtra always assessed Pawar too highly. His power tactics were flop, fetching him nothing concrete. All his gambles to win primeministership failed. He was reduced to regional leader, while his party left to chant Marathi. On the administrative note too, he hardly did anything to prove his mettle. He often flexed his secular credentials, but in reality, divided Maharashtra on caste lines. And all through, we kept calling Pawar the Maratha-warlord, the master of Indian politics, the Janata Raja (sobriquet earned by Shivaji).

If Maharashtra knows anything, that is to harp on regional values. Nothing wrong in being proud of such rich values. The problem is: in exaggeration, Maharashtrains can’t sell those values beyond a point.

While Blaming Maharashtra, I accept that I am party to it. More than twice because just few days back, I preached friend through her blog, not to rant.


Rahul said...

Quite an apt observation. Excellent !

Chaitannya said...

How can you call a politician like Nitin Gadkari as dud .. Nitin Gadkari is one of the most proactive politician around.

What I mean is, do you have the credentials to accuse someone of the stature of Nitin Gadkari. If so, then how are you different from Thackery clan. You are the manifestation of the society you want to live in, if you are making comments like Thackery clan do, then you are not helping for the cause.

If you feel that Nitin Gadkari is a dud then you should surely have some vision to turn around things. Now the question is do you have the capability to turn around the things for maharashtra?

Yogesh said...

@ Rahul, thanks

@ Chaitannya

Yes, I can not turn the things around. But does that take away my write to criticize, especially those who are in the public life, who seek my vote ?

I believe Gadakari is dud because I have followed him for years as state unit chief. Except to become national president, the man hasn't had any concrete achievement so far that could bring change to common man. I have seen most of his and his party's agitations, which mostly were stage-managed.

I know, you have a different opinion.
But then...
Sometimes, we have to learn to live with different opinion


Chaitannya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaitannya said...

Hey Yogesh I am not an active supporter of Nitin Gadkari, nor do I want to criticize your blog. Also you have complete right to express your thought, but at the same time it's your duty to act with responsibility.

All I want to say is that if in your blog you are criticizing the politicians you are standing on the same pedestal as they are. Instead of that if you can write about success stories of people who shaped the society and then highlight the misdeeds of these people that would definitely be a very constructive and responsible way of putting your thoughts.

One thing I am absolutely sure is that criticism would never show us a path, it might uproot Thackery but then a new Thackery would take his place. Writing about success stories at least has some probability of creating a difference.

amatureartist said...

hey , i like your statements @ the Sena and Pawar things but not just the exaggeration but values at extreme ends ( a low profile Pawar for Aussie team or an arrogant one ) is the root trouble ..of course at a lay man point ..i knw as critics study knows detail. i appreciate your razor sharp line on a rational criticism...

Ravi Amale said...

How True!