January 13, 2010

Senile Sena Ails ...

January 13, 2010 Posted by Vijay No comments
Shiv Sena has yet again reposed the faith of the Sena brand of politics by announcing that it won't allow Australian cricketers to enter Maharashtra to play cricket matches. It seems like a blanket ban on Australian cricketers from entering into Maharashtra alone, though I am not so sure if all the Indians attacked or abused in Australia are all Maharastrians. This seems like another effort by the Shiv Sena supremo to win back the lost sheen of his party after last year's Maharashtra Assembly elections.

In the Maharashtra elections last year, the MNS made significant inroads with its bizarre and at times inexplicable campaign surrounding Marathi Manoos. Being their first assembly election, the fire brigand leadership of Raj Thackeray helped in winning important seats. On the other hand, a struggling BJP, and an inspiration seeking Shiv Sena lost out in a very big way. Shiv Sena especially felt the pangs of separation bite them badly, after Raj Thackeray had parted ways three years ago to form MNS. MNS announced its arrival by eating into the vote bank of Shiv Sena and as a result, the Sena-BJP combine.

It now seems a role reversal for Shiv Sena. The Shiv Sainiks, especially in the days following their election debacle in Maharashtra have been following the Raj Thackeray brand of politics. While MNS Woke up with Sid to remind Maharashtrians of Bombay's rechristened name, Shiv Sainiks followed suit, by targeting yet another Bollywood movie, Kurbaan. Cinema has been of late found as "objectionable by convenience" by political parties to raise their plank at the state and national level. When a bare backed Kareena Kapoor showed up on posters of Kurbaan, Shiv Sainiks protested against the screening of the movie. Though the Shiv Sainiks draped sarees and even went to Kareena's house to give her a saree, did any of them bother gifting her a blouse, a petticoat and the necessary lingerie' ?

And then there was Sachin Tendulkar, who I have admittedly been admiring more of late, after criticising and disliking him for almost two decades. This after he took India home in a record chase against England and also won India the tri-series finals in Australia in 2008. When Sachin said he is an Indian first and then a Maharashtrian, unusually enough it was Bal Thackeray who questioned Sachin's commitment to the Marathi cause and criticised Sachin. Sadly for the aging Thackeray, neither could he emulate an MNS like uproar of violence, nor did he win any support from anyone in the country.

It seems like Bal Thackeray is trying to battle his senility and bring some semblance of hope into the rapidly diminishing presence of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Why else would a veteran political leader want to tread the same path of that of his nephew who was once his own pupil. There is definitely no inspiration or spark left in the aging Shiv Sena rank. If the assembly elections last year were anything to go by, the Shiv Sena's decline, along with the aging of Bal Thackeray looks more inevitable than ever.