Pseudo-Hindutva surrenders to pseudo-secular anti-nationals
by N S Rajaram on 29 Nov 2019 11 Comments

In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena which fought the recent Assembly election jointly with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), broke ranks immediately thereafter and has now decided to go with the anti-Hindu Congress party and its adjunct, the grotesquely misnamed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), on the whim of a self-appointed leader whose only goal is to see this mighty state ruled by a family member (self or son).


The newly-minted allies, Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi, have decided that the new Chief Minister will be Uddhav Thackeray. He will soon realize that he has mounted a tiger. Neither Sharad Pawar nor Sonia Gandhi is known for selfless generosity. Both will demand their pound of flesh.


When Sonia Gandhi made Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister, it was not long before the government became the most corrupt government in modern Indian history. All kinds of cronies became billionaires at the cost of the Indian taxpayers. The same thing happened in Karnataka where she propped up Kumaraswamy. It will now be the turn of Maharashtra, India’s wealthiest state, to be looted by all kinds of carpetbaggers. This is fated to be the legacy of Uddhav Thackeray, who shunned ideological affinity and long-standing political affiliations for greed for power. In the process, he also betrayed nationalism.


Uddhav Thackeray will get his position and nationalism and hindutva get tossed by the wayside. With leaders like this, who needs traitors? One hopes the BJP leadership has learnt a lesson, and will henceforth treat claims of hindutva with caution. As Virgil wrote more than a thousand years ago, “I fear the Greeks bearing gifts,” referring to the wooden horse gifted by the Greeks, that gave us the famous term “Trojan Horse.”


Traitors are obsolete. As Franklin Pierce, former US President (1853–1857), said on being elected, “All my friends I wanted to reward are dead, and my enemies I wanted to punish are turned friends.”


We can be sure that as an experienced politician Thackeray recognizes that Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar are not supporting him for altruistic reasons. They will demand their pound of flesh. It is only a matter of when, not if.


The question is what might they expect? The Congress party, it is reasonable to guess, is in need of funds. The National Herald case seems to going against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and they have been hit with huge tax bills. Then, Robert Vadra has his own share of legal problems. Control over a wealthy state like Maharashtra is immensely attractive.


Uddhav Thackeray has betrayed not only the BJP, but nationalism. It is an undeniable fact that the Shiv Sena owes a large number of the seats it won (54) to its association with the BJP and campaigning by leaders of the stature of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Even with their campaigning, the Shiv Sena strike rate is low; his seat tally could have been far lower if he had fought alone. Alternatively, the BJP could have won its own majority if it had gone to the polls alone, minus the Sena baggage.


Perhaps it is too much to expect loyalty from politicians today, but let us see the baggage Thackeray will have to shoulder for cozying up with the Gandhi-Vadra family to satisfy his personal ambition. Let us look at the baggage Sonia Gandhi and her flock will bring into the new coalition. The Gandhi family does not really respect Hinduism; some go to the Ramlila Ground annually as a political convenience, some visit temples at election time. The family has no respect for the security and armed forces either.


To this day, Sonia Gandhi has neither contradicted nor asked a party leader to contradict Salman Khurshid’s statement that she had tears in her eyes when informed about the Batla House encounter (in which a Delhi Police inspector lost his life). The military ex-servicemen struggled through the two terms of UPA for fairer pension (which was finally given by the Modi government). Besides, Congress members like Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mani Shankar Aiyar openly court Pakistani leaders and the military.


The Shiv Sena began as a narrow sectarian movement against South Indians (or Madrasis) in Mumbai, as their prominence in many professions was seen to be at the cost of middle class Maharashtrians. In that sense, it was not much unlike the DMK in Tamil Nadu, which is also essentially a family outfit. Bal Thackeray jumped on the Hindutva bandwagon following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. It attached itself firmly to the BJP after the latter’s rise in national prominence.


Clearly, its hindutva was just political opportunism which it discarded immediately when the chance came for Uddhav Thackeray to become Chief Minister. This was a Congress (Sonia Gandhi) condition. But unhappily, its feckless behavior will cast a cloud of suspicion any group professing Hindutva, even if sincere.


The mystery is in Sharad Pawar’s intentions. He does not care two hoots for Shiv Sena or Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister. He must have larger goals. One could be clearing the way for daughter Supriya Sule as undisputed leader of the NCP, if indeed Ajit Pawar was a serious challenge. After all, he has been tamed rather quickly.


So is the goal to somehow gain control of the Congress party itself by ousting the Gandhi-Vadra family from its pedestal. Only time will tell. But for the moment he is allowing the Vadra Parivar to loot the richest state in India.


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