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3 Lessons from the Mumbai episode

The Mumbai episode is an interesting specimen for students of politics who would like to observe the patterns in Indian political scene.

The 3 major lessons are:

1. Rahul Gandhi won’t spare any opportunity:

To be precise it should be said that the strategists who does the choreography are keenly watching each and every happenings around the country and they will definitely set the stage for an action with Rahul in the lead role. So it was the worst political move from the Shiv Sena side to let him take the center stage, that too in their strongholds.

He made right use of the opportunity with clean and neat execution of a PR plan. Though I have reservations in admitting him as the ‘future’ or ‘hope’ I don’t hesitate to congratulate his strategists (if it’s himself then him). My reservations/concerns has nothing to do with what I’m going to write today.

2. pro ShivSena consolidation?

I strongly believe that it is premature to write off the Shiv Sena and the power of their dirty politics. The most scarce element among people is memory, especially when it comes to politics. They tend to believe that what they see is what is real. Fortunately or unfortunately that is not the case most of the times. The art or science of understanding  public consciousness and general will still remains untamed to most of the political scientists, let alone commons.

Many a times people tend to forget that Senas are still a power to reckon with in Maharashtra if the recent assembly election results are conveying any truth about the above mentioned general will. ShivSena had bagged 44 seats and their ally BJP 46.   MNS ended up with 13. And don’t forget that the Senas were fighting each other !!  Also the ideology of “Marathi Manoos” is not at all new though the targets were not ShahRukh Khan or Rahul Gandhi. All these figures and facts tell me that there was a strong affinity among the people towards the Sena theses as recently as October 2009 which is just 3 months ago. I agree that there was stronger affinity towards the INC+NCP alliance but it will be a mistake if we ignore the significant influence of the Senas in almost half of the electorate.

In fact things have turned to the Sena’s advantage, I think. They can keep their ranks closer to the party through this controversy. Above all the whole episode acted as a catalyst in amalgamating the cousins!! Now they can work together, stronger than ever, waiting for Pakistan cricket teams next visit or a PSC exam..

How can I leave the most crucial factor in the potential pro-ShivSena consolidation? It is nothing but the BJP’s stand. Albeit having a chief who hails from Maharashtra the BJP has shown political maturity to disapprove the Senas’ stand in this issue, and ONLY in this case. Don’t read it as a branch-off.. The RSS too, despite  the Nagpur factor, has disapproved the Thackereys’ stand. May be because they are not as ‘humble’ as the Senas to confine themselves in Maharashtra. (To the surprise of many, there is a state unit of ShivSena in Kerala..!!).

The bottom line is, I really doubt how much influence Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Mumbai had on the people on the other side of it.

3. So which is the biggest problem in today’s India?

It was the issue of Right to Expression which lead to the whole drama. I have no hesitation to call these as political stunts. A careful analysis on the development of this issue makes one thing clear. Rahul Gandhi tried to woo the Bihari students by mentioning the native place of the 26/11 NSG commandos. (By the way, do we know whether they were really from UP/Bihar? ) As expected it received warm reception from Mumbai ka Tigers.

Let me remind another set of headline catcher. Way back in August/September 2009, when a large part of India was starving due to an intense drought the media as well as the netizens were busy discussing the so called austerity drive!! There were couple of train journeys and economy class flights at that time too which nicely covered up the ground reality!!

This time it is the skyrocketing price rise. Food price inflation is not giving any signs of coming down. Government is in a blame game. “It will come down ” says the PM. But, not to my surprise, this is NOT AT ALL an issue among the urban elites. After all, who cares!!!!



6 thoughts on “3 Lessons from the Mumbai episode

  1. I am always a fan of Rahul Gandhi’s publicity stunts. This time I defend it because it was good.

    I do agree to the fact that we have more important issues like Price Rise, Infrastructure clogging etc. People should focus on these rather than talking about regionalism. Talking about regionalism is another form of reservation.

    Nammal ithine kurichu korachu samsarichathu micham 🙂

    Posted by Ameen | February 6, 2010, 11:42 am
  2. Exactly Ammen. I agree to Bijin were he says what is scarce among people is memory. Next time when a new #iconicindianads comes up we’ll forget #mumbaiforall. Or have we forgotten already?

    But still it is bad that we tolerate the kind of fascism these parties are portraying. We are Indians and the constitutions grants us the power to travel live and work in any part of India. And no one should be allowed to question it.

    Posted by crz | February 6, 2010, 7:46 pm
  3. Down down fascism… Let us not drop this and raise the voice against all types of fascisms. Thank you friends for speaking out..

    Posted by Bijin | ബിജിന്‍ | February 6, 2010, 8:16 pm
  4. If there was one political stunt which deserves an applause, it’s this.
    For a bhaiyya (from amethi) to travel on a local train in vile parle, gatkopar, andheri and dadar is no joke.

    But having said that, someone should tell Prince Rahul Ghandhi the following..

    It was the congress party which fueled the growth of this Frankenstein called sena. Congress fostered Sena to weaken the communist trade unions in Mumbai. He should be told that, in June 1970, SS murdered the sitting MLA of Dadar Comrade Kiran desai of CPI.The accused were Shiv Sena and the “Congress state government” in general, and Bal Thackeray and Vasantrao Naik in particular. This seat (Dadar Assembly) went into the hands of SS, and dadar became the HQ of sena. It’s just a historical irony that MNS defeated SS in Dadar constituency during 2009 elections. (Marx is always a good read :))

    Congress nurtured SS to defeat communists and now its using MNS to defeat SS. Prince Ghandhi should read his family history, this will help him to understand that congress doesn’t have a good track record when it comes playing such games.

    Some fast facts for the prince :
    1) His grandmother Mrs. Indira Gandhi lost her life by hurling a boomerang called bindranwalla.
    2) His father Mr. Rajiv Gandhi lost his life when he moved like a stupid into the trajectory of another boomerang hurled by his mother(this time it was LTTE).

    I don’t know whether the youth of our country like such analysis.

    So lets pray “God save our prince”

    Posted by Addu | February 11, 2010, 9:58 am
    • Wow !! what a comment.. !! You said it Adwaith.. Prince don’t have time to study history. In Congress, it is like “on job training”. Sonia Gandhi became the party president on the 66th day of her joining the party as a member !!! If that is the bench mark, he is much better. 😉

      Congress is trying hard, as always, to cover up its own ugly track record with the help of a carefully engineered ‘aura’ around the Nehru family. The nonsense loving crowd is their biggest asset and stunts like the one in Mumbai are their investments for the future.

      There are many more Frankensteins in the country which already started unveiling themselves. But the sad part is that the our generation is totally ignorant about such facts and the older ones are in deliberate silence..

      And who is the winner? SRK, of course.. He himself did not ‘buy’ any Pak players, then went on sobbing for them, starving Sainiks bite it, cunning Congress/Rahul hit the ball hard, Media filled their pages and airtime, many idiots clapped, MNIK got an unprecedented publicity that too without spending a paisa.

      Take it from me, there will be some controversy along with every big release in Bollywood from here onwards. Jaswant Singh also tried the same trick. When his first book got released in 2007, it was “mole in PMO” controversy. Next time “Jinnah” issue.. (his acrobatics was too much to avoid falling overboard)..

      Posted by Bijin | ബിജിന്‍ | February 11, 2010, 8:06 pm

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