For once I support Shiv Sena!

By Sudeshna Guha Roy | Last Updated: Jan 18, 2010, 12:25 PM IST

For once I support the Shiv Sena… despite the fact that I have never liked the ideologies of the political party, and always believed them to be a dim-witted extremist group, which thought they owned Maharashtra… despite the fact that their ‘Marathi Manoos’ slogans always got on my nerves and all I wished to do was to give them a good piece of my mind regarding how India is one and they too are Indians before being Marathis…<br/><br/>There are many reasons for me to disagree with that particular political party… but this time, I actually support their campaign! Because, for once, they seem to be right!<br/><br/>Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, a couple of days ago, wrote in his party’s mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ that he and his party co-workers will not allow the Australians to enter Maharashtra in order make one point clear and straight: attack on Indians in Australia is not acceptable; a point that people sitting in North Block clearly seem to have missed.<br/><br/>“Our boys are being stabbed, burnt and shot at in that country and still our cricketers have no qualms in playing with them. Do they have any national pride?” Thackeray wrote.<br/><br/>True to the core…. Citing an incident again mentioned by Thackeray, when a great actor like Amitabh Bachchan could deny the award offered to him by the Queensland University, so as to protest the racist attacks, then why cannot the Indian cricket team follow suit?<br/><br/>It is not that I have some personal grudge against the Aussies, nor I am an extreme nationalist. On the contrary, the Australian cricket team is one team I admire the most.<br/><br/>But Shiv Sena’s stand on this issue surely makes sense to me. I feel that it is probably the only way to shake Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd out of his slumber and make him realize the hard fact that his country is far from being tolerant! To make him realize that great nations are always built on human respect, civil rights and liberty.<br/><br/>It has been over a year now that Indians Down Under have been made targets of racism and have been attacked, burnt and even beaten to death by some mindless Australians. And every time India raises its voice against this bigotry, all the honorable Australian PM can afford to say is that it is nothing, but a random criminal attack.<br/><br/>So be it…! How would it be if the Aussies come here and there be ‘random criminal attacks’ too! I am sure Mr Rudd would finally dislike people being purposely targeted and then probably, he would have a feeling of ‘empathy’ rather than sympathy for India.<br/><br/>It is true that sports should be kept away from politics. And indeed that is the way it should be. We, Indians, love cricket more than anything and consider cricketers as demi-gods. So it is just against our moral to harm the very spirit of the game.<br/><br/>But again, for those who do not understand words, it is important to wake their conscience with something more lethal.<br/><br/>Let us recall the fateful 26/11 incident! The Indian government found out that the terrorists involved in the attack were from Pakistan. And thus, all sorts of relationships with that country were snapped.<br/><br/>As far as sports is concerned, the Pakistani cricketers were not allowed to participate in the second season of the IPL and have found no bidders in IPL 3… the Indian junior hockey too cancelled its tour to that country! <br/><br/>There can be comparisons here as well. Then, hundreds of our fellow citizens were killed by psycho terrorists inside our country, and now, many of our fellow Indians are being killed by some Aussie psychos in their country. So why should the outcome be any different? Why shouldn’t the Australian government know that whatever is happening in their country with our people is just not tolerable?<br/><br/>The Indian government has still not been able to take any concrete measures to deal with its counterpart Down Under. And so, I am happy that at least one political party in our nation, the Shiv Sena, had the guts to come up with a statement too direct and straightforward; make your country safe for our men or you won’t be welcome here either!<br/><br/>Let us look at this pragmatically, we don’t want murders here! We are not ‘psychos’! But under the current situation, the least BCCI can do is ban all the Australian players in the forthcoming Indian Premier League and call off all future series with Australia till the Oz government takes some solid steps to curtail the racially prejudiced attacks on Indians.<br/><br/>India is cricketing super-power. Isolation from the Indian cricket board is bound to affect Australia as a cricket-playing nation.<br/><br/>A colleague of mine quoted Mahatma Gandhi while checking this piece, ‘An eye for an eye will make the world blind!’<br/><br/>I would have agreed to this thought before. But now, I feel, that if we continue to follow that idea, we would be far from solving this issue. I am not ‘Bapu’ who believes in non-violence and tolerance. I am more of a ‘Bhagat Singh’ follower, where ‘action speaks louder than words’!