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Pune attacked! Where are the Thackerays?

By Sushmita Dutta | Last Updated: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 17:38
Sushmita Dutta
Sushi's Musings

The night of 13th Feb 2010 shook the people of Pune from their comfortable slumber and once again a city was in the grips of fear. A blast ripped through Pune’s popular German Bakery. It was very close to the famous Osho Ashram and the Jewish Chabad House. Instantly it killed nine people, but the toll went upto 13. More than 45 people were injured in this blast.

This is the first big blast after the infamous 26/11 episode. Fifteen months of quietness was broken with a sudden ear deafening sound and screams of innocent people. The Bakery is a popular eating joint for foreigners. Quite interestingly the prime suspected mastermind behind the 26/11 terror, David Headley, had visited this site some time ago. Terrorists made the Central and State government handicapped again.

A phone call from an unheard terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba Al Alami to an Islamabad based Indian correspondent three days after the German Bakery blast at Pune made matters clear. The outfit claimed responsibility for the Pune attack and the reason behind it they claimed was ‘Kashmir’.

The terrorists were outraged because India had earlier refused to discuss Kashmir issue with Pakistan. So, they took some more lives to put forward their demands. According to media reports, the terrorist also said over telephone that India's ‘alliance’ with the US was another reason for the attack. “We will wage war against any ally of America, whether it is India or Pakistan", the caller reportedly said.

Amidst all this turmoil, several questions crop up. Are the Thackerays listening? Isn’t Pune a part of Maharashtra? So, where are the MNS and the Shiv Sena now? Can they ask this terrorist group, as to why it attacked the Thackeray homeland Maharashtra again?

After the heart-wrenching Mumbai attacks, it was Pune’s turn this time. Where were the Thackerays and their ruffians? Had they been true politicians, they would have volunteered to take up some social responsibility. The MNS has destroyed public property and has harassed people of other states for publicity. But while doing all this, they forgot that violence and hatred does not make great ‘leaders’.

Maybe Shiv Sena and MNS do not have time and are busy sorting out more critical problems of the state - like whether a movie on Shah Rukh Khan should be allowed to release in Maharashtra? Instead of being part of nation building & helping each people in times of terror; what was surprising was the fact that Shiv Sena decided to boycott Shah Rukh Khan’s movie ‘My Name Is Khan’ when he spoke in favour of taking Pakistani players in his IPL team.

The Sena people marched onto the movie halls and were extremely tied up with the job of burning poster of MNIK. There are other pressing issues in Maharashtra rather than burning posters of MNIK. It almost seemed like stage-managed since the protest magically died after the movie released and gathered countless Dollars, Euros and of course Rupees. Who got the maximum profit out of all this? One thing is certain, the common Marathi man did not gain anything.

Mumbai is known as the city of dreams, where people from all over India land up to achieve success in life.

But sometimes dreams turn into nightmare. This is what has been happening for quite some time in Mumbai. People who have come from different parts of India are living under constant threat. Sometimes they have to face terror attacks and if that is not enough, there are Thackerays playing up the ‘Marathi Manoos’ political card. The Thackerays incite those people to create ruckus in the state who have a notion that the people coming from outside the state are taking away their opportunities.

There are always two ways to gain political mileage, either by doing good or by doing bad. The Thackerays play the game the second way.

It all began when Raj Thackeray after parting from his uncle Bal Thackeray’s ‘Shiv Sena’ had to gain ground. He found an easy way to shoot to fame and popularity. He took up the dirty cause of driving out the North Indians from the state. He wanted to show he was the man for the ‘Marathi Manoos’ of the state. So his workers started to attack the weakest section of Mumbai, the taxi drivers, chatwalas, shopkeepers etc.

Amidst all this, Shiv Sena, the hypocritic big brother, was feeling left out. So, it too began supporting the newly created cause. The party first said that they would not tolerate people from any other state and then took to violence. But isn’t it surprising that they haven’t attacked big companies and business organizations? Have all the mammoth companies in Maharashtra originated here itself? Are they all owned by Marathis?

One can’t refrain from asking - what is the Maharashtra government doing? Why can’t they stop this ‘goondaraj’ of MNS and Shiv Sena? What will MNS and Shiv Sena do if all the North Indian states decide to throw away the Marathis from their areas? Will the Thackerays provide them with jobs and food for their families?

A similar bitter dispute between the Muslims and Hindus had led to Partition at the time of independence. It is déjà vu again. Some selfish politicians are now trying to create vote banks by accentuating the difference between Maharashtra and the rest of India.

The MNS and Shiv Sena feel that Maharashtra is their fiefdom. But with great powers come great responsibility. The common people want peace and tranquility. If the MNS and the Shiv Sena want to grow as leading political parties they need to listen to the voice of the man on the street. If the Thackerays use their power constructively, they can help in state building.

First Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 17:38

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