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The Mumbai Police gag order against Raj Thackeray




Maharashtra Chief Minister must be hoping and hoping that the problem posed by Raj Thackeray goes away in some way. He is stuck in a major problem, with the Mumbai for Marathis campaign a force that he does not want to try and put down in order to avoid making Raj seem like a martyr; at the same time, he is a Congress Chief Minister who cannot be seen to be pandering to regional forces and putting the Congress in a position where political parties from all over the country can beat upon it.
And this need for a balancing act is causing the compromise that he has effected; the police talks tough, but files an FIR and does a major drama in terms of arresting him in a way that he can be bailed out very quickly. Further, they try to stop him by issuing a gag order:

A sessions court on Thursday stayed the extension of the gag order imposed on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray by the city police. Thackeray had filed a revision application before the sessions court on Wednesday, challenging the extension of the February 11 police order prohibiting him from holding rallies, public meetings and addressing the media.
The order was passed by the police in the wake of the MNS chief’s provocative statements against members of the north-Indian community which resulted in incidents of violence across the state.


This is a very strange situation. The Government is shying away from using the normal legal and police process against Raj Thackeray (who is after all the leader of a political party); he can be prosecuted for incitement to violence, for preaching a form of sedition (the country’s constitution guarantees the right to not be discriminated against based on sex or race or origin). The Maharashtra Government is equally guilty of not acting to protect the people of North Indian origin whose property has been destroyed or damaged, or to stop the outflux of people from the concerned cities.
And since the Congress is hyper-sensitive about political matters and election issues, one wonders whether it has thought about the impact of this issue on the remaining North Indian voters in Mumbai who form sizeable proportions, as well as in other states where this can be taken up as an issue.




2 comments to The Mumbai Police gag order against Raj Thackeray

  • Manu

    It’s not a strange situation, instead it seems like the perfect example of dirty politics in India.
    Raj Thackeray’s campaign is aimed at winning ‘marathi manoos’ votes. Any votes that he gains will be votes lost by Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena itself is caught between the devil and the deep sea. If it supports Raj, it looses out on the ground level support it has slowly been trying to build in the ‘outsider’ community. If however if it opposes Raj, they stand to loose it’s vital marathi ‘core’ voters.
    Congress, very wisely has decided to take a ‘moderate’ stand. By not cracking down on MNNS it has established a good rapport with regoinalists. On the other hand you could find Congress leaders ‘urging’ migrant workers to stay and promising them security. Thus they get to save face as a ‘National’ party too.
    Another consideration for Congress is that if Raj manages to chip away votes from Shiv sena, it will not only strengthen Congress in Maharashtra but also weaken BJP -alliance on the national level. A crafty move by the congress indeed, unfortunately in all these political maneuvering, its Indian national identity which stands to loose the most.

  • Reynold

    How to Beat The Indian Politician
    Section 49-O of the Constitution:
    (A Repetition worth a read)
    Did you know that there is a system in our Constitution, as per the 1969 Act, in Section “49-O” that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey to the presiding election officer that he doesn’t want to vote anyone!
    Yes such a feature is available, but obviously our seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. This is called “49-O”.
    Why should you go and say “I VOTE FOR NOBODY”… because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received “49-O” votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them. This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way of our whole political system… it is seemingly surprising why the Election Commission has not revealed such a feature to the public….
    Please spread this news to as many as you know… Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India… show your power, expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting… so don’t miss your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this info on…
    “Please forward this mail to as many as possible, so that we, the people of India , can really use this power to save our nation”. Use your voting right for a better INDIA

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