The statements by Raj Thackeray and then by Uddhav – no action

A couple of years back, there was a lot of controversy over some of the statements made by Raj Thackeray, who is the head of the MNS. His statements advocated the policy of blaming outsiders for things going wrong inside Mumbai and Maharashtra, and also advocated control on immigration of non-Maharashtra folks into the state. At that time, there was a lot of controversy about his statements, and also about the fact that the Maharashtra Government really did not do anything about this. There were a series of court cases that were filed against Raj, but in the end, nothing happened. At that time, there was a lot of buzz that the reason that the Maharashtra Government was not doing anything against him was because he was a force that seemed to draw away some of the support base of the Shiv Sena. Given the close nature of the fight between the NCP-Congress on one side and the BJP-Shiv Sena on the other side, any force that reduced the electoral power of the Shiv Sena was to be encouraged even if that meant that the Government did not take action against a divisive force. Despicable politics, but that is what politics is all about.
And now the same problem has started. Raj Thackeray has again started with his campaign to demonize the outsiders who have made their home in Maharashtra, and has started full throttle. And when he starts full throttle, he really goes to an edge which is hateful to watch. In his view, crimes are caused by outsiders, people who are not native to Maharashtra should have permits to enter the state, his workers attack cinema halls that show Bhojpuri movies. Such an attitude is actually what should be called as anti-national or something which should be prosecuted as pushing for sedition. Instead, the Government first did not take action the violence that happened in Mumbai (with the police chief of that time actually stating later that policemen do not intervene to avoid making the situation worse) and then when Thackeray starts on his hate speech, the Government again does not do something. Probably the only political action that can make some action happen against Raj Thackeray is if he merges his MNS with the Shiv Sena, which will reduce the advantage that he presents to the ruling Congress-NCP combine.

The concept of an unified India is where (subject to some restrictions on land owning in states such as Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh) people can move from state to state, and there are no constraints on their getting land anywhere and getting jobs anywhere. Anybody who objects to this concept in the way that Raj Thackeray does should be prosecuted. And the controlling of crimes and the vicious violence that was seen is the act of the state, something that one does not really see the state being able to do.

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