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India: Right wing Chauvinists of Shiv Sena on nationalism etc.

2 April 2014

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The Shiv Sena will continue to oppose the "anti-national Muslims" who do not respect the country's laws and create problems for people, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said here Tuesday. "Like my father (the late) Bal Thackeray, those Muslims who consider India their motherland, respect the laws of this country, don't ignite riots and live amicably, we have nothing against them — as far as the others, they have no right to live in India," Thackeray told his party journal "Saamana".
When asked about how Hyderabad-based Muslim leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was spewing venom against Hindus by threatening to wipe out the majority (Hindu) community in 15 minutes, Thackeray cited the example of his father. "Though he was the only Hindu 'Hridaysamrat' (Emperor of Hindu hearts), Bal Thackeray never said he would annihilate the Muslims in 15 minutes. Can somebody dare to speak in this fashion (like Owaisi) among the Pakistani Hindus? Under such a situation, it is up to the Hindus to decide who will protect them," Thackeray said.
Referring to ally Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's brand of "Hindutva", Thackeray rued that whenever there is talk of Modi, it gets linked to Gujarat riots and attempts are made to measure his "Hindutva" based on that incident. "However, one thing is clear — under Modi, Gujarat has not witnessed any communal riots and the Hindus are feeling secure in that state," Thackeray said.
Discussing the prospects of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Maharashtra, Thackeray recalled that way back, the late Bal Thackeray had advised social campaigner Anna Hazare to keep away from his "Team Anna". "Now 'Team Anna' has distanced itself from Hazare — on whose name it came up in the first place... AAP came with a bang and fell with a whimper in Delhi and only the people of that state had to suffer," Thackeray said. He dismissed the contention that the AAP broom (party symbol) was sweeping Maharashtra, and said it doesn't pose any challenge to the established parties.

NB: A report from The Hindu, Aug 28, 2001 on the Sena's preferred methods of agitation. Is this what we may call nationalism?
 MUMBAI, AUG. 27. The Shiv Sainiks ransacked a large private hospital in neighbouring Thane in a night-long bout of reckless violence after their leader, Anand Dighe, died after a heart attack that followed a day after he was injured in the leg and the head in a road accident. The 49-year-old Dighe was in-charge of Thane region and held no elected post. A vast group of Shiv Sainiks and others turned up at his funeral this afternoon in a city where uncertainty prevailed. Even cable television operators controlled by the Sena switched off telecast. It did not help the uninvolved to know what was happening and tensions rose. The Sunitidevi Singhania Hospital, was so badly damaged that its resumption in service without a massive revamp is doubtful. The Sena cadres feared that Mr. Dighe died of possible negligence there and did not wait to hear if there was justification for their apprehension. They just left a concrete shell of a hospital behind; virtually everything inside was ransacked. The arson and violence started from there and spread to all areas. Today while Thane remained totally affected, other towns in the district too had bandhs of their own. Police last night described the start of the violence as ``spontaneous'' but later, it took to typical Shiv Sena tactics: oblige by staying off roads or face the consequences.

Oddly enough, Sena leaders such as Mr. Raj Thackeray and his cousin Mr. Uddhav Thackeray, party leaders did not remain to allay the cadres' fears though police were worried that if there was a rampage, it would be tough controlling them. Only Mr. Narayan Rane returned and asked that notices be put up in public places stating that Dighe's death was by natural causes. There were dreadful scenes last night: a day-old baby in an incubator had to be taken out to safety and several in- patients had to flee even as some nurses took refuge under the cots of patients who had taken to their heels. Some parts of the hospital were set on fire and extensive damage has been reported even as a wave of fear and sorrow overtook that city. There was no anticipation of the potential trouble since the death was unexpected and most of the policemen were deployed elsewhere along roads on which Ganapati idols were to be taken for immersion after five days of worship. But it was beefed during the night. This was why there was almost night-long rioting.

A team from Aaj Tak television news channel, the first to reach the site after trekking 5 km after Sainiks held them up and beat them - Mr. Jitendra Dixit and Mr. Lakshmidas Inamdar - had to pretend at one point that they were dead to escape further attacks. Other media personnel too were beaten up. After a night of rioting that started close to midnight of Sunday, which saw as many as 29 vehicles on the hospital campus, including ambulances and cars of doctors, a worried Mr. Vijayapat Singhania, the emeritus chairman of JK Group called on the Chief Minister, Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh and sought more security for the group's facilities. Mr. Dighe's vehicle was hit by a state transport bus on Saturday morning and he was admitted to the hospital where some surgery was performed on him and later he even spoke to some journalists on the telephone. However, on Sunday evening, he had two quick heart attacks and died but the announcement of the death was delayed for over an hour-and-a-half ostensibly to prepare to face the Sainiks. The dead Sena leader was an uncrowned king of the satellite city of Thane where he was held in awe; a long-time observer of Thane politics and growth of Dighe told The Hindu: ``he was soft- spoken, decisive and was feared and revered. His writ ran without dispute.'' That was why, sources said, the cadres went berserk. There was, of course, no remorse expressed till late today. At one time, he was detained under the TADA Act for alleged involvement in the death of a corporator, Mr. S. Khopkar; Mr. Khopkar had dared to cross vote in a mayoral election in the Thane civic body whose control was wrested by the Shiv Sena. He was responsible for demanding that Haji Malang, a shrine, be renamed Shri Malang.

Raj Thackeray flexes muscle on toll issue ...

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