Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray seems to be living in a make-believe world and believes that sensational statements and xenophobic comments will make him the Bal Thackeray of future.
Poor Raj doesn't understand that times have changed. Modern India doesn't have a place for such crazy chaps. Raj Thackeray had the audacity to ask questions about the reason Amitabh contested election from Allahabad, later became brand ambassador of Uttar Pradesh and doesn't do much for the state where he lives.
So who is Mr Raj Thackeray to test patriotism of Amitabh Bachchan or any other person. Such statements are terribly against the idea of India, as extreme regionalism hurts national unity for which Thackeray's erstwhile party has always been a claimant.
It was a different era when Bal Thackeray had targeted South Indians and later Muslims, to create the atmosphere of fear. It was the frustration of middle-class and poor Marathi youths that was a reason for Bal Thackeray's rise.
Raj is making wild statements. He doesn't like the Chhat puja, and calls it a 'Naatak', a drama. By making outsiders including people from UP and Bihar as target, he hopes to emerge as a son of soil, a Marathi leader.
Ironically in this country, hatespeak is yet to be treated as a serious crime. And rogue politicians enjoy a sort of immunity from the law. Just like others who have multiple identities, Amitabh is not just a UPite, but also an artiste and a Kayastha.
But if the Navnirman Sena leader dares to question the loyalty of any person, whether a film star or a taxi-driver from Allahabad or Alappuzha (Kerala), by his narrow interpretatation, we can surely question his loyalty to India.