There is little doubt that the rogue Raj Thackeray needs to be reined in. His divisive politics has claimed another victim, when a poor man from Sant Kabirnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, was killed in a Mumbai local train by workers of MNS.
Dharam Dev Rai, 25, a migrant labourer, who had come to Mumbai to earn a living, lost his life to the goons. But the Centre has failed to take any action though this dirty politics of regionalism threatens to divide the nation.
The man is survived by a pregnant wife and a child, who have nobody to support. The argument started over the seat but as he couldn't speak Marathi, the attackers pounced upon him and killed him in cold blood.
Still, the Centre hasn't taken any action. The Congress government, both at the Centre and the State, has created a Frankenstein, the monster, that threatens everybody including the idea of India as a nation.
The situation demands imposition of President's rule and the arrest of Thackeray for terrorism, anti-national activities and hate politics. Maharashtra government has announced Rs 2 lakh for Dharamdev's family. Will it bring back his life?
Thackeray, a Chandraseni Kayastha, whose family came to Maharashtra from North India a few generations back, and has property worth hundreds of crores, is playing not just with the emotions of Marathi Manus, but is also involved in the most dangerous politics India has ever seen.
His kids study in foreign countries and he wants Marathi for poor Maharashtrians. Can his son speak or write Marathi?
Those who feel Raj Thackeray is taking up the cause of Maharashtrians, are living in a fool's paradise. He has already done incalculable harm to this nation and it is damaging for Maharashtra and Marathis as well.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008
Rahul Raj, a youth boy from Patna, who had come to Mumbai searching for a job, was seething with anger as he brandished a pistol from the window of the BEST double decker bus on Monday morning.
He apparently wanted to send a message to MNS leader Raj Thackeray but we will never be able to know what he exactly had on his mind. He had repeatedly told co-passengers that he won't harm them. The Mumbai police shot him dead in an 'encounter'.
Though he was involved in a criminal act, the way he was shot at, has left questions on the ability of police in dealing with such situations. It appeared more of a panic gripped police force's knee-jerk reaction, just like a Brazil guy was shot dead by British police that had mistook him as a terrorist.
More shocking was the response of Maharashtra police and state government. RR Patil said that 'bullet would be answered with a bullet'. Somebody needs to remind him that it is no imperial British government and we are no longer 'native blacks'.
Now Bihar leaders Ram Vilas Paswan, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar have come together over the issue to apparently seek political mileage. The bus number 332 was on way from Kurla to Andheri when Rahul Raj took out his pistol. The boy with an innocent face appeared angry, not just angry, but enraged over something.
He was asking cell phone and wanted to talk to Raj Thackeray. Later reports suggested that he hijacked the bus to get Raj to talk to him. Also, he had fired barely a bullet contrary to police claims. Senior Mumbai police officials held that as Rahul held the bus hostage, he had to be shot dead.
Was he angry at the state of affairs in the country where Raj Thackeray flirts with law and lives with ease just because he is a politician and supposedly 'high and mighty' but an ordinary youth is beaten up for his belonging to Bihar or Uttar Pradesh (or even gunned down on the street by the same police).
The same police that doesn't dare to act against Thackeray and is uneasy even at serving warrants against him for terrorising millions, can of course murder a youth with such ease!
The old saying: Show me the man and I will show the rule, certainly holds true in this nation.
Friday, 24 October 2008
Though linking religion with terrorism doesn't sound well, the question that faces the country today is whether so-called Hindu terrorism has finally arrived in India, as a response to Muslim terrorism?
That's something which is also haunting Indian policy makers, intelligence agencies and the nation itself. We, the police and the media remained in a state of denial about the role of fringe RSS organisations despite Orissa killings and attacks in Karnataka.
Though the role of RSS, Bajrang Dal and its affiliate organisations were found involved in blasts in Nanded, Tenkasi and Thane apart from some other cases like attacks on mosque in Parbhani and Jalna, but we always kept our eyes closed.
After the death of Bajrang Dal workers while making bombs in Kanpur, the issue was again raised. But now the Anti-Terrorist Squad's arrest of Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) workers from Indore for the bomb blasts in Modasa town in Gujarat and Malegaon before Id, have confirmed that there is a possible Hindu terrorism in this country.
Pragya Devi alias Pragya Singh Thakur alias Pragya Bharti, who was living in Gujarat, is a firebrand Sadhvi in Ritambhara mould and her arrest, suggests that there is a role of such organisations in terrorism. Hate leads to terrorism and this country has enough of it.
Riots, genocides and terrorism are all manifestations of this hate. Though it is sad to classify terrorism on the basis of religion and castes, this is inevitable now. Sangh is known to flirt with terror. The RSS has an ability to form offshoots and fringe groups which it can easily disown after any thing goes wrong.
Since 1993, Bajrang Dal cadre has been involved in bomb baking. They were arrested in Madhya Pradesh in 1993. Now there are cases from as far as Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Monday, 20 October 2008
Marathi trust owns the building used for their functions and a school is also run from its premises. Though no one was injured in the stone pelting and the damage to the cultural building, it has dangerous implications. Congress government and police-administration gave a long rope to Raj Thackeray.
His cadres kept on assaulting North Indians. The latest being attack on youths who went to Mumbai for Railway Recruitment Exam (RRB). Mercifully, the Kanpur attack was limited to damage to building.
However, things are not good else where. In Indore, the biggest City of Madhya Pradesh, Uma Bharati's Bharatiya Janshakti Party has warned Marathis to 'condemn Raj's attacks else face consequences'. Processions in which posters carrying messages of 'mad dog' were held and dogs were taken out to symbolise Thackeray.
This is extremely dangerous for the nation. He should be immediately sent behind bars, so that the mistrust among communities and regions is not allowed to fester and cause harm to our national integration.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Naresh Goyal had suddenly become a hated man in this country. At least, among the middle-class salaried men, who were shocked at the retrenchment of 1900 employees by the Jet.
When he was standing in the company of Kingfisher's Vijay Mallya, Goyal may not have realised the enormous power of media. The tears of young professionals moved everybody in this country.
Goyal should have understood that despite liberalisation, India can't be a replica of USA. In India, family is still run on a single salary. One layoff can shatter the dreams of an entire family for ever, as the guy may not be lucky to get another lucrative job.
Reactions are also extreme in this country. Running an airlines is not rulling a neighbourhood bania shop where the guy can simply fire the employee. Though Goyal has suddenly realised that he needs to take care of the Jet family, it's time the government and industry honchos sit and decide a certain formula to avoid such sudden job cuts.
Sacking hundreds of employees overnight is no joke. There should be a proper policy on this. True, the businessman is there to earn but he can't have a ball all the time. Despite all their shortcomings India media also needs to be congratulated for the reprieve to the Jet employees.
One hopes it won't be temporary. But, at least, they can get an honorable exit a few months later, so that they can find alternative jobs. Such events do justify the existence of Raj Thackerays. After all, where was the government when the young professionals needed somebody to raise their voice?
Though it is possible as the grapevine goes that the government may have intervened, but such sectors must also streamline salaries. There is generally no hue and cry when a poor man loses his job or a farmer doesn't get seeds, because the middle-class and the media doesn't identify itself with them.
But that's India. Here Centre succumbed to the militants during the Kandahar hijack because live 24x7 TV had arrived in the country and the tears of the families of those kidnapped, moved then nation. Goyal can hope that he will no longer be painted as a demon after the reinstatement of the employees.
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
When more than a hundred thousand people get displaced as in the case in Assam that is hit by sectarian violence, it should be a major cause of concern for the nation, its leaders, citizens and media.
But it's clear that 21st century India is equally immune to communal, casteist violence and genocides though they may be directed against any community. Why else violent activities on mass scale keep happening regularly in India?
In far-flung Assam, nearly 1.5 lakh (150,000)people have left their homes. Sixty bodies have been recovered and this is more than twice the total number of deaths in the recent violence in Orissa that was directed against Christians.
Now, it is the Bodo-Muslim conflict that triggered this riot. We keep hearing charges and counter-charges but the truth is that innumerable poor people and ordinary citizens have been affected, but we don't know why such riots take place in India.
Thousands of houses have been torched and places of worship set afire. But Assam is not 'that' important. It is not Karnataka that has Bangalore, a high-tech-cyber city as its capital or even Orissa. Assam is not part of the heartland either.
The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) that has been demanding separate Bodoland state, is involved in the clashes with immigrant Muslims and also locals. Meanwhile, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, the riot in Dhule continues.
The violence has spread and incidents of arson, killings continue. Surprisingly, the Centre is not keen to stop the riot that has claimed well-over half-a-dozen lives as the same Congress rules Maharashtra.
Media also ignored the news despite the fact that hundreds had to leave their houses and had to take shelter in forests. The Hindu-Muslim clashes are nothing new but the promptness of the Manmohan Singh government in admonishing Karnataka and Orissa governments, is not visible here.
If Orissa deserved a censure under Article 355, then the same is due for Assam as well. And if Karnataka figured in cabinet for the violence, then Dhule riot needs to be condemned in the same breath and paramilitary forces ought to be sent.
But we know that nobody is interested in stopping riots in India.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Five persons died and neary 80 injured when two groups clashed in Dhule on Sunday. Curfew was clamped in the town and the situation was tense, police said.
The trouble began over a petty issue. A poster was allegedly torn up which led to tension, subsequent stone pelting and the clash which resulted in the deaths. Initial reports suggest that three persons died.
One of the dead was identified as Imran Sheikh. Two died in stone pelting and one was killed in the police firing. Later reports suggested that the toll had gone up to five.
An organisation Hindu Rakshak Sabha had put up inflammatory posters in Dhule (Dhulia). There were also on behalf of a local corporator Sabir Seth in the same area near Rajkamal Talkies. The exact circumstances were not clear but the news that some posters of Hindu Rakshak Sabha were found torn, led to tension.
Arson and stone pelting followed. Such was the intensity of the sudden riot that the police could hardly control it. Despite using tear gas and later firing in the air and at the mob, the riot had left several dead.
Nearly 100 persons were injured in the riot. Indefinite curfew has been imposed in the town, which is close to the communally hyper-sensitive Malegaon town. The riot over a minor issue puts a serious question mark on the ability of police in handling a law-and-order situation.