It is not surprising that the party is once again indulging in cheap politics. Frustrated by its failure to capture power in Maharashtra due to the rise of Raj Thackeray's MNS, Shiv Sena leaders are again at their vitriolic worst.
Uddhav's son Aditya Thackeray announced that Rohinton Mistry's book Such a Long Journey was harsh on his grandfather and the clowns at the Bombay University duly obliged by banning the book that had been part of syllabus for several years.
Sena leaders can't be expected to read the book but they should have known that the writer was more harsh on Indira Gandhi for clamping emergency than Bal Thackeray's antics. The recent statements of Sena and the party's stand on burqa is once again proof of the fact that we can't afford to ignore Sena.
The ridiculous demand to ban burqa is not unexpected from Shiv Sena, given its track record. But it's time that the laws are updated and vitriolic statements or speeches are brought under the ambit of hate crime so that the guilty be punished.
It is visible to all and sundry that the Shiv Sena is increasingly getting marginalised. The Marathi manoos also doesn't care much about them. In the last 40 years, the party has hardly done any constructive work. It has targeted South Indians, Muslims and North Indians.
The Sena is against English-speakers and against Hindi-speakers also. Its leaders have acted as hooligans and its cadre has taken part in rioting. Uddhav Thackeray was expected to give a new direction to the party but he failed to revive it and now his son Aditya has taken plunge into politics.
But he should try to understand that unless he does anything constructive, he can't save the party. Forget Parliament or Assembly, even municipal polls would be difficult to win unless Shiv Sena reinvents itself and the party leaders do serious groundwork rather then restricting themselves to issuing statements and vandalism.