Saturday, October 10, 2009

Time to wake up, Raj

When you are born in a family that holds considerable political clout, it becomes difficult for you to carry their legacy forward. And you try really hard to be up to the mark.

Raj Thackeray is facing a similar situation. The nephew of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray wants to establish himself as a independent, firebrand leader and a true son of the Maharashtrian soil. That is why he quit his uncle’s party and formed his own radical Hindu outfit, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). And the forthcoming Maharashtra Assembly election is his first real test.

So, a desperate Raj is doing all he can to pass the test with distinction. And he is going to any extent to stir the emotions of the people of Maharashtra. Be it the Bihari migration issue, or use of the term Bombay in Karan Johar’s latest flick, Raj is not ready to leave the battleground without putting up a decent fight. He has hijacked the Marathi manoos issue.

But what Raj is not realising is that such exasperated moves are not going to help him win the game. A Mumbaikar doesn’t care if he is called a Bambaiya or a Mumbaiite. Even for a Maharashtrian, a dialogue from a film is not going to change anything. What they need are real changes.

For a city battered by the deadly 26/11 attacks, what matters is that its borders are secure; for people who lost crores in the recent financial onslaught, they need stability; farmers of the Vidarbha region who lost their lives due to poor crop and scanty rainfall, need a continued source of livelihood and a secure future.

Instead of talking about these issues, Raj Thackeray is crying hoarse about non-issues. His not talking in English during an interview, or beating up a group of North Indians in Mumbai, are not going to help him in his political journey. Raj must remember – politics is not about naam ke wastey, it’s about kaam ke wastey!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

...and the tweets go on

Elections or no elections, our politicians always make it a point to grab the eyeballs. And more often than not, it’s for the wrong reasons.

When Congress leader the Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor tweeted, it snowballed into a major controversy. In a rather off-the-cuff remark, Mr Tharoor wrote on Twitter that he is happy to travel ‘cattle class’ in solidarity with the 'holy cows’.

His remarks came in reply to a journalist’s question about the Congress’ ongoing austerity drive. But the party, which is literally worshipping its ‘go austere’ campaign these days, took these remarks in bad taste and called them insensitive. The party also distanced itself from his remarks.

An avid tweeter, Congress’ remarks came as a stern warning for the UN-returned politic, who later apologised to the public saying his tweet was ‘just a humorous comment and nothing else’.

After the incident, one would have thought that Mr Tharoor would take a while to come to terms with the setback and would be cautious in his future tweets. But no. After a few days, he tweeted again – and this time about Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.

In his latest tweet, which came on Gandhi Jayanti, Mr Tharoor wrote that there is no need for a holiday on this day as for Gandhiji preached ‘work is worship’. This, too, was given thumbs down by the Congres who dubbed the comment as ‘his personal views’.

What I don’t understand is why make a fuss about such things when our politicians have much better things to do? What happened to someone’s freedom of speech? Why is politics taking over a man’s words? What Mr Tharoor said might have hurt some sentiments, but everyone has a right to express his or her opinion. Wonder Mr Tharoor answer this question in his next tweet.

Alexa widget