A Tiger only at Home

On 17th November 2012, the so called “Tiger”, Shiv Sena  chief Balasaheb Thackeray lost his breath. After fighting for his life, in a critical situation for almost three days at his Mumbai residence ‘matoshri’.  His last breath was around 3.30p.m and the death was officially announced in the media at 5p.m.  Without a doubt it’s an end of an era in Maharashtra politics.

I was in Mumbai during the announcement. And I saw what it meant for mumbaikars to lose the tiger. Around 6p.m, the whole city came to a standstill or was forced to do so by Shiv Sena supporters. All shutters were down and there were very few vehicles on the roads. I have got to say that I never saw my city so traumatized ever before.  In fact the whole state was as still as Balasahebs body. Later I learned that Shiv Sena wants the city shut for three complete days. Police has requested not to use taxis, expressways and major roads till Tuesday to avoid stone pelting. I received dozens of texts to stay indoors and to stay safe. I was puzzled! Except for  Shiv Sena supporters (which is  a fraction of Mumbai’s population), it’s just a politicians death.

Though I grew up in Mumbai, I was never a fan of Balasaheb. For one thing I knew, he divided people on linguistic basis. He often emphasized in his speeches that the state belongs to Marathi speaking people. I don’t know and sadly I can never know how is that justified, how can you claim a financial capital of a country belonging to a certain language speaking people? Why did the educated Maharashtrians cannot see this divide and target policy? How can educated and civilized people support the use of violence against some people in the city just because they don’t belong to the city?

Thousands of people die every day, but still the world moves on. A politician dies due to natural death and a city shuts for three days! Mumbaikars today are resilient by force not by choice. Respect is earned, not given and definitely not forced. I would say Mumbai is shut today by fear not by respect.

 

PS: This article is solely  based on personal views and observation. I feel proud to use my freedom of speech!

 

 

About Pranav 6 Articles
Civil engineering student at MIT, trying to restore sanity around....
  • Shail Vani

    Dude you are emphasizing his bad deeds and ignoring his good ones. Yes he had a linguistic bias but he has done his fair share of good for the city and its people. You cannot have 2 million people on the streets due to fear.
    It is not right to present a biased and one sided view. If he had not controlled Raj Thackeray we all know what MNS would have done by now.
    Udhav Thackeray has said that Shiv Sena does not want a bandh.

  • Pranav

    i too remember both the incidents my friend, i wish there where more people like us in this world.

  • shyam

    I agree

  • An excellent article mate! I second your opinion! I am a Mumbaikar too and this man Bal Thackeray is responsible not only for the Hindu-Muslim Riots of 1993 but also for destroying the charm and homely feel of our once-great city. I still remember in 2008 after the Mumbai terrorist attacks, Sachin Tendulkar rightly said that Mumbai belongs to all Indians. this didn’t go down well with Thackeray even at that tender moment, when the NSG officers (not mumbaikars) had laid down their lives to save us. He in turn insulted Tendulkar for that statement. In my opinion, Bal Thackeray was a narrow-minded pest who ruined the lives and relatons of Mumbaikars and weakened the nation as a whole. His death is long overdue and its good riddance to bad rubbish. It’s a shame that he didn’t take the rest of his ‘Sena’ with him.