November 20, 2012

Fair criticism amid undue eulogy

I was so glad, and relieved, to see The Hindu publishing articles criticising Bal Thackarey in its November 19, 2012, edition. As journalists, we have been taught to tell the truth. After his demise, hardly anyone spoke of how he engineered hatred against immigrants. Targeting them, promoting hatred, espousing communal politics... I am not a great fan of these. Be it his anti-Pakistan statements or the routine acerbic articles in Shiv Sena's mouthpiece, Saamna,...

Well, I don't feel free to use the sharp words I'd have used without having to think twice for any lesser man. And I'm so glad that I'm not on Facebook. Had I not deactivated my account, I too might have posted something on the lines of what a Mumbai girl wrote, and attracted the wrath of Shiv Sainiks and police. His fleet of Shiv Sainiks knows it can run a riot, safe in the knowledge that it enjoys total impunity. Bal Thackeray's nephew Raj Thackeray is just carrying forward this hate politics. The strong, intolerance-reeking statements of the uncle and nephew in the media always irked me. Just who they think they are! They are not the government, but act as if they are superior to the government. How else can they say that they won't allow Pakistan cricket team to play in Mumbai! Just who are they to allow or not allow? Shiv Sainiks can run a riot any minute they want, anywhere they want, with full impunity. Shiv Sena and MNS mock at the very concept of democracy.

I can go on and on about this, but I don't have to. The articles that appeared in The Hindu yesterday are awesome. They say everything. One article was on the edit page and another was an opinion peace by Justice (Retd) Markandey Katju on the op-ed page. Another article that appeared today in the paper also presents a more realistic portrait of the man. I'll just paste the links towards the end of this post. I was relieved and grateful to see these articles, for the stream of undue tribute pouring in baffled me. I don't need to say much. I'll just paste the links of The Hindu articles.

The news item: 'Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not respect'
Opinion pieces: A troubling legacy
Why I can't pay tribute to Thackeray
An authentic Indian Fascism

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