In a development which has stamped further authority on the assertion of the Shiv Sena abandoning its Hindutva credentials, the party’s youth wing has now reportedly published an Urdu calendar for the Gregorian year of 2021, which has near to all the details which a Muslim will look for. Allegedly even having mentions of Islamic festivals, sun and moonrise, the calendar also presents Shiv Sena patriarch in a new avatar – ‘Janab’ Balasaheb Thackeray. Current party supremo Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray too, have also got their names prefixed with ‘Janab’ on the new calendar.
The calendar was published by the Wadala branch of Shiv Sena’s youth wing Yuva Sena. It has attracted tremendous traction on social media, as people take to sharing pictures of the same, shockingly referring to the absolute turnaround of the party from one which stood aggressively for the cause of Hindutva to one which begins uncharacteristically appeasing a section of Indians.
It is pertinent to mention here that the ‘green’ calendar of the Shiv Sena’s youth wing is being called the ‘Shivshahi Calendar 2021’. Yet, the party is trying its best to downplay the significance of the same, citing it to be an annual affair which for so long attracted close to no attention. Suresh Kale, Shiv Sena Shakha Pramukh who has published the calendar, told India Today TV, “Though I am a party office bearer, this is not the party’s official calendar. I have been publishing this calendar in Urdu for years now, as I stay in a Muslim-dominated area. I wonder why the BJP never objected to this when we were together.”
Read more: Shiv Sena has officially dropped Hindutva as Uddhav mocks Hindu sensitivities with Gaumutra jibe
The Sena leader further remarked that if the BJP has such a big problem with the green colour, it should first work towards removing the colour from its own flag. Earlier, BJP MLA and Spokesperson Atul Bhatkhalkar said that even though the Shiv Sena has failed to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar, as proposed by Balasaheb Thackeray, it has nevertheless managed to project Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray as ‘Janab’Balasaheb Thackeray.
In the controversial Urdu calendar, a major point of contention is the mention of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Jayanti as a mere ‘Shivaji Jayanti’, even as all days of remembrance for Muslims have been published with great care and precaution, to not invite unwanted wrath of the country’s minority community.
The Shiv Sena, under its alliance partners – NCP and Congress are having to work overtime to project itself as a secular party, standing in steadfast opposition to the BJP’s nationwide Hindutva push. Of course, it is doing a terrible job in covering its own tracks, as the party was until recently one of the most vociferous supporters of the ideology itself. Nonetheless, it is now having to draw a safe distance from the same, lest its two partners pull the plug out of Uddhav Thackeray’s chief ministership. Like the Shiv Sena supremo went long distances to get himself seated on the post, his party and its arms are working meticulously to appease a section of Indians, in attempts of carving a new vote back for themselves.