Ever since making its bed with Congress and NCP whilst betraying BJP, Uddhav Thackeray led Shiv Sena has become a pale shadow of a party that Hindu Hriday Samrat Bala Saheb Thackeray once envisioned. However, still in the hubris of yore, Shiv Sena is now claiming that it was the first party to bat for the ‘Hindu’ cause in elections, despite its current actions proving otherwise.
Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday referred to a bypoll in 1987-88 to the Vile Parle Assembly seat and claimed that it was the first party in the country to contest an election on the Hindutva plank.
Raut said, “It is after this victory that BJP approached Shiv Sena for an alliance on Hindutva which Balasaheb (Thackeray) agreed to as he didn’t want a division of Hindu votes. Contemporary BJP leaders are unaware of this history.”
Raut’s statement came after former CM Devendra Fadnavis on Monday stated that Sena’s Hindutva is merely on paper and finds mention just in speeches. While it was his party men who faced bullets and lathis during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
Shiv Sena distancing itself from Veer Savarkar
Fadnavis is indeed right. Ever since the Shiv Sena compromised on its Hindutva ideology to join hands with the Congress and the NCP, it has been humiliated by its coalition partners over a key issue- the legacy of Veer Savarkar.
The Congress, in particular, has been making some of the crassest and classless remarks about the Hindutva ideologue, whom the Shiv Sena describes as a “God-like figure”.
While the Uddhav Thackeray led Sena claims to treat the visionary nationalist with reverence, it continues to stay in an alliance with the Congress, which has put the party in a very tight spot.
Not able to protect Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy
Arguably, one of the greatest leaders Bharat has ever seen, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his identity is also being challenged in Uddhav’s rule as Islamists lay claim upon the Lohagad Fort situated near Pune.
As reported by TFI, a leaflet calling out the celebration of ‘Urus Sharif’ for a Sufi Saint on the fort recently went viral on social media platforms and immediately invited the wrath of the enraged Hindus. Reportedly, the poster asked people to participate in the celebration of ‘Urus’ for some ‘Umar Shahwali Baba’ whose tomb supposedly lies on the Lohagad fort.
Despite having no connection to the fort, not only a white lie was manufactured by the group of Islamists, but it was also spread around with impunity. It is being reported that the event had the backing of local leaders.
Haji Hussain Baba Sheikh, a veteran Shivsena leader was the chairman of the event, while NCP MLA Sunil Shelke from Maval was the guest invitee.
Read More: Shiv Sena is handing over Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s forts to Islamists
Uddhav making Gaumutra jibes
As reported by TFI, in 2020, addressing the Shiv Sena Dussehra Mela, CM Uddhav Thackeray took to passing derogatory comments against former ally – the BJP. Referring to the BJP as an entity whose mouth and clothes stink of gaumutra (cow urine) and gobar (cow dung), Uddhav Thackeray took to single-handedly destroying Sena’s pretence of being a Hindutvawaadi party.
Uddhav said, “Those who cast aspersions on our government, themselves have their mouths filled with cow-dung and Gaumutra. They have been trying to sling cow-dung at us, in a desperate hope that it will stick but it did not because we are clean. It is them whose mouth and clothes reek of Gaumutra and cow-dung.”
Read More: Shiv Sena has officially dropped Hindutva as Uddhav mocks Hindu sensitivities with Gaumutra jibe
Publishing Islamic calendars
Similarly, last year, abandoning its Hindutva credentials, Shiv Sena’s youth wing reportedly published an Urdu calendar for the Gregorian year of 2021, which suggested that the secularization of the once Hindu party was complete.
Reportedly, the calendar had mentions of Islamic festivals and it presented the Shiv Sena patriarch in a new avatar – ‘Janab’ Balasaheb Thackeray.
In the controversial Urdu calendar, a major point of contention was the mention of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Jayanti as a mere ‘Shivaji Jayanti’. Even as all days of remembrance for Muslims had 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, had been working overtime to project itself as a secular party, standing in steadfast opposition to the BJP’s nationwide Hindutva push.
However, sensing that its core vote bank, Hindus are increasingly becoming disenchanted with the party, Raut has come up with the aforementioned statements to arrest the slide.