The prophecy of the late Bala Saheb Thackeray seems to have come true. The Shiv Sena has reduced to the likes of Congress and the time has come to shut shop for such a ‘non-Hindutva’ Sena. The time Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray compromised with the basic tenets set by his father, the reverse countdown for the party started back then and there. The recent events are just the culmination of two-and-a-half years of sins by the party workers and leaders.
A Strict No for an alliance with “scoundrels”
Once in an interview, late Bala Saheb Thackeray rejected any possibility of forming an alliance with NCP led by Sharad Pawar. He said it is for others to decide whether they want to be a gentleman or go with a scoundrel. I would never go with a scoundrel, never. In a separate interview he said, it is wrong to go with enemy parties against whom we have been fighting elections. Additionally, he also said that Shiv Sainiks are nothing without Hindutva and its flag.
Keeping the above things in mind can we say that Uddhav Thackeray did what his late father preached and practised? The answer is absolutely not. Everything was going well for the Shiv Sena and its Hindutva Yuti with ‘nationalist’ BJP, yet Uddhav Thackeray succumbed to his greed for power. The Chief Ministerial post trumped the Hindutva cause and his father’s principles.
Contrast between the Father-Son duo
Balasaheb Thackeray was a political master. He was always in command of the party and the contemporary political situations. He never desired to occupy top posts of PM let alone CM. He was a Kingmaker who could dictate things to other parties and compel them politically. But in contrast BalaSaheb’s son Uddhav ji did the complete opposite.
The hardline breakup of the Hindutva alliance between ‘Far Right’ Shiv Sena and ‘Nationalist’ BJP led him to kneel before the “Secular” parties NCP and Congress. To satisfy his greed of power Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray stitched an unholy alliance with ideologically opposed NCP and Congress.
Since then, it is said that the NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar has been on the driving seat in the state be it in political statements or government decisions. Pawar exploited this opportunity and took Shiv Sena as far away as possible from Hindutva ideology, he even forced Shiv Sena to be quiet on incessant attacks and humiliations about Veer Damodar Savarkar. This reflects a complete opposite stand from his father’s stand. As BalaSaheb Thackeray used to pull strings of all political figures, not the other way round.
Rebellions and stark difference
Balasaheb Thackeray faced three major rebellions in the party. But he was always in command. In a context of factions within the party, he said, “I will never let Shiv Sena become Congress, never. If I know this is happening then I will close my shop. Shiv Sena will not contest elections”. But the recent rebellion hints at a complete opposite direction. The Eknath Shinde led camp seems to have not only destabilised the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government but also it has claimed its stake on the party itself. This rebellion has shattered all the myths of invincibility of Thackerays within the Sena.
To appease the constituent parties of the MVA alliance, the Shiv Sena instead of kneeling, crawled. It shun all its Hindutva causes to an extent that several people were jailed for organising Hanuman Chalisa using loudspeakers. The Bala Saheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena was synonymous with Hindutva but the recent fiasco, open threats and hooliganisam by the ‘residue’ Shiv Sena has put it on the wrong side of Hindutva debate. So, the fact is the debacle of Shiv Sena started the day when Uddhav ji crossed ‘the Lakshman rekha’ described by his late father.