TWO OCTOBER 19 SUNDAYS: ARROGANT RAJ THACKERAY OF 2008 TO HUMBLED RAJ THACKERAY OF 2014

October 19, 2008, Sunday – Raj Thackeray was blamed for inciting the mob of his partymen. He had been crying loud and talking provocative against the people he considered ‘outsiders’ in Maharashtra who had become parasitic on Marathi Manoos.

North Indian students in Mumbai to take a Railways recruitment exam were targeted and beaten by the members of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray. It was one of the most ghastly acts of political ‘goondaism’ unleashed by MNS and its ‘political’ hooligans. Means of public transport including trains were hit hard. Raj Thackeray was shouting and sloganeering, from over the top. His brandishing of the ‘Marathi Manoos’ sword was getting harsher and harsher. And it was not just in Mumbai. The goons were operationalized in areas where MNS had impact and where MNS had wanted to create a constituency of its own exploiting the Marathi sentiments of the Marathi votebank. The arrogance and disregard to the democratic values were reeking.

October 19, 2014, Sunday – No one was where Raj Thackeray was. It could not be said with ‘a degree of newsworthiness’ if he was sought at all yesterday, or even today.

Yes, he was making for headlines with his anti-North Indian rant while campaigning for the Maharashtra assembly polls. His interviews were carried where he spoke in his trademark ways that we had been watching since his separate advent on Maharashtra political scene after leaving his uncle Bal Thackeray and Shiv Sena he wanted to head after the senior Thackeray. His sky-high ego was brought down in a grand way yesterday when his ‘style of politics’ was rejected by the voters and his party was crushed mercilessly by the electorate. It was just yesterday when Raj Thackeray was being discussed as a possible kingmaker in Maharashtra politics. And today, he is staring at total annihilation of his political life with his party shrunk to just one assembly seat and a vote share of just 3%, down from 13 seats and around 12% voter share in 2009.

From an October Sunday in 2008 to an October Sunday of 2014 – on 19th of October – ironies of day, date and fate – that have forced Raj Thackeray to hide behind his shattered arrogance, the shield of which is already fragmented.

Raj Thackeray may not be able to hide in his own layer with such a fragmented shield of humiliated arrogance, but no one is seeking him either, at the moment, not even his Marathi Manoos, who played a significant role in hunting and humbling him down.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/