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  • Attacks on North Indians in Mumbai/ Gandhis to go to jail?

    by Rumbold
    31st March, 2008 at 7:28 pm    

    North Indians have again been attacked in Mumbai, as an anti-North Indian campaign by a regional party continues:

    “Motorcycle-borne assailants smashed at least five taxis on Friday night. ”My car was attacked at around 2:15 am, I was asked if I was a Maharashtrian or a north Indian. When I did not answer, they attacked me and went away. I have no idea what happened after that.

    ”There were 4-5 people. There was a motorcycle and I realised that there was another vehicle here. The police haven’t done anything as yet,” said a victimized taxi driver. Though the police have arrested four people, it is not yet clear if the violence was incited by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which had run an anti-north Indian campaign last month.”

    Shiv Sena has long been one of the leading parties in the state of Maharashtra (of which Mumbai is a part), and has long been hostile to non-Maharashtrians living in Mumbai and the surrounding areas. It is dominated by the Thackeray family. Recently however, Shiv Sena has begun courting North Indians, as the party wishes to present a more respectable image in the hopes of governing at state level. One Thackeray, Raj, decided to split from the party at this point, and formed his own party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which has targeted North Indians and other non-Maharashtrians, and it is their supporters who are responsible for the violence. Raj Thackeray was recently arrested, which Shiv Sena saw as a Congress-backed plot to raise the profile of Shiv Sena’s rival and split the Marathi communal vote.

    Even national media organisations have been targeted recently:

    “Network 18′s office(CNN-IBN, IBN7) in mumbai today resembles a fortress with police personnel guarding the office. Twice IBN7s OB vans were vandalised. A sad reflection on the government of the day which has given a free hand to Raj and his men to subdue the collective conscience of a liberal society with the use of violence.The mask has been cast away. Raj thackeray is back to the same tactics that he practised in his earlier party, Shiv Sena… the tactics of violence and fear.”

    Perhaps worried by the amount of publicity that this was generating, and wanting some attention, Congress grandees Sonia and Rahul Gandhi declared that they would be willing to go to jail as part of a protest to find out whether the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (the largest Indian state), Mrs. Mayawati, has been embezzling money. Mayawati does seem to have acquired large sums of money (with her 2007 income estimated £5,000,000+).

    Congress’ attempt to take the moral high ground is a bit rich however, as they were the party who had a convicted murderer in the cabinet, and he was convicted whilst in the cabinet (and not sacked). India is a great country and the world’s largest democracy, but what is it about their political parties? They make ours look like saints.

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    Filed in: Current affairs,India,Race politics

    3 Comments below   |  

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    1. digitalcntrl — on 31st March, 2008 at 11:16 pm  


      Sectarian politics run rife among south asians, however.

    2. Raul — on 1st April, 2008 at 11:38 am  

      The history of Bombay doesn’t lend itself to the concept of locals and outsiders. This is a migrant city and they have built what is Bombay today. Moreover you can’t be an outsider in your own country.

      Renaming Bombay to Mumbai is evidence of this brutal destruction of the city’s history and claiming it for parochialism. A city is more than a generation of people and certainly more than the bigotry of small men. After that it could only get worse as it has. Calcutta to Kolkata, Madras to Chennai, Bangalore to god knows what.

      The self serving and corrupt will naturally use regionalism to get auto access to power to enrich themselves. But once you start this tokenism to distract and create vote banks it can only get worse. The politician is then not accountable for performance or development but protecting the imaginary self created and entirely spurious interests of the votebank, not unlike our lefty friends and ‘poor working class’. Of course he couldn’t care less but it works wonderfully for his bank balance and not so for the general population.

      Winding up the locals against settlers can happen anywhere and its for the community to see through the politicians and resist the bigotry. But on this issue even among the educated there is a stark division of opinion between maharashtrians and non maharashtrians. That tells you something. Perhaps the original division on linguistic lines was misguided.

    3. Raul — on 1st April, 2008 at 11:49 am  

      To add to that isn’t it strange that people like Nehru, Gandhi and Patel did not have any problem with Bombay, Kolkata, Bangalore but a new generation of super patriots who have little to their credit than loot do and worse have people fall for it.

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