Shiv Sena fires another salvo at Centre on Thackeray’s 93rd birth anniversary

Mumbai: Asserting that Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had always been at the forefront as a ‘masculine commander’ while fighting for the sons of soil or for the cause of Hindutva, BJP ally Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed that all was not well with the country today and there was a need for a ‘masculine’ rule.

“Shiv Sena is not an organization of the weak. Whether it be the campaign for the sons of the soil or for the protection of Hindutva, the Shiv Sena chief (Bal Thackeray) had always led as a strong masculine commander,” the Sena said in an editorial in mouthpiece Saamna to mark the 93rd birth anniversary of the late party founder.

Attacking the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, it said: “Desh ki dasha aur disha theek nahi hai. Desh mein aaj mardon ka raaj chahiye. Us mardangi mein hi rashtriyata hai. (The situation in the country and its direction are not right. The country requires strong masculine leadership. Nationalism lies in this masculinity). The leaders are busy taking credit for Uri-the surgical strike but even today Pakistan is attacking our borders and our soldiers are losing their lives in Kashmir. The Shiv Sena chief was the only one who had beaten terrorists who attacked the Amarnath Yatra without conducting any surgical strike.”

The party claimed that the current national political discourse was dominated by Thackeray’s original vision of regional politics.

“Today the politics of the country is in the hands of regional forces. BJP and Congress are sitting on the shoulders of these regional forces to raise their stature,” the write-up said, adding that Shiv Sena was formed by Balasaheb as part of the struggle for a united Maharashtra.

“Shiv Sena came into being after people lost their lives in the struggle for a united Maharashtra but were still being ignored in businesses and jobs. The fire of this pain gave birth to the Shiv Sena.”

“When Thackeray had supported the right of landowners, the Congress and Samajwadi parties had alleged that he was attempting to break the country by spreading casteism and regionalism. But now the same issue has captured the attention of other political leaders,” the write-up said.

It further credited the Hindutva vision of Bal Thackeray in paving the way for parties like BJP to gain power at the Centre.

“Whatever Balasaheb sowed has sustained and steered the country’s politics. It was the Shiv Sena chief’s belief that only Hindutva can save the country. This same Hindutva has paved way for parties like BJP to get to the seat of power in Delhi,” the editorial said.

Quoting the recent Trinamool Congress-led mega Opposition rally in Kolkata on January 19, it said: “A few days back 22 anti-BJP parties came together for a rally in Mamata’s West Bengal. All these parties were regional. After the experiment of swallowing up and finishing these regional parties failed, the attempt started to woo them. It was Balasaheb Thackeray who first gave birth to this regional pride.”

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday approved the construction of a memorial for the late Shiv Sena founder, Bal Thackeray, a move that comes amidst growing bitterness between the ruling NDA constituents – the BJP and Shiv Sena.