Shiv Sena, BJP tussle: Is Hindutva the only thing the people want?

Uddhav Thackeray lashes out at erstwhile ally BJP for its dilution of Hindutva policies. Does that matter to the people?

It looks like the political battle between Shiv Sena and BJP is getting worse on Maharashtra’s soil. When Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray came out against the BJP yet again, the Sena antagonism against the BJP flowed in the form of a blistering attack. And the focus: Hindutva!

Thackeray’s attack against the BJP was seething with anger, when he said the Shiv Sena had “wasted 25 years because of its political alliance” with the party. Adding that the Sena had nurtured the BJP for over 25 years, Thackeray vented his anger against the party that rules the nation for its manner of side stepping the core subject of Hindutva.

The two parties are at loggerheads over many aspects, but the Shiv Sena chief harked on Hindutva much more than anything. Accusing that the BJP’s idea of Hindutva is hollow, the Sena chief, who was speaking on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, lashed out at the BJP saying that the party believed in ‘use-and-throw’ policy and has given up Hindutva.  He also reiterated that the Sena has not given up Hindutva, but has ended all ties with the BJP because they betrayed the Sena.

Hindutva lifeline for Sena, BJP

This could be a battle of parties that had been sailing along almost the same ideologies. But the problem is that, more than anything, they have fallen apart owing to the practice of Hindutva! Is that what the country actually needs, is a question that seeks answers.

Parties can come together or part ways over ideologies. The two parties in question are known for their Hindutva agenda, more than anything else. But a political party in a secular democratic set up deciding on alliances based on faith could come across as a major deterrent to the common man on the street who believes in co-existence and religious camaraderie.

Uddhav Thackeray would want to keep the BJP at bay, and also make sure that the Shiv Sena’s policies would be better than what the rival saffron outfit that currently rules the nation has formulated and implemented. For instance, Sena wants to make sure that it wouldn’t need an alliance to rule Maharashtra for longer periods. For this, it has even taken up BJP strong man Amit Shah’s challenge to prove that the Sena can go it alone in all polls and win too. Thackeray called upon the party cadre to fight all upcoming elections, be it cooperative bank elections, local body polls or Assembly polls, alone and without tie ups.

Even while saying this, Uddhav Thackeray wasn’t willing to leave behind his core belief of Hindutva. He lambasted the BJP saying that creating an environment of slavery like the Britishers is not Hindutva, and that true believers of Hindutva can never allow such a situation to happen. Warning his cadre that if the party sits idle, slavery might return.

Ram Mandir and just speeches!

Meanwhile, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis launched a counter attack on the Shiv Sena saying that Prime Minister Modi has made Ram Mandir, but Shiv Sena has only given speeches on Hindutva. Proof that the BJP practices Hindutva, and that it hasn’t sidestepped the plank!

Going through the statements made by both of them, it looks like the only thing of great importance for them is Hindutva. Contesting polls, making or breaking alliances and going it all alone to prove their significance and strength are different aspects of electoral politics. But focusing more on Hindutva and how to implement Hindutva policies and also letting no one dilute that is a matter of concern for the secular Indian. Prime Minister Modi’s greatest achievement sounds like building the Ram temple in Ayodhya.  But then, is that what the people want?

There could be many who want only that, but the political outfits need to know that they are only a section of the great Indian population. And they should also understand that the majority of the people in the country don’t really care about temples and mosques but safe and good living.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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