So I had read that the tiger is seriously endangered, and that there is a major effort on to save it — what I didn’t realize till these last 24 hours is that it refers to the Shiv Sena and its chief.
The Sena was, till a week ago, down and almost out. Raj Thackeray and the MNS had hijacked the ‘marathi manoos‘ plank; another election had come and gone, and the Sena’s support base had continued to erode. It had attempted to garner some headlines by attacking Sachin Tendulkar, and the ploy had boomeranged badly. Oblivion beckoned.
And now, almost overnight, the Sena is the cynosure — with the Congress, the BJP and the RSS all pitching in to help the transformation.
In recent days, the Sena chief told Mukesh Ambani to shut the eff up when the Reliance Industries boss made a public comment that Mumbai is for all Indians — the identical comment Tendulkar had made some time back.
Then came the Shah Rukh episode. The actor said he was saddened by the fact that Pakistan players wouldn’t be featured in this year’s edition of the IPL. The Sena and its chief, in trademark crass, over the top style, suggested he take the next flight out to Pakistan and make 26/11 perpetrator Kasab the captain of his team, among other edifying remarks. It also called for a ban on Shah Rukh films [nice — you can’t pay for publicity of that kind when you have a My Name is Khan in the chute, waiting for the starter’s bell].
Where, when and how did the North Indians come into all this?
Damned if I know — but the RSS suddenly jumped into the fray, vowing to protect North Indians [the talking heads keep banging on about Biharis and other North Indians — that the next state election is in Bihar is of course purely coincidental]; the BJP vowed to do likewise before it didn’t [there seems to be some cross talk between Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde on this], and now Rahul Gandhi has stuck his oar in as well.
The Sena must be laughing fit to bust — it has just been handed, gift-wrapped, the ownership of the anti-north platform Raj T had made his own through much of last year.
Does something smell very strongly of fish?