Taming the Lion

Taming the Lion

Advocacy of fierce Hindutva and championing of nativist causes demanding primacy of rights of Marathi Manoos over the state’s resources were raison d’etre of Shiv Sena’s founder Balasaheb Thackeray. Throughout his life the Shiv Sena Supremo was inextricably linked with these two non-negotiable canons.
After the demise of Balasaheb Thackeray his heir Uddhav Thackeray is believed to carry the torch of his legacy. However, after the assembly election result of Maharashtra was announced some fast-paced and startling political developments occurred. Post-poll alliance between torchbearers of two implacably-opposed ideologies of nationalism and secularism of Shiv Sena on one hand and liberalism and secularism of Congress-NCP on the other hand has taken place.
It is believed that Shiv Sena supremo has been lured by NCP and Congress combine for severing ties with BJP and allied Hindu organisations encompassing the broad Hindutva Pantheon to dump his right wing Hindutva ideology and opt for more charming Secularism to get the Chief Ministerial birth.
Notwithstanding, Shiv Sena’s initial disagreements on using the word ‘secular’ in the common minimum programme (CMP), of the Maha Vikas Aghadi – technically led by the Shiv Sena – under Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray the final version opens with the word secular.
“The alliance partners commit to uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution. On the contentious issue of national importance especially having repercussions/consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus,” says the preamble of the CMP.
However, from the core his heart, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is a firm believer of Hindutva ideology and could not hide it. On Sunday he declared in the assembly “I am still with the ideology of ‘Hindutva’ and won’t ever leave it.”
With Uddhav Thackeray’s imminent occupation of the chief minister’s chair in Mumbai’s Mantralaya building, it will be interesting to watch how Shiv Sena Supremo walks between his party’s Hindutva ideology and NCP Congress combine’s secularism aka liberalism. Besides, longevity of triad of such disparate forces will be a matter of speculation for all Political Pandits. And the fear, of course not without reason, is that once the initial enthusiasm of ascendance to power wears off in near future Shiv Sena will may be caught by BJP and MNC in a tough pincer of its core issues of nationalism and primacy to locals over migrants respectively.
By severing ties with BJP and allied Hindu organisations encompassing the broad Hindutva Pantheon and joining hands with their ideological rivals, the Shiv Sena risks losing its other ideological plank of Hindutva. It is speculated that once the initial enthusiasm of ascendance to power wears off in a few months, BJP and MNS will leave no stone unturned in catching Shiv Sena in a tough pincer by championing issues of Nationalism and primacy to locals over migrants respectively.