Stop Raj's Goonda Raj by Mohammed Ataur Rahman (NOVEMBER 16, 2009)

Mohammed Ataur Rahman says the country is in for greater strife if Raj Thackeray’s hooligans are not restrained.

The goonda raj of Raj Thackeray entered Maharashtra Legislative Assembly after a couple of years of hooliganism on Mumbai’s streets. Their attacks on Biharis and UPwallahs are no longer news. Trough their terror tactics they are driving a wedge between Maharashtra and other states, especially the Hindi-speaking states.

In fact, what Raj’s MNS is doing today against people from the Hindi belt has been done by his uncle Bal Thackeray against different segments of Indians.

Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena goondas almost drove South Indians out of Mumbai in the 60s. Then Bal Thackeray changed gears and became a Hindutva votary, spewing fire and venom against Muslims. He expressed “pride” publicly about his Shiv Sainiks participating in the shameful act of demolition of Babri Masjid.

Soon after Babri Masjid demolition Bal Thackeray stoked the fire of anti-Muslim riots in Mumbai, which ultimately led to the Mumbai blasts within weeks of those riots.

Raj was hoping to sit on the throne of his uncle, but Bal Thackeray had other ideas: he passed on the crown to his son Udhav. That forced Raj to part ways with his uncle and launch a more parochial and aggressive outfit, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

Four MLAs of this rowdy grouping beat up Samajwadi MLA Abu Asim Azmi on November 9 in Maharashtra State Assembly for taking oath in Hindi. The MNS has for the first time won 13 seats in the Assembly.

The four rowdies who, taking advantage of India’s democratic system, had become MLAs objected to Azmi taking oath in the national language and demanded that he do so in Marathi. When Azmi continued with his oath in Hindi they snatched his mike and assaulted him.

For their rowdism and criminal misdemeanour they were expelled by the speaker for four years. Unrepentant as ever they are said to be preparing to move the Mumbai High Court to quash the speaker’s ruling, which does not seem likely, unless the judiciary and the legislature join a turf war.

Such conflict between the judiciary and the legislature has ended up in a stalemate in the past. Let us hope the folly is not repeated. In any case, it is high time Raj’s goonda raj was stopped.


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