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Whether Eknath Shinde’s rebellion succeeds or not, the Shiv Sena as we know it is over.

It seems that Uddhav Thackeray only inherited his amazing father’s last name, not his seriousness

Karnataka and Maharashtra are neighbors in more ways than one. It took thirteen months for a tough and bellicose coalition government that should never have been to finally implode in July 2019. And it could take less than a month, that is two and a half years after that Another unlikely coalition government in Maharashtra is similarly imploding. Loud Sanjay Raut has already hinted that the Assembly could be dissolved at any time. A India today report says Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray may resign in light of MLA starvation engineered by Eknath Shinde.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. News18

The pronounced similarity in the two states – apart from the obvious thirst for power – was the desperation to prevent the BJP from taking the top spot. In either case, the eventual fate of the coalition was forgotten. In Karnataka, the Congress, the main coalition partner, gave way to the JD(S), which won only 37 seats out of 224. In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena with 55 seats is slightly ahead of the NCP which has 53. and Congress, which has 44.

But there is also an important contrast. While in Karnataka there is almost no ideological difference between the Congress and the JD(S), the Shiv Sena, which had a clear ideological aversion for that of the NCP and the Congress, is now paying a heavy price.

Somehow, this story has its origins after the death of the founder and patriarch of the Shiv Sena, Bal Thackeray as we will see.

Former Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in November 2014 was Shiva’s first high profile exit. The Shiva Sena – then a coalition partner of the BJP – had to watch helplessly.

However, what has really brought the party to this nadir is unquestionably Uddhav Thackeray’s rush to caution. The lure of the prime minister’s presidency proved so irresistible that he opted to bet the future of his father’s party for an uncertain term. And now the uncertainty has translated into reality.

In fact, the Maha Vikas Agadi (MVA) went headlong from blunder to blunder almost from day one. In purely political terms, the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav almost single-handedly resuscitated the NCP. It is no secret that Sharad Pawar has controlled the MVA government since its inception.

The gross record set by the MVA for corruption, scandals and political vendetta in just over two years is truly breathtaking.

It is indeed difficult to find another state in which the Minister of the Interior himself is behind bars, the Commissioner of Police is on the run, the Minister for Minority Affairs is also in prison and the police obediently deliver unfortunate sadhus to a lynching, the murder of a movie star unravels a snake pit of drug crimes, a bomb is planted outside Antilia and sets off a series of political murders and cover-ups in the wake… a deed quite difficult to match.


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Maharashtra political crisis: Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut hints at dissolution of State Assembly as MVA crisis deepens

Will bring down MVA’s ‘Babri-like structure’, promises Devendra Fadnavis


But if that wasn’t enough, Uddhav Thackeray almost surrendered to Sonia Gandhi, the black beast of his courageous father. Throughout his life, Bal Thackeray – more than any other BJP leader – repeatedly and openly butted Sonia Gandhi. Few have forgotten his provocative statements that “after Mughal and British rule, India was now ruled by an Italian”, that “it is better to return India to the British than to be ruled by her”, not to mention his serial jokes. on her early career as a hostess in a hotel.

Whether Eknath Shinde’s rebellion succeeds or not, the Shiv Sena as we know it is over.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi

Clearly, the Shiv Sainiks got the most brutal shock when Uddhav announced his alliance with Congress in 2019. Since then, his frequent appeasement of Sonia Gandhi is now obsolete news. Or the fact that her son, Aaditya Thackeray invoked her blessings by calling her aunt. If that wasn’t enough, the “Hindutva” Shiv Sena party gave free rein to a community organization like AIMIM.

These antics go beyond mere political theatrics and sent messages out loud to executives: that the party’s first family betrayed its founding ideology. Among other things, Eknath Shinde has made precisely this point the heart of his rebel campaign.

The ongoing self-inflicted crisis in the Shiv Sena must also be seen in the broader context of Indian political and public discourse. Shiv Sena was one of the most enduring experiments in grassroots politics. Its first forerunner was the DMK – ideologically its polar opposite – which, in its early days, trained hardline political leaders from the lowest echelons. But the first major flaw in the style of these political outfits was revealed when MG Ramachadran smashed it vertically and as long as he was alive the DMK could never regain power.

But parties like the Shiv Sena, built on the cult of an individual, are doomed to suffer this eventuality. It was the generational memories of his personality cult that had kept the Shiv Sena from completely disintegrating after his death. Perhaps until recently, “Shiv Sainik” was a badge of honor for old war horses like Eknath Shinde. It was an enduring badge that Bal Thackeray had created using his native political acumen. That and the virtual monopoly the Shiv Sena has over the lucrative BMP.

Uddhav Thackeray obviously failed on both fronts: on ideology and governance. His style of operation not only upset strongmen like Eknath Shinde, rebel MPs and party cadres, but led to this tipping point.

The overall picture is as follows: Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray have become dynasts. We assume they have learned nothing from a similar phenomenon unfolding before their eyes: the spectacular and persistent implosion of their ally, the Congress Dynasty.

Just two years after Independence, DVG, the iconic litterateur, publisher and public intellectual, wrote a series titled Congress sick. It contained a terrible foreboding: “As long as Congress loved the country, the country respected Congress. The moment he stopped loving the country, anger, disaffection and rebellions began to grow everywhere.

In short, it was Indira Gandhi who decimated Congress by turning it into a family business. Rajiv Gandhi was the last blade of grass to become a huge artificial tree created by the sympathy vote. Remember, it was Rajiv Gandhi who cut the Congressional tally from 412 to 191, less than half, in just five years. He has never recovered since.

The same analogy holds here.

Obviously, it seems that Uddhav only inherited his awesome father’s last name, not his gravity.

Ultimately, the Shiv Sena as we know it is over. Whether Eknath Shinde’s rebellion succeeds or not.

The author is founder and editor-in-chief, “Sending the Dharma”. The opinions expressed are personal.

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