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Sena gets a dose of its own medicine

New Delhi, Sat, 14 Jun 2008 Vikash Ranjan

The wheel is turning full circle. What the Sena is been known for, getting the taste of that today. Shiv Sena had dug its own grave by initiating a trend of attacking its adversaries. And, when the same trend boomeranged over them, they went witless.

After being attacked on the Pune based Sena's mouthpiece Saamna on Thursday allegedly by a mob owing allegiance to the Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, the party chief Bal Thackeray rose in anger and demanded his arrest and removal from the government on Saturday.

Rane, who is presently on Europe tour, should be taken into custody as soon as he touches the base of the Mumbai because it was he who was instrumented in vandalising the Saamna office, Thackeray furiously said in an editorial of the party's organ.

Meanwhile nearly 30 persons were taken into custody on Friday for attack on the office by the police.

The incident broke out Thursday night after Saamna published a morphed picture of Rane clad in a saree, for that the paper claimed that Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had himself depicted Rane as a newly wed daughter-in-law.

Saamna quoted Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh, while he was in the capital on Wednesday for a meeting with Sonia Gandhi, saying: “A newly wed daughter-in-law initially gets frustrated about how things work in the family but eventually she settles down. Rane has also understood how the party works after three years. That's why he says he is a Congressman.”

It was o.k. With statement issued by Deshmukh, but Rane’s followers were not pleased by the depiction of their leader as a newly married woman by Saamna. They amassed under the leadership of former corporator Rajesh Hatle and expressed their anger by vandalising the office of Saamna in Pune. Also the annoyed supporters torched effigies of Sena mouthpiece in Akola and Nashik.

About the caricature of Rane clad in a saree, published in Saamna, Thackeray said: “As a cartoonist I have caricatured Pandit Nehru, Comraded Dange, Y B Chavan and also Sharad Pawar in the same manner. But all of them never expressed their anger over it rather took it in a good humour as it should be.”

Thackeray, called for stringent action against the Revenue Minister, said, “If government does not initiate steps to book Rane, the Shiv Sena will.”

The onslaught on Saamna comes just after a few days when a mob attacked and ransacked the house of Kumar Ketkar, the editor of the Marathi daily, Loksatta.

Analysts believe that the incident is the outcome of political tussle between Thackeray and Rane, as the latter had switched from the Sena to the Congress few years ago.

There are a number of instances when the Shiv Sena and his supporters have been found guilty of openly infringing law and order across the country.

In August 2001, the Sunitidevi Singhania Hospital in Thane was ransacked by Shiv Sena supporters after Anand Dighe, the local Sena chief who was being treated in the hospital, died of a heart attack. The three hours of rioting and mayhem by the angered Sena supporters reduced the hospital building, ambulances, and medical equipments to rubble.

Another hospital, named Bhaktivedanta was made the target on September 17, 2003 over the question of wage-compensation contention between the hospital management and the workers' union.

On February 8, 2006 after broadcasting of a play that ridiculed the party, Zee TV channel was vandalised.

The same year on July 9 when some of the unidentified miscreants dishonour the statue of Meenatai, the late wife of Bal Thackeray, the party activists launched state-wide protests and torched a tourist bus and damaged a police outpost.

The Shiv Sena has also been accused of orchestrating violence against Muslims and made some controversial remarks against the neighbouring Pakistan.

Perhaps Bal Thackeray forgot the famous saying: 'Who dig for others, himself fall into it one day.' However, it does not mean what the mob did was right or praiseworthy. But, perhaps the Shiv Sena Chief would have experienced how it feels when such incident takes place.

Read More: Akola | Thane | Nashik

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June 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM



June 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

good article, very nicely written



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