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Thackeray’s brand of politics

Bal Thackeray may be labelled as a politician who cared for the “Marathi Manoos” but none can match his emotional bonding with people at large in this nation. He was the only leader who pledged reservations in professional colleges for Kashmiri migrant students in 1990s.

Balasaheb will be remembered for his straight-forward brand of politics. He was the man who supported Indira Gandhi on Emergency, supported Sanjay Gandhi for his style of functioning and came out in support of Varun Gandhi for his so-called communal outbursts in the last LS elections.  

At certain times he was condemned for admiring Adolf Hitler, who too was an artist and an ultra-nationalist like him. Very few people in this nation are aware that it was Hitler who respected Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his armed revolutionary struggle against imperial subjugation and facilitated his travel to Japan in a German submarine. Balasaheb was all praise for LTTE for their armed struggle for Tamil Hindus.

The presence of 1.2 million mourners who came to bid him a final adieu at his funeral justifies his self-righteousness.



Such was Bal Thackeray’s aura that he captured the imagination of the common man and touched their hearts and gradually mastered the cords of their sensibilities and susceptibilities. He encountered multifarious opponents, from Communists to Congressmen and faced issues ranging from ‘Marathi prestige and cultural xenophobia’ to his loyal and unquestionable support to the Hindutva brand.

If society progresses dialectically through the interaction of opposing forces, Thackeray always ruled the opposing force. He was a perfect master of brinkmanship brand of politics and a first-rated rabble rouser who had more than an impressive gift of eloquence.

The era of his brand of politics was on the wane ever since India tasted economic liberalisation in the recent times. The people of India were brought close by this economic integration which made countrywide mobility acceptable even to the ‘Marathi manoos’ to a considerable extent.


Bypassing rules

The bribe giver is more responsible for corruption than the bribe taker. Certain statutory necessities need to be fulfilled as Indian citizens to avail government facility of any kind. To complete the necessary paper work, we need to spare time e.g. getting identity cards, driving licences, NOCs made.

Often people tend to avoid the necessary legwork like standing in a queue and to avoid such things, people themselves offer bribes to concerned ‘babus’. 

Most of the people shirk their responsibility to fulfill certain official formalities. What the govt can do is simplify and streamline procedures. There always will be some black sheep in government departments, what we can do is keep ourselves away from them.


Fighting extremism

The untimely death of Indian national Savita Halappanavar at Galway in Ireland, who was denied a necessary abortion should warn the world about the dangerous fundamentalists who govern a backward and problematic country. Medical staff failed to act to save a woman in the prime of her life.  This is disgraceful and shows Ireland as an ultra-Catholic theocracy devoid of freedom and bonded to iron-fisted fundamentalism.

Savita’s life could have been saved as the Irish Constitution does not prohibit abortion as such. It appears that the abortion provision in the Irish Constitution (Article 40.3) only protects a foetus as far as practicable. As per the Constitution “The State by its law guarantees to respect and ‘as far as practicable’ to defend and vindicate that right”.  This implies that where it is not practicable a termination is allowed.

MAURICE FITZGERALD, Shanbally, Ireland

Facility in old age

The population of senior citizens is increasing day by day in our country; at present 7-8 per cent population is of senior citizens. Due to the indifferent attitude of the state and central government, people who have no pension or other income are in a miserable condition.

Facilities like free bus and rail travel, free medical care, harmony lodges or good weekly pensions, should be extended to non-pensioner senior citizens so that they can pass the winter of their life without fear and worries. Luxury expenses should be curtailed by the government to save for the elders as prevalent in western countries so that they die with dignity.

The government is granting a meager old age pension of Rs 250 per month which is just a joke with the elders. It should at least be  Rs 2,000 per month.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Check medical practitioners

The state government has fixed charges for all medical services provided in government hospitals. There seems to be no check on private practitioners and private hospitals who charge for their services on their own whims and fancies. They loot the gullible people. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) which looks after the welfare of private doctors does not have any role in fixing charges.

The state government should appoint a Medical Regulatory Commission which should fix consultation, hospitalisation charges, etc, which should be uniform throughout the state. It should be mandatory for all private doctors and hospitals to display rates in public.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala


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