Why Uddhav Thackeray’s Statements are not prudent
Attribution: The Times Of India, Screenshot by Tiven Gonsalves, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Uddhav Thackeray seems to be missing a crucial point in exchange of words with BJP in the wake of ECI decision granting original party name and symbol to the opposite Eknath faction. 

He is said to have said “You want my father’s face, but not his son’s” and My surname can’t be stolen prima facie implying that he alone, as his father’s son, is the heir to succeed the political legacy and goodwill of Balasaheb Thackeray. He sounds more like a medieval “heir-apparent” son of the late king who has been unseated by court intrigues than any elected, people’s leader of a democratic republic. His statements smack of ‘’dynastic’’ aristocratic mindset.  


His bete noire, Eknath Shende, on the other hand, comes out as self-made man who rose from the ranks under the tutelage of Balasaheb Thackeray and successfully steered himself with tactful political manoeuvrings to unseat his leader’s son through democratic means and reached the top spot. Eknath Shende’s success is courtesy democratic rules and procedures while Uddhav Thackeray seems to have expected loyalty and obedience becoming of an aristocratic master in a de facto hereditary succession.  

This is an instance of classic paradox seen in democracies at times. Political succession in democratic polity is only through ballots and rules of law. Claimants need to go to the people at appropriate time and must follow the procedures established by the law. Story of rise of Eknath Shende is a classic example of beauty of democracy that make a commoner eligible for the top job. 

Uddhav Thackeray’s demand to abolish Election Commission of India (ECI) puts him in poor light unbecoming of a public servant in a democratic polity. Afterall, he did lose grip on his party; his MLAs disserted him for Eknath. Wiser course for him would have been to accept Eknath Shende’s manoeuvrings with grace and magnanimity and wait for the right time to strike back to return to power.    

Era of dynasty in Indian politics is almost gone now. It is no longer working the way it used to. Now, voters do not take anyone for granted. They expect results no matter who your parents are. Rahul Gandhi had to leave Amethi to move to Wayanad. Now, he seems to be trying his best to prove his worthiness. He walked thousands of miles to raise public issues. Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav and M. K. Stalin are not seen basking much on lineages.  

Perhaps, the best example in Indian history is Ashoka the Great who did not mention a word about his father or even his most legendary empire builder grandfather Emperor Chandragupta Maurya in any of his edicts and inscriptions.  




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