opinion COMMENTS
Bal Thackeray played a game of violent juvenile pranks as politics

Post a Comment
You are not logged in, please log in or register
If you wish your letter to be considered for publication in the print magazine, we request you to use a proper name, with full postal address - you could still maintain your anonymity, but please desist from using unpublishable sobriquets and handles
Must See
Daily Mail
Dec 17, 2012
He Who Set the Toon

Ashis Nandy’s clinical analysis of Balasaheb as the juvenile prankster deserves credit for gall and guile (Prance of the Trickster). Being an innocent juvenile, if death and destruction ensue as a consequence, surely he cannot be held responsible for it.

Nalini Nayak, on e-mail

Pritish Nandy was once an SS member in the RS...hope Ashis remembers it.

Madhukar, Hyderabad

Dec 24, 2012
Hate Businessman

The Shiv Sena of Bal Thackeray (King Toon, Dec 3) was born on the backs of the demonised ‘Madrasis’ of Bombay. When Krishna Menon staked a third chance to contest from North Bombay constituency, Thackeray bared his fangs. Menon was denied the Congress ticket—an early concession to parochialism.

Rajan Narayan, Hyderabad

Ashis Nandy says Thackeray “never believed in any of what he said publicly”. Isn’t the same trait personified by another good public speaker, A.B. Vajpayee, who always left the door ajar to retract anything he might have said in public?

Anand Misra, on e-mail

I disagree with Ashis Nandy that Thackeray was cynical, didn’t believe even in his own theories, and had an element of innocent naughtiness about him (Prance of the Trickster). The man was a monster, whose brand of politics, along with the BJP’s own Ramjanmabhoomi agitation, sowed the seeds of religious and communal violence in India. That’s why Markandeya Katju refused to pay him any tribute.

Md Aftab Alam, Malappuram, Kerala

Nov 24, 2012
01:49 PM

> "One can accuse him of having run a criminal enterprise, but the political culture of it did not seem criminal because there was an element of juvenile delinquency in it."

Good insight! This is true also for Modi.

Dallas, United States
Nov 24, 2012
03:29 PM

Thackeray signifies the failure of the Indian judicial system - big time.

That is not to blame the judiciary itself, but the systemic failure leading to their inabilty to put the fear in goondas like him.

The reason behind this, is the opportunistic politics played in Maharashtra by the Congress politicians, on whom the central Congress depended on heavily for their votes and corruption money.

He epitomises the synchronisation of politics, big business protection mafia, communal polarisation and wealth creation, that is now seen all over the country. As someone said, he was the well-paid bouncer at the politician-big business party.

As India spirals into lawlessness, there are bound to be more Thackerays - even more bold and more ruthless in the future. Possibly richer too - thats the end game, anyway.

Male Unblocked
Chennai, India
Nov 24, 2012
09:26 PM
Ashish Nandi is a known Hindu adversary and an agent or front for the notorious missionaries.
Bangalore, India
Nov 24, 2012
11:58 PM

 So whats the point? He managed to fool all the people all the time? Pehaps he did. And by the looks of it he would have lived a very satisfied life. Not many of us are able to do so.

NY, United States
Nov 25, 2012
03:19 AM

Politics is all about opportunism and Thackeray is a paradigm of an Indian politician. He awed people and invoked fear. His legacy is that of a politician, a legacy that is full of politics and opportunity for people. People like Nandy rake in the moolah by writing trash about him but would fear him and could never hide their awe when a discernable readers reads between the lines. 

rishi vyas
kangra, India
Nov 25, 2012
01:34 PM

This was a bit simplistic from one of the few left intellectuals I admire.
It seems like Mr.Nandy was given a very small time frame to finish this Opinion Piece.
Mr.Nandy's brother, Pritish, is an ex- Shiv Sena MP.
I hence, expected more insight.

Just Joe King
Gotham, India
Nov 25, 2012
04:41 PM

 Bal Thackerays's SS ruled Maharashtra for just 5 years.

He lived in Maharashtra for 58 years under Congress rule as an opposition/non Congress leader.

This is one thing Outlook's writers wont talk about...

Delhi, India
Nov 25, 2012
06:29 PM

 Just Joe King >> Mr.Nandy's brother, Pritish, is an ex- Shiv Sena MP.
I hence, expected more insight.

The "Brotherhood" will be used to "Share insights" but only in private domain. It helps both to keep their "Brotherhood" off the record in public domain. And the "Nandy"  brothers are not alone. We have the "Aiyar" brothers (SS Aiyar and MS Aiyar)using their relations to get information, but all that in private domain, in public domain, they pretend to have no beliefs in common.

Delhi, India
Nov 25, 2012
08:54 PM

 after reading ur article...please do us a favor...dont talk about ideologies in a magazine whose chief(vinod mehta) is the greatest hypocrite i have ever read...his magazine spews more venom every week against hindus than saamna used to do every month..

kolkata, India
Nov 25, 2012
09:45 PM

Cleaver leaders always  follow expectations of  their  followers.Bal Thckeray know what his blind  followers want.and he supplied them .Marathi people of Mumbai  mostly came from Kokan   belt and they are mostly poor  working in lower jobs.In Marathi community there is not a  Vaishya  caste so all business are with outsiders , most higher post are with upper caste of outsiders.Naturally  Marathi people are suffering inferiority  complex,and  wholeheartedly jalousie to outsiders.BalThakeray himself suffering from inferiority complex so he  incited this  envy  and established his leadership

Ramesh Raghuvanshi
pune, India
Nov 25, 2012
09:57 PM

 Ramesh Raghuvanshi >> BalThakeray himself suffering from inferiority complex so he incited this envy and established his leadership

Whatever Balsaheb Thackeray did was no different from the Constitutionally sanctioned Article 370 that makes Kashmir state special and prevents outsiders from settling there...

So should we say that the people of kashmir valley, who demand the Article 370 to continue have a inferiority complex and envy of the enterprise and hardwork of people outside the valley?

Delhi, India
Nov 25, 2012
10:13 PM

 Bal Thackery did not have any ideology.His method was stoking prejudice in human beings.We all have deep seated prejudices and go with those who invoke them.BJP does  and so are its many affiliates.But he is not juvenile or prankster.There was a deliberate method to mislead people and take advantage of it.The author need to revise his opinion.

Nasar Ahmed
Karikkudi, India
Nov 25, 2012
10:30 PM

I suggest Asish Nandy get his brain scanned! He his puking his mind out  hope he does not make it empty as the article depicts!

hyd, India
Nov 25, 2012
11:05 PM

>> Article 370 that makes Kashmir state special and prevents outsiders from settling there

Such comments get posted from time to time. They are factually incorrect. Article 370 does not prohibit outsiders from settling in Kashmir. It prohibits them from buying property there.

This itself is horrible, but it's good to be precise. Moreover, it is not equivalent to Thackeray's despicable actions and ideology targeting outsiders trying to make a living in Bombay (I still use Madras, Calcutta, CP etc.). Moreover, even if it were, that wouldn't justify his ideology. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Nov 26, 2012
12:39 PM

Male Unblocked .... "As someone said, he was the well-paid bouncer at the politician-big business party."

Good whoever said this didn't put it on Facebook. From the 2-3 days of paens of greatness sung and euologies spoken/written on national channels and newspapers, I started to wonder "what is our definition of leader?", "what is our definition of a great leader?", "what is our definition of greatness?", "Are bullies and leaders the same thing?".

No wonder, as a culture and nation, our "leadership deficit" is monumental. It appears we can only swing between "Mahatmas" and "Bullies" - only the extremes - no middle.

BTW, Male Unblocked, no female gender to blame in this case - how come :-) Kuch tho angle hona chahiye.

Arun Maheshwari
Bangalore, India
Nov 26, 2012
08:27 PM

Typical BS by bongs against maharashtrians, Gujaratis and others from western India. Who cares what Ashis Nandi says.

Indore, India
Nov 27, 2012
06:35 AM

15 D

I am amazed that you have started to think! :)

Dont be surprised, that as loot raj achieves greater depths of lawlessness, there are bound to be a big demand for bouncers like Thackeray.

The Tatas and Ambanis / cinema, may never agree with him ideologically, but in a state where law and order is broken, people like Thackeray are 'insurance investment'. When the policeman becomes thug, the thug becomes policeman - and the divide vanishes.

In return for protection, these big businesses / politicians part with support / money - another clear sign of the law and order break down in the state.

Thackeray was BOTH - cause and effect of the break down of law and order.

Male Unblocked
Chennai, India
Nov 27, 2012
04:35 PM

Pritish Nandy was once SS member of Rajya Sabha......Hope Ashish Remembers about his own brother!

hyd, India


OUTLOOK TOPICS:    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   
Or just type in a few initial letters of a topic: