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Obama v/s Thackeray – Jug Suraiya

Comparing Obama and Thackeray is like talking about chalk and cheese. The irrepressible Jug Suraiya has most eloquently put into words the difference between distinguished and desperate (my definitions).

Perhaps no two politicians could be more dissimilar, not just in stature but, more importantly, in the philosophy they represent, than US President-elect Barack Obama and MNS chief Raj Thackeray. Obama, the black American president, represents what might be called the politics of togetherness; Thackeray personifies the politics of otherness.

From today’s TOI. Read the article here

With the kind of influence that the SS and MNS wield, they have the power to change the face of not just Maharashtra, but the rest of the country. With just one proclamation either from the Sr or Jr Thackeray’s, corruption within government could be passé, the PWD could deliver top-quality work, the slums around the airport could vanish, education for every child could be a reality and the tiger (the SS’s symbol, vanishing fast – oh irony!) could be saved from extinction.

Of course, none of this will happen. The T family is too busy burning cinemas, forcing flyovers to open before the tar has dried, targeting poor labourers struggling to make a living, preventing young people from sitting for examinations (if they focused on education, maybe the beleaguered Marathi Manoos would qualify for those posts without the shame of violence, but no.)

What makes a possible leader-of-the-masses (which either of the T’s is certainly not) a figure to be despised, deplored, hated, pitied? These are not the Lalu’s of Bihar – illiterate yet crafty. The T’s are educated, intelligent even. Yet, their energies are directed toward stone-throwing, bus-burning and arson.
I cannot understand it. And I suspect, neither can the Marathi Manoos.
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One comment on “Obama v/s Thackeray – Jug Suraiya

  1. it is so clear! Yet educated & uneducated alike support these acts and such politics. Very good post!

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