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.
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.)