In political terms, the Shiv Sena has only played into the hands of the actress who now holds the moral high ground in this neta v/s abhineta battle
By Mayur Lookhar
Artistes have been targeted by political parties before but never before do we recall seeing such power play as witnessed today at Bungalow No 5. Chetak Row House, Bandra. The part demolition of Kangana Ranaut’s office Manikarnika Films by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, with the blessing of Shiv Sena, has led to an outcry with Ranaut supporters terming it as arbitrary .
Shiv Sena is copping criticism from rival Bharatiya Janata Party, and many citizens, too, have vented their anger against BMC, Shiv Sena and the Mumbai police. While the Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Sanjay Raut might deem it as a move to warn the actress, but this action only reflects poorly on the ruling party. In political terms, it is a huge blunder by the Shiv Sena and it only gives Kangana Ranaut the moral high ground in this neta v/s abhineta (politician v/s actor) battle. The BMC action now helps Kangana to justify her earlier Tweet comparing Mumbai to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. And the lady didn’t hesitate in ramming home her point again.
“I am never wrong and my enemies prove again and again this is why my Mumbai is POK now #deathofdemocracy 🙂” wrote Kangana
Shortly after reaching home, Ranaut had posted a video message slamming CM Uddhav Thackeray. She equated her plight to that of the Kashmiri Pandits who were displaced from their homes due to Pakistan-backed militancy in the Valley in 1990.
If there was no merit in Ranaut’s earlier ‘Mumbai feels like Pok’ tweet, there sure is one now after the Sena ordered the BMC to raze her property.
Although it is said to be her official property, but Ranaut was smart enough to use the word broken home in her comment which invariably helps her connect with the displaced Kashmiri Pandits. Despite her aggrieved tone, Ranaut didn’t really issue any grave threat, but simply announced that just like a film on the Ayodhya issue, she will make one on Kashmir too. Once again, she didn’t forget to mention the so-called ‘film mafia’, which is her primary target and not any political party.
She’s never officially associated with any political party, but the public backing of the Bhartiya Janata Party goes a long way in Ranaut daring to take on political bigwigs in Maharashtra. It’s perhaps fair to say that Ranaut and her perceived politcal backers were simply waiting for the Sena to err. Remember, there was no one when her property was being razed but a large crowd, comprising of members of Republic Party of India, fringe Rajput group Karni Sena, was out there at the airport to thwart any threat from angry Shiv Sena workers. You wonder couldn’t these new-found supporters have stepped in earlier to save her property from being pulled down? But that scenario would have earned the brickbats for Ranaut and members of the opportunistic rival parties who would have been accused of preventing government officials from carrying out their work. Also, if there was no demolition, then Ranaut wouldn’t have been able to bring out her Pok point again.
Is it death of democracy? Not sure about that, but Sena’s blunder helps Ranaut gain the moral high ground. It further boosts her fight against patriarchy, misogyny. And overall, it is likely to result in more public support.
Maharashtra is the state worst afflicted by the Coronavirus with nearly a million cases. Amidst this pandemic, Shiv Sena is digressing its energy and government resources into targeting a woman is no good PR. When his name was linked to the Sushant Singh Rajput case, Aaditya Thackeray had rubbished the rumours as dirty tricks of the opposition who are envious of the coalition government ‘s efforts in controlling the pandemic. However, India is setting new records each day, and Maharashtra has seen 20,000 cases in a single day in the last 24 hours. As the pandemic spreads, you do question what really does the Sena get by locking horns with Kangana Ranaut?
Shiv Sena has come a long way from its partisan politics. The state government and its police is already drawing flak over its handling of the Sushant Singh Rajput and Disha Salian cases. Actions like today, only hurts its image further.
Alliance partner Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party showed maturity when he minced no words in saying that such action will only further create doubts among the common public. He felt too much importance was being given to Kangana’s tweet. Maybe it is high time that Shiv Sena listen to the wise old man of Maharashtra politics.