Yesterday, the Shiv Sainiks attacked the offices of the news channel IBN Lokmat in retaliation to the channel’s remarks against the Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. This is yet another attack by the far-right Shiv Sena after several attacks on the media over the years, for any remark passed against the party. As per the Shiv Sena goons, freedom of speech has its limits! Bal Thackeray even blasted Tendulkar last week for his comments that he was first Indian and then Maharashtrian. The Sena parties have caused enough problems and they must be stopped!

Typically, far-right political parties represent facism – an ugly scar on a multicultural, democratic, civilized country and how much impact a country allows its facist parties to have, gives an indication of how democratic, civilized and developed that country and its people are. Given the recent furore out here in the UK over the appearance of the BNP leader Nick Griffin on the popular BBC Question Time programme, I couldn’t help but compare the far-right political parties in India (Shiv Sena, MNS) and the UK(BNP).

 

India (the Senas)

UK (BNP)

A Regional Party – Maharashtra and some other states

A National Party

Founded on the “sons of the soil” policy – Maharashtra is only for Marathi people.

Founded on the “Britain is for indigenous people (white Caucasian)” policy

Still incites and propagates violence against non-Maharashtrians and non-Hindus

Has been associated with violence in the past, but relatively quiet today.

Commits atrocities with impunity as successive Indian Central and State Governments lacked the political will to take action against the violence committed by these parties’ thugs.

The BNP is condemned by many sections of the mainstream media. All mainstream political parties are united in their strong opposition to the BNP. Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated: "Londoners and the rest of the British people know that backing the BNP is totally at odds with what it really means to be British – and the great British values the rest of us share, such as democracy and decency, freedom and fairness, tolerance and equality”

 

Where were these bloody “sons of the soil” Sena blokes when terrorists held seige to Bombay on 26/11? They didn’t have the cojones to even show their faces in public. And commandos from outside Maharashtra played a key role in wiping out the terrorists.

The corruption and vote-bank politics in India have allowed the far-right Sena parties to take law into their hands and commit various atrocities.

Ironically, the very “divide-and-rule” policy that enabled the British to rule India is now followed by the far-right Sena parties in Independent India. What’s that “Unity in Diversity” I studied about, when I was a kid?

If India cannot tackle these fundamental issues and protect the democratic rights of its citizens, then you can flush all talk about India becoming a developed nation, let alone a super-power, down the drain.

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