So Mumbai burns.. A bandh was hastily announced in several parts of Mumbai. Bus services came to a halt. the flaming of a private bus raged the T.V. screens. Thousands of Shiv sainiks forming an irate mob ran amuck in several suburbs as the news of the alleged desecration of statue of ‘Meena Tai’, deceased wife of S.S.Supremo Bal Thackeray spread like wild fire in the city and the country.
Help from the Centre was sought to curb what seemed an inflagration that could turn ugly. The Sainiks in unison, appeared to point fingers at Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi. B.J.P. which had so far been at loggerheads with the Sena over ideological and political differences has joined hands with them in this fast growing protest against the disrespect shown to ‘Maa saheb’.
So Mumbai, falteringly ganing control and effort at normalcy after the onslaught of Natures fury, had to contend with the that of the Shiv Sena. While one can empathise with the reason for outrage, what seems unreasonable is the adoption of violence and mayhem and ruination of Public property and public life as the target.
Guilty need to be punished, and brought to book. But vandalism is hardly the manner to be condoned for the fructification towards the end. It sends the wrong signals to gullible Sainiks that wrong MAY be rectified by a larger wrong, as also that giving vent to the extent of becoming a menace, will gain backing from the Shiv Sena leaders. This is a dangerous and highly deplorable stand and one which makes the average citizen view the Sena with doubt and disregard.
What this incident has proven once again is the power that Shiv sena holds over the masses and the sway over emotions that can be incited in a matter of hours. If the ‘bite’ of Bal Thackeray had been under debate in recent times, then this incident , if anything has eliminated any points on that score.
We live in times where safety and security are elusive illusions and normal life under constant threat.
Makes it imperative to therefore make the most of PEACE, if and when it reigns! A day at a time.