After forcing cancellation of Ghulam Ali’s concert, ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni, storming into BCCI President Shashank Manohar’s office and forcing him to cancel a proposed meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Shiv Sena turned its attention to highlight ‘glorious history’ of the party and its founder Balasaheb Thackeray.
On Wednesday, Mumbai woke up to a poster that reminded various political leaders their place before Balasaheb. The poster that turned up at Sena Bhawan in Dadar asked, “(Have you) forgotten the days when your (now) proud necks bowed on the feet of late Balasaheb?” in a veiled reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a few other mighty political leaders.
A picture of PM Modi bowing down to late Balasaheb was in the centre and pictures of a few other leaders including President Pranab Mukherjee’s with Bal Thackeray were pasted around it.
Reacting to Shiv Sena’s poster, netizens reminded the party of Bal Thackeray’s meetings with former Pakistani diplomat Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and former captain of Pakistan cricket team Javed Miandad at Matoshree.
While the meeting with Qazi was in 1998, before the Kargil War broke out in 1999, the meeting with Miandad was in 2004. Current chief of Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray was also present in the meeting with Miandad and his young son Aditya Thackeray even took his autograph.
Bal Thackeray was all sweet and humble in the meeting and spoke like a messiah of peace, “Pakistan ke log jo hain, aam janata, wo ye nahi chahti ki hamesha hamare takrao hota rahe. They love we people and we love them also. Koi dushmani nahi hai hamare mein. That is politics which is spoiling this and nothing else. If politics stop we are one. (General public of Pakistan do not want that we clash like that. They love we people and we love them also. There is no enmity between us. That is politics which is spoiling this and nothing else).”
He was not even against cricket ties between two warring nations. In his meeting with Miandad, Thackeray said, “Sports ke bare me hamare man me koi dushmani nahi hai (We do not have any kind of enmity in terms of sports.)”
Twitterati posed a few difficult questions before Shiv Sena.
In its attempt to find its lost glory, has the Shiv Sena forgotten Balasaheb’s words? After becoming sidelined in Mahrashtra’s politics, has the Shiv Sena forgotten that Balasaheb met Miandad in 2004, even after a full scale war between India and Pakistan just six years ago?