Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Home Politics How a media project to 'secularize' the Shiv Sena was on in full swing

How a media project to ‘secularize’ the Shiv Sena was on in full swing

Whether you are “communal” or “secular” should ideally depend upon what views you hold and whether your actions and speeches tally with those. However, in India, it is dependent on your equations with the BJP. It’s not about ideology, but it’s about electoral politics – plain and simple.

Shiv Sena was “communal” as it has been in over 20-years-old alliance with the BJP. But the alliance broke before the assembly elections of 2014 (only to re-appear as post-poll alliance) and again before the municipal polls of Maharashtra in 2017. Thumb rule meant that Shiv Sena had to be deemed “secular” thereafter.

And the project to “secularize” Shiv Sena was on in full swing (as we will see in this article), but alas, the target of secularism fell short by 30 odd seats in the BMC elections.

Now let’s rewind to the time when these results were not known, and let’s look at what the Indian mainstream media was telling its readers:

A couple of days before Mumbai voted in the BMC elections, an article about the “resurgent Sena” appeared in The Indian Express. For a while now, the mainstream media has made a habit of adding the term “resurgent” before the name of any party or political leader left licking wounds after the NaMo tsunami of 2014. It is possibly an automatic feature that has been incorporated into the word processing software used by media houses to accommodate their wishful thinking.

Nonetheless, coming back to the article, it talked about lesser known aspects of Uddhav Thackeray, who currently leads the Sena. From talking about Uddhav donating proceeds from his photography exhibitions to describing his new found sense of matrutva (exact words) towards his humble party workers, the article had it all:

The Indian Express article on Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena

Not to mention that the use of the phrase “coming of age” suggests  the possibility that this article was churned out from a draft circulated by media houses for a different dynast. Was it? Just kidding…

Coming of age: Uddhav was all set to “mature” as a “secular” leader?

The Indian Express article can hardly be seen in isolation. The same media sentiment surrounding Uddhav Thackeray is also amply visible in this Hindustan Times article published on the day Mumbai voted:

Uddhav was supposed to have done something even Bal Thackeray could not achieve.

More admiration for Uddhav “overcoming the barrier” and “succeeding with second generation leaders”. And that one comes directly from the desk of Sujata Anandan, who has been the political editor of the Mumbai edition of the Hindustan Times. A few months ago, Ms. Anandan wrote much similarly about another naturally mild mannered dynast who has been getting smartly aggressive.

From Rahul Gandhi to Uddhav Thackeray

We are not sure whether to laugh or to cry at these efforts. Of course, when the first few results of the BMC started rolling out on Feb 23 and it seemed for a while that the Sena would end up with a huge win, the same theme appeared in this now much mocked tweet of “journalist” Barkha Dutt.

Not so reluctant to openly support any one against BJP?

Soft spoken, passionate about photography… we have all the essentials here. As I said, we are not sure whether to laugh or to cry at these efforts.

It is not hard to imagine what would have happened if the Shiv Sena had managed a big win in Mumbai. The Sena almost certainly would have gone through a process of “secularization” in the elite media. In fact, mild mannered photography lover Uddhav Thackeray appeared to be well prepared for this prospect when he stepped out in the media glare yesterday for what had been planned as his coming of age party:

Almost on the cue, just what the media ordered.

As we can see, evolution by means of natural selection is a slow process, but in desperate times, there are ways to speed it up significantly. Someone posted this photo on twitter of Uddhav from not so long ago:

Oops.. but the media can make you forget what they don’t want you to remember.

Meanwhile, as the mainstream media puts the onus of Indian secularism on the shoulders of the Shiv Sena, we can only assume that the “idea of India” shall remain on ventilator support.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

Related Articles

Trending now

After Barkha Dutt failed to whitewash Khalistan supporter Deep Sidhu, Shekhar Gupta’s The Print picks up the pieces

Actor Deep Sidhu continues to refuse to call Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a terrorist while he keeps participating in farmer protests

Father of Shehla Rashid files complaint against her saying she’s threatening him with life, accuses her of being involved in ‘notorious activities’

The father of the career-protestor-turned-politician Shehla Rashid claims the latter being involved in 'notorious activities'

Farmer group bats for ‘middlemen’, hails them as ‘service providers’ while scare-mongering about reforms in agriculture sector

Protesting farmers say that they are happy to pay commission to middlemen, claims new farm laws are not needed for their protection

What they never told you when they said India was the worst performing emerging economy

India’s economy contracted by 23.9%. For comparison, Brazil’s GDP contracted by 11.9% and Russia’s GDP by 8%. So, did they really do better than India?

Assam closes down temporary Covid-19 care centres, gears up to reopen elementary schools as pandemic gets under control

Assam has been witnessing reduced cases of Covid-19 with recovery rate of 98 per cent and the death rate of 0.46 per cent

Shiv Sena to organise Azaan recitation competition, party leader calls it as important as ‘Maha Aarti’

Shiv Sena is to bear the cost of the event and will also reward the contest winners.

Recently Popular

Wife of late Wajid Khan writes on her sufferings in an inter-faith marriage, says anti-conversion law should be nationalised

Wife of late music composer Wajid Khan wrote how her husband and his family had been forcing her to convert to Islam after their marriage

Actor Deep Sandhu disappoints Barkha Dutt after she provides platform to ‘distance himself’ from OpIndia report that he supports Khalistan

Barkha Dutt lamented after actor Deep Sidhu refused to condemn Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and to call him terrorist on her YouTube channel

SFJ ads appear on YouTube offering $10m support for farmers, in return, wants Sikhs to join ‘Khalistan movement’: Details

Amid ongoing farmers’ protests in Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi, it is evident that Khalistani supporters have hijacked the protests and now, they are running ads on YouTube

Shiv Sena to organise Azaan recitation competition, party leader calls it as important as ‘Maha Aarti’

Shiv Sena is to bear the cost of the event and will also reward the contest winners.

Indian man proposes to his Australian girlfriend during Ind vs Aus cricket match, here is what happened next

While India's performance has been below par, netizens found happiness in the unusual proposal that became the highlight of the match.

‘Will not say Jai Hind, will teach lesson to Modi like we taught Indira’: Khalistani protester in presence of AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan

Sikh protester threatens to teach Modi a lesson in the save way they taught Indira Gandhi in the presence of AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan

After Barkha Dutt failed to whitewash Khalistan supporter Deep Sidhu, Shekhar Gupta’s The Print picks up the pieces

Actor Deep Sidhu continues to refuse to call Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a terrorist while he keeps participating in farmer protests

Pilibhit: 12-year-old boy escapes from madrassa alleging he was chained and tortured by his teacher

A 12-year-old boy was beaten by head of the Al-Jamiatul Razvia Madinatul Islam madrassa in Pilibhit after he tried to go home

Father of Shehla Rashid files complaint against her saying she’s threatening him with life, accuses her of being involved in ‘notorious activities’

The father of the career-protestor-turned-politician Shehla Rashid claims the latter being involved in 'notorious activities'

Private procurements from Adnai group helped eliminate middlemen and generate more income, reveals apple farmers from Himachal Pradesh

Apple Orchard manager Manjeet Singh Dhillon informed that Adani group had been purchasing apples from farmers since 2006.

Eight months after cutting water supply of migrants to drive them away in middle of pandemic, Arvind Kejriwal govt offers free water to protesting...

Delhi Jal Board VP and AAP MLA Raghav Chadha himself went to Burari to ensure water tankers are available for protesting farmers

‘Shaheen Bagh returns’: Netizens react as protesting ‘farmers’ served biryani at Ghazipur in New Delhi

Biryani at the ongoing farmers' protest brings back memories of the 'organic' Shaheen Bagh protests

Farmer group bats for ‘middlemen’, hails them as ‘service providers’ while scare-mongering about reforms in agriculture sector

Protesting farmers say that they are happy to pay commission to middlemen, claims new farm laws are not needed for their protection

Protests against farm laws are based on rumours and misinformation: PM Modi punctures holes in the propaganda surrounding farm laws

PM Modi noted, "The government is consistently addressing the fears and queries of farmers who are anxious about the government's decision."

Not ‘just a municipal election’, a defeat of TRS in the Hyderabad Municipal Elections will alter the political discourse of the state

Not just top BJP leaders, top TRS leaders are also campaigning hard for the GHMC elections, making it more than just a municipal election

Former PMO official from UPA era gets excited at ‘New Zealand MP supporting farmers,’ except that no MP from New Zealand supported

The former advisor to Manmohan Singh shared a Tweet by Canadian politician to claim that a 'New Zealand' MP is supporting the Punjab farmers' protest

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
491,429FollowersFollow
20,200SubscribersSubscribe