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.

- Ad - - article resumes -

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.

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

BJP leader P K Krishnadas had alleged that the campus was an SFI stronghold and that the principal was denying the ABVP members the right to carry out their organisation's work.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Proud to be a brand - Made in India?
Now, Advertise on Opindia

Mangalore: Mohammad Ansari rapes a cow by tying its limbs, villagers catch him in the act, arrested

The villagers also made Ansari touch cow’s feet and ask for forgiveness for raping her. However, when Ansari approached the calf, the animal freaked out and started running.

Mangaluru villagers caught Mohammad Ansari raping a calf, police arrests villagers for ‘hurting religious beliefs’

In the Kunjathbail village in Mangaluru, Mohammad Ansari was caught red-handed by the villagers while he was raping a calf.

Here are 15 famous quotes from Harsha Bhogle during his commentary stint

The famous Indian commentator, Harsha Bhogle, born on July 19 in Hyderabad is celebrating his 58th birthday today.

Abusive actor Ajaz Khan arrested by Mumbai Police for instigating violence through social media

Mumbai Police arrests small-time actor Ajaz Khan after he mocked the police on TikTok
Couple forced out of village; husband pressurised to accept wife’s religion

Hindu boy’s family forced out of village for marrying Muslim girl, police advices boy to convert as villagers threaten to kill

Newlywed Hindu boy and Muslim girl approach SSP for protection as villagers threaten to kill them and local police ask the boy to convert

Revisiting Sainbari, a blot on Indian Democracy: When Communists made a mother eat rice with her dead sons’ blood

The Sainbari incident remains the most horrific instance of political violence in the country.
Salma Ansari's temple plan receives AMU's objection

AMU administration’s jolt to Mrs Ansari’s secularism pitch, says no to temple plan inside ‘Chacha Nehru Madarsa’

Salma Ansari, the wife of former vice president Hamid Ansari, had announced recently that she will have a temple built inside the 'Chacha Nehru Madarsa' that she runs in AMU campus.
Shashi Tharoor supports Sanjiv Bhatt

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor extends support to disgraced cop Sanjiv Bhatt sentenced to life in custodial death case

Shashi Tharoor had tweeted today that he had met with the family of disgraced cop Sanjiv Bhatt

Live updates Karnataka Trust Vote: House adjourned, floor test now expected on Monday

JDS-Congress government of Karnataka is facing their second floor test after assembly elections were held in May last year.
Delhi Police bust Taliban controlled drug cartel that used jute bags to smuggle heroin worth 5000 crores

Delhi police bust Taliban controlled heroin racket, Afghan-Pakistani cartel worth 5000 crores discovered

Delhi police's special cell has busted a sophisticated Afghan-Pakistani heroin cartel that used heroin-soaked jute bags carrying spices and dry fruits to smuggle the drug into India.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

173,688FansLike
159,529FollowersFollow
74,888SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post