Politics makes bizarre alliances possible. Parties and leaders who are polar opposites in ideology and policies often rally together when it suits them. We have seen erstwhile ‘secular’ young leaders suddenly hopping temples. The son of a roman catholic becomes ‘Janeu Dhari’. Leaders who are so secular that they even object to the rainbow being called ‘Ramdhanu’ in local tongue and change it to ‘Rongdhanu’ start befriending parties whose core ideology differs so starkly from their own.
Mamata Banerjee seems to have found new friends. This time it is Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray. Shiv Sena, whose founder Balasaheb Thackeray shaped it around core Hindu ideologies, is looking for new friends too. Her protest march outside the Rashtrapati Bhavan against demonetisation in 2016 saw Shiv Sena leaders walking with her. She has been meeting Uddhav Thackrey on several occasions since.
Today, her newfound love for the Right-wing party saw another dimension altogether when she took to Twitter to wish on the occasion of Balasaheb Thackeray’s birth anniversary.
Her tweet shocked some, whereas some guessed the reason behind it:
Somewhere up there, someone just dropped his pipe. https://t.co/A1abAaz9tN
— Kanchan Gupta (@KanchanGupta) January 23, 2018
Now that it’s broken up with BJP, Shiv Sena is on the way to being certified secular.
Poor BJP, Bends over backwards for #ChristoIslamic appeasement, attacks Hindu schools, give special scholarships to non-Hindus. Still “communal.” ? https://t.co/BMuygqCW8I
— Sankrant Sanu सानु (@sankrant) January 23, 2018
Her tweet, however, had twitterati in splits. Many replied with sarcastic even hilarious reactions.
Now Balasaheb is certified a Secular leader by Mamata begum
— Ardeshir Desai (Paanipuriwala) (@desaiardeshir) January 23, 2018
Twitter users were quick to remind her that Balasaheb was vehemently opposed to the kind of appeasement politics her party practices.
इतना ज्यादा याद मत करो उनको, स्वर्ग से वापस आ गए तोह तुम और तुम्हारी जिहादी पार्टी को अंटार्टिका का चुनाव भी न लड़ने दे।
शुक्र मनाओ आज बाला साहेब नही है।
— Dipankar (@viadipankar) January 23, 2018
People soon pointed out that she might become ‘selectively Hindu-loving’like some youth icons too.
Day is not far when bagum momata will be seen in saffron rob
— rohini kulkarni (@rohinikulkarni6) January 23, 2018
Some reminded her of her past reactions to Shiv Sena:
Pic 1: News from 1998
Pic 2: Realignment from 2018 pic.twitter.com/aHPQ4L84I4
— Aashish Chandorkar (@c_aashish) January 23, 2018
Twitter users even pointed it out that the current Shiv Sena has become a shadow of its former self under Uddhav Thackrey and it is nothing like Balasaheb has envisioned.
Death of Balasaheb was end of real Shiv Sena. He used ink in cartoons for social awareness & now look use of ink by Sena. He was against Caste based Reservation & now Sena supporting Hardik Patel. He was against Cow slaughter & now Sena mocking Gau Rakshaks.
— PradiptaGaurangaDas (@pikudollie) January 23, 2018
How far both Uddhav Thackrey and Mamata Banerjee are willing to ‘adjust’ on their respective parties’ core ideology in their quest for an anti-BJP force, remains to be seen.