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The hypocrisy and delusions: Raj Thackeray as the saviour for India’s liberals is both sad and hilarious

It started out small enough, with isolated liberals pointing out that MNS workers can “give it back to the bhakts“.

A man who cannot win a single MP has emerged as the grand hope of India’s ‘secular’ liberals to stop the Modi juggernaut. Let that sink in.

Remember the time when MNS goons were accused of attacking “North Indian” students appearing for Railway Board entrance exams in Mumbai? What better way to capture liberal hypocrisy, desperation and bankruptcy with a single event than to watch them sing praises of Raj Thackeray?

It started out small enough, with isolated liberals pointing out that MNS workers can “give it back to the bhakts“.


The man getting beaten up is an ordinary citizen who had dared to insult Raj Thackeray on Facebook. Goons showed up at his home and beat him up for a Facebook comment. Such liberalism.

What started small soon turned into a wave of liberal admiration for Raj Thackeray. His speeches were soon being subtitled in Hindi and English for circulation all across the country. You can imagine the scale of this when liberal outlets start publishing apologia telling liberals they can stop feeling guilty about promoting Raj Thackeray.


In that astonishing piece, Shivam Vij even manages to drag Mahatma Gandhi and Baba Saheb Ambedkar while making his case for ‘liberals’ promoting Raj Thackeray. Apparently, because “issues are more important than people”. How far will this argument go? Watch this space carefully.

Perhaps Indian liberalism is at a point where nothing can surprise us any more.

The part that offends me is their hypocrisy. The part that amuses me is their delusion.

Do they realize that Raj Thackeray is not even contesting the Lok Sabha election? He is still doing “rallies”, which may or may not be for his personal amusement. And this man who cannot even win a single MP is supposed to save India’s liberals from Modi?

The last Assembly elections in Maharashtra in 2014 ended with MNS winning only a single MLA in the 289 member house. In the civic polls of 2017, the MNS lost badly in the one corporation it had enjoyed power in, which was Nashik. Little seems to have changed for him since then and certainly not for the better.

The people rejected MNS and its politics a long time ago. Raj himself read the writing on the wall and decided to bow out of electoral politics. Everyone is going into Election 2019 with their eyes open. Except for the liberals, who are pretending to sleep.

Think for a moment about what Indian liberalism has to offer. They don’t care if “North Indians” are beaten up in Maharashtra. They would rather care about the Rohingya infiltrating across the border. Those who pretend to care about “Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb” would gladly tell the poor Bihari labourer to pack up his bags and leave Mumbai if it helps with their larger cause of defeating Modi.

This should not surprise you if you look at the long list of “anti-Modi heroes” that liberals have nursed over the last several years.

Take Hardik Patel. A man who goes around with a cap that says “I am Patidar” is supposed to be the saviour of India. What a way to awaken Indian youth into a new dawn of liberalism than to have them go around with their caste written on their caps?

Indeed, the Jatav+Yadav caste politics of the BSP+SP in Uttar Pradesh, together with the Muslim vote, is today the bedrock of Indian ‘liberalism’. Can any liberal describe any real manner in which Dalits have been uplifted due to Mayawati? Of course not. If Mayawati wants to build statues of herself with public money, that’s fine with them. As long as she spares a few crumbs for the power brokers in Lutyens Delhi.

Then, there was former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah. Remember him and the time he called India’s Prime Minister a “North Indian import”? Indian liberalism embraced his politics. But people didn’t. So liberals forgot all about him as soon as the results from Karnataka came out.

One day after assuming office as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath told the people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to stay out of his state.

That’s the new idea of India : Biharis not welcome in Madhya Pradesh, Hindi speakers not welcome in Maharashtra and Karnataka, but Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi infiltrators welcome in each and every district in the country.

Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb, you see.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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