It is said that art and literature are the reflections of a society and its times. The last few days of Maharashtra’s chaotic political environment has been archived in media reports, TV debates, editorials, statements of political leaders and much more. But if one sits down and think about it, it was only Sanjay Raut’s poetry that has managed to capture all the events, ups, downs, mood swings and confusions of the ‘Maha-drama’.
Raut’s poetry may seem to many as crass Bollywood theatrics. But as the entire nation woke up and saw in the TV that Devendra Fadnavis has become the CM of Maharashtra and thought “What the f***, or other vernacular versions of the sentiment, it was a visibly agitated, shocked, broken and shaken Sanjay Raut, that captured the moment in all its poetic, dramatic glory.
While the entire media, political parties and the public were busy following the blurring developments of Maha politics, it was Raut’s poetry that saluted the emotions, hopes, dreams and dramas of the Shiv Sena flowing through his tweets.
When the election results were announced and Sena thought it would be the king. Raut had tweeted a tiger, depicted wearing a clock and smelling a lotus held in its ‘Panja’, an indication that Sena will now ‘play’ the three parties like a fiddle.
व्यंग चित्रकाराची कमाल!
बुरा न मानो दिवाली है.. pic.twitter.com/krj2QAnGmB
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) October 25, 2019
The BJP, however, had made it clear that it will not be blackmailed and will not cede the CM chair to a party that has got merely half the seats as compared to them. Raut had mocked the BJP’s ‘Saheb’ not to have such hubris because many ‘Sikandars’ have perished in the ocean of time. What brilliance of words.
Raut went on ‘sly-Shayaring’ for days, even weeks. He mocked the ‘Saheb’s ego, he derided his heartlessness and wrote down his pain like a jilted one-side lover would cry after the pretty girl had thrown his love letter in the trash can.
It is not that Raut sly-tweets only his poetry. Like a true poet, he also regards the works of others and quotes from them when necessary. To convey that the Sena is not doing mere theatrics but doing a favour on the people of Maharashtra by ditching their alliance partner in whose name they had sought votes, Raut had shared Hindi poet Dushyant Kumar’s lines.
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) November 5, 2019
While the popular perception is that Raut is heavily inspired by singer Altaf Raja and TV serials, Raut has attempted to dispel the perception. He has quoted Dishyant Kumar ji more than once.
तुम्हारे पांव के नीचे कोई ज़मीन नहीं कमाल है कि, फ़िर भी तुम्हें यक़ीन नहीं…..(There is no ground under your feet, but you just refuse to believe it), Raut had taken another dig quoting Dushyant Kumar Ji’s lines, probably at Devendra, or Sonia, or Sharad Pawar, whoever he was thinking to woo on that particular day.
Since Sena had become determined to form a government, be it with ‘communal’ BJP or ‘Secular’ NCP-Congress, Raut had to keep the secularism well represented in his poetic endeavours too. Quoting just Hindu poets would have been a very communal and regressive thing to do. So Raut had quoted Wasim Barelvi too.
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) November 9, 2019
The Sena became so desperate to form the government and grab the CM’s post that it started facing criticism for it. After all, it had entered into a pre-poll alliance, after all, Balasaheb was a big critic of Sonia Gandhi and had shamed those who ‘fall at her feet’. After all. Sena was all about ‘Hindutva’ and here they were seen literally ‘begging’ Congress-NCP to help them get the CM chair. Poetry has the answer to all the dilemmas that the human heart suffers.
रास्ते की परवाह करूँगा तो मंजिल बुरा मान जाएगी………! (If I start caring about the paths taken, the destination will be disappointed), Raut had tweeted then.
The path to CM’s chair, like the ‘Ishq ka Darya,’ is full of thorns and burning ambers. Raut’s Sena was all prepared to sink or swim.
“लहरों से डर कर नौका पार नहीं होती, कोशीश करने वालों की कभी हार नही होती ।’ बच्चन. हम होंगे कामयाब.. जरूर होंगे…(You can’t reach the shores in your boat if you keep fearing the waves, efforts never lose), Raut had tweeted quoting from Bachchan.
Finally, Congress started kinda-sorta looking like coming on board, Uddhav had talked to Congress-NCP leaders. Had even tried to stake a claim and failed miserably as nobody came forward to help. On November 12, the state went under President’s rule as no party managed to stake a claim.
Sena was on a negotiations overdrive. Reports say that it had even agreed to drop the demand for a Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, and its ‘Hindu-image’, however flimsy that image was. Reports also claimed that Sena was ready to bring back the Muslim quota, that it had helped quash when it was in power with BJP.
However, as Raut’s poetry displayed, Shiv Sena was just determined to get that CM post.
अब हारना और डरना मना है.. pic.twitter.com/mMCZyQmr84
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) November 14, 2019
Slowly, Sena started seeing the hope that ‘madam’ might agree finally and give the ‘Green’ signal for the post-poll Maha-alliance. Sena did not declare the joy, but poetry said it.
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) November 15, 2019
While agreeing for the Muslim quota, Raut probably remembered that he has to allocate a Muslim quota in his ‘sly-Shayaring’ too. After all, the mainstream media and madam’s journalists had already started their attempts to paint the Sena as ‘secular’.
“यारों नए मौसम ने ये एहसान किया है, याद मुझे दर्द पुराने नहीं आते “, Raut had quoted Bashir Badr. He had new friends and he did not need to remember the old pains. However, he had not clarified whether the pain he referred to was caused by the BJP not giving it any ‘bhav’ or the ‘health issue’ he had developed a few days ago.
But the BJP, the heartless lover in Raut’s poetry, was indeed brutal. It had been days, weeks of waiting, but the CM chair was still far, very far from Sena. No definite commitments were being made from the new friends and no one was asking Sena to take the CM chair. Raut’s lines again went the ‘Patthar Ke Sanam’-mode towards BJP’s ‘Saheb’.
तुम से पहले वो जो इक शख़्स यहाँ तख़्त-नशीं था उस को भी अपने ख़ुदा होने पे इतना ही यक़ीं था :- हबीब जालिब. These lines by Habib Zalib were shared by Raut on 18 November. They meant, “The man who sat on this throne before you, had the same disillusionment of being all-powerful.”
Raut has indeed gone through a massively poetic and emotional roller-coaster all these days. After touring the poetic universe searching perfectly framed lines of poets exactly matching his mood for the day, he had recently stumbled upon some lines by Atal Bihar Vajpayee. Thinking of pulling a super-stunt of tweeting irony in the form of a BJP leader’s lines to mock the BJP, Raut had shared Vajpayee’s lines to indicate Sena’s efforts to form the government without the BJP.
आहुति बाकी, यज्ञ अधूरा,
अपनों के विघ्नों ने घेरा,
अंतिम जय का वज्र बनाने, नव दधीचि हड्डियां गलाएं।आओ फिर से दिया जलाएं।
अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) November 20, 2019
‘One Shayari-a-day keeps the CM’s chair away’, said nobody. However, Raut’s poetic journey in the turbulent times has provided some much necessary freshness to Twitter users who came up with their own lines, couplets and quotes to hail him.
Yesterday, the ignored one-sided lover had probably finally agreed that the pretty girl will never look at him anyway. His Shayari of the day as the Sena-NCP-Congress continued their meetings had displayed that the poor boy was trying to move on.
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) November 22, 2019
The ultimate, box-office breaking, Abbas-Mastan-level suspension was finally coming to an end. By yesterday evening, the newspapers had already announced that Uddhav Thackeray will be the CM. Raut’s pain, and poetic suffering, all that walking through the embers in the ‘Ishq ka Darya’ and all were coming to fruition. Early in the morning, Raut has sly-Shayari-ed the lines that will now be mocked mercilessly by the BJP’s heartless trolls.
However, the old Bollywood of the poor hero being the winner, the sentiments bearing fruit and lovers (Sena and the CM chair in this case) being united has been trashed to history by merciless new movie makers. In the new scheme of things, it is the villain who wins, it is Thanos who gets the last laugh, it is the ‘Saheb’ who swiped in from the sky like Batman and took off with the Kursi.
Raut probably never even got time to look for an appropriate poem in his books. It was just three heart-broken words.
The poet-lover’s poetry has been silenced. As Devendra Fadnavis took an oath with the support of Ajit Pawar as the deputy CM, a shell-shocked Raut was seen cursing, slamming and pouring his heart out at the fresh betrayal. He called Ajit Pawar a back-stabber, a thief, a robber and many more names. For the BJP, he did not even have words hurtful enough.
Raut is still tweeting, but they are only dry statements. The poetry is gone. And with the silencing of Raut’s poetry, Maharashtra politics now looks like just a boring documentary movie. The melodrama, the jingles, songs and the item numbers have all been destroyed by ‘Saheb’.