Saturday, February 06, 2010

Shallow Political Activism - Part I

It defies wisdom. It defies all that we speak as educated office-goers. It defies all that productive development is. Its mere politics. I am referring to what the top regional parties in my city - Mumbai are vociferously noising the populace.

Mumbai belongs to the Marathi Manoos.

Although that's a debatable fact (read Who’s Not A Mumbaikar?), yet I understand that this statement is a sensitive emotion for majority of the Marathi population living in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Any population whose mother tongue is the local language would feel strongly about outsider population coming in hordes and occupying a sizeable proportion of the good jobs available.

So it becomes an easy & obvious strategy to take advantage of this strong emotion for any political party. An obvious decision is likely to be myopic and short term. In this case, the decision to hang on to this emotion by SS and MNS is clearly regressive, myopic and short term.

This kind of obvious political activism has a strategic drawback. It needs active mobilisation of the youth. We have to understand that youth is a transient term. Today's youth is tomorrow's married responsible man.

So, if a political party mobilizes today's youth to support this emotion, effectively their focus on career, education and focus on a bright future will suffer, which in effect will make them unsuccessful married men and fathers.

Secondly, the point to note is that the political party suffers too when a generation ages. Once a youth, now a husband cannot support the party as well. The party suffers. They have to get the support of the next generation as well. We have seen it happening to Shiv Sena when their first generation supporters had grown old. My analysis is that this phenomenon of eroding support base of Shiv Sena gave an aperture to Raj Thakeray to form MNS with a new generation of youth with the same principles.

Tomorrow, I see MNS losing grip, and Shiv Sena or a new regional party harping on the same emotion becoming stronger.

MNS and SS should understand this point of view and engage in developmental politics, rather than divisive politics. Being a political party of the local people, they have an upper hand in executing developmental plans which help the "aam marathi manoos." They should work with in conjunction with the non-local successful population for the development and overall well-being of the city and the state.


  1. Anonymous11:36 AM

    Well said! I am sure they will get their votes even if they did not preach hate, and did not use threats of violence/ banning this and that etc... I have little hope from these fellows, they are not far sighted enough, or hard working or dedicated enough to really work for development. To imagine how much they can do for education, better jobs and healthcare but instead create insecurity and suspicion amongst countrymen.
    And I don't think locals have more rights to job in a country - for instance, if I had to employ a driver I would employ the most reliable guy no matter which part of the country he came from.

  2. Real issue is the lack of education & a vision that you get through structured knowledge. Without which you tend to think petty, straight-jacketed and obvious. One tends to follow the conventons left behind by seniors.
    Today you get into college politics (education gone out of the window) and then grow into state/national politics...
    Things will change when educated management graduates with private job experience of 1/2 years will jump into politics...
    I for myself seriously thinking of learning marathi...


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