MAHATIR’S MALAY EXTREMIST’S ARMY AND HINDU EXTREMIST SHIV SENA- SHIVA’S ARMY

Gujarat cop Sanjeev Bhatt’s revelations, contained in his affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, may come as a surprise to many. But for all those who lived in Gujarat during those fateful days and were in the thick of things, the contents only provide substantiation of what they had heard then. A top police officer of the state told me a couple of days after the riots started how director general of poice K Chakravarthy was uncomfortable on being told by Narendra Modi at a meeting to allow Hindus to vent their feelings.Though perturbed, Chakravarthy, a naturally timid person, could not muster the guts to stand up to his boss. So, instead he lamented to top police officers like the person to whom I had spoken. Or at least that is what the officer told me.

It was also being speculated that not only had “Hindus” been allowed to vent their feelings, they had been given “three days” to do this. Then defence minister George Fernandes who had been sent to Ahmedabad by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee also knew of this “three days” and I personally can vouch for this. With a view to figure out what he was up to, I had called on Fernandes on Saturday, March 2, 2002, in Circuit House in Ahmedabad. Initially, I had some apprehension about how much time the minister would give me because he was on a mission and the riots were on full blast. But I was pleasantly surprised that he had all the time in the world for me. Very soon I could figure out the purpose Fernandes was so keen to engage me in conversation: he wanted to cross-check the facts of the riots that he had heard. It was a long three-hour meeting. At one point the chief secretary, G Subba Rao, and additional chief secretary Ashok Narain, along with a senior army officer, came into the room. They had been confabulating with the minister before I dropped in. Leaving them behind, Fernandes took me to his room. Now the officials wanted to know if they should wait or could leave. The minister asked them to leave and resumed his conversation with me. Fernandes spoke about a whole lot of things, how Ahmedabad had changed, how he had come to the city when there was a massive riot in 1969, how he had walked to the Governor Shriman Narayan’s house from the airport at that time, etc. With the evening advancing and the need for me to go back to the office, I excused myself. Fernandes persisted but I went out. As I climbed down the stairs, the defence minister beckoned me once again from the top of the stairs and said that I should have dinner with him. In the end, I retraced my path. While having an early dinner, Fernandes who was beating around the bush for so long suddenly let it out: “ I have heard that the rioters have been allowed three days time before any action is taken?” I shot back: “ Ya, I have also heard it.” The minister said: “Humm. I see.” We continued on the dinner silently. I must admit that there was no talk about the Modi meet about which Sanjiv Bhatt has now filed an affidavit. But very soon our meeting was broken. Harin Pathak, the minister of state for defence and the BJP MP from Ahmedabad and a hardliner himself, walked into the room with decisive steps and plonked himself on the sofa. In the manner that he walked in it seemed that Pathak was aware that we were having a long meeting and wanted to be privy to the conversation. Immediately after the dinner, I left the place.

A couple of months later, the Outook magazine ran an exclusive report on a serving minister of the Gujarat government having deposed before a citizens’ commission about the Modi meeting on the evening of January 27 where the chief minister had talked about allowing the Hindu reaction. The minister was not named but I instinctively knew that it was Haren Pandya. So I called Pandya and said: “So you tendered evidence before the commission?” Pandya demanded: “How do you know?” I said: “I can make out because you have told me this before. Though I am not sure about others because there is some speculation that it is Suresh Mehta ( another minister). But I am sure your boss Modi can make out too.” The minister said in a dismissive tone: “Who cares about him.” Then I told Pandya: “But your testimony is second hand. Why don’t you get me somebody who attended the meeting and confirm this to me?” Pandya thought for a moment and replied: “Chakravarthi (director general of police ) can.” I told him: “I don’t know him. But since you were close to him and once were his boss as home minister, why don’t you set up a meeting.” Pandya said: “Let me get back to you.” He was back on the line in 10 minutes. “I have spoken with him. Here is his cell number. You have to ask him the questions but he will answer only in yes or no. He is not willing to go any further.” OK, I said and kept down the phone. In the event I did not call up Chakravarthi. The reason: I had written an article for the edit page about the guilty men of Gujarat and had named Chakravarthi and this was going to appear in the paper the next day. I did not think it morally right to get information from a source one day and next day publish an article that would put him on the mat. Moreover, the prospect on a yes or no answer did not appeal to me.

A few months later when I came to know of the names of officers who were present at that fateful meeting, I asked one of them about what had transpired. The officer, Anil Mukim, then private secretary to Modi and now a joint secretary to GOI told me: “Not while I was there.” My specific query was: “Did Modi say that a Hindu reaction be allowed?”. I noted from media reports recently that this is also exactly what Mukim told the SIT on the Gujarat riots. If I recollect correctly Ashok Narayan, the additional chief secretary (home) who had attended the meeting told the Nanavati Commission that there were instructions that the bodies of all those perished in the Godhra train carnage be allowed to be brought to Ahmedabad. This is what Sanjiv Bhatt has also said as part of his affadavit about what had transpired at the meeting.

Incidentally, it seems that on the evening of February 27 there were two meetings that had been convened by Modi. The first one was a law and order meeting with top cops and secretaries, which Sanjiv Bhatt is supposed to have attended. The other was a meeting of ministers. Haren Pandya had told me that at this meeting some of the ministers said that the bodies of those who died in the Godhra carnage be brought to Ahmedabad. Haren said that he resisted because he felt that this could lead to an outpouring of sentiments leading to a serious law and order situation. Pandya said that he was outshouted at the meeting and mentioned a minister (I am withholding the name, but it was not Modi) who said that this is what we want. “Our party strength is in Ahmedabad. We want everything to happen here. It will help our party.”

Haren Pandya was murdered under mysterious circumstances in early 2003, so he cannot come back to life to testify whatever is attributed to him by me. I am acutely aware of this. I am also aware that George Fernandes is suffering from Alzhiemer’s, a disease that robs its patients of all his memories.

Teresa Kok says the latest development proves Barisan Nasional’s tacit support for Perkasa’s brazen racism.



 The Rela subgroup for Perkasa members is alarming, dangerous and unaccetable, said DAP MP Teresa Kok today.
She added that the latest development proved Barisan Nasional’s tacit support for Perkasa’s “brazen racism”.
Kok was referring to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s approval of the establishment of a subgroup within the Rela volunteer corps called “Briged Setia Negara” which is exclusive to Perkasa members.
To add salt to the wound, she said, Hishammuddin was even helping Perkasa build its capacity by providing its members with Rela para-military training, uniforms, and presumably other entitlements such as allowance and personal accident insurance.
“All of which are funded by Malaysian taxpayers of all races,” she added.
Kok said the minister was turning a blind eye to the fact that Perkasa was a self-proclaimed Malay supremacist group and that Perkasa’s position was completely antithetical to the government’s 1Malaysia.
“Since its inception, Perkasa has issued numerous hot-headed, fear-mongering and seditious statements with impunity. Just last week, Perkasa announced it will spearhead the 1Melayu 1Bumi movement to take on the so-called Chinese challenge.
“Given Perkasa’s extremist, far-right leanings, Hishammuddin should have recognised the imprudence in allowing the formation of this Rela-Perkasa subgroup.
“There is the danger that Perkasa may be emboldened to abuse its government-sanctioned Rela power in which to further its racial supremacist goals,” she added.
Kok also said that Hishammuddin’s stand was not surprising based on his track-record of Perkasa-like tendencies.
“In 2006 and 2007, he brandished the keris at the Umno general assembly, and in 2009, he had the gall to defend the despicable Shah Alam cow-head protesters,” she added.
The Seputeh MP urged the minister to immediately withdraw the approval for the Rela subgroup to demonstrate that racial supremacist groups like Perkasa do not have a place in 1Malaysia.
A firebrand Malay group has been making a lot of threatening noise in its campaign to fight for Malay rights and supremacy. It called itself Perkasa and has rapidly won notoriety for its relentless assaults not on external foes but on the common citizens of other races. It has shed its innocent-looking NGO garb to reveal a blood-curdling ogre bent on creating fear and havoc. Thirsting for a fight, the increasingly militant organisation seizes every opportunity to bare its fangs and spill its venom. Its favourite tactics is to lodge police reports and hold placards in front of the intended target. In its self-anointed role as the guardian of the Malays, it has thrown sanity overboard in pursuing its agenda of total Malay supremacy. Ostensibly, the “brown shirts” are aiming their keris at leaders of ethnic parties for allegedly challenging the rights and special position of the Malays. But in reality their ultimate goal is not hard to guess – cowing the next largest ethnic population into submission. Or getting rid of them altogether. In short, Perkasa is lighting the fuse of an ethnic-cleansing war.
To achieve its dastardly aim, Perkasa has set up a Rela subgroup which has all the strappings of a military wing. Called the “Briged Setia Negara”, the volunteer corps will presumably receive para-military training – how to handle arms and kill with precision? – and will no doubt be called out “to preserve national peace and security” if the government whistles. The government has given the “Doberman” its blessing courtesy of the home ministry, which means that it has the full backing of the ruling party to be the shield of the Bumiputeras and not in response to an external threat. Once activated, one can imagine the armed members going on a rampage to stop citizens from exercising their right to stand up and speak out. It is unlikely the legitimate forces of law and order will stand in their way. As it is, Perkasa members seem to enjoy immunity when it holds rabid protests against its perceived enemies.
Perkasa is playing with fire with its aggressive political posturing. The mind of Perkasa is “corrupted by the spirit of zeal and bigotry”. By flagging the May 13 bogeyman, it is trying to intimidate the non-Malays to submit completely to the will of the dominant race. It threatens a replay of the 1969 race riots in the belief that the other races will back down and will forever keep quiet while waves of extremism wash over the land unchallenged. With its military wing, it probably sees itself as the “angel of death” sanctioned to spread terror and destruction. It gets bolder by the day in the knowledge that it has the tacit support of the two cousins occupying the seats of power. A governing political party needs an armed wing to do the dirty job while it maintains its seemingly neutral stance and caring attitude with its public behaviour. In Perkasa, Umno has found the ideal rabble-rouser to create a climate of dread to serve the Malay agenda.
The Rela or People’s Volunteer Corps that Perkasa has in mind is different from the original Home Guards formed in 1948. Then there was real and tangible threat – the communist menace, the Indonesian “confrontation” and the racial conflict. When the Home Guards or volunteer brigade was finally disbanded, its place was taken over by Rela in 1974 to preserve the peace of the land. It became the eyes and ears of the government. Now Perkasa’s Rela – a subgroup in the organisation – has become the binoculars and loudspeakers of Umno in their common objective to promote the 1Melayu power base. The friends of Umno are now regarded as threats to national security and therefore must be confronted with force. By resurrecting the May 13 ghost, is Perkasa saying the old Home Guards played a sterling role in the killing fields? Is Perkasa’s Rela ready to shed blood again all in the name of Malay supremacy? Its provocative behaviour seems to invite trouble.
Perkasa wants to propagate a “narrow-minded” 1Melayu, 1Bumi concept with only the Malays standing tall. It wants to turn it into a movement first mooted by an ultra Malay language newspaper. The Malay daily and Perkasa have joined forces to confront the political allies of the ruling party and the communities they represent. Their message is clear: oppose the Malays at your own peril. The subtext is the Malays do not need the support of their partners to survive a political battle. They can rule on their own which means Perkasa and its militant Rela can impose their extremist will without any hindrance. When this happens, an iron curtain will surely descend on the country separating the Bumiputeras from their fellow citizens. Two hostile camps. Two antagonistic forces. Two irreconcilable principles. Perkasa and its commander-in-chief Ibrahim Ali, however, cannot bask in strength of numbers. When minorities are pushed to the wall, they have no choice but to turn back – and fight for their lives.
(Datuk S. Nallakaruppan, bekas pengarah hal ehwal awam Magnum life Member Head Malaysian Charter of
“He (Nallakaruppan) doesn’t have to reveal anything… We know who Nallakaruppan is,” PAS vice-president Datuk Dr Mahfuz Omar said.
Fifty years down the line, we have in the sub-continent Muslim  the form of collective hate, leading thousands of fanatic Sangh recruits to rape, plunder ….. 1980s, refer to the speeches made by Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray, recorded in the …. village level in Gujarat itself, to ‘infiltrate‘ schools of PAS
Bal Thackeray

SHIV SENA AND RSS THE CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE AND HATRED

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Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)- National Volunteers Association
The RSS was founded in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hegdewar is the ideological fountainhead of the modern Hindutva movement. Organized around the concept of Shakas, a local cell formation where young men would gather for physical and ideological training, under the tutelage of a brother or dada, the RSS ideology as espousing the national cause was articulated over the next decade or more. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, who was anointed head of the RSS shortly before his death by Hegdewar, clarified the idea of the nation in his treatise “We, or Our Nationhood Defined”:
We belive that our notions today about the Nation are erroneous… It is but proper therefore, at this stage, to understand what the Western Scholars state as the Universal Nation idea and correct ourselves (p. 21).
Based on a racial idea of Nation Golwalkar in praise of Hitler says:
To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races – the Jews… Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by (p. 35).
The above two quotes are only samples of what is a very clearly articulated twin pronged ideology of exclusion (of other races/religions) and supremacy (of Hindus). The RSS, cell like Shaka formation and the discipline inculcated within are central to its success as a fascist force. The RSS cultural and ideological work has not stayed within the boundaries of India. In the 1980′s the RSS itself broached out. The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), an organization modeled along RSS lines emerged in the US in the 1980′s, openly claiming allegiance to the founding principles of the RSS.
The RSS was founded in 1925 by the Maratha Brahmin Keshav Baliram Hegdewar [ Biju ] on the Aryan Vaishnava Holy day of Vijaya Dashami (the 10th day of the moon) when the Aryan invader Rama destroyed the Dravidian Empire of Lanka [ Sangh ]. This was done to symbolise its inherent anti-Sudra nature. Its organisation is highly skewed, with the Sar Sangh Chalak (supreme dictator) at the top [ Roots ]. This person can only be a Brahmin. It is the successor of Vivekananda and Arya Samaj in the Neo-Brahmanist fundamentalist movement. The militia is organised around local cells or `shakas’ where weapons are distributed to its hardcore members, who are drilled in a vigorous program of harsh discipline. Vishnu temples serve as repositories of weapons as well as centers of dissemination of its racist ideology of Aryan supremacy. Its only leaders have been blue-eyed Sarasvat Brahmins, a condition enshrined in its constitution. The Brahmin Golwalkar, the second leader of the RSS, was trained as one of the hardcore followers of Vivekananda.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- Indian People’s Party
This is Hindutva’s parliamentary front which constantly makes efforts to breach the secular formation through parliamentary actions – elections, pushing for legislations of various kinds, making visible the ideology in limited and constitutional ways within mainstream political discourse. The BJP came into existence after the collapse of the Janata Party which came to power after Mrs. Gandhi’s Emergency in 1979. The erstwhile Hindu parliamentary party – the Jan Sangh – had merged itself into the Janata Party in the wake of Emergency. However to call it a parliamentary party is to ignore its actual working. The party top leadership with few exceptions are all RSS cadre. The party participates in joint meetings with RSS leadership often. The election campaigns of the party are often significantly shaped and helped by RSS cadres of the local region campaigning for the party’s candidate. In short, in more than one ways the relation between BJP and other Hindutva organizations is quite clearly visible.Its top leaders are all hardcore Brahminist RSS cadres. All its leaders have been Brahmins too. Generally, RSS cadre graduate to the BJP.

VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad)- World Hindu Council
The VHP was founded on August 29, 1964 in Bombay with the clear aim of being the activist wing, that would undertake aggressive actions in civil society as a whole. The first general secretary of the VHP made its goals clear as follows:
It is therefore necessary in this age of competition and conflict to think of. and organise, the Hindu world to save itself from the evil eyes of all three {all three being Christianity, Islam and Communism).
(From the Organiser, Diwali Special, 1964.)
The VHP has gone on to do just that – spread out as a extra-parliamentary force throughout not just India, but the world. Its primary functions in India are to mobilize forces for agitational and violent purposes. It took part in the Cow Protection Movement though out the 60′s and the 70′s. The entire Babri Masjid movement was orchestrated by the VHP – steadfastly refusing to enter into any negotiation, rejecting the right of the judicial system in adjudicating on the issue and mobilizing often violent events with the clear intent of polarizing society and creating a political movement within public discourse of Hindutva – the Rath Yatras of the 1980′s and the final demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 were orchestrated by the VHP in association with its “youth wing” the Bajrang Dal. Again the strategy of the Hindutva combine as a whole is palpably apparent here. BJP leaders for instance would participate in VHP sponsored events, but when the results of such events came out – such as violence and killings – the BJP would conveniently distance itself temporarily from the VHP.
On the international front, the VHP’s success lies in mobilizing migrant Hindus, especially the middle class and lower middle class. The VHP of America and its student wing the Hindu Student Council (which is present on many US and Canadian campuses) is the most obvious example of its international mobilization. The VHP of America and HSC’s for instance conducted the the World Vision 2000 conference in Washington D.C in 1993, which became a rallying point for overseas Hindus and a ground for further recruitment in the wake of what many commentators called a “celebration” over the destruction of the mosque in India. The VHP of America and UK primary success can be seen if not in any other way in terms of financial clout – as it is the primary mode of channeling dollars and pounds into Hindutva politics back in India.
The council was established on August 29, 1964 in Bombay, Maharastra [ Biju ] with a political objective of establishing the supremacy of Hinduism all over the world. It obtains funds and recruits from Aryan Hindus all across the globe, especially from the US, UK and Canada and has grown to become the main fund-raising agency of Brahmanist Fundamentalism. The council was instrumental in the demolition of the holiest Islamic shrine in Oudh, the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya and has organised several massacres of Muslims and Christians. It is in the forefront in the call for a Hindu Rashtra, a Hindu State ethnically cleansed of its non-Aryan populations.

Bajrang Dal- Party of Hanuman
The militant wing of the VHP, it was formed “to counter `Sikh militancy’ ” during the Sikh Genocide of 1983-84 [ Bajrang ]. Created with the objective of the eradication of Sikhs which it has termed “Muslims in disguise”, its cadres fought alongside Congress-backed Hindutva militias during the massacre of 200,000 Sikhs under Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Recruits carry a ” knife-like trident to be slung across the shoulder – an answer to the Sikh kirpan ” [ Bajrang ]. It has subsequently expanded its targets to include Muslims and Christians as well.
Ranvir Sena- Army of Ranvir
The militia was founded in 1994 by `the merger of several upper-caste private armies such as the Savarna Liberation front and the Sunlight Sena’ [ Rama ] in order to combat Maoist Dalit organisations. It is essentially the Brahmin private army of Bihar. Enjoying clandestine Government support, the organisation is devoted to anti-Dalit terrorism and the preservation of the Vedic apartheid system. Its militiamen are known to be heavily armed with the most modern weaponry which is financed by the VHP, and the Sena has openly claimed responsibility for numerous massacres of landless Dalit Blacks and mass rapes of Dalit women. Human Rights Watch estimates the private army has been responsible for more than 400 deaths [ HRW ].

Shiv Sena- Shiva’s Army
The Shiva Sena arose as a movement amongst Congress members. It intitially unleashed a `physical annihilation’ of Communists (who were mainly Black) and against Dalits, and organised the mass murder of Bombay’s once-influential Black South Indian communities (`lungiwallahs’) and Gujaratis [ Roots ]. Subsequently, it engaged in the mass murder of 3000 Muslims [ Sri ]

ABVP- Indian Universities Council
This front comprises students of Hindu religious schools (vidyalayas). It has expanded its base by infiltration into `secular’ universities. Its higher-ranking cadres are well-equipped with weaponry; they often organise communal campus disturbances against Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. Most of its members graduate to become hardcore RSS and VHP militants.

Bharatiya Jan Sangh- Indic Race Party
Founded in October 1951 with the Bengal Brahmin Shyama Prasad Mookerjee as its president, who had resigned from the allied `soft’ Brahminist Congress in Apil 1950 [ Chandra ] was president until he died in 1953. Its cadres were carefully chosen indoctrinated activists. The second president, the Brahmin Mauli Chandra Sharma resigned in 1954 to protest against RSS domination of the party. It strove for an `Akhand Bharat’ [ Chandra ] ethnically cleansed of its Muslim, Christian and Black Sudroid Populations.

Hindu Mahasabha- Great Congress of Hindus
The Sabha began as `an extremist wing of the Congress Party’ [ Perry ] and was founded by the Maratha Brahmin Vinayak Damodar Sarvarkar. Influenced by `German racism’ [ Letter ] Sarvarkar sought to establish a racially pure Hindu state ethnically cleansed of its non-Hindu populations. Sarvarkar’s followers were involved in the brutal assasinations of of Sir Wyllie [ Sarvar ].
HSC (Hindu Students Council)- World Hindu Council
The `student wing’ of the VHP [ Biju ]. It conducted the the World Vision 2000 conference in Washington D.C in 1993 which was a celebration over the destruction of Babri Masjid and the attendant genocide of 5,000 Muslims [ Biju ]. It is involved in setting up hardcore Hindutva websites across the internet, spewing hatred against Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Sikhs.

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS)- Hindu Volunteers Association
The HSS was formed in the US in the 1980s, ` openly claiming allegiance to the founding principles of the RSS’ [ Biju ], in order to organise Hindu terrorists in America.

Arya Samaj- Society of Aryans
Founded by Dayanand Sarasvat (born 12 Feb 1824) [ Rao ] Swami Dayanand established the Arya Samaj in 1875. The Dayanand Anglo Vaidic schools (DAVs) are its propaganda wing, designed to raise a generation of brainwashed militants. Most of its students go on to become hardcore RSS and ABVP members. The Arya Samaj is the fountain of the Hindutva movement : `The rise of Hindu nationalism can be traced to the Arya Samaj in the late nineteenth century’ [ Perry ]. Dayananad Sarasvati was a bigoted anti-Islamist. This is what he had to say regarding Islam :
” Such teachings deserve to be utterly discarded. Such a book [ Quran ], such a prophet [ Mohammed ] and such a religion [ Islam ] do nothing but harm. The world would be better off without them. Wise men would do well to discard a religion so absurd and accept the Vedic faith which is absolutely free from error.” [Polemics], [ Sarasvati, p.633 ]
The raison-d’etre of the Arya Samaj was anti-Islamism and anti-Sikhism :
” Both of the early leaders of the militant Aryas, Pandit Lekh Ram and Lala Munshi Ram [in 1917 he became Swami Shraddhananda], died at the hands of Muslim assassins as a direct result of their involvement in communal activities — polemics and conversions. Lekh Ram was killed in 1897 due to hostile exchanges with the Ahmadiya sect of Qadian. Shraddhanand was murdered in 1926 due to his shuddhi activities in Delhi and the United Provinces.” [ Polemics ]
Ram Rajya Parishad
Council of the Kingdom of Ram
Formed with the explicit purpose of re-establishing Ram-Rajya (the Empire of Ram), its goal was the elimination of Sudroid Blacks (Dalits, Dravidians, Adivasis, Kolarians) and to establish a racially pure Aryan nation on the lines of Ram-Rajya. Jan Sangh, the Hindu Mahasabha and the Ram Rajya Parishad was 10 seats with 6.4 per cent of the votes. [ Chandra ] By 1967 it had disappeared.
Hindu hardliners have grown more vocal
Its founders felt the need to present Hinduism in a rigorous though simplified form which would be comparable to most other world religions. The superiority of other faiths was believed to stem from their being far less diffuse and more uniform than Hinduism.
VHP is a hardline Hindu outfit with unmistakably close ties to its parent organisation, the extremist RSS, whose objective to ‘Hinduise’ the Indian nation it shares.
Central to the RSS ideology has been the belief that real national unity and progress will come only when India is ‘purged’ of non-Hindus, or, when members of other communities subordinate themselves ‘willingly’ to ‘Hindu superiority.’
Linked groups
The VHP has tended to tone down the rhetoric of Hindu supremacy and even make an occasional distinction between fellow (Muslim) citizens of the present and (Muslim) ‘marauders’ of the past.
But the ambition of establishing a resurgent Hinduism by inculcating what some historians call a carefully constructed common ‘Hindu spirit’ is very much central to the VHP.

VHP extreme leaders Rallying for Nationalism in North India
The temple project enjoys a lot of support
This is also something it shares with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently leads the Indian Government at the centre.
Earlier known as the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the BJP was established in 1951 as a political wing of the RSS to counter rising public revulsion after the revered independence figure Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a former RSS member.
Some commentators say the party came close to obliteration in the 1960s with the Congress led by the charismatic and secular Jawaharlal Nehru, leaving little room for hardline communal politics.
But a political emergency announced by Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, in 1975 enabled the BJS leaders, Atal Behari Vajpayee and LK Advani among them, to gain near stardom after serving brief prison sentences.
Many women have joined the hardliners’ campaign,
But it didn’t really emerge as a political presence until the early 1980s. A series of events in that decade including the mass conversion of lower-caste Hindus to Islam pushed the BJP’s close affiliate, the VHP, to the forefront.
Historians say the VHP-led Hindu right considered the mass conversion of “dalits” or lower-caste Hindus to Islam to be an unforgivable insult.
The dalits, for centuries beholden to the upper castes, outraged Hindu hardliners by daring to convert at all, and moreover, convert to Islam.
The VHP saw this as a serious threat to its notion of Hinduism.

Despite murders of Dalit-Muslim converts, the leader of the VHP still claims the VHP are ‘peaceful’
It proceeded to whip up Hindu support for a re-defined communal force, organising a series of religious meetings, cross-country marches and processions through the 1980s.
This phase coincided with the launch of an electoral strategy by the BJP to corner and hold on to the “Hindu” vote.
Temple controversy
Following the success of their campaign, senior VHP leaders announced at a religious meeting in 1984 their programme to “liberate” a site in Ayodhya from an ancient mosque to make way for a temple to the Hindu god Ram.

Some ‘moderate’ Hindu leaders support the VHP
Analysts say this announcement heralded a turning point in the history of the Hindu nationalist movement.
The VHP has since then claimed that the site belongs rightfully to Hindu worshippers who believe that the mosque stood on the birthplace of the god, Lord Ram.
Although the claim does not stand up to substantial archaeological or historical scrutiny, the VHP and BJP are seen to have made possible the creation of a shared Hindu symbol that cuts through most divisions in Hindu society.

RISE AND FALL OF SHIV SENA AND RSS  THE CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE AND HATRED –











Bal Thackeray





believed to have been pressed into prostitution, and are being treated as victims.

Nihar is the son of the Sena supremo’s eldest son Binda, a film producer who died in a road accident in 1996. A police officer said Nihar–who the cops are searching for–had interests in several bars in the city. He maintains his own household in Bandra (East).



The women are believed to have been pressed into prostitution, and are being treated as victims.

Nihar is the son of the Sena supremo’s eldest son Binda, a film producer who died in a road accident in 1996. A police officer said Nihar–who the cops are searching for–had interests in several bars in the city. He maintains his own household in Bandra (East).


The officer said that most ladies’ bars in the city are a cover for dancing (which is banned) and “other immoral activities”. They are owned by powerful politic Nihar Thackeray, a grandson of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, has been booked under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA). He is believed to be the owner of a ladies’ bar in Santa Cruz (West) from where nine women were rescued after a raid by the police in the early hours on Wednesday. The women are believed to have been pressed into prostitution, and are being treated as victims

GEORGE TOWN, March 27 — Two hundred members of the Penang Hindu Priests Association, who were members of the Bayan Baru division of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), announced that they were leaving the party.
The chairman of the Penang Hindu Priests Association, S. Dhinabalan, said they had decided to leave the PKR because they were disappointed with the party that failed to champion the cause of the Indians in the state.
He said they made the decision to leave the party after losing their trust in the leadership of the party under Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“We left the PKR because of frustration and dissatisfaction that the PKR leader failed to fulfill the promise to champion the cause of the Indian community until today,” he told reporters after lodging a police report on the sex video allegedly involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Bayan Baru Police Station, here.
The Penang Hindu Priests Association has 280 members throughout Penang. —


The many terrorist attacks endured by the city have whetted old religious animosities and now more people are refusing Muslims places to live in India’s capital.
“It’s never been so bad,” says Prabhat Singh, another broker, who is an old-hand in the Delhihousing circuit. “Since 9/11, it’s become worse every year.”
It’s news when prominent Muslims are denied housing but countless rejections are doled out everyday. Brokers admit that this kind of discrimination has become part of the housing scene and people feel rather numb about the prejudice.
Knowing that house-hunting will end in failure, brokers don’t bother taking on Muslim clients. “It’s a waste of both our time,” said Singh, matter-of-factly.
With more than 160 million Muslims in a majority Hindu country of 1.2 billion people, India has the largest Muslim minority population in the world and third largest Muslim population.
Hindus have generally preferred not renting to Muslims because they don’t want meat cooked in the house. Landlords of the Jain faith are even more particular about renting to vegetarians. But some wounds run deeper than meat. For an older generation, the partition of India still cuts deep.
Ashok, an elderly landlord in a posh Delhi locality, does not rent to Muslims. Sitting on the verandah of his home on a nippy evening, he recalled leaving his ancestral home in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and described his harried journey across the border.
“We wanted to live there but couldn’t…how many Hindus live in Pakistan,” he says. “These divisions haven’t changed for so long and they won’t change.”
Since 9/11, finding houses for Muslims has gone from tiresome to quite impossible in good neighborhoods. In grungier places however, rent money can trump other considerations. “It is the educated sorts who make more fuss since they are worried about their reputation,” says Sandeep Mukherjee, another broker.
The current brand of Islamophobia is more pervasive because fear has made intolerance easier to justify. With news channels bringing every terrorist attack so close to home, there is a growing crop of people, without painful old memories or dietary restrictions, who don’t feel guilty shunning Muslims.
A middle-aged landlord simply says he doesn’t have time to do the extra legwork of checking whether the lodger is “safe.” A loudspeaker of his neighborhood marketplace in Delhi belts out a message from the police, “Please take all precautions when renting.”
Even brokers say that renting to Muslims is a hassle because the police want additional verification, more paperwork and the entire transaction is sprinkled with an air of suspicion.
Having so many doors slammed in their faces is crushing young Muslims especially those who want to be part of the mainstream.
Humanyun can vividly conjure up the two times when he was denied housing inDelhi. In one instance, the landlord returned his money after learning that he was fasting for Ramadan. “The day that guy returned me the cash, I cried,” he said.
The 32-year-old Kashmiri-Muslim avoids talking about what happened because he has finally found a house in a decent neighborhood and doesn’t want to cause trouble.
Homeowners tend to give places to Muslim diplomats from abroad and Indian Muslims who work in well-known companies that can vouch for them.
Humanyun and his wife both work in multinational companies but their new landlord needed further convincing. So, Humanyun asked people he knew in his landlord’s office to also put in a good word for the couple.
“Before you are trusted… you are not trusted,” he says.
Competing realities, however, make it difficult to dismiss India’s claims of secularism. Shanty neighborhoods have been the stage of the bloodiest communal clashes but also where Hindus fast with their Muslim friends during Ramadan and have lived together for generations.
Landlords, when charged with being intolerant, defensively assert that they have no problem renting to Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists or any other religion.
Even the appetite for bloodshed has diminished. Multiple terrorist attacks have not led to communal violence in the country. But the reflex mantra of “unity in diversity” prevents any genuine stocktaking on where religious diversity really stands today.
Indifference is one way of describing prevailing sentiments. Kamla, a middle-aged landlord, for instance, explained that she has no desire to see Muslims harmed but she wants no interaction with them. “Just stay away,” she says.
Kamla has rented her place in an upscale Delhi locality to Christians but no Muslims are welcome–not even former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam or Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. “They can find homes in their own colonies,” she says.
he Latest manifestation of semi-fascist terror unleashed by the chauvinist political outfit  Shiv sena on any one and every one who dares to differ with it as become a subject of national concern.  Media, minorities, both linguistic and religious, political parties, trade unions, film stars, cricketers, industrialists- the Shiv Sena spares none. The Shiv Sena leader and former loksabha speaker Manohar Joshi unabashedly said: Our boys will not tolerate anybody who critisises Shiva Sena’s supremo Bal Thakerey. Bal Thackeray’s vituperative attack does not spare even India’s legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
The latest  acts  of Shiv Sena are neither new, nor will be the last. The history of Shiv Sena reveals this.
The Shiv Sena, during nearly four and a half decades of its existence, has always symbolised the semi-fascist face of reaction. The rapid growth of the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra since the mid-eighties is, in fact, closely linked to the parallel growth of the saffron brigade at the national level during  the same period.
The Shiv Sena has systematically targetted different sections of minorities in a  cynical attempt to build its mass support. Such minority targets have included non-Maharashtrians, Muslims and Dalits. The communal riots and caste atrocities unleashed by the Shiv Sena constitute one of the blackest chapters in the history of Maharashtra.
The links of the Shiv Sena with mafia gangs, organised crime, extortion rackets and corruption scandals are  notorious.
Rabid anti-Communism has been a fundamental and consistent plank of the Shiv Sena ever since its inception. It is this aspect that has ensured it the firm support of big business.
It was the ruling Congress  party that nurtured and supported the Shiv Sena for over two decades from the mid-sixties to the mid-eighties. In the early phase, this support was given to break the Communist hold over the trade union movement in Mumbai; in the later phase, it was to settle factional scores within the Congress itself. At the same time, it is also true that, with the sole exception of the Communists, all other opposition parties in the state have also collaborated with the Shiv Sena at various times, their leaders sharing the platform with the Shiv Sena supremo and some of them even going to the extent of striking electoral alliances with the Shiv Sena in local elections.
The Shiv Sena has always been under the authoritarian grip of its demagogic supremo Bal Thackeray,  who  has never disguised his contempt for democracy and adulation of dictatorship. His servile support to the Emergency was couched in these ideological terms. Thackeray has publicly glorified the likes of Adolf Hitler and Nathuram Godse.
The Genesis of the Shiv Sena
The Shiv Sena was founded on June 19, 1966 with the  avowed intention of fighting the alleged injustice in employment and other matters being faced by the Maharashtrians in Mumbai.  The reason cited for this injustice was the influx into Mumbai of people from other states, amongst whom the  Shiv Sena mainly targetted South Indians. It then simultaneously took up cudgels  against the  Communists, branding them as anti-national, and launched its  strike-breaking activities and other attacks against the trade union movement. The bias against Muslims and Dalits was very much there ever since its inception.
The spadework for the formation of the Shiv Sena had  started six years earlier, with the launching of the Marathi weekly “Marmik” by Bal Thackeray on August 13, 1960, just three months after the formation of the state of Maharashtra on May 1, 1960.  The publication of the  first issue of “Marmik”,  significantly, took place at the hands of the first chief minister of Maharashtra and a top Congress leader, Y.B. Chavan!
The Samyukta Maharashtra Movement
The launching of “Marmik”, which became a precursor to the formation of the Shiv Sena, took place against the backdrop of a huge mass movement for Samyukta Maharashtra, i.e. a united Maharashtra inclusive of Mumbai, Konkan, Western Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada regions but exclusive of Gujarat.
The formation of a unilingual state of Maharashtra, with Mumbai as its capital, was achieved on May Day 1960 only after a long and bitter mass  struggle.  This democratic struggle began in 1955, lasted for five years and sacrificed  105 martyrs in brutal police firing  ordered by the Morarji Desai-led state government in 1955-56.   Tens of thousands of people were  arrested and braved lathi-charges in the course of this movement.  The struggle was led by the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, which mainly comprised the Socialists, Communists and other democrats.
The Samiti fought the parliamentary and assembly elections of 1957 jointly and succeeded in giving a big jolt to the Congress, which could scrape through only because of its support in Gujarat and Vidarbha. The same year, the Samiti also swept the Bombay Municipal Corporation polls, routing the Congress. The Samyukta Maharashtra movement achieved victory, but as we shall analyse later, it also gave rise to a strong streak of regional chauvinism which was later exploited by “Marmik” and the Shiv Sena to the hilt.
Bal Thackeray himself, along with some others who formed the Shiv Sena, had been associated with the RSS in their early years, and this had the inevitable impact  on Shiv Sena ideology and organisation. Thackeray was a cartoonist who did a brief stint with the “Free Press Journal”,  an English daily in Mumbai. He soon fell out with its management and started his own weekly “Marmik”.  For six years, Thackeray wrote provocative pieces in “Marmik”, highlighting instances of injustice to Maharashtrians in Mumbai, especially in the matter of white collar jobs.  Lists were regularly published of the names of officials in government concerns and private companies, making out that most of the officers were non-Maharashtrians, mostly South Indians.
The target of “Marmik” was never the Congress government policies. But its target was invariably the “outsiders” who were snatching away jobs  from the “sons of the soil”.  As a matter of fact, Thackeray always made it a point to praise the capitalists, although most of them were non-Marathi, under the plea that it was they who provided the jobs! He also strove to be on the right side of the Congress rulers, and every anniversary function of “Marmik” used to be graced by Congress bigwigs.
The public response to this weekly was, in fact, the main factor that prompted Thackeray to form the Shiv Sena, and it was this “Marmik” readership that eventually became the nucleus  of several Shiv Sena  ”shakhas”, or branches, in the urban belt of Mumbai and Thane districts.
The first mass rally of the Shiv Sena was  held at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai on October 30, 1966. It was the day of  Dussehra, and on every Dussehra day in subsequent years, similar Shiv Sena  rallies have been held on Shivaji  Park. Like the “shakha” concept, this practice, too, has been lifted from the  RSS, which has regularly held its annual Dussehra rallies at Nagpur.  There was a large turn-out for this first-ever Shiv Sena  rally, which is said to have  surprised Thackeray himself. Congress leader Ramrao Adik also addressed this Shiv Sena  rally.
The Card of Regional Chauvinism
The two main demands raised by the Shiv Sena  were 80 per cent  jobs in government concerns and 80 per cent houses in state housing board colonies  for Maharashtrians. In support of this, a virulent  campaign was unleashed through the late sixties and early seventies.  Attacks on South Indian establishments became a regular feature, and it was then that the extortion racket under the name of “protection money” began. In 1968, cinema theatres screening Hindi films brought out by South Indian producers were attacked and the shows brought to a halt.  The shows began only when considerable sums of money changed hands.  Demonstrations were held on government concerns demanding jobs for Maharashtrians, and many of these turned violent.
In 1972, an organisation called the Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samiti (SLS) was set up. In a bid to attract white collar employees, the SLS set up its units in large government and semi-government concerns like the RBI,SBI, LIC, GIC, Air India, Railways, other nationalised banks and so on.  In many of these concerns there were  All India unions led by the Left, which proved difficult to break.  Hence, the SLS tried a new tactic.  It concentrated on the demand that 80 per cent of the staff must be Maharashtrians and focussed exclusively on three main questions affecting the Marathi employees, viz, recruitment, transfers and promotions. It backed up this campaign by demonstrations and other intimidatory measures.  This enabled the Shiv Sena  to attract the middle classes.
In another effort to play the regional chauvinist card, the Shiv Sena   took up the unresolved Maharashtra-Karnataka  border dispute.  This resulted in the first full-scale riot unleashed by the Shiv Sena  in Mumbai in February 1969.
Attacks on Communists and on Working Class Unity
Anti-Communism, attacks on working class unity and serving as a handmaid of the capitalists are all part of fascistic ideology and practice.  The Shiv Sena  displayed all these features in ample measure right from its inception. It made the Communists its foremost political target. And in this endeavour, it received unstinted  support from big business, the Congress state government and large sections of the capitalist-controlled media.
But the Shiv Sena  did not stop at verbal propaganda alone. Egged on by big business, it started using the Marathi chauvinist card to break working class unity. With some ground thus prepared, it began to display its muscle power to break Communist-led strikes, overthrow the established AITUC/CITU union and replace it  with the Shiv Sena union which would then sign an amicable  agreement with the management. In this strike-breaking process, several militant workers of the Communist-led unions would be dismissed and replaced by Shiv Sainiks to strengthen the Shiv Sena  hold in the factory.
Some major examples of Communist-led unions that were broken in this manner were the  AITUC unions of Larsen and Toubro, T. Maneklal and Parle Bottling Plant in Mumbai, and the CITU unions of Devidayal Cables, Wyman Gordon and  Surendra Industries in Thane.  But there were also many other instances where the CITU and AITUC succeeded in repulsing this Shiv Sena  onslaught.   Nevertheless, taking the picture as a whole, it is true that Communist-led unions did suffer major setbacks during this period.
In order to give this drive an organised channel, the Shiv Sena  set up its own trade union, the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS) on August 9, 1968. The anti-working class stand of the Shiv Senan became crystal clear when it publicly opposed the state government employees strike and the textile workers strike in the early seventies and  backed this up by opposing the Great Railway Strike of 1974.
There was one major section of the working class whose support at the union level continued to elude the Shiv Sena , and this was the then three lakh strong textile workers of Mumbai, a large majority being Maharashtrians.   Historically, the textile workers had long been under the influence of the Girni Kamgar Union (GKU) that was led by the Communists.  They had fought and won several militant strike-struggles under Communist leadership right since the twenties.  Here the Shiv Sena  began to use the most reprehensible tactics based on outright violence and naked terror.
In December 1967, the CPI headquarters of Mumbai at Dalvi Building in Parel, which is situated in the very midst of the textile area, was savagely attacked by Shiv Sena activists and almost destroyed. Organised attempts were made to break up Communist public meetings and several leaders and activists of both the CPI and the CPI(M) were physically assaulted.  The climax was reached on June 6, 1970, when armed activists of the Shiv Sena  murdered the sitting MLA of the CPI, Krishna Desai. Krishna Desai was a popular and militant mass leader in the textile belt and had been elected municipal corporator four times before he was elected to the state assembly in 1967.  This was the first major political assassination in Mumbai since  independence, and it sent shock waves through the city and state.  The leadership of the entire opposition alongwith thousands of  incensed workers, marched in Krishna Desai’s funeral  procession. Opposition leaders directly accused the Shiv Sena and the Congress state government in  general, and Bal Thackeray and Vasantrao Naik in particular, of being hand in glove in the perpetration of this heinous crime.
Communal, Casteist and Authoritarian Slant
The communal and casteist mobilisation of the Shiv Sena started in a big way in the mid-eighties. But even in this first phase, the Shiv Sena  slant became clear from a few striking instances. Thackeray personally intervened on the side of the Hindus in two mandir-masjid disputes, which he utilised to rake up communal tensions. One was the Durgadi shrine at Kalyan in Thane district; the other was the Mahikavati shrine at Mahad in Raigad district.  But the biggest communal incident in which the Shiv Sena  was involved in its early years was the Bhiwandi riots of May 1970, which also spread to Mahad and Jalgaon.  The riots were ignited in connection with  a Shiv Jayanti procession.  43 people were killed in Bhiwandi, 39 in Jalgaon and  property worth crores was destroyed.  The Justice Madon Commission of Inquiry squarely laid the blame on the following organisations for the riots: Shiv Sena, Jan Sangh, Hindu Mahasabha, Rashtriya Utsav Mandal and Bhiwandi Seva Samiti (both RSS outfits) and All India Majlis Tamir-e-Millat.
As for the casteist slant, the first flash point came in January 1974, when there was a violent clash between the Shiv Sena  and the Dalit Panthers.  The Dalit Panthers was set up in 1972, both as a challenge to the injustice of the social system and as a rebellion against the then moribund and directionless Republican Party of India (RPI).  The Panthers began by taking up both caste and class issues and also launched a campaign to expose the regressive aspects of some Hindu religious tenets. Capitalising on certain speeches made by Panther leaders about Hindu deities, the Shiv Sena unleashed riots against Dalits in the Worli BDD chawls in Mumbai.  The riots then spread to other areas of the city and continued for a week.  Dalit Panther leader Bhagwat Jadhav was brutally killed by Shiv Sena activities.  Thus began the feud of the Shiv Sena against the Dalit community.
Electoral Opportunism Galore
At the birth of the Shiv Sena , Thackeray had declared that it was only a social organisation that treated politics with contempt. But within just six months of that statement, the Shiv Sena  had plunged into politics. Its first entry during the parliamentary and assembly elections of 1967 was indirect  and negative.  It did not contest any seats itself, but gave a call for the defeat of Lok Sabha candidates in Mumbai like V.K. Krishna Menon (because he was an “outsider”), S.A. Dange (because he was a Communist) and George Fernandes (because he was a socialist). Menon lost, but the other two won.  The rank opportunism of the Shiv Sena became evident during this election itself.  When it supported the then Bombay Congress boss S.K. Patil against Fernandes, after having lampooned Patil savagely for seven years in the columns of “Marmik” for his anti-Maharashtrian stances.  In later parliamentary elections, the Shiv Sena  fully supported Naval Tata of the House of Tatas, made  huge sums of money and also exposed its class bias. It also supported retired General of the Army, K.M. Cariappa, although he was an  “outsider”.
Later the same year, 1967, the Shiv Sena fought the Thane municipal elections won 17 of the 40 seats and managed to install its own Mayor.  This was the first electoral breakthrough for the Shiv Sena. The next year in 1968 came the elections to the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC). Here, the Shiv Sena and the Praja Samajwadi Party (PSP) shocked the political world by concluding an electoral alliance.
The Shiv Sena  won 42 of the 140 seats in the BMC, the PSP won 11, but the Congress still emerged as the largest party with 65.  The CPI, however, was reduced from 18 seats won in 1961 to only 3 in 1968, the PWP was decimated from 8 to nil, and the newly-formed CPI(M) won 2.  Two years later, in October 1970, the assembly by-election necessitated by Krishna Desai’s murder was, narrowly won by the Shiv Sena , despite the fact that the CPI had put up Krishna Desai’s wife as its candidate.  The winner, Wamanrao Mahadik, thus became the first Shiv Sena MLA in the state assembly. These election results were an ominous indication that the anti-Communist campaign of the Shiv Sena  was beginning to bear fruit.
For the next BMC elections of 1973, the Shiv Sena forged an alliance with the RPI led by R.S. Gavai! The Shiv Sena almost retained its old strength by winning 39 seats, but the RPI had to be content with just 1. Sudhir Joshi of the Shiv Sena  was elected Mayor with the support of one Congress faction, the RPI, and – this is the astounding part – with the support of the corporators of the Muslim League!
In early 1975, Thackeray’s reliable mentor Vasantrao Naik was made to step down as chief minister after a record 12-year long tenure, which still remains unmatched in the history of the state.  He was replaced by S.B.Chavan, a leader from Marathwada who was foisted from Delhi.
Servile Support to Emergency
In the beginning of the Emergency, there were rumours that alongwith the RSS and other banned organisations, the Shiv Sena would also be banned and its leaders put behind bars.  But Thackeray stalled any such move by declaring full Shiv Sena  support to the Emergency, overruling the misgivings of some of his minions.  He then buttressed this by publicly singing praises of not only Indira Gandhi but also Sanjay Gandhi. Thus, throughout the Emergency, the Shiv Sena  lay completely docile and dormant, raising no contentious issues and leading no fiery agitations. Its day-to-day “shakha” functioning and routine trade union work went on, but in muted fashion.
In a sense, the Shiv Sena  support to the Emergency was ideologically consistent with its oft-repeated, fascistic adulation of dictatorship. However, it is widely believed that Thackeray took this stand because he was terrified at the prospect of an indefinitely long jail term.  The one brief stint that he had of jail life in 1969 had been for him a dreadful experience, and he would do anything to avoid a repeat of the same.
Marginalisation of the Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena  support to the Congress (I) continued even after the Emergency and the subsequent rout of that party. In the 1977 Lok Sabha elections, the Shiv Sena  did not contest a single seat; instead, it worked for the Congress. The revulsion of the people against the Congress also rebounded on the Shiv Sena  and the opposition made a clean sweep of all the Lok Sabha seats from Mumbai.  The same year, in the Bombay mayoral election, the Shiv Sena  backtracked on its own earlier assurance to support the opposition and instead supported the candidature of Congress candidate Murli Deora, who won.  In the 1978 assembly elections, the Shiv Sena  contested some seats on its own but drew a complete blank.  And in the BMC elections soon after, its strength was cut down by half; it won only 21 seats out of 140 as against 42 and  39 that it had won in the earlier two elections. There was now no doubt that Shiv Sena  influence even in its citadel of Mumbai was beginning to wane.
In the Lok Sabha elections of 1980, held after the collapse of the Janata Party rule at the Centre, the Congress(I) staged a comeback. Indira Gandhi promptly dismissed several opposition-led state governments, which included the PDF regime in Maharashtra, and fresh assembly elections were held.  The Congress(I) swept the polls and, in order to teach a lesson to the Maratha lobby that had opposed her, she foisted A.R. Antulay as the chief minister. Thackeray and Antulay had always been the best of friends; indeed, so special was their relationship that the Shiv Sena  did not contest the 1980 assembly elections at all – instead, it worked for the Congress(I)!  Returning the favour, Antulay got three Shiv Sena  leaders elected to the legislative council with Congress(I) support!  All the above events showed to what extent the Shiv Sena  had been marginalised during this period.
The early eighties in Maharashtra, as elsewhere in the country, saw the first stirrings of a new drive launched by the forces of Hindu communalism, which was spearheaded by the RSS-controlled  Sangh Parivar.  Capitalising on events like the Meenakshipuram conversions, terrorism in Punjab and Kashmir, Christian missionary activities in the north-east and so on, the VHP began to make direct appeals for Hindu consolidation to meet these challenges. Ganga Jal yatras were taken out  across the country  and the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute was deliberately raked up.  The communal cauldron was being stirred up by the saffron brigade.
The Communal Card
The Shiv Sena  inaugurated its new communal drive with the ghastly communal riots in Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Thane and Mumbai that were unleashed in May 1984.  The provocation for the riots was a public speech by Thackeray wherein he made derogatory remarks against the Prophet, Mohammed Paigambar.  These remarks were printed in exaggerated form by some Urdu papers. As a reaction to this, in far-off Parbhani in the Marathwada region, a Congress MLA, A.R. Khan organised a large protest action in which Thackeray’s photo was garlanded with shoes.  This ignited the fuse which led the Shiv Sena  to unleash massive riots in which at least 258 people were killed, thousands injured and property worth crores destroyed. The riots were replete with terrible instances of cruelty, the most heinous being the Ansari Baug massacre at Bhiwandi. It has been clearly established that the main culprit in these riots was the Shiv Sena.
While the build-up to these riots, consisting of rabid communal propaganda and even collection of weapons, was going on openly for two months in Mumbai and Bhiwandi, the government did absolutely nothing.  The attitude of the police not only reflected this complete apathy, but it also had additional communal bias.  Even after the riots, no action was ever taken against Thackeray or any of the other culprits.
In the Lok Sabha elections of 1984 held in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the Shiv Sena   for the first time concluded an election alliance with the BJP. But in the sympathy wave that followed the assassination, the Congress(I) swept the polls, winning a record 43 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra. The SS-BJP alliance, which drew a blank, was dissolved soon after, to be reforged in a more lasting form five years later.  In the 1985 assembly polls, the Shiv Sena   fought on its own and Chhagan Bhujbal became the lone Shiv Sena   candidate to get elected as MLA. Politically, the Shiv Sena   was still down in the dumps.
Resurrection of  the Shiv Sena
The resurrection of the Shiv Sena   took place in the BMC elections of 1985, and after that it has never looked back.  These elections were held within a few months of the assembly polls in which the Shiv Sena   had been clobbered, winning just one solitary seat, out of the 34  seats in Mumbai and 288 seats in Maharashtra. But just before this election, a very significant incident took place. When asked by Shiv Sena   MLC Pramod Navalkar in the legislative council, if there were any plans to separate Bombay from Maharashtra and make it a union territory, chief minister Vasantdada Patil himself gave the following reply: “I do not know if there is such a proposal, but we will fight tooth and  nail if anyone tries to separate Bombay from Maharashtra”!  Actually, there was never any such proposal, and both Patil and the Shiv Sena   knew it only too well.  But this calculated reply was enough to set the  cat among the  pigeons, and it was on this single issue that the Shiv Sena   whipped up regional sentiments, and won the elections with 78 seats of the 170 at stake!
Capitalising on its victory, the Shiv Sena   lost no time in threatening another Assam-type agitation to rid Bombay of all “outsiders”.  Thackeray even went to the extent of demanding that 1972 be considered as the cut-off date, that all non-Maharashtrians who had settled in Mumbai after that date be driven out and that new laws be framed to stop further influx of “outsiders” into the city.  None of this, of course, ever came into effect, but the Shiv Sena  often gave such threats even in  later years.
In 1986, the “homecoming” of Sharad Pawar to the Congress(I) proved to be another big bonanza for Shiv Sena   expansion in Maharashtra. This created a vacuum in the opposition space which the Shiv Sena   and the BJP, with their communal appeal on the ascendant, began to fill. This was further aided by the rising incidence of inner-Congress factionalism, which resulted in all too frequent changes of Congress chief ministers and their cabinets during the eighties.  There were as many as six chief ministers in ten years. These were important reasons for SS-BJP growth during this period.
Another significant reason that contributed to the growth  of the Shiv Sena   and the BJP during the late eighties and early nineties was the decline of the Shetkari Sanghatana led by Sharad Joshi. This organisation, which came to prominence in the late seventies and early eighties around the one-point programme of remunerative prices for agricultural produce, clearly represented the landlord lobby and the rich peasantry. But it mobilised thousands of peasants in Maharashtra for militant agitations around crops like onions, tobacco, sugarcane and cotton. Although it claimed to be aloof from politics, in the eighties it generally threw its weight behind selected third front candidates. But in the early nineties, Sharad Joshi revealed his true colours as an unashamed champion of the liberalisation policies and the GATT agreement. It was this that led to a split in the Shetkari Sanghatana and to a nosedive in Sharad Joshi’s influence in the peasantry. The peasant agitations also declined. It was in these years that sections of the peasantry who had been let down by the Shetkari Sanghatana and who were disillusioned with the Congress, began to gravitate towards the Shiv Sena   and the BJP.
Later, Sharad Joshi formed a new party called the Swatantra Bharat Party which was wiped out in successive elections and Joshi was himself defeated a couple of times. In 1999, he reached the nadir of political opportunism.  The same Sharad Joshi, who in his heyday used to publicly lash out at the SS-BJP as “communal vultures”, now pleaded with Thackeray to accommodate some of his candidates in the SS-BJP alliance!  When Thackeray refused, Joshi turned to Sharad Pawar .
The Hindutva Campaign and Statewide Communal Riots
In November 1986, the Shiv Sena   gave a call for the observance of a “Saffron  Week” all over the state to propagate its version of Hindutva.  This was in the background of the Rajiv Gandhi regime’s opportunistic decisions as regards the Shah Bano case and the  opening of the lock of the Ayodhya shrine.  The “Saffron Week” was used for the airing of rabid communal propaganda and for the starting of Shiv Sena   “shakhas” in villages.  All this set the stage for communal riots in various parts of the state.
Actually, communal riots were a prominent feature in Maharashtra throughout the eighties.  They began in 1982 with the Jan  Jagran Yatras of the VHP, their scale increasing in 1984 when the Shiv Sena   got into the fray.   From 1986 onwards, when the SS spread to Maharashtra began, communal riots and atrocities on Dalits were ignited in several towns and villages spread all over the state.  These were spearheaded by the SS, with various RSS outfits and sometimes even local Congress bosses playing a supporting role.  This created an atmosphere of communal and caste  polarisation which was utilised by the Shiv Sena   and the BJP to expand and consolidate their base.
The year 1989 was a turning point for Shiv Sena   fortunes. That year, in addition to its weekly “Marmik” which was being published all these years, it started the Mumbai edition of its daily called “Saamnaa” (which means Confrontation).  This was obviously in preparation for the parliamentary and assembly elections due in 1989-90.  With a daily newspaper in its hands, the poisonous divisive propaganda of the Shiv Sena   reached fever pitch.
In April 1989, a shocking incident occurred in Thane. The Shiv Sena   had unexpectedly lost the Thane mayoral election due to cross-voting by some of its own corporators.  This was an unprecedented event in the annals  of the thoroughly regimented organisation.  An incenses Thackeray warned of dire consequences awaiting the betrayers.  Within days of this warning, Shridhar Khopkar, one of the suspected corporators, was murdered in cold blood by Shiv Sena   hoodlums.
Within just two months of this incident, at the Palampur meeting of its national executive in June 1989, the BJP took the decision of forging an alliance with the Shiv Sena   for the ensuing  elections. This was the beginning of the SS-BJP alliance based on Hindutva, which has lasted upto this day.
The Casteist Card
While playing the communal card in such a cynical manner, the Shiv Sena   simultaneously began to open its casteist card.  From the mid-eighties, the Shiv Sena   began to incite a series of assaults and atrocities on Dalits, particularly in the rural areas of Marathwada and Vidarbha regions but extending to other regions as well.  The Shiv Sena   opposed encroachments by Dalits on fallow lands, going to the extent of destroying their crops and attacking their hutments.
When the Mandal Commission controversy erupted, Thackeray publicly declared his total and uncompromising opposition to all caste-based reservations, not only for the OBCs but also for the SCs and STs. All the above stands of the Shiv Sena   were sweet music to the ears of the  upper-caste sections in the countryside.
The casteist aspect of the Shiv Sena   came to prominent public attention in 1987. With the death centenary of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and the birth centenary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar due in 1990-91,the state government had begun the project of publishing the complete works of both.  As part of this project, it brought out a volume that contained Ambedkar’s hitherto unpublished work, “Riddles in Hinduism”. In this, he made a rational and dispassionate analysis, from the standpoint of social justice, of the life stories of Hindu deities. The work also had a section which was called “the Riddle of Ram and Krishna”.
The Shiv Sena   pounced on “Riddles”, branded it as an intolerable insult to Hindu religion and Hindu deities and demanded a ban on its publication.  It held a huge demonstration in Mumbai on January 15, 1988 and  began disturbances all over the state, abusing Dr. Ambedkar and widening caste-communal divisions.  It was only after an even larger counter-demonstration by all Dalit groups on February 5, 1988, that the publication could proceed.
At around the same time, another furore was raised when “Sobat”, a Marathi journal with RSS leanings, launched a vicious attack on Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, another great champion of radical social justice, whom Dr. Ambedkar himself often referred to as his guru.  The upper-caste prejudice of the saffron brigade became even more crystal clear.
One issue that kept simmering in Maharashtra for  16 years from 1978 to 1994 was that of the renaming of the Marathwada University at Aurangabad after Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. On July 27, 1978, the state assembly adopted a unanimous resolution to rename the university. But even before the ink had dried on that resolution, large-scale caste riots and heinous atrocities on Dalits were unleashed throughout the Marathwada region, forcing a suspension of its implementation. This turmoil was instigated mainly by feudal landed interests in the Congress, and they were ably assisted by upper-caste zealots of the Jan Sangh, which was then part of the Janata Party.  The Shiv Sena   publicly opposed the renaming move and it was the only political party to do so consistently for the next 16 years. But in 1978, it was confined to Mumbai and Thane and so could not play any mischief in Marathwada at the time.
Through the 1980s, there were several mass protests by Dalit and Left organisations in favour of the renaming, but successive Congress regimes refused to budge, fearing another conflagration.
On November 25, 1993, Gautam Waghmare, a Dalit Panther youth from Nanded, committed self-immolation to press the issue of renaming. His martyrdom electrified the state and massive united demonstrations of Dalit and Left organisations took place in every district. The Shiv Sena   tried to hold back the tide with a Marathwada Bandh opposing the renaming, but this time it evoked little response.  The state government finally implemented the renaming resolution on January 14, 1994 amidst massive security measures. However, it also carved out a separate university at Nanded that covered some Marathwada districts.  The Shiv Sena   denounced the renaming decision with a violent statewide bandh call, but this time it failed in inciting riots.
All the above instances are a clear pointer to the reactionary and casteist character of the Shiv Sena   which, however, did pay it electoral dividends for a time.
Emergence of a Reactionary Alternative
The SS-BJP alliance forged in 1989 fought its first Lok Sabha polls the same year and it won 14 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra.  The basic agreement between the two that was reached then, and which has been  followed  since despite several stresses and strains, was that the BJP would contest more seats for Parliament, while the Shiv Sena   would contest more seats for the assembly. Thus, the Shiv Sena   fought only 6 seats, of which it won 4.  The BJP contested 33 seats, of which it won 10.  This lopsided proportion of seats contested subsequently changed radically in favour of the SS; in the latest 1999 parliamentary elections, the SS contested 22 seats, while the BJP contested 26.
In the 1989 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress managed to win 28 seats, and the NF-LF was pushed to third place with 6 seats. The significant feature was that the SS-BJP, with 14 seats, had won nearly 28 per cent of the total votes. Boosted by these results, the SS-BJP made a determined  bid to wrest control of the state assembly in the elections of 1990.  The BJP had already made a breakthrough at the national level by winning 88 seats in Parliament in the 1989 polls.
The SS-BJP alliance won 94 of the 288 seats in the assembly elections, again garnering nearly 27 per cent of the vote. Of these 94 seats, the Shiv Sena  won 52 and the BJP got 42, establishing the former as the senior partner in the alliance.  The Congress, then led by Sharad Pawar as the chief minister, just managed to scrape through with 141 seats, which was 4 short of a majority.  This was made up with the support of Congress rebels and  independents.  The third front won only 37 seats.  The results of both these elections conclusively pointed to the emergence of a right reactionary alternative in the politics of Maharashtra.
Both rounds of the Lok Sabha elections of 1991 in Maharashtra were held in the wake of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.  Consequently, the Congress won 38 seats, a straight gain of 10 seats over 1989.  The SS-BJP tally fell from 14 to 9 (SS – 4, BJP – 5), but its voting percentage  declined only marginally.
Glorification of Nathuram Godse and Adolf Hitler
This came in the Lok Sabha elections of May 1991.  In three successive election rallies in Aurangabad, Pune and Kolhapur, Thackeray raised a nationwide storm of protest by his shockingly outrageous glorification of Nathuram Godse, the communally-surcharged assassin of Mahatma Gandhi! The PTI, in a despatch from Pune on May 17, 1991, which was carried in all the national dailies, quoted Thackeray as saying in the election rally, “We are proud of Nathuram, he saved the country from a second partition.  Nathuram was not a hired assassin. He was genuinely infuriated  by Mahatma Gandhi’s betrayal of the nation. Gandhi had said that he would lay down his life before allowing the division of the country. But ultimately  he did nothing to stop the partition”.  These odious remarks of Thackeray were also published in the Shiv Sena   daily “Saamnaa” itself.
In similar fashion, Thackeray often glorified Adolf Hitler in his speeches and writings. It was at Thackeray’s hands that a laudatory biography of Hitler written by a saffronite Bal Samant was published. In the speech made at the function, Thackeray not only praised Hitler to the skies as a great nationalist, but he also bought over 200 copies of the book and distributed them free to all his important Shiv Sena   lieutenants!
Attacks on the Press and the Judiciary
With this fascistic ideology, attacks on the press, the judiciary, and on culture and literature were a regular feature of Shiv Sena   activities since its inception.  The battles conducted with the pen in earlier years were later supplemented by battles conducted with sticks and stones.  The most notorious early instance was the running battle of words that went  on for years together in the sixties between the “Marmik” run by Bal Thackeray and the “Maratha” run by P.K. Atre. Atre was an extremely versatile man of letters and also a great orator; he was one of the leading figures of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement; and he was generally of a democratic and secular bent of mind.  Thackeray took this battle of words to such lower depths that he began to routinely refer to Atre in “Marmik” as “that pig from Worli”, this referring to the fact that the  office of the popular Marathi daily “Maratha” was situated at Worli.   Later, in the 1967 elections, Shiv Sena   hoodlums savagely attacked Atre’s public meeting at Thane, and Atre himself escaped by the skin of his teeth.
Amongst scores of such incidents, we shall limit ourselves to just three major instances of press-bashing conducted by Shiv Sena    hordes in the early nineties. In October 1991, Shiv Sena  activists  attacked the office of the Marathi eveninger in Mumbai called “Mahanagar”, which had run a strong editorial condemning the Shiv Sena    for having dug up the cricket pitch at the Wankhede Stadium to prevent the holding of the India-Pakistan match.  A journalists’ demonstration held to protest this attack was stoned and three journalists, two of them women, were physically assaulted.  One of them, Manimala of the `Navbharat Times’ was attacked with a crowbar, which fractured her skull!  At around the same time, another woman journalist who criticised the Shiv Sena    in a television programme had to face a campaign of character assassination in the Hindi eveninger  of the Shiv Sena    “Dopahar Ka Saamnaa”, which then went on to run a filthy editorial that compared women journalists to prostitutes!
In August 1993, Shiv Sena    hoodlums physically attacked the editor of “Mahanagar” Nikhil Wagle while he was addressing a seminar.  All these successive incidents led to a wave of protests  which culminated in a large  mass dharna right outside the Shiv Sena    Bhavan in Mumbai. This protest was personally led by national-level editors like Nikhil Chakravarty, N. Ram, Prabhash Joshi, many other eminent secular intellectuals and by leaders of the Left and democratic parties in the state.
But within six months of this, in February 1994, Shiv Sena    stormtroopers made  another dastardly assault on a dozen journalists at Aurangabad under the very nose of Thackeray, who had himself instigated this attack. Those who accompanied Thackeray included Manohar Joshi and other Shiv Sena    bigwigs. Three of the scribes, of whom two belonged to the minority community, were grievously injured in this assault. Still later, the Aurangabad office of the largest-selling Marathi daily in the state, “Lokmat”, was vandalised by Shiv Sena    hoodlums. So far as the verbal attacks on several editors and journalists in the columns of “Saamnaa” and “Marmik” and the abysmal level of these attacks, the less said the better.
Similarly, whenever the judiciary handed down judgements against the Shiv Sena , Thackeray assailed it openly through his statements and editorials.  For instance, when the High Court ruled to unseat some SS-BJP MLAs, Thackeray made a speech in Mumbai to inaugurate the SS-BJP Lok Sabha  election campaign of 1991.  In this speech, as reported by “The Independent”, a daily that was then run by the Times of India group, Thackeray “launched a vitriolic attack on the judiciary, terming it `corrupt’ and `partial’.  He minced no words while criticising the `temples of justice’ “.   A report of the same meeting in the “Times of India” dated April 20 can only be construed as dark threats issued by Thackeray to the judiciary.
Unprecedented Revolt in Communal Monolith
During the winter session of the state assembly at Nagpur in December 1991, the monolithic Shiv Sena    was rocked by the unprecedented revolt of Chhagan Bhujbal alongwith 17other MLAs from rural Maharashtra, all of whom promptly joined the Congress. This number constituted one-third of the 52 Shiv Sena    MLAs and thus they escaped the provisions of the anti-defection act, with some valuable help from the assembly speaker!  Chhagan Bhujbal was considered No. 3 in the Shiv Sena    hierarchy, after Bal Thackeray and Manohar Joshi. He hailed from the large Mali community amongst the OBCs and was primarily responsible for the spadework that enabled the Shiv Sena    to spread in rural Maharashtra in the latter half of the eighties.  His revolt, therefore, naturally constituted a major setback for future Shiv Sena    prospects.
The Road to Power: The Ghastly Bombay Riots
There were two main factors that were responsible for the dramatic rise in SS-BJP fortunes after 1992.  The first was, of course, the ghastly communal riots in Bombay, and also in other parts of Maharashtra, in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, and the subsequent serial bomb blasts in Bombay in March 1993.  And the second was the utter bankruptcy in all spheres that was exhibited by the Sharad Pawar-led Congress state government during the years 1993-95.
The Bombay riots of December 1992 and January 1993 must surely be ranked as by far the worst case of communal violence in the country since partition.  They were characterised by an extremely venomous communal hate campaign.
Both these catastrophes led to unprecedented communal polarisation throughout the state of Maharashtra.  It was the single most important reason for the revival of SS-BJP fortunes and for their eventual victory in the assembly elections of 1995.  The other two main reasons were the failure on all fronts of the Congress state government and tremendous factionalism, which was remarkable even by Congress standards. In these elections, the SS-BJP garnered nearly 30 per cent of the votes and won 138 seats, which was still 7 short of a majority. This was made up with the opportunistic support given by 40-odd Congress rebel MLAs of all factions.  The Shiv Sena    won 73 of the 171 seats that it contested, while the BJP won 65 of the 117 that was its share. The decimated Congress won just 80 seats, and the divided third front was reduced to 23.
On March 14, 1995, the new SS-BJP state government with Manohar Joshi of the Shiv Sena  as chief minister and Gopinath Munde of the BJP as deputy chief minister took office.  After a 30-year tortuous  journey, this Shiv Sena    had at last succeeded in reaching the pinnacle of state power in Maharashtra, in alliance with a partner that was to reach the pinnacle of state  power in India just three years later.
The Fall of the SS-BJP Regime
The SS-BJP regime met its Waterloo in the assembly elections of 1999.  But before that, two general elections to Parliament took place in 1996 and 1998.  In 1996, the people were still in the mood to give the new regime a chance and the SS-BJP won a record 33 of the 48 seats (SS-15, BJP – 18). But even more significant was the fact that their total vote share rose to nearly 39 per cent.  This was more than a 10 per cent rise over their vote share in all the elections from 1989 to 1995.  The Congress got 15 seats.
But the picture was completely reversed in 1998.  The SS-BJP were reduced to just 10 seats (SS – 6, BJP – 4). This was a direct fall of 23 seats compared to 1996.  But mainly due to the disintegration of the third front, the SS-BJP vote share increased to over 42 per cent.  The Congress-RPI-SP alliance won 50 per cent of the vote, the Congress bagged 33 seats and the RPI got 4 seats. With this major setback, the SS-BJP regime made a last-ditch effort to revive its sagging fortunes by dumping chief minister Manohar Joshi in January 1999 and replacing him with Narayan Rane, who had an even more dubious past record. This was actually done out of caste considerations, since Joshi was a Brahmin and Rane was a Maratha. But even this last ploy proved fruitless. Thackeray himself was disenfranchised by the Election Commission for his earlier communal speeches and writings.
The 1999 Loksabha and Assembly elections were widely predicted to herald a stunning and spectacular defeat for the SS-BJP combine. But just before the polls came the revolt of Sharad Pawar and the formation of the NCP, throwing all earlier calculations haywire. In the event, the SS-BJP won 28 seats in the Lok Sabha (SS -–15, BJP – 13) with 38 per cent of the vote, which was 4 per cent lower than in 1998.  The INC, with nearly 30 per cent of the vote won 10 seats, and the NCP with almost 22 per cent of the vote got only 6 seats. The remaining 4 seats went to NCP/INC allies like RPI, PWP and JD(S).
But in the simultaneous assembly elections, the SS-BJP vote was less than 32 per cent, which was  6 per cent lower than in the parliamentary elections, mainly because the people were bent on teaching the state government a lesson. Thus, the SS-BJP won only 125 seats out of 288  (SS-69, BJP-56). The INC won 75 seats and the NCP got 58 seats,  making a total of 133. This led to a hung assembly. But the  smaller secular parties won 15 seats, tilting the balance against the SS-BJP.
If the Congress split had not occurred and if the various parties had got the same vote share that they got in these elections, the SS-BJP tally would have been slashed to just 9 seats in the Lok Sabha and to merely 48 seats in the Vidhan Sabha!  But the most significant point is that even the vertical split in the Congress could not save the SS-BJP regime from the wrath of the and from its own doom.  INC-NCP-led Democratic Front government assumed the reins of power in Maharashtra in October 1999.
Far from gaining power
The Shiv Sena – BJP alliance failed to capture power since then. The decline of Shiv Sena’s popularity continues. The revolt of Raj Thackery and formation of Maharashtra Navnirman Samiti (MNS) spell a disaster for Shiv Sena in 2009 giving the Congress-NCP alliance reins of power in Maharashtra once again.
In 2009 assembly elections too the seats won by both the Shiv Sena (SS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) declined: the Shiv Sena   by 18 and the BJP by 8. The seats of the SS-BJP combine declined by 26, from 116 to just 90. This is its lowest tally ever – in 1990, when they first fought together it was 94, in 1995 when they won it was 138, in 1999 when they lost in spite of the INC and NCP fighting separately it was 125, and in 2004 it was 116. Moreover, it is for the first time in the last two decades since the SS-BJP alliance was formed in 1989 that the Shiv Sena  has won less seats in the state assembly than the BJP. Thus the leader of the opposition in the assembly this time could well be from the BJP. This will be an additional source of heartburn and friction between the two.
BJP has marginally increased its vote percentage, the Shiv Sena has lost 3.7 per cent. The SS-BJP combine has lost 3.4 per cent. In the Lok Sabha polls held five months ago, the SS-BJP had got 35.2 per cent, which has now declined by 4.9 per cent.
The MNS and its leader Raj Thackery are proving to be taking away the political legacy of Shiv Sena. Threatened by these developments, Shiv Sena is intensifying its campaign of terror and hetrad. Therefore the recent attack on CNN-IBN group Television channels is neither the first not will be the lost.

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