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A mover and shaker

Raj Thackeray shouldn’t stop at migrants. He could issue visas to go from one part of Mumbai to another.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2012 23:13 IST

Most of us would not take kindly to be considered a one-trick pony. Not so the redoubtable Raj Thackeray, the supreme leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). On hearing that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar would speak at the Bihar Day function in Maharashtra, Raj went up in a sheet of flame challenging Mr Kumar to do so. In the end, Mr Kumar did make his speech, after Raj gave his ‘permission’.

You have to give it to Raj, he firmly believes that it’s better to go on wittering about the Marathi manoos, a safe enough bet if you have enough lumpen elements waiting to beat up anyone who is trying to better his lot, than to actually get down to the brasstacks of dealing with Mumbai’s many, many civic and other problems.

Long ago and far away, Raj and his boys tried to take over businesses traditionally run by migrants, but after the initial enth-usiasm, they seem to have lost interest. But to Raj we bow in his ability to reinvent the battered wheel. It was his uncle, the Sena tiger Bal Thackeray who saw the potential in raising the bogey of Maharashtra being overrun by migrants. With a few well-aimed slaps and punches, he put such people as the Madrasis, in their place.

Now Raj has picked up the baton and is running with it. But as with all of us, he has a few double standards. Which would explain why he hasn’t told many of the leading industrialists in Mumbai like Mukesh Ambani to pack their bags and ship out. It also explains why he puts his xenophobia on hold when rubbing shoulders with the best in Bollywood most of whom are from other states.

We now suggest that Raj finetunes his campaign. Since his boys have nothing much to do these days, maybe they could issue visas to go from one part of Mumbai to another. Think about it, Raj, it would add to the MNS’s kitty if you were to charge a small fee and also show everyone who is the boss. Of course, people like Sachin Tendulkar may not quite appreciate your efforts, but as you have pointed out so many times, people need to learn that they can’t just move around at will.

Ultimately, he could come up with a scheme where you may need a permit to step out of your own home. It may do no good to the economy, but think of the benefits in saving on petrol and decongesting the roads. Yes, Raj certainly has the potential to be a man ahead of the curve.