Sena bahu Smita Thackeray says she speaks only in Marathi at home and her son, vilayat-trained Rahul’s first film will be in Marathi. Surprised? No? We don’t blame you. That’s Ms Thackeray’s very unimaginative and frantic bid to pitchfork herself back into Maharashtra politics, this time piggyback-riding on the Congress. Ms Thackeray, the lady of Matoshree, is apparently disillusioned with her father-in-law, Bal Thackeray, and the way the Shiv Sena is run these days. No more is she the Rani of Realpolitik. Instead she now has to play second fiddle to other leaders.
And that’s not all. There’s more on the peeve list: Thackeray Sr refused to publish her second article in the family publication, Saamna. This rebuff led to two earth-shattering incidents: she not only tore up the article (something we hear quite often happening when we send a polite rejection letter ourselves) but also has severed her relationship with the Sena. Well done, ma’am. Imagine your magnum opus landing in the dustbin at the editor’s office. On this, Ms Thackeray, you have our vote. We wish you had sent the piece to us instead.
But behind all this whining — and pining for the Congress — the adaptability of the Thackeray bahu must be acknowledged. Where did she learn this from? Not at the feet of the Tiger who doesn’t change his stripes for sure. After realising that the Sena is not going anywhere, Smitaji marched straight to the opposite tent — no, we didn’t say ‘duplicate’ camp and, therefore, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena of Raj — but the Congress. She insists she has an ‘identity’ of her own. To bolster her case, she gushed a bit on the importance of English and Hindi too. As they say, better late than never. Last heard, Thackeray Sr, has been ranting about how Raj is the only ‘orjinal’ Sena.