Two different Raj:
One loses life for a cause, the other takes lives for it.
The news of a Bihari youth being shot dead in Mumbai on Monday has baffled many. Rahul Raj, 23, took the passengers of a bus hostage and demanded to meet Mumbai’s police commissioner and wanted to kill Raj Thackeray. However, the cause that drove this unemployed youth, who had come to Mumbai to seek a job, to take such a desperate means to send a political message has forced politicians to make a call to ban MNS and punish others.
“According to those who knew Rahul, the case was particularly tragic because he was motivated by anger over MNS activists targeting Bihari youth looking for employment in Mumbai; and the attack on those appearing for a Railway Recruitment Board Examination on Oct. 19 deeply disturbed him.”Lack of strong control body
— The Hindu, Oct. 30
Raj Thackeray is likely to exploit the tragedy to fuel more hostility and hate politics for his ‘matribhoomi’ campaign. India must devise a strong mechanism to deal with the likes of Raj Thackeray and groups like MNS and Shiv Sena that espouses violence and hatred to fulfill their political goals. The regional chauvinism weakens nationalism and its core social values. What angers me if the sad fact that people like Thackerays have blind followers who believe their criminal activities are just and acceptable. The state government has failed to stop them and the center is yet to step in to control the wildfire of violence that has already tarnished the Congress-led rule recently and can seriously damage their chances of winning in the upcoming elections.
Meeting local demands
Issuing a ban on MNS alone cannot solve the growing crisis. The state governments should be directed by the center to make necessary laws to protect Indian citizens of any origin, religion or state. The center must come up with tough laws to control the activities of groups like MNS. The MNS ‘campaign’ has now cost another life and this could be only the beginning unless national interest becomes the first priority, not the politics. Politicians do use hunger and poverty as their pass to power. Marathis want employment and security. The Maharastra government has no option than to introduce employment and educational programmes to cater to the needs of the local people.
Rai Thackeray wants his ‘goonda raj’ to succeed his uncle. Such malevolence is in his blood. I saw a photograph the other day in which two women were holding ‘puja thalis’ to welcome Raj back home from the prison. It made me wonder what kind of lives these women would have under a beast like him. Forget the paradoxes about Raj Thackarey, what he’s done is enough to know what he is — a beast. Thackeray’s terror tactics in the name of politics is unacceptable. It can damage the youth of India and force them to terrorism — the same path Rahul forced himself on.
A cause of great concern
Rahul embodies the frustration and the rage of his age and people. The problem is a serious one and needs an urgent cure. And strict action against the guilty and ban on MNS and the likes and formulation of strict laws against such groups are the only remedy in sight. Of course, it will take time but the government has to initiate the action. For now, New Delhi must do everything to protect its citizens in Maharastra.
"From what I could gather from his educational and family background and the incident, the boy (Rahul Raj) was definitely mentally disturbed. In this atmosphere of political and financial instability, the boy must feel threatened if jobless and insecure. Unfortunately these kinds of political campaigns fuel latent psychotic episodes. It probably wouldn’t have occurred if he wasn’t influenced by these political campaigns,” said Dr Kersi Chadva, psychiatrist at Hinduja Hospital.
“He fired two bullets on the ground and didn’t mean real harm. Writing messages, throwing chits, is definitely not the work of a criminal mind. He was just unfortunate young boy caught in a turmoil,” said Dr Harish Shetty, psychiatrist at Hiranandani Hospital.
- Hindustan Times, Oct. 28
The MNS is succeeding in its terror campaign, Bihar has already caught the fire, and the political thugs want to set the country on fire. There’s no way to stop them but the center to step in and rein the MNS hoodlums.
A tragic end
I can’t express my rage in violent means. Kathmandu Speaks wanted to pay a tribute to the young man who didn’t forget his decency until his death:
“When I first saw him, I never thought he would do something like this. He looked a pretty decent fellow. At one point, after he took us hostage, he grabbed my wife by the arm and tried to drag her towards the window. However, when he saw it was a woman, he actually apologised to her and let her return to her seat.”
— The Asian Age, Oct 28.