It takes bollywood stars steadfastness against Sena’s tirade to exercise the constitutional right to freedom of expression in Maratha land. That reeks of surreal democracy, the populace of this country so proudly embraces and more agonizing is ruling regimes frailty in upholding its tenets. Such is the spineless disposition of the state government that it only assures to provide cover against any disruption the Shivsainiks has vowed to unleash instead of nipping the violent steak and instincts of hooliganism in the bud that characterize them. Despite having a lot at stake commercially, Shahrukh has refrained from reaching out to Bal Thackeray or retracting his statement on non-inclusion of players from Pakistan in IPL-3 by tendering an apology. Qudos to his spirit as this precedent has garnered a lot of support in his favour from various quarters. These voices would otherwise have remained stifled, searching for a denizen who could be audacious enough to defy the wrath of lumpen elements, to echo their sentiments.
The leadership of a regional party so easily claiming propriety to an entire state on frivolous grounds of their regional identity and acting like self appointed guardians of Marathi Manoos, needs to be scoffed at. This delusion, when their outfit couldn’t even manage to secure the mandate of its people is even more bizarre and anti-national. Shouldn’t this ideology which is unconstitutional and totally converse to the principles of democracy, automatically expunge them from being part of electoral politics?
A viewpoint that Pakistan cricketers shouldn’t have been isolated from IPL-3 by franchise owners, does not make the person expressing it partisan and construed as owing allegiance to a neighboring country. Though, Shahrukh himself could not eventually include any Pak-player is another question. He elaborated his intent of doing so but the injury to player of his choice could not make it possible and thereby other viable option was exercised. Infact, aftermath of 26/11 has complicated issues and would have had some semblance of influence on the perspective of team owners viz the player’s availability factor, possibility of match disruption at certain venues and eventuality of terror attacks. Nevertheless, all franchises cited their own strategic compulsions in keeping away from Pak-players and made themselves oblivious to political posturing with Pakistan while deciding the team composition.
But why not pick on a political figure who also happens to be Home minister of India. Mr. Chidambaram on national television had articulated his displeasure on this issue and went to the extent of saying that IPL has done disservice to the sport by distancing itself from world class T-20 players. Perhaps, Sena thought him to be beyond their grasp to muscle round with or that their idiosyncrasy would not hold ground and picked on an easy target.. This way, they could prompt a two pronged attack, one on his religious identity and his vocation being the other which meant serious monetary ramifications not just for the actor but many other business associates if screening of his film is disrupted.
In a larger context, it is evident that Shiv Sena having been consecutively routed in three assembly polls is getting marginalized, with MNS further cutting into their vote bank. Bereft of any genuine issue, they are harping on misplaced nationalism and targeting the film and its protagonist, to keep themselves afloat. The fact they are ignorant of is that their bankrupt political agenda and bullying ways is alienating the masses further and would not take the party long to get decimated from the political arena if they do not do away with their blinkers.
The entire Sena-SRK plot has culminated in a manner that movies are usually scripted, with “good overcoming the evil”, but this time around the country would not feel wretched of repetitive story-line like they do for reel action. Rather, this real life magnum opus would be lapped up as a triumph of innate democratic values that ”Badshah” refused to comprise on and went around proudly proclaiming ” My Name is Khan”.