27 April 2017 | Last updated 05:51 PM


 
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Here is why Sena leaders deal in blows and party too backs them!
Rohit Chandavarkar | Saturday, 25 March 2017 AT 09:21 AM IST
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The national media has focused on Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad’s act of attacking an Air India employee as if its the biggest issue facing the nation today! The act in no way can be justified and Gaikwad should face legal and other action as a result of the media building pressure against him, but Shiv Sena’s leadership has clearly decided to stay mum on the subject and it is now seen almost backing Gaikwad. This has now puzzled the English national media about why and how Shiv Sena can support such blatant act of violence by its Member of Parliament.

The whole issue has got blown up mainly because Gaikwad decided to boast on the national media about his violent act and almost bragged about how he beat up the officer black and blue because he was denied business class journey. The national English media seemed more shocked about the bragging by Gaikwad more than by the actual act of violence.

Journalists from regional media are not too surprised to watch a Sena MP attacking an airline crew member or his act of vandalism because they have ground connect and they know how the Sena functions. The national English media does not have that ground connect and that is the reason they seem so shocked with the incident.

What Gaikwad did on board an Air India aircraft is clearly a condemnable act and the no-fly ban that association of airlines has put on him is fully justified. However, it is also pertinent to analyse why leaders of Shiv Sena are seen getting involved in these acts of violence and are always seen dealing in blows.

Sena like many other regional parties has grown on the basis of the culture of street fighting that it propagates. Sena has always built its character as an aggressive party which will fight for the rights of its supporters.

Sena strives on the power it wields in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. On the streets of Mumbai and in various areas of Mumbai as well as inside the corporation, we have unfortunately reached a stage where public work gets done only if the representative of the people (Municipal corporator) gets physically aggressive. So if work related to road repairs, public toilets or water supply has to be done, the political leader has to be physically aggressive. The leader gets support from the public and his voters only if he can get their work done. Hence, physical aggression becomes a necessary trait of a political leader in the overall setup.

As the leader grows in stature, he or she is offered candidature in assembly elections or later, a ticket to contest parliamentary elections but the original trait of getting violent does not vanish. The leader has got so used to being appreciated for acts of violence that he commits that he feels that it is a positive quality which he possesses. It is too late in the career to give up some old habits!

What the Shiv Sena has to understand now is that the political and cultural environment is changing and this method of playing the role of the goon for the welfare of the poor does not work in the modern environment.

Today, the Sena is already facing a very bad image management crisis. Gaikwad has been put on no-fly ban list by most Indian carriers and will find it difficult to travel by air anywhere in India. The Sena must change its attitude and work on perception matters or it will continue to get a bashing at the national level.

OLD HABITS DIE HARD
Sena is full of leaders who have been street-fighters. As the leader grows in stature, he or she is offered candidature in assembly elections or later a ticket to contest parliamentary elections but the original trait of getting violent does not vanish. The leader has got used to being appreciated for acts of violence at the municipal level. He feels that it is a positive quality which he possesses. As the leader grows in stature and becomes an MP, it is too late in the career to give up some old habits!

- Rohit Chandavarkar
 
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