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  • Writer's pictureAmit Shankar

Only Satan, No Sages

“Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best”

― Otto von Bismarck

Irrespective of Bismarck’s intent, today his line implies how the power corridors are in-frequented by angels in virginal white, flowing robes and sparkling halos.

If you hated the badly scripted and directed Bollywood’s 90’s saga of corrupt politician-cop nexus, get ready for something more garish, shocking and unbelievable. The skeletons tumbling out of the Maharashtra government’s cupboard have forced people like me to revisit our allegiance and political leaning.

It all started with Shiv Sena dumping its founder’s ideology of shutting shop than striking a deal with the Congress. But maybe that is why politics is the art of possible. Today Udhav, son of Shiv Sena’s founder, the self-proclaimed ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’ is not only kneeling before Antonia Maino but also partnering with the communal AIMIM for a municipal election. What happened to the Saffron? Relegated to grace only the party posters?

Since day one, I was clear that a party like Shiv Sena was nothing but a mob of unemployed youth flaunting saffron hue to meet the objective of their founder. Bereft of any ideology, any roots, it used religious colors to grab power, money, and some nuisance value. No wonder, it has regional influence as it appeals to a selective audience.

Shiv Sena was funded by vested interests with an ulterior motive of balancing the water and fire quotient in its favor. Of course, with his oratory and organization skills, Bala Saheb assumed a bigger role.

One of the prime reasons for his cult status was the mystique he crafted carefully around him. Being a smart man, he knew his limitation, his appeal and therefore never assumed any public office as it would have put him under intense public scrutiny.

This was the first blunder of Udhav. I wish he had learnt a thing or two, if not from his father, maybe from PM Modi.

Despite being the PM, see how cleverly the PM never engages in one-on-one or press conferences. He prefers having one-way communication; from Maan ki baat to election rallies. He chooses what he wants to say and never the other way around. Can you see now how Bala Saheb did exactly the same?

Now coming to the Sushant, Kangana , Arnab and Param Beer Sing debacle. Without getting too deep into the facts, let me share my side. Shiv Sena should have never taken this road.

Why did Bala Saheb take an oath that no one from his family would ever contest an election or hold any public office?

Being a shrewd manipulator, he knew in no time, amidst media glare and public perception the halo would lose its aura, the facade would melt.

Today Udhav is being called names. Ever heard anyone calling Bala Saheb anything but Bala Saheb? Mind you, Shiv Sena for all these years was doing exactly what Udhav is doing today; extorting money. From film producers, actors, corporate and whatnot. But no one raised a voice. Why?

The aura around Matoshree was too powerful to be challenged. Shiv Sena was always the facilitator, never a party to these deals. Today that aura is shattered and their name being dragged in the mud.

My other point is the role of the BJP. I am sure they knew how honest Sharad Pawar was before conferring Padma Vibhushan on him. I am also sure being the party in power they would have access to the findings of the Vohra Committee report that alleges the role of Sharad Pawar.

Despite knowing all this, why was Sharad Pawar chosen for Padma Vibhushan? Was the BJP expecting some tacit support, some favor?

Today Devandra Phandnavis is crying hoarse; Shiv Sena being a Vasooli party, Udhav being corrupt, and whatnot. But wasn’t he aware of the same when they were his coalition partners? Wasn’t he aware of how rooted corruption and nepotism were in the genes of Shiv Sena?

We all know the answer. But then as Bismarck said, the art of the next best.

Amit Shankar Best-selling author, of five titles, Poet, Brand consultant, Nationalist, Political analyst, Speaker, Founder — TGILF, House of Lions

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