The DNA reports:

The film fraternity on Monday condemned Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray’s diatribe against Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and said such attempts would be detrimental not only for Maharashtra but also for the country as a whole.

Meanwhile Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Monday said

stern action would be taken against the guilty because the violence should not spread. “There will be full protection for those living in Mumbai.”

Not to be left behind Samajwadi party general secretary Amar Singh

adopted a two-pronged offensive against MNS chief Raj Thackeray. Singh first lodged an FIR against Thackeray in the wee hours on Monday accusing him of encouraging attacks on North Indians.  Later, he petitioned the Election Commission in Delhi demanding that MNS be de-recognised and barred from contesting elections since its leader “does not believe in Indian Constitution”.

All of this follows Raj Thackeray calling the Chhat festival a ‘drama’, and criticizing Big B

”Amitabh Bachchan chose to contest elections from Uttar Pradesh instead of Mumbai. If a person of such stature who is revered in Mumbai can feel patriotic about his own state, can’t Raj Thackeray feel the same?”

With the Tiger ageing and the cub no match it is clear that Raj Thackeray is playing to the gallery to become Thackeray’s Thackeray.

The way to deal with the likes of Raj Thackeray is to not disenfranchise them but to discredit their cause.

For example here is Raj Thackeray in 1999 courting M.F. Hussain and Amitabh Bacchan to celebrate his cartoon exhibition.

Or this story from 2002 about the close family ties between the Thackerays and Amitabh Bacchan 

Or this 2005 book release function organized by Raj Thackeray.

Or this 2004 exclusive event with Bacchan for J&K kids under Raj Thackeray’s auspices.

Offstumped Bottomline: We always knew he had the looks but with this xenophobia we can now be convinced Raj is Thackeray’s Thackeray. The media and the political establishment are making a big mistake in dealing with Raj Thackeray’s politically motivated parochialism. By seeking to disenfranchise and criminalize his utterances they are framing the public debate in exactly the terms Raj Thackeray wants it. For the more he is villified and criminalized the greater the hero he becomes with his rabble-rousing to those who are looking for an outlet to vent their frustrations.

Originally posted here

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