Dear Mr. Thackeray,
I was wondering how to address you, should I call you ‘Raj Dada’, only Raj, Raj T (well, that would be too South Indian!) or you know, Raj ‘Bhaiyya’ since all people know that it means elder brother in Hindi and is not derogatory at all. Confused was I, so stuck to a formal Mr. Thackeray! My apologies for seeming so formal!
How are you? No doubt in great spirits after your party’s success in the recent polls! Well, I would be too if I were in your place! Congratulations on the win! 13 seats in your very first state elections is a great achievement!
Well all the buzz about your win has now almost died down. The media is now starting to forget your win. Everything is returning back to normal. So I’ll ask you a question which everyone asks but few people ever answer this question readily and to the point…
You would say, why are you asking me this question? I am not in power! The Congress party is ! Ask this question to Mr. Ashok Chavan or any other Congress leader, not me! You are right! But you know what, I have no hopes from those guys and their party! We’ve all seen what they have done for the past two terms! You are the person I have set my hopes on. You are the one, well, for the time being.
From the moment you have established your party to this moment, I have been following your actions. Primarily because everyone in my family talked about you and they believed in you and your ability to lead. I even attended your first meeting at Shivaji Park for the same reason! I left the meeting an excited individual, adrenaline flowing through my veins! Yes, there was a leader amongst us who would make Maharashtra ‘the state the world envies’- in your own words!
However then happened the incident of beating up the cabbies and I lost my faith in you. Bashing up of hardworking individuals just because they are from some other states just because you were pissed off with Amar Singh and Abu Azmi is not justified! These same people stay on roads at night and take you places when you need them! They stay away – thousands of miles if they are not in Mumbai- away from their loved ones, sleep uncomfortably in their taxis and your workers just go and beat them up? And what’s with the destruction of the public and state property by your party workers when you were arrested? Is this justified? Do tell me kindly how destroying public and state property is going to advance the state apart from making losses for the state? And was it not your duty to ‘calm’ your party workers and tell them to quit the crap? Isn’t it a leader’s job to lead his people – in the right direction? Or is it just to sit back and enjoy the media attention you are receiving? I wonder why this was not highlighted by our great media – they did manage to tell the world that a police officer brought home made food for you! Great!
And on top of that you justify your actions by saying that you did this for the Marathi people! Do tell me kindly when have the Marathi people advocated violence? This has done nothing more than defile the community! Given a bad name to us! I do agree that what your ‘opponents’ have done is not right but the way your party workers reacted is not right!
You may say that I hate you and that is why I am telling you this, but the truth is, I believe you can take the state great places – if what you say in your speeches is true – and I just do not want you to blow up your chance leading us to miss out on a good leader!
You are a great orator, you study people very well, your remarks on your oppositions are truly – i daresay- awesome! I just read your interview that day in a popular daily and was pleased with your statements about working for the state and using this opportunity to do good for the people! I just hope that you can live up to your own statements, I just hope that MNS does not turn out to be another Shiv Sena!
Do you know why I am telling you all this? It is because people believe in you. When you stand up to speak they value each of your words like a drought-ridden farmer values rain-drops! They hang on to your every word. They believe that you are the change that this state needs! That you are the change that each one of us here has been awaiting!
Each parent here believes that you are the one who can make education sensible and affordable for their kids!
Each person going to office believes that you can provide him a secure Mumbai – if not Maharashtra!
Each poor person believes that you can provide him an affordable dwelling!
Each person in a dilapidated building believes that you can save him from the Builder’s goons!
Each farmer of this state has hopes in his eyes that you are the one who will stop him from committing suicide!
Each person believes that Vidarbha should not just be known for farmer suicides!
Each person here believes that you have the capability to rid us of load shedding and bring good,clean sources of power!
Each policeman on bandobast duty thinks that you are the one who will make their life better!
Each person believes that your rule could in the future get rid of the Naxals near Gadchiroli!
Each person from the lower-strata of the society believes that you are the one who will elevate them from the hell called Lower-class!
Each one of us here who has voted for your party (Yes, I did vote for MNS!) believes that you can do it for our state!
I hope that you do not just make the Marathi Manoos an election-issue to win votes just like some other party did and then call us back-stabbers!
Remember there was a man in this state more than 300 years back who just did not promise dreams for the troubled and harassed people of this state but carried them forward to achieve those dreams! We all know what happened after the dormant potential of the ‘Sons of the Soil’ was ignited. All of us here know of the Maratha Empire which ruled most of India for more than 150 years!
We know this magician who made all of this possible! We have started Political parties based on his name, named airports and railway stations after him, erected countless statues on land and since land was not available we are now going to dump Rs.200Cr in the Arabian Sea to make one more statue there!
But the politicians have forgotten his work and what he stood for! We do not need statues of him anymore…Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj lives on in our hearts and minds…his inspiration runs like the warm blood through our bodies…We just need a leader to lead our great state to greater heights and to know that the benefit and welfare of the people is the supreme duty of any leader! Just like Shivaji Maharaj did!
Ithlya lokanchya mangataat khup takat aahe…Fakt to tumhala vaparta aala pahije….for good work..otherwise misuse of resources is child’s play for politicians!
I know much of this will not be possible for your party since 13 is a small number compared to 145 of Congress, but I hope you will make most of what you have! The reason I have told you this is because I believe that you will work and fare better than others, and as a result will have greater number of seats in hand next time!
Do not forget us! Do not just remember our votes!
The time to just give out speeches is over! It is time to give back to the people what has been said in those wonderfully inspiring speeches and to show the world that you are not just a Bol-‘Bacchan’! The people will be ever-ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you and work together! Fakt ek awaaz deun paha!
Your opponents are watching. Your future allies are watching. Your workers are watching. But most importantly, YOUR PEOPLE are watching your every move.
The time has come to prove your worth!
Are you up for the challenge, Mr.Thackeray?
This work by Pranjal A. Wagh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License