His malevolence lives on

No matter how you define the word “terrorist”, Bal Thackeray was one. He terrorised the innocent. And continues to do so in death.

Dilip D’Souza reminds us of the destruction of the Singhania Hospital by the Shiv Sena in 2002 — because a Sena politician died there. He also reminds us of the Mumbai 1992/93 riots, in which an official inquiry found that Thackeray, “like a veteran general, commanded his loyal Shiv Sainiks to retaliate by organized attacks against Muslims.” (Retaliate against what? Against the destruction of the Babri Masjid, in another state hundreds of kilometres away, by Hindu fundamentalists, that’s what!) Dilip also reminds us of Thackeray’s henchmen roughing up his own well-wishers, like Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, when they visited him on his sickbed just days ago.

Now the man is dead. But his deeds live on — among his “sainiks”, and among his sympathisers in the Mumbai police force.

Reportedly, a 21-year-old woman was arrested in Mumbai for posting on Facebook that “people like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a ‘bandh’ (city shutdown) for that.” Another young woman was arrested for “liking” that status.

And a mob of 2000 Sena “workers” ransacked her uncle’s orthopaedic clinic in “retaliation”.

Why do Bal Thackeray’s followers hate medical facilities so much?

Markandey Katju, chairman of the Press Council of India and former justice of the Supreme Court and Madras High Court, asks the Maharashtra Government to “immediately order the suspension, arrest, chargesheeting and criminal prosecution of the police personnel (however high they may be) who ordered as well as implemented the arrest of that woman, failing which I will deem it that you as Chief Minister are unable to run the state in a democratic manner as envisaged by the Constitution to which you have taken oath, and then the legal consequences will follow.” One hopes he is as good as his word.

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