There is an apocryphal (but only partly) tale of a bully. This bully loved nothing better than to pick on the weak and the defenceless. Spot an innocent child or meet a person with nobody in his corner, and the bully would instantly rain scorn on the miserable worm with all the wrath God is capable of.
But one day, the tables turned. The hunter became the hunted. The shoe was on the other foot. The icon had become a cucumber. Ok, maybe the last one didn't make much sense, but you get the drift.
Now replace the bully in this apocryphal tale with Raj Thackeray (not too much of a leap of the imagination) and you would have the events of the last week.
Thackeray, who thought he had stumbled upon the best way of ensuring Mumbai's pristine streets were free of hawkers, had sent his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers to rough up the vendors and ensure the only things on Mumbai's roads were potholes and jaywalkers. This worked well initially.
But last week, following a scuffle in Vikhroli, the shopkeepers exacted their revenge. The MNS workers were the ones on the receiving end this time. The shopkeepers thrashed four MNS workers, leaving three of them grievously wounded.
But if the wounded MNS workers thought they could take time out for rest and recuperation, they were sorely mistaken. Not only did Raj Thackeray have little by means of sympathy to offer, he also added insult to injury — quite literally — and said people who get beaten up have no place in his party, where only the fittest will survive.
As reported by Mumbai Mirror, it wasn't so much that his plan flopped; Thackeray's main grouse was the workers weren't suitable for his party. Let them join Shiv Sena, we can only presume, he must have said. "I want workers who beat up others, not get beaten up. If you get beaten up next time, I will remove you from all posts," Thackeray is said to have told party office bearers.
"You should be more assertive and be prepared. Make sure the next time you go for any anti-hawker drive, you are prepared and you don't get beaten up. How dare they beat you up? The Vikhroli incident is humiliating. I don't want a repeat. If we can't protect ourselves, how will we pick up people's causes? This is not acceptable," he said.
But while several of those in the MNS are nervously wondering if the next time they lose a limb, if they will lose a job as well, it does have a silver lining for all those able bodied men who are looking for gainful employment. If you're strong and you know it, and if you're able to bash in a skull or two, the MNS wants you!
Updated Date: Nov 29, 2017 13:10 PM