23rd January was the birth anniversary of former Shiv Sena supremo late Balasaheb Thackeray. Thackeray who was known for his brilliant oratory skills, charismatic leadership and uncompromising Hindutva beliefs is still as popular among the masses as he was on his prime in 90’s. It is no surprise that Twitter flooded with tributes to Balasaheb on his birthday. Even the National President of BJP which is currently having bitter relations with Shiv Sena, paid his tribute.
प्रखर राष्ट्रवादी व जनप्रिय नेता आदरणीय बालासाहेब ठाकरे जी की जयंती पर उन्हें शत् – शत् नमन। pic.twitter.com/DYivwbXgqI
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 23, 2018
But what was surprising that even West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who seems to be completely opposite of the beliefs Balasaheb held, remembered him on his birthday. Mamata Banerjee is currently one of the most strongest faces in the so called secular lobby of Indian politics. She on various occasions has expressed her desire of uniting all the so called secular parties and leaders against BJP in 2019. That is why secular Mamata Banerjee suddenly remembering a person who was called the “Hindu Hriday Samrat” (emperor of Hindu hearts), raised a lot of eyebrows. People on Twitter took jibes at Mamata Banerjee’s new found respect for Balasaheb.
Remembering Bal Thackeray on his birth anniversary
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 23, 2018
I have seen everything in life!
— Harshvardhan Patel (@harshvb) January 23, 2018
Abhi to 2019 aane do Didi, janeudhari baba sab 'tel lagakar Dabur ka naam mita do Babur ka' pe duet performance denge.
— saurabh kishore (@wdamidoinhere) January 23, 2018
Now Balasaheb is certified a Secular leader by Mamata begum 😂😂😂
— Ardeshir Desai (@desaiardeshir) January 23, 2018
Shivsena is secular now LOL
— Nagasundaram R (@kodaganallur) January 23, 2018
कुछ दिन और रूको तुम बोलोगी “ क़सम राम की खाते है , मंदिर वही बनायेंगे “
— Rajendra jhawar (@JhanwarRajendra) January 23, 2018
Next you will remember Nathuram Godse!
— Anurag||गरुड़ 🇮🇳 (@garuna73) January 23, 2018
Today Shiv Sena is nowhere close to where it was during the times of Balasaheb but it is still a significant force in Maharashtra. The secular lobby which is looking to unite all the regional forces surely wants to take Shiv Sena onboard. And specially after the rift between Shiv Sena and BJP is clear.
Even though the ideologies and policies of Shiv Sena and Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress are poles apart but it seems like they are trying to come close to each other. Afterall it is said that in Indian politics no one is a permanent friend or enemy. In November of last year the current Shiv Sena supremo and son of Balasaheb, Uddhav Thackeray along with his son Aditya Thackeray paid a visit to Mamata Banerjee when she was in Mumbai. Seems like a party which is accused of Muslim appeasement is coming close to another party which is accused of Hindu vigilantism for the sake of politics.