[WSF-Discuss] Uddhav Thackeray: if the "Pakistani dogs' tails remain crooked, " then Mr Modi must very well press the nuclear button
sukla.sen at gmail.com
Mon May 26 13:42:57 CDT 2014
[Uddhav Thakeray is the supremo of the Shiv Sena, the only ideological ally
of the BJP and with 18 MPs the largest partner of the BJP in the ruling
NDA. And, its senior alliance partner in the state of Maharashtra.
Of course, in the Lok Sabha - the lower house of the parliament, the BJP
has absolute majority on its own.
In the Rajya Sabha - the upper house of the parliament, the NDA is in
So, with the NDA in power, Uddhav's cannot just be casually dismissed. And,
"Uddhav's deftly worded statement continued, "It's expected that the good
days anticipated now will also cover peaceful cross-border relations, but
if the "Pakistani dogs' tails remain crooked," then Mr Modi must very well
press the nuclear button, he said. "]
Shiv Sena's N-threat to Pakistan: Why Modi should crack the whip on his
by *FP Politics* May 26, 2014 14:20 IST
The final Monday of May marks Memorial Day, but of course, Uddhav Thackeray
thumbs his nose at any non-Swadeshi holidays and so will not be praying for
the souls of human casualties of wars. And if he spots the Amar Jawan
memorial on his way to the swearing-in ceremony this evening, he will
doubtless bristle once again at the prospect of sharing the same space as
the leader of a country that has inflicted its share of Indian casualties.
The Pakistanis are not to be trusted, said the president of the party that
has displayed a single-minded dedication to keeping Pakistanis out of
India's hockey fields, cricket pitches and more. Through the election
campaign and before, the Sena has waxed eloquent about the UPA government's
ineffectual noises on cross-border terrorism. When, this January, Indian
soldiers were killed along the Line of Control, Uddhav called for snapping
all ties with Pakistan and initiating a military invasion to exact revenge.
But Balasaheb is gone, and Sena minions can hardly be expected to stage a
protest in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan where Uddhav and Nawaz
Sharif will be in attendance together as guests of Narendra Modi.
So, Uddhav's deftly worded statement continued, "It's expected that the
good days anticipated now will also cover peaceful cross-border relations,
but if the "Pakistani dogs' tails remain crooked," then Mr Modi must very
well press the nuclear button, he said.
Of course it's just Sena-style bluster, and everyone knows that.
Even so, when he congratulates the new prime minister on Monday evening, it
will not be as a regional leader whose party has been best known for its
chauvinistic agenda targeting a variety of communities in the past four
decades. The Shiv Sena now, with 18 MPs, is the Bharatiya Janata Party's
biggest ally, with one party MP expected to make it to Modi's Cabinet. That
makes Uddhav the seniormost ally of the party that has won a historic
mandate. And that's why his display of arrogance masquerading as
geo-strategy is frightening.
All the rational arguments against N-war, against making even empty threats
about the N-button, remain the same. An escalation of nuclear threats and
counter-threats will quickly become a matter who blinks first, a dangerous
situation that nobody in the region wants. Questions of whether Uddhav and
the Shiv Sena [and the Modi Brigade] understand what devastation will visit
the region in the eventuality of a nuclear war, whether those who deliver
these war cries have considered the loss of innocent lives, ecosystems, and
the generations who will be maimed -- all these remain valid.
While beating the nuclear war drums at any time is inadvisable, it is all
the more disturbing that the Sena has chosen to do so on the eve of
possible bilateral talks, however symbolic these may be. Surely,
threatening a visiting foreign head of state as an ally of a prime minister
whose finger is on the nuclear button does not strike the right note.
Even before getting on its biggest national stage ever, the Sena has
underlined its reputation as a shrill, immature and bellicose partner who
cannot be trusted to adhere by mandatory niceties.
Worse, while Modi has made it apparent that his focus is on the economic
front first, the Sena's brash comment casts him in poor light. He took some
electoral aim at Pakistan during the campaign himself, making repeated
mention of the incident in which Indian soldiers were decapitated along the
LoC. But having made the big gesture of inviting Nawaz Sharif, he certainly
doesn't want to look like he's shooting from Uddhav Thackeray's shoulder,
certainly not on the eve of his biggest diplomatic event ever.
The Sena has much navel gazing to do about the kind of role it wants to
play on the national stage, but Modi might also need to crack his whip. If
allies make these noises on the eve of his big day, he has a steep climb
Peace Is Doable
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