We Indians breathe regionalism and hence regional leaders become icons. How exactly did Balasaheb Thackeray touch the heart of the “Marathi Manoos”?
The “Marathi Manoos” loves the Intellect. He loves forthrightness, courage of conviction, creativity and sarcasm! He also loves anyone who worships Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Balasaheb Thackeray was an embodiment of all these put together with an additional bonanza of possessing political acumen which he executed through his political party—Shiv Sena—the name inspired by the great Maratha King.
The “Marathi Manoos” especially during the 1960s and 70s possessed a hidden inferiority complex aptly portrayed recently by the Marathi movie “Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy”. Now, with the world having become a global village and Maharashtrians playing a big role in different professions (including the IT industry in a big way); entrepreneurship and easy availability of English school education, the level of confidence has surely shot up, but the “inferiority complex” thing still lies subconsciously hidden. Also, history lovers love to bring out the aspect of the historical animosity between the Northern and Maratha Empires that still perhaps lingers. It is these two aspects that Balasaheb used to good effect when he launched his fledgling political party, Shiv Sena, in 1966 to amplify the “Marathi Manoos” rhetoric.
The very idea that someone is taking up the cause of the locals in terms of employment and regional identity surely aroused curiosity and interest going by the five lakh Mumbaikars who were present at the first public speech of Balasaheb Thackeray at Shivaji Park in Dadar (where he was also cremated). Thereafter, besides the breaking of the leftist-socialist trade unions that dominated Mumbai then, he had already carved his place in the heart of every Maharashtrian living in and outside Maharashtra, even overseas, for the “Marathi Manoos” identity.
With a formidable network of Shiv Sena branches all over Mumbai, other cities and towns and Shiv Sainiks who were ready to obey his orders of taking law into their own hands, often with indulgence in violence and destruction of public property, Balasaheb created the “fear factor” to which even law enforcing authorities often relented. No one wants to take ‘panga’ with the Shiv Sainiks and this has led to their extortion tactics in various ways particularly in the industrial belts. Even if we give the benefit of the doubt to Balasaheb Thackeray for being ignorant on this front, the fact is, it has reached cancerous proportions today. At the other end, local level Shiv Sainiks are well connected with the aam aadmi and do address individual and community issues.
Balasaheb’s control over Mumbai with the mere raising of his hand is authoritarian in nature. Subsequently, we have seen Raj Thackeray, a natural successor of Balasaheb in terms of his firebrand personality effusing the same rhetoric with much the same style. Thus, taking law into your hands continues. Uddhav Thackeray the pronounced official successor is a great organizer but is too mild-mannered to fit into the image of the Shiv Sena associated with aggressiveness. Balasaheb was a political brand that was fiery; Raj has followed his footsteps.
However, what has happened to the Marathi Manoos in these six decades that Balasaheb Thackeray ruled? Psychologically it may have given strength to the Marathi identity and made the migrants aware that they better respect the “Karma bhoomi” (Maharashtra) but the stark reality is large scale unemployment amongst the Maharaashtrian youth, especially in urban slums. Drug and alcoholic addiction has become rampant. Laziness has set in with a harsh tone of arrogance as a livelihood, but extortion has become common practice.
Perhaps Balasaheb’s passing away might bring in the two warring cousins together considering that Uddhav’s health is not in its pinkest. If, as BJP insiders say, the coming together of the two cousins is a definite reality, the fact is, Uddhav will have to play second fiddle. Would he do that? Would Raj be magnanimous enough to share political advantage which has automatically come his way?
Whatever the future is, the question will be whether the raising of junior Thackerays’ hands are enough for Mumbai and Maharashtra to obey their command? Perhaps that era has been consigned to flames. With anti-corruption movements steered by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal wherein the awareness of good and corruption-free governance is increasing amongst citizens, it will require the Thackerays to deliver much more than just indulging in fear psychosis and the “Marathi Manoos” rhetoric. If they make themselves relevant to the times, the Marathi Manoos will still pledge by them.
(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
The restriction in trading of these 40 stocks comes on top of shares of close to 500 companies already being kept under restricted-trade category by both BSE and NSE
New Delhi: Leading stock exchanges BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE) have restricted trading in stocks of as many as 40 new companies on account of their failure in meeting the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)'s direction on dematerialising of shares, reports PTI.
The action comes after these companies failed to convert a mandatory 50% public shareholding into demat or electronic format, or either they did not submit the shareholding data for July-September quarter or provided the exchanges with wrong shareholding patterns.
The restriction in trading of these 40 stocks comes on top of shares of close to 500 companies already being kept under restricted-trade category by the two bourses.
As per SEBI regulations, shares of all listed companies having less than 50% public holding in demat form need to be traded only in the 'Trade-for-trade' segment of the exchanges. The trading in this segment requires compulsory delivery and these shares can be sold only after a buyer is found at their quoted prices.
In a circular, BSE has listed out 39 such stocks that are being moved to 'Trade-for-Trade' group with effect from 23 November 2012. The NSE has also listed out three such stocks, which includes two named by BSE as well, taking the total number of such stocks to 40.
These include Deccan Chronicle Holdings, Falcon Tyres, Ion Exchange India, Prithvi Information Solutions, Rama Vision and Vikash Metal and Power Ltd.
In addition, BSE said that as many as 459 stocks would continue to be traded on 'Trade-for-Trade' basis due to their non-compliance to SEBI's demat shareholding norms.
These companies include Austral Coke and Projects Ltd, Bhilwara Spinners, Dhanlaxmi Cotex, India Cements Capital, Jaybharat Textiles and Real Estate Ltd, Oswal Yarns, Sakthi Finance and Zenotech Laboratories Ltd.
At NSE, shares of 15 companies would continue to be traded on 'Trade-for-Trade' basis, including stocks of Austral Coke, Jain Studios, Sakthi Finance and Jupiter Bioscience Ltd.
Besides, BSE has named a total of 448 companies whose shares would continue to be traded in 'Trade-for-Trade' group "for reasons other than the demat criteria". NSE has named 10 companies in this category, including Birla Power Solutions, Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision and 3i Infotech Limited.
NSE also said in a circular to its member brokers that two companies -- Koutons Retail and Samtel Color -- have complied with demat regulations, but would continue to remain under restricted trade category due to 'surveillance' reasons.
However, BSE has decided to move 100 stocks out of this restricted-trade category with effect from November 23, as they have complied with SEBI's regulations for demat shares.
These include 3i Infotech, Eastern Sugar and Industries Ltd, Monnet Sugar, Ontrack Systems, Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision and Zenith Healthcare Ltd.
SEBI is conducting auction in government and corporate debt security investments worth Rs10,616 crore or over $1.9 billion on 20th November for foreign investors