Granddad’s soft hindutva legacy works better for Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

Releasing a book on his grandfather Prabodhankar Keshav Thackeray, Maharashtra CM Uddhav said he does not believe in Shendi (long lock of hair) and Janava (sacred thread) Hindutva.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (Photo | PTI)
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (Photo | PTI)

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has decided to carry forward the legacy of his grandfather Prabodhankar Keshav Thackeray than the rabble-rousing legacy of his father, the late Balasaheb Thackeray.

Balasaheb specialised in provocative speeches and stood for an extremist form of Hindutva. He was also seen as anti-minority. But his father known as Prabodhankar, which means reformer in Marathi, had a penchant for social reform and propagated the liberal views. It is believed that this stand taken by his grandson has helped the Maha Vikas Aghadi government survive two years.

Releasing a book on his grandfather, Uddhav  said he does not believe in Shendi (long lock of hair) and Janava (sacred thread) Hindutva. He said his definition of Hindutva is broad and includes all sections of the society. “My grandfather was not atheist, but he was against the ill-thought traditions of society. He always stood by disadvantaged people and fought for them to get justice,” the CM said.

Earlier, in his Dusshera rally also, Uddhav criticised the BJP’s narrow Hindutva ideology. He also said that due to BJP’s divide and rule policy, Hindutva is in danger. Social commentator Ranjeet Shinde said Uddhav has two legacies, of his father and grandfather. “In the three-party government, Thackeray mostly banks on his grandfather’s legacy and refers to his father’s books or writings to project himself as a liberal and inclusive Hindu, as  against the BJP’s staunch and extremist Hindutva. This inclusive Hindutva is also suitable for Congress and NCP. The Congress also follows the soft Hindutva during elections,” Shinde added.

BJP has criticised the chief minister of Maharashtra a number of times for leaving the Hindutva ideology and teaming up with Congress and the NCP. Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Shiv Sena is no more Balasaheb Thackeray’s Sena, it is more of Congress and the NCP’s Sena. Fadnavis said that people had given the mandate in the previous state Assembly elections in favour of BJP and the Shiv Sena, but Uddhav, the Shiv Sena president, cheated them and forged an unexpected alliance with Congress and the NCP.

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