31 October, 2020

The Tiger Purrs

The Sena and BJP adopt a conciliatory stance towards Muslims

The Tiger Purrs
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

There’s change in the air around ‘Matoshree’, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s suburban residence. A number of Muslim leaders are knocking on a door they earlier avoided. That, and the unprecedented visit last week of Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India, spoke volumes about the new Thackeray line. One which seeks to win over the minorities and put behind the militant brand of Hindutva that has in the past converted elections in Maharashtra into a display of saffron muscle.

From threats and derogatory references, Thackeray now suggests Hindus live "amicably" with Muslims. This from a man who six years ago when the Babri Masjid fell in Ayodhya, praised his boys for a job well done. Now it’s the BJP and the more militant members of the Sangh parivar who’re outraged at his suggestion that a national monument—including a temple, a masjid and a memorial to freedom fighter Mangal Pandey—be built at the disputed site.

Thackeray speaks of a tremendous response, not only from within Maharashtra, but also from Arab...

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