New Delhi, Nov. 20: The CPM today lashed out at Bal Thackeray and his Shiv Sena, seizing on the “arbitrary” arrest of two young women over a Facebook post and even delving into the past to trace the rise of the late leader.
While the politburo restricted itself to yesterday’s arrests, the party’s Maharashtra unit blamed Thackeray for playing upon the “reactionary politics of identity”.
The politburo, which released both statements, termed the arrests “arbitrary” and demanded action against the police officials involved. “The incident (arrest of the two women) shows how the Congress-NCP government panders to the Shiv Sena brand of intolerant and authoritarian politics,” the politburo statement said.
The Facebook post by a 21-year-old had wondered, on the day of Thackeray’s funeral, why Mumbai had to shut down because of a death, arguing people are “born and die daily”. Her batch-mate had clicked “like” in agreement. The two later got bail from a sessions court.
The statement from the state unit said Thackeray was “opposed to democracy”. “Under his leadership, the SS always played upon the reactionary politics of identity, which diverted attention from the grave problems facing the people of Maharashtra,” it said.
It dwelt on how Thackeray had accused Mumbai’s south Indian community of taking away jobs and later expanded the same logic to migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. “Enmity thus became the basis of his party’s programme…” the statement said.
It also said Thackeray had welcomed the demolition of the Babri mosque. The “Shiv Sena was deeply complicit in the Mumbai riots and the violence against Muslims after (the) Babri demolition..” the statement said.
The state unit branded the Sena “anti-working class and anti-communist”, recalling how the party had targeted trade union leaders in the 1960s.