For the second consecutive year, two factions of the Shiv Sena held separate Dussehra rallies in different parts of Mumbai. During these gatherings, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and former CM Uddhav Thackeray engaged in a heated exchange of words.
Uddhav Thackeray, a prominent leader of the Shiv Sena, launched a blistering verbal assault on Shinde. He used phrases like “Khokasur” and “General Dyer” to describe Shinde, drawing a historical parallel to General Reginald Dyer, who ordered the infamous Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, Punjab, during the British rule in India.
The Thackeray faction alleges that Shinde, who defected from their side in 2022, accepted substantial sums of money, or “khokhas,” to switch loyalties.
Drawing upon mythology and history, Uddhav Thackeray likened Shinde’s actions to those of the egoistic Raavan, a character from Hindu mythology. He went on to say, “Raavan too was a Shiv Bhakt. But Ram had to kill him as he had become egoistic… Khokasur.” This comparison suggests that, in Thackeray’s view, Shinde’s actions have led to his downfall.
Thackeray did not stop there. He accused Shinde’s faction of theft, claiming, “They are scared that’s why they have stolen the bow and arrow as well…” This reference to the bow and arrow is symbolic, as it is often associated with the epic hero Lord Rama. Thackeray’s statement implies that Shinde’s faction is attempting to appropriate the symbol of valor and righteousness.
The reference to “Lathicharge in Jalna like General Dyer” points to an incident in Jalna where police used force, and Thackeray implies that Shinde’s actions were akin to the brutality of General Dyer. General Dyer’s name is infamous for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, where unarmed Indians were killed.
Thackeray’s passionate rhetoric continued with questions about the use of police force during Maratha agitations. He challenged, “Maratha agitation was there when I was the CM too. Did the police use any brutality? Who is the Dyer of Jalna?” These questions indicate that Thackeray is questioning the tactics employed by Shinde’s administration and seeking accountability.
In summary, the Dussehra rallies of the Shiv Sena in Mumbai became the platform for a fiery exchange of words between Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and former CM Uddhav Thackeray. The use of metaphors, historical references, and pointed questions underscore the intense rivalry between the two factions within the party.