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As a biographer of Balasaheb Thackeray & chronicler of the Shiv Sena's history, the most fascinating thing I've seen over the past year is how the very same people -- from Bollywood, media, academia, society's so-called 'elite' -- who could never stand the sight of the Sena...
... and those who refused to grant it the most basic legitimacy as a political party, those who never described it as anything but a bunch of lumpens undeserving of any engagement & believed it to be politically untouchable, and those who would never even utter...
... the name Shiv Sena without outright dismissal in their voice or the prefix 'rabid, communal, fundamentalist' etc are today its biggest champions and are suddenly seeing virtues in the party and its leaders that they NEVER saw all these years. It would be understandable if...
...they did so with some decent understanding of the subject, or if Sena had genuinely undergone some so-called changes that these people would much rather see for it to become 'acceptable' for them. Nothing of the sort has happened, for anyone who'd look a little carefully...
...So it won't be surprising if, in case Sena finds itself in a spot going forward, these people are first to abandon ship. They may do it by simply smelling trouble. If that happens, the interesting thing to see would be IF Sena's original followers are still around in a big way
And even if the party doesn't get into a spot, the interesting thing would be to see if, seeing all the 'weather-vanes' around, the original Sainiks still decide to hang around after some time. #Maharashtra politics may be in for even more interesting times ahead
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