An Open Letter To Mr Uddhav Thackeray

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Dear Mr Uddhav Thackeray,

Firstly and very honestly, it’s really very unfortunate to know about the demise of your father, Mr Balasaheb Thackeray. His contribution has been immense in shaping Maharashtra’s history and also in shaping the lives of Maharashtrians. His legacy will live on for sure. May his soul rest in peace.

At the same time, I would like to bring to your notice the fear mania that gripped the city after news came out that your father has left for heavenly abode. People ran out of their offices and workplaces to reach home. Shops downed their shutters immediately. This is entirely a personal choice and I would not like to comment on it. But there are certain shopkeepers who preferred to keep their shops open. Also, chemists and milk shops rightfully chose not to follow the herd. Certain hooligans, according to reports, compelled them to shut shop as well. Some even pelted stones at certain stores. Buses and trains were stopped, which were full of scared people hoping to reach their homes as fast as they can. The goons toured the city in groups and compelled people to mourn for the demise of Mr Thackeray. Diwali celebration is still on and many homes were lit with Diwali lights and lanterns. Such people were ordered, not requested, to shut off the lights or else…

This is a wrong time to talk about these things with you as you have suffered arguably the biggest loss of your life. But do you really feel this is justified? People are in their homes and malls and shops are closed not necessarily by respect, but because of fear. After all, who desires that a mob destroys their shop? And do you think this is the correct way? Respect is earned and your father did that and the evidence is the lakhs of people who have turned up at Matoshree and at Shivaji Park. But respect is not forced and the Sena hooligans are trying to do that by forcing the whole city to mourn, even if they don’t want to, for entirely personal reasons. Most importantly, is it fair for to do all this in the name of your father, who would have never done something like this ever in his lifetime? Isn’t that shameful on the part of Sena workers?

I know there’s little you can do right now and I am not asking for any immediate move from you. My only request is – make sure all the Sena workers who did mischief on the roads in the name of your father be told to surrender to the cops and that they get strictest punishments. At the same time, if possible, on behalf of these troublemakers, apologize to the Mumbaikars for the inconvenience caused to them. Believe me, it would go a long way in winning the trust of Mumbaikars and will ultimately benefit Shiv Sena. I hope if this message ever reaches to you, it’s taken in the right spirit.

Thanks,
Fenil Seta