Of late, I have come to believe that everyone is entitled to an opinion. I was not like that before. If the works of Carl Jung are to be believed , I am an INTJ ( a rational, with a heavy tone of judgement ). I was convinced by people around me that it is not okay to pass a judgement without having all the facts in front of you, and it seemed quite a fair point to make. The recent death of Balasaheb Thackeray, led to a variety of reactions and opinions , which statements ranging from the standard “RIP Balasaheb” from his followers to “I hate Balasaheb” from his haters. One particular reaction captured my attention and I have been fixated with it for the past 2 hours. Here it goes ( for full post click here):
It is a disgrace that Bombay is shut today. It is a disgrace that Thackeray is being wrapped in the national tricolor. It is a disgrace that he is being given state honors in his death. And it is a disgrace that none of our political leaders, celebrities, or media personalities seem to think any of this is a disgrace. And that if they do they are terrified of saying so
I am not a Marathi manoos. In fact I can hardly speak Marathi.I probably belong to the group that was number two on Balasaheb’s hitlist. I, in fact do not agree with most of his principles. But the above comment stuns me in particular because of the shades of human hypocrisy that it reveals, and amuses me because of the fallacious reasoning employed by the post.
It is a disgrace that Bombay is shut today: Yeah ,there are lots of interesting things to do on a Sunday. An internet user like you did not have food stocked at home. Or wait, you did , but you are suddenly more concerned about the livelihood means of the average Maharashtrian, which has been jeopardized by the bandh . Somehow, he was never visible to you before. He was never visible to you when you bought that expensive mobile ( 90 percent of whose applications you do not use) or when you spent 300 odd bucks on an Old Monk.
It is a disgrace that Thackeray is being wrapped in the national tricolor: If by disgrace, you mean unlawful , let me bring to your kind notice that the Indian Flag code has no set criteria on who deserve state honors. It is the discretion of the government you elected ( The more likely scenario is that you were probably too cool to vote , rationalizing that everyone is corrupt).If you mean he has done nothing to deserve this , I recommend reading this post. It provides more than a compelling case about why he fully deserves it.
The above post probably negates the next two sentences as well and makes them irrelevant.
And it is a disgrace that none of our political leaders, celebrities, or media personalities seem to think any of this is a disgrace.And that if they do they are terrified of saying so: I certainly am terrified, but you definitely seem very brave and I can see your bravery through a post from a remote undisclosed location. Kudos! If he you accuse him of using fear, you are guilty of succumbing to that fear despite being an educated citizen ( attempting to show off that great education you received through this post) .
Some people still argue about the killings that he incited, the riots that he spread. I do not justify them at all. The man was definitely not a saint. But neither are you and me.What baffles and irritates me is that we use different value systems to judge similar situations . We follow a capitalist ideology and thrive on a consumerist culture, the root of all economic discontent/disparity and crimes, but we rationalise those personal acts because those acts lead to personal convenience, something we value the most.Those acts seem insignificant because there is no direct causal link and the cause effect relationship traverses several intermediate links. But we leave no stone unturned in criticizing someone else who did a similar thing for the sole reason that it inconvenienced us. We were happy going behind a certain Anna Hazare when he organized a bandh against a cause which we felt affected us. Thackeray did the same thing for a cause that affected over 10 million people in Maharashtra . It is sad that you weren’t a part of that populace but if you read the post above, you shall know what he fought for.The man had his vices, he did commit unpardonable offences which should definitely be highlighted. But he does deserve a better evaluation , rather than being projected as a war criminal. After all, we live in a nation and a culture where even a Kasab gets a shot at a fair trial.