COLOMBO: Mr Bal Thackeray, the Shiv Sena leader, has begun inciting the Maharashtrians to rise against the non-Maharashtrians even at the cost of bloodshed. Mr Thackeray has fixed a “final” date of November 1 for the solution of the Maharashtra-Mysore border dispute. He has repeated his warning that no Central Minister will be allowed to pass through Bombay unless the Maharashtra-Mysore border dispute is settled by this deadline.

Everyone from the Chief Minister downwards has described Mr Thackeray’s threats as ill-conceived and if persisted it will be a serious threat to law and order. But Mr Thackeray unconcerned continues to preach the fascist policy of Shiv Sena which is daily attracting thousands round the Shiv Sena banner. Mr Thackeray is confident that his gospel of linguism and hatred was strengthening his organisation. The February riots that shook Bombay for four days had given an impetus to his volunteers to carry on the message of hatred throughout Maharashtra.

Today, Shiv Sena leaders are thinking seriously of converting their organisation into a political party pitted against the Maharashtra Congress and the Communist parties. The spadework had already been done and the announcement of the birth of the new party is being delayed for tactical reasons.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019