Shiv Sena Votes Pratibha Patil

02 Jul

From Outlook

Amartya Sen, in his slim yet powerful volume titled Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, posited a basic truth of human nature that many among us choose to overlook time and again: we all have multiple identities from which we choose what is important to us in a given situation.

In our normal lives, we see ourselves as members of a variety of groups – we belong to all of them. A person’s citizenship, residence, geographic origin, gender, class, politics, profession, employment, food habits, sports interests, taste in music, social commitments, etc., make us members of a variety of groups.


Many communitarian thinkers tend to argue that a dominant communal identity is only a matter of self realization, not of choice. It is, however, hard to believe that a person really has no choice in deciding what relative importance to attach to the various groups to which he or she belongs, and that she must just “discover” her identities… In fact, we are all constantly making choices, if only implicitly, about the priorities to be attached to our different affiliations and associations.

The Shiv Sena obviously agrees. The party broke ranks with its Hindu nationalist allies, the BJP, to endorse fellow Maharashtrian and UPA candidate Pratibha Patil. And they’ve stuck to their decision so far in spite of allegations of wrong doing and the somewhat easy out provided by Patil’s Rajput origins.

In fact, given the Sena’s many vocal tirades on who exactly constitutes an outsider (South Indians in the 70s, North Indians in this century and Muslims pretty much all through but especially in the 90s), this was a route that a lot of people expected them to take.

I guess the thinking here was that given a choice between a Rajasthan-based Shekhawat (the Vice President, who incidentally, has his own shady past) and a Maharashtra-based Shekhawat, they would rather the latter.

I wonder if they’ll remember this choice they made when next they’re talking about other people’s identities? I seriously doubt it.


Posted by on July 2, 2007 in News, Politics


14 responses to “Shiv Sena Votes Pratibha Patil

  1. Ankur

    July 2, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    and here i am crusading against her

  2. amitscorpio

    July 2, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    I read somewhere that thakre had some pact with congress in which sena would support patil and in return congress would distance itself from Rane ( who left sena sometime ago). You’ll never know the truth.
    I don’t see the point in saying that patil is corrupt or gullible when i m sure that shekhavat would have been no less corrupt. “Hamam mein sab nange hai” they are all naked in the bath!!

    Thanx for the link to Outlook story!! didn’t read anything about shekhavat so i started thinking that he didn’t even exist 😛

  3. Jitender

    July 2, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Sub-nationalism, outside the political sphere, is based on emotions, devoid of any significant response to economical and political realities. In this case, it is truly difficult to believe that Thackeray’s decision is based on sub-nationalism and he hasn’t made a political deal in exchange of his support to Patil’s candidature.

    There is probably a more important issues involved when someone like him make such statements in public? Do you wonder who are Thackeray or Sonia Gandhi to decide how elected officials affiliated with his party are going to vote in parliament? Aren’t elected officials supposed to represent their people and use their own judgement to cast votes. If elected officials blindly follow the orders of high command why aren’t they questioned? Elected officials are representatives of their party heads or of their people? Why parties are allowed to suspend their workers for airing their views?

  4. Tanay

    July 3, 2007 at 3:10 am

    Ams this is what, Thackeray said, “the country has not had a Marathi President since independence. Now, an opportunity has been presented to make a Marathi woman a President. That too at a time when the state would be celebrating its golden jubilee in 2010.”

    One more was this.

    Thackeray said the party was constantly faced with the question whether it would support a “Hindu” or “Marathi” candidate. “We are both Marathi and staunch Hindu.”

    No, way I am vouching for Mr. Shekhawat as everyone knows even he doesn’t have the un-tarnished image or profile but what interests me are the varied reasons adverted for their selection of candidates by various factions.

    Isn’t it funny, reasonless and moreso unfortunate that even the post for the First Citizen of the nation is decided on grounds of regionalism, groupism attitude, alliance to a particular family, etc rather than on grounds of capabilities, potentialities and meritocracy.

  5. Amrita

    July 3, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Ankur – aww 🙂

    Amit – i dont know about the conspiracy theories but well said on the hamam thing.

    Jitender – I thought about that once and the answer depressed me so I haven’t thought about it since. traditionally we should be able to cross the aisle and vote according to our conscience – but you need a conscience for that.

    Tanay – our political class is merely a symbol of our society. we’ve convinced ourselves that the show is more important than the substance. We’re a country of good intentions merrily going to hell.

    I’m sorry guys, I guess I feel a bit more cynical today.

  6. Ankur

    July 3, 2007 at 10:34 am

    what happened dear?

  7. Amrita

    July 3, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Nothing much, thanks 🙂 It’s just been that kind of day. Bush and Libby, BJP and Congress… sometimes it isn’t fun to believe in democracy. I’ll get over it.

  8. Ankur

    July 3, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    hey thats what politics is all about.. its a interesting game of chess.. where the players show their art of impossible. its sad i agree… but come on is that all it takes to make u cynical?

  9. Amrita

    July 3, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    No, I’m naturally cynical but i usually have a sense of humor about this stuff. today it went on a hike. It’ll come back tomorrow 🙂

  10. Ankur

    July 3, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    and i am sure when it comes back, it will bring a partner along… ur smile 🙂
    good night

  11. Amrita

    July 3, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    why thank you 🙂 g’nite

  12. amitscorpio

    July 9, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    hey found this …

    Interesting to watch!! The look on Rajnath Singh’s face says it all!!

  13. Amrita

    July 10, 2007 at 10:27 am

    hahaha, Amit, thanks for the clip.

  14. Huda Swithun

    October 21, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    and oh i with my girl who i though was my worl. Huda Swithun.

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