I heard from several people in response to my 30th October post on Mr Raj Thackeray. A close friend wrote to me thus:
You have previously argued that one has to obey the law of the land or suffer the consequences. That is a sound position.
But I got a feeling that you let Raj Thackeray off too lightly from this yardstick. So okay, I agree Blue Turban is a bastard, but RajT is a violent goon. Goons belong in jail.
He felt that I was being inconsistent. I replied saying I do not ever want to suggest that Raj T should not be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that it should be done ASAP, if not sooner. I explained that what I meant was that his emergence is not the least unexpected or shocking to a population which has grown accustomed to much greater criminals. He is merely following the path blazed forth by the more daring and more innovative.
So that there is no confusion on where I stand, I am not defending Raj Thackeray at all. Anyone who incites violence against others must be locked up — period. I just want that those who are doing the locking up should be themselves scrutinized to see if they are guilty of greater or similar crimes. It’s the brazen hypocrisy of those who are protesting Raj Thackeray’s hate campaign against “the other” that makes me feel a little sick.