A Shiv Sena leader has threatened that if Pakistan was to reach the final of the World Cup, the Shiv Sena would not allow it to play in Mumbai, unless its head Bal Thackeray allowed. This statement by Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, while complimentary to the Pakistan team, which he by implication deems capable of reaching the final, also implies a powerful grip over Mumbai by Mr Thackeray, who has the ability to stop the final of such an important event as the Cricket World Cup. Though the Shiv Sena is electorally competitive in Mumbai, Mr Thackeray’s ability is not necessarily as much as Mr Joshi portrayed, but it is noticeable that he could make the statement with impunity, timing it to begin with the World Cup opening. This only shows the Indian establishment’s complicity with the Shiv Sena, even though the government is supposedly against it. Though Mr Thackeray’s minions claim he controls Mumbai like some Mafia Don, he was unable to stop the massacres in the city which the government used as an excuse to wriggle out of the composite dialogue with Pakistan.Mr Joshi’s threat is actually playing on fears that the West apparently has about terrorism, and is aimed at trying to satisfy the Shiv Sena’s allies, like the BJP, who are also Hindu extremists. It must be remembered that Shiv Sena’s only experience of government has been under the BJP’s Vajpayee government, when it was a junior partner. It seems harsh that the USA’s pro-Indian proclivities make it blame Pakistan for whatever terrorism happens in the region, even though India has caused the biggest obstacle to peace in the region as well, the Kashmir issue, by both an illegal occupation and human rights abuses which are as flagrant as they are ignored by the West.
The Shiv Sena itself is important evidence that India itself is a fomenter of terrorism, and its politics is dominated by terrorist parties. Pakistan has already paid for the attack on the Sri Lankan team by being ejected from co-hosting the World Cup. Among other things, that has meant that Pakistan has lost both the home advantage it would have both because its pool matches will be abroad rather than at home, as well as the semifinal that was to have taken place at Lahore. To have its team subjected to threats by jumped-up Shiv Sena politicians even though its pool matches have been arranged outside India is a bit too much. The government should not take this statement lying down, should press the Indian government to stop the Shiv Sena from issuing irresponsible and inflammatory statements – Nation