When imitation is the worst form of thuggery

As Raj Thackeray fans the embers of exclusionism that his uncle Bal Thackeray had expertly lit 40 years ago, the prospect of the spark becoming a fullblown fire that could sustain the careers of nuisance-makers across borders, and destroy innocent livelihoods, is alive and real.

Gauri Lankesh, the editor of the eponymous Kannada weekly tabloid, appeared on a CNN-IBN programme over the weekend:

Rajdeep Sardesai: Would Kannadigas identify with what Shirish Parkar of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena feels, [what] the Maharashtrians are feeling at the moment, a feeling of losing out?

Gauri Lankesh: Isn’t that the bigger question, with globalisation happening, the local people are losing out? But, OK, to specifically answer your question, most Kannadigas would not agree with it. But there are factions of Kannadigas, some local organisations over here like the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, which have also hit at the Biharis recently, in terms of railway jobs, and have tarred the MES (Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi) MLAs, and all that. There is a fringe element, a fringe lunatic element, I could say…. [I wouldn’t be surprised if they react the same way the Maharashtrians have done in the near future.]

Also read: Parochialism offers an easy resistance to change