The threat by the Shiv Sena to not allow the promotion of Pakistani stars Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan to shoot for Bollywood films is not just a threat.
Given the clout the party has gained in recent months, especially after blackening the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni ,a former aide of Advani, at a book launch function in Mumbai and getting two programs of ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali cancelled, everyone now knows that taking a ‘panga’ with them is not safe.
The latest threat is something out of the blue because Fawad has already become a household name in India after his debut with Sonan Kapoor in Khubsurat last year. He has been all over TV shows and front pages of Indian newspapers modelling for some of the best brands only two days back.
Similarly Mahira Khan has been tugging at the heart strings of viewers through her performances in plays like Humsafar which are telecast round the clock on Zindagi Live by Zee TV.
But the announcement that she would be starring opposite the King Khan in a film where Rahul Dholakia would be debuting as director has got the Shiv Sena into a defiant mode.
The question in everyone’s mind now is whether this is part of a well-written script or a spur of the moment reaction from the Shiv Sena, which had been lying dormant for some years.
And by the way, does any one remember a party called the MNS which had stolen the thunder from the Shiv Sena for the last few years after the death of Bal Thackerey?
It’s not difficult to see the game plan of the Shiv Sena and its big brother BJP in the recent events.
While the BJP top brass including Prime Minister Modi, Party chief Amit Shah and now Home Minister Rajnath Singh have been telling their own members to shut up, but they obviously cannot do the same to the Shiv Sena.
The admonishments had become necessary because their utterances were scaring away the potential international investors.
But both Modi and Amit Shah also know that if they have to expand their base they needed to win the Bihar elections. And it’s partner party Shiv Sena was helping it by ensuring polarisation of votes.
So the strategy is two fold. Keep the bosses in Nagpur in good humor by allowing the fringe elements to promote their agenda and keep the investors happy by talking of development.
By Amitabh Srivastava