Mumbai: An ingenious protest by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists had the state government hopping mad on Thursday, so much so that an MNS leader was detained all day for wearing a ‘provocative’ piece of clothing.
It was expected that despite Raj Thackeray’s call for calm, restive MNS workers will aggressively protest against the ED notice to their boss. Yet, the workers heeded the appeal and did not spill into streets; nor did they create any ruckus.
All they did was to wear specially designed T-shirts – possibly mentored by Raj himself which carried the inscription ‘Ediot Hitler,’ with an obvious pun on the abbreviation ED (Enforcement Directorate).
A take-off on the infamous Nazi symbol, the Swastik stuck out in white on the black coloured T-shirt. But the authorities were not amused. Such was the umbrage that when Sandip Deshpande, the articulate spokesperson of MNS, was taking his routine morning walk at Shivaji Park, he was detained by the local police. He was not released even 10 hours later.
The messaging was loud and clear: this government has a low tolerance threshold. Powers that be – in the national capital -- need to note: Politics is less about substance and more about symbolism.