While the shiv sena might have been outsmarted and outmanouvered by Rahul Gandhi's latest train antics, something tells me that we havent heard or seen the last byte in this tale.
With the regional parties increasingly finding themselves squeezed for space in the political spectrum and given their lack of vision and understanding of a broader world view, it is and it would be so much easier for them, even in the future, to opt for basic-grass root division or strategies and ideas that can get them clutter breaking appeal and traction with the deprived populace they seek to cultivate and seek support from.
We have seen evidence of this in Karnataka, in Gujrat, in UP and now in Mumbai. I am certain this is neither the last city nor is Shiv sena the last political party pushing this agenda. In UP it was caste, in Karnataka it was culture, in mumbai it is language and in some other city it could be something else. At its heart is the economic disparity that political parties choose to exploit. And this disparity is not about to disappear away in a hurry. After all, it will always be easy for the sons of the soil from the economically weaker sections to buy the logic that people from other states have come and taken away what should have belonged to them and that they should be opposed. The political class would be only too happy to stoke the fires.
The prospect for people like us who have genuinely believed in "I am an Indian and the whole country is for us" and who work away from their state or city of birth could indeed be scary. Imagine being driven away from the city you live in purely because of your caste or language or something as inconsequential that you normally do not bother about. How does one fight when powerful politicians , goondas etc - or the state itself turns against you - irrespective of what one has achieved or where one has been paying one's taxes?
Would love to believe that consistent and continuous growth in -education and economy -the two elixirs that can ameliorate this mess, will help resolve the situation over the course of the next few years. But what if - the polity remains as infirm and weak spined as it is today?
Does the solution lie in being a son of one's own soil after all? does one look for a job elsewhere and start investing in the city of ones birth?
Maybe i am being too myopic and pessimistic and i hope that i truly am. and that the reality is much better than this.