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Uddhav Thackeray Might Not Roar Like His Father, But He Knows How To Raise The Claw

Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray vamoosed from the 25-year old National Democratic Alliance (NDA) soon after BJP’s breach of faith of the power-sharing agreement, where Thackeray was promised two and a half years of CM post. While Thackeray was with Devendra Fadanvis-led government, both were known for their personal grudge against each other. However, their ideology cuts from the same saffron cloth, which made them concomitant allies.  Even political analysts and Maharashtrians bandied that how it was hard to follow the direction Thackeray was heading towards.

Was it a bold, politically-vested move or the right time to win back the dignity? It was both.

After exiting the long-held condoned NDA, Thackeray made a decision that brought about a seismic shift in Maharashtra Politics. He stroke a deal with two radically opposing parties.

uddhav thackeray

Despite knowing the impended opening fire of criticism, Thackeray held the hands of two politically incompatible parties. BJP’s repeated attacks to make the alliance clumsy has made no difference so far. Rather, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is swaggering the way. This month marks an unanticipated year of togetherness of three heterogeneous parties.

Thackeray refuted the trepidation surrounding his long-term survival as a Chief Minister of Maharashtra by successfully completing one year of CMship. Taking into account his electoral figures and the submissive demeanour he is known for, it was hard to imagine him as a Chief Minister.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi — Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP — are the parties of antithetical ideologies. BJP, with much embarrassment of their unexpected loss, claimed that MVA would collapse under the weight of their historical discord.

More than a claim, it was an attempt to debilitate the already established power. Under the aegis of NCP boss man Sharad Pawar, the alliance is bound to remain intact and unblemished.

After a month of coming to power, Thackeray said that looking back, he feels his party made a mistake to mix religion with politics. This statement tells that Thackeray is in the mood for a complete makeover. Going ahead, he double-checked his changed views by saying that his idea of ‘Hindutva’ is different than that of BJP.

The Thackeray gharana’s history is closely tied with Maharashtra’s formation. Prabhodankar Thackeray, one of the prominent leaders of Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, significantly contributed towards the formation of the linguistic state of Maharashtra in a much milder way. His views influenced Balasaheb Thackeray, the father of Uddhav Thackeray, to form Shiv Sena. Balasaheb was notorious for his extreme views about Hindutva.

Balasaheb’s speeches were popular for several reasons. Much like Narendra Modi, he was a crowd-pleaser. His schmoozing skills made him Hinduhridaysamrat. Balasaheb’s nephew Raj Thackeray, who people assumed is a great fit to take up the legacy of Thackeray gharana, parted his way to form a new party. Amidst all this, Uddhav Thackeray’s dormant state was mistaken as his ineptitude. Because in India, political event-giri is more important than political performance. Entertainment outweighs excellency.

Though it would be too early to sing the praises and flatter Uddhav Thackeray, his makeover from hard-core Hindutvavadi to a much level-headed politician deserves acknowledgement. His cunning shift from an extreme right-wing cohort into a much neutral ground without going too far to the left-liberal side says a lot about his political flair. From being looked upon as a reluctant politician to becoming a strong-decision-maker, Uddhav Thackeray has inadvertently mastered the art of political games. He might not roar like his father, but he surely knows how to raise the claw.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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