Why Uddhav Thackeray Seems Unusually Comfortable With Throwing The 'Gaumutra' Jibe

Why Uddhav Thackeray Seems Unusually Comfortable With Throwing The 'Gaumutra' Jibe

by Varun Singh - Monday, March 6, 2023 09:35 PM IST
Why Uddhav Thackeray Seems Unusually Comfortable With Throwing The 'Gaumutra' Jibe Uddhav Thackeray (Pratham Gokhale/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)
  • Sunday's rally was not the first time that Uddhav Thackeray has uttered the derogatory remark.

    What gives?

Uddhav Thackeray, in the last three years, has hurled the 'Gaumutra' jibe more than once.

The latest instance is from Sunday, where Thackeray, at a rally in Maharashtra's Konkan region said, "Did our country attain independence by sprinkling cow urine? Did this happen that cow urine was sprinkled and we got freedom? This was not the case, freedom fighters sacrificed their lives then we got independence.”

In 2020, when he was the chief minister, he had used the same 'Gaumutra' and cow dung jibe against the BJP and RSS.

Thackeray is no political novice. He is a seasoned politician; one who has occupied the chair of chief minister for two-and-a-half years. Surely, he knows what such a remark signifies.

To give a context for the uninitiated, the 'Gaumutra' jibe gained particular notoriety in February 2019 when 19-year-old Adil Ahmad Dar of the Jaish-e-Mohammad recorded a video message for Muslims where he called upon them to rise up for jihad. "It was not in uncouth ‘cow urine drinkers’ to break their chain of jihad," said Dar.

Following the recording, Dar executed a suicide attack and killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.

Why is Uddhav Thackeray hurling the Gaumutra jibe?

Of late, Thackeray appears to have become the recipient of the support of the vote bank that wants to defeat the BJP.

The recent victory of the Congress candidate in Kasba Peth constituency of Pune has given the MVA, and especially Uddhav Thackeray, a hope that he can still make it—but he will have to act smart and play to the proverbial gallery.

Had Thackeray merely criticised the BJP in Sunday's rally, it would neither have unduly perturbed BJP supporters, nor would it have drawn special attention of the voting blocks opposing the BJP. With his remark though, Thackeray has drawn both the groups' attention for different reasons.

Naturally, many are upset with what Uddhav spoke at this Khed rally.  

Yes, the BJP didn't exist during the freedom struggle, but Hindus did and Hindus have been using Gaumutra for various auspicious purposes. By stating 'that sprinkling of Gaumutra didn't get us freedom', one is left wondering who exactly was Uddhav trying to attack?

Still smarting from the ECI verdict?

During his Sunday rally, Thackeray attacked the ECI, and made several statements against the commission.

The ECI had recently awarded the name and the symbol belonging of Shiv Sena to Eknath Shinde. Thackeray has since then spoken openly against the ECI, claiming that the BJP was behind all of it.

Only two days ago, Sanjay Raut, in one of his tours claimed that Muslims and the Dalits recognise Uddhav Thackeray as the true leader of the Shiv Sena.

While Uddhav might manage to appease his new vote bank, and play to his audience, the obvious question remains: at what cost?

Varun Singh, is a Mumbai-based journalist and tracks politics and other important news from the western region of the country. Varun has spent close to 18 years in journalism.
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