At a time when the whole of Mumbai heaved a sigh of relief at the news of his response to treatment and improving health, his sudden death came as a shock. That Balasaheb could command such respect and love without ever holding any formal position of power is a tribute to his true feelings for the Mumbaikars. He was an astute statesman who could keep firm control of his party for 46 years — no one has done this before and it is unlikely anyone will be able to do so in future. It will be good not only for them but for the whole city if the cousins bury their hatchet and work together to fulfil his last wish. May his soul rest in peace!
—V Subramanyan, Thane
The people of Mumbai has lost their beloved leader. Although a controversial figure, no doubt Balasaheb Thackeray has done yeoman service to the people of Maharashtra. His loss is irreparable for them. RIP Balasaheb. The people of Mumbai needs to be applauded for showing unity and maintaining calm during the hour of loss. No untoward incident was reported. The police personnel deputed for the occasion of the funeral also need to be commended for maintaining law and order.
—S Ramachandran, Chennai
Manjul’s ‘Irregular’ in the November 11 issue of your newspaper was exceptional. The small cartoon was sufficient to explain what has happened to Shiv Sena. Thanks for reinventing the world without word. Keep it up, Manjul.
—Sachin, via e-mail
This has reference to the letter written to the editor by BK Chatterjee on the November 17 issue of this newspaper. I think, by looking at the ocean of supporters of Balasaheb Thackerey, Chatterjee would have realised why paramilitary forces where asked to be ready. All know Saheb as a politician, but few know the kind cartoonist in him who lent a helping hand to many artists and others. So, what’s wrong in people visiting him when he was sick? People staying outside Mumbai don’t realise his importance. This is because they failed to see a leader who could draw such huge crowds like nobody else can. Bad luck. May Saheb’s soul rest in peace.
—Sainath Jadhav, Mumbai
With the demise of the Shiv Sena chief Mumbai was shut down within a few minutes due to fear and anxiety. Panic-struck Mumbaikars scrambled home while shops and the cinemas quickly shut down their shutters. Mumbai Police issued an advice that only in emergency should anyone go out and instructed motorists to avoid the Western Express Highway and the route from Bandra to Dadar — a Sena stronghold. I strongly feel that it was fear that gripped everybody and the bandh was a result of that. With due respect to the departed soul, I hope that the city will come back to normal after the funeral and there will be no disturbances as appeals have been made by Sena leaders to its workers.
—BB Thadani, via e-mail
The rumours of Balasaheb’s demise have finally come true on Saturday after a flicker of hope of revival of his health. The rumours have actually helped his followers to absorb the shock of his demise as they were mentally prepared for the worst with prayers for his recovery on their lips. Just as the sainiks have shown restraint in controlling their emotional outburst, it is time for the electronic media not to vitiate the peace prevailing in the city by airing interviews of the self-styled intellectuals, who were seen making unwarranted, provocative comments. The present leadership of Shiv Sena has shown great maturity in handling the situation of maintaining law and order during Balasaheb’s sickness and thereafter.
—Sudhakar GS, Mumbai
CAG and the government
This refers to the news of the Congress party and government taunting CAG over the 2G loss figure. It is pertinent to note that CAG had objected to the dubious manner in which the 2G spectrum were allotted and then worked out the magical figure of Rs1.76 lakh crores, bringing the government virtually on its knees. But even the estimate of losses worked out by the Congress experts were around Rs40,000 crore, which by any means, is not a small amount. It is true that over the period, CAG has provoked the politicians and has acted as a thorn in their flesh, but since it is a constitutional body, the government should show restraint while commenting on its functioning.
—Vanita Shenoy, Mumbai
Escalators at Thane station
I am totally disappointed to read the comments written by one of your esteemed readers to thwart erecting escalators at Thane railway station. Why do we always try to think negatively first? There are accidents taking place in trains, planes, buses, cars etc. and no one argues that they should not be run. If at all accidents are anticipated, we have to plan ahead of it to prevent them and not shelve the proposals. Many people will get relief if escalators are erected. Women (particularly those pregnant), children, senior citizens, differently abled people and sick people will be immensely benefited. If we think during certain people, particularly the young ones, may try to push other commuters in order to catch trains, then we have to restrict their entry for some period. Surly, there may be some initial difficulties in implementing it but it will become routine once things start regular operations.
—V Venkitasubramanian, Thane