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The Charisma of Direct ActionPower, Politics, and the Shiv Sena$
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Julia M. Eckert

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195660449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195660449.001.0001

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Shifting Limits

Shifting Limits

(p.150) 6 Shifting Limits
The Charisma of Direct Action

Julia M. Eckert

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how the space for Shiv Sena’s actions depends largely on the political neglect of law enforcement. This is related to the use of the party's services (often to do ‘the dirty work’) by various groups and organizations for their own ends. The police and the ruling parties have found ways to avoid having to take action against Bal Thackeray and his organization. This has been so because many policemen sympathize with the party’s ideology in private. The author describes how even Congress politicians used the Sena to settle their internal power struggles. The hold of the party over the local government is also discussed. The author also describes the fate of the Srikrishna Commission (probing into the destruction of the Babri Masjid) and the consequent rise in the fear quotient among the Muslims of Mumbai. The Shiv Sena’s success in establishing a different reading of the events led all Muslims to insist that the riots did not have a long-term effect on their economic situation. Victory for the Shiv Sena has meant its possession and seizure of public space.

Keywords:   organizations, Congress politicians, law enforcement in Mumbai, Srikrishna Commission, Babri Masjid, Bal Thakeray, Mumbai police, Mumbai Muslims, ruling parties, Bal Thackeray, Shiv Sena, legitimacy

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