Aaditya Thackeray: I am not a Prince, but just a Sainik
Aaditya Thackeray responds to the weekly column Raag Darbari by mid-day’s political editor Dharmendra Jore yesterday
Dear Dharmendra ji,
I thank you for the kind advice and surely do expect you to advise me whenever you feel there is a need to improve our work. I must also thank you for tweeting the link to me via the 299k Twitter-world I have.
I may not respond to all but I surely do take feedback from each and everyone and do whatever I can for society.
Yes, not all Sainiks are on Twitter, but many citizens who can’t reach out via blogs and editorials are. As a Sainik, and someone who tries to understand my grandfather's ways of feedback, I believe my responsibility lies in taking feedback from the common man and ensuring it reaches our Sainiks in government.
Sir, it is very kind of you to see me as the Prince or the King or the heir. But I am none, and I will be none. I am just one of the many citizens who have a platform and means to work for the society at large.
When I travel to drought-hit villages to help tackle water shortage, to help widows of farmers with employment or to reach out to the rural youth to prevent farmer suicide, they don’t want me to be King. They want me to reach out to them and do whatever I can. Twitter connects that world of ours to the world that wants to help.
When I travel in cities like Mumbai, Thane, Sambhaji-nagar, Kalyan, Dombivli, Ambernath, Badlapur, and walk on the streets to work on roads, sewerage etc, the people living there don’t want me to be King, they want me to be there to help them as much as I can. My Twitterverse helps me to take my work to the world and helps me with advice on new technology, pending work and feedback.
My upbringing, by my grandparents and parents, has always taught me to be one amongst the family of Sainiks, not as their King. As a matter of being thankful, my father and I bow down in reverence to the Sainiks.
Sir, political parties aren’t about expectations of behaving like kings, it is about living up to the expectations of the people from us as political parties.
About the incident of the school buses, sir, I absolutely agree with you and as a matter of fact, I requested the Transport Minister that very moment and he confirmed that the RTO officials would take action to ensure the buses are penalised as well as traffic in BKC is streamlined. However, I use Twitter to voice my thoughts, and not every time must I jump for credit. The thought is to generate awareness about the said bus company; the call was for action. As far as I know my grandfather, I doubt he would have chased a speeding bus, as that would only endanger the lives of the kids even further.
Gyms and nightlife
My fancy gyms are simple, they are free and for all. They don’t take money to advertise or charge fees. I will promote anyone who promotes sports and fitness for all. My generation does believe in being fit, as it keeps the mind refreshed and open to new ideas.
Nightlife is for all. Today’s nightlife is at cafés in 5-star hotels. My idea is to have affordable eateries open to all. It’s not nightlife, it is Mumbai All Night for All. This will boost employment, revenue and affordable eating places for all who work at night or finish work at night. May be people working at Mid-Night (no puns intended) would empathise with me.
About the roads, I keep updating on Twitter as well as the media that comes along with me. It’s a very important issue that we have been managing with various agencies involved, as well as pumping stations, gardens, playgrounds, electric buses, e-learning.
About being accessible sir, I am very open to everyone who I meet, who texts or emails and tweets. I’m not in the bubble of security that would isolate me. In fact, no one is.
You would be stunned to hear that most people in Jawahar Mokhada regions of rural Thane, hit by drought, had Facebook and 3G but no water. I learnt this while working to tackle the drought there in 2012!
With each generation, there are new ways, new technology. Before anyone had imagined the 108 Ambulance, the Shiv Sena was saving lives with its ambulance network. Now, through the Health Ministry, we visited Nandurbar rural and initiated telemedicine and a boat ambulance, where the telephone hasn’t caught up.
The work never stops. The medium only enhances and increases.
Finally sir, it’s a long letter from me. I happened to read it on Twitter. Always here for more feedback and work that I can do, and here to speak about the work that is not spoken of in most edits.
(Penned on my way back from Sambajinagar, after inauguration of three flyovers and review meetings of the progress of promises we made in the polls)