Yesterday, this paper ran a front page story on how owners of over 10,000 establishments had to bear heavy losses by downing their shutters in ‘support’ of the all-party Thane bandh called on Thursday, but Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik’s hotel on Ghodbunder Road managed to stay open all day.
Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik’s name was seen on almost every hoarding announcing the bandh, which was in protest of the demolition of illegal structures in Thane and Mumbra. Yet, he did not practice what he preached and even as other entrepreneurs were forced to shut shop, his enterprise called Hotel Vihang Inn on Thane’s Ghodbunder Road raked in the moolah.
People have long got used to politicians and the platitudes they spout. It is not without reason that most have become cynical of our netas, with their habitual doublespeak, their flouting of rules and getting those coveted ‘kursis’ even when they have criminal records. This is just one more indication of how politicians use thugs to impose their rules on others, but use another yardstick when it comes to their own lives.
If Sarnaik’s heart bled at the demolitions, why did he keep the restaurant in his hotel open? Why did he not follow the bandh call? Sarnaik’s political connections ensured that there was no mob mayhem or vandalism. One can be sure a person with no political connections would have had to face mob fury and attacks if he had not obeyed the bandh diktat. It is this bullying and double standards that make the common man burn with anger, and rightly so. Surely a case which proves once again that not everybody is equal.