The rise of GenNext in Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's Mumbai household is unlikely to bring any change to the family's mean-minded parochial politics. As much is clear from the first boorish act of Balasaheb's grandson, Aditya, as head of the patriarchal party's youth wing.
By forcing Mumbai University's vice-chancellor to withdraw the Canada-based Parsi author Rohinton Mistry's book, "Such A Long Journey", from the syllabus, the young man has shown that he is a true inheritor of the family's hallmark of pettiness and insularity.
Those who believe that young people with fresh minds and new ideals are the harbingers of change will be disappointed. But when a family functions like a mafia outfit, as the two Bollywood films on the Thackerays - "Sarkar" and "Sarkar Raj" - showed, then the claustrophobic atmosphere of small-minded chauvinism infects whoever is associated with it.
The urge for a new beginning is perhaps also negated by the fact that the Thackerays - Balasaheb, his son Uddhav, nephew Raj (who has formed his own party) and Aditya - have faced almost no major obstacles in their pursuit of aggressive policies directed mainly at the immigrants in Mumbai.
Image: Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray along with his son Udhav Thackeray and grandson Aditya Thackeray during the Dusshera rally in Mumbai.
Text: Amulya Ganguli/IANS