How RJ Malishka's parody of potholed Mumbai roads made Shiv Sena lose its cool
The party reacted strongly over the song, which doesn't even mention the Sainiks.
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There is a popular saying, in typical Bambaiya fashion, when someone gets into unnecessary trouble — "Lena na dena, Shiv Sena!"
And the Shiv Sena seems to have made it ring true by taking exception to radio jockey Malishka's parody — "Mumbai, Tula BMC var bharosa nai kay (Mumbai, don’t you have faith in BMC)" — which has gone viral on social media.
RJ Malishka and her radio station, 93.5 Red FM, through the video (a parody of the famous Marathi song, "Sonu, tula mazyavar bharosa nahi kay") were only commenting on the condition of roads and the nightmarish reality of bad traffic in Mumbai that has been a cause of concern for years.
The video comes in the wake of the monsoon and what the common Mumbaikar goes through during the rainy season.
Malishka's song apparently takes a dig at the pothole-riddled Mumbai roads and "questions" the Mumbaikars' faith in the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The Shiv Sena, as usual, has taken offence and its corporators objected to the song saying it's an attempt to defame the BMC.
Some newly elected corporators even demanded that the BMC should send a defamation notice to the RJ and the radio station.
Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana targeted the RJ, asking her, “Malishka, tula dengue var bharosa navy kay? (Malishka, don’t you have faith in dengue?)".
The BMC has, incidentally, issued a notice under Section 381-B of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act after mosquitoes were allegedly found breeding in a routine survey on her 6th floor flat at Sunrise Apartments in Pali Naka.
“It is a deliberate attempt to malign the image of the BMC,” said BMC house leader and Sena corporator Yashwant Jadhav.
According to this news report, Jadhav said, “She has raised issues like traffic and the speed of trains in her song. But neither of the issues have anything to do with the BMC. While traffic department belongs to the state government, the railways is under the Centre’s jurisdiction. As far as roads are concerned, some of the roads in the city belong to state government’s PWD and MSRDC departments. How can you hold the BMC responsible for all problems in the city?”
Then why is the Shiv Sena getting so touchy about it?
It's true that the BMC is ruled by the Shiv Sena with party corporators heading the standing and other important committees besides occupying the mayoral position. The BMC administration under the leadership of the commissioner runs the civic body with the help of these statutory committees.
However, the real powers are vested in the BMC commissioner, an IAS officer, and the administration.
So, if at all, it's the commissioner who should have taken offence more than the ruling party. But the Shiv Sena leaders seem to think otherwise.
The party reacted strongly over the song, which doesn't even mention the Shiv Sena’s name).
But the truth remains that Mumbai roads are indeed full of potholes — something that's enough to pick holes in the tall claims made by the civic body in the past as well.
As far as the traffic scenario is concerned, it’s true that during peak hours it takes anywhere between three and four hours to cover the distance between Mumbai city and its suburbs. The traffic slows down as a direct result of the potholes and random patches of paved blocks on roads.
So, is Malishka's alone in this "offensive battle" over the BMC?
Last year, stand-up comic/actor Kapil Sharma landed himself in trouble by tweeting about alleged corruption in the BMC. He was immediately slapped with a notice for allegedly violating norms and carrying out illegal construction in a flat he owns in Andheri.
However, with the Malishka episode, the party seems to have exposed its own insecurity.