Why The Maharashtra Model Is A Maha-Rashtra Model

Maharashtra has often been the thought leader in India, be it pre- or post-Independence. The state has churned out eminent leaders, artists, sportspersons, defence personnel, bureaucrats, scientists and more.

Only recently, it has also shown a new way forward for a socio-political environment that truly brings forth the beauty of Indian democracy.

The alliance of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Indian National Congress, along with many more allies from multiple ideological backgrounds, came as a surprise to some and shocked some.

On the completion of 100 days of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, this is the story of hope that the Indian democratic system gives to every citizen.

Although the Shiv Sena has constantly been vocal in the past seven years - at times more than the opposition - against its former ally at the centre and the state on multiple issues like demonetisation, not many imagined that a new political scenario would emerge.

At multiple times in the past, the Congress and Shiv Sena found consonance on various issues. The story of Shri Balasaheb Thackeray's relationship, personal and political, with Shri Sharad Pawar saheb is legendary in Maharashtra politics. Yet, political analysts never really imagined an alliance one day.

The basis of the alliance is clear, a Common Minimum Programme (that's almost the whole manifesto of all the three parties in common), for a full term, for the state of Maharashtra and its people.

While every party follows its ideology and gives voice to the people it must, the government of the MVA strongly puts the interest of each and every citizen of Maharashtra and issues relevant to the state at the forefront.

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Empathy, understanding, collaboration, convincing and co-existence for a Maha-Rashtra, or great state.

The decisions and actions of the government are therefore, purely adhering to the CMP.

What is more interesting is that the CMP actually touches each and every sector of governance and life, profession and society.

There are some political parties that still hope there will be fissures, given that the three parties come from three different thought processes.

To their disappointment, that isn't the case. This formula is an example of the vibrancy of Indian democracy.

For half a decade now, the Indian political class and governments have not learnt to live with dissent and disagreement, internal or external.

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The idea of co-existence, agreeing to disagree, of sharing common ground, finding the middle path, learning to hear alternate ideologies and working along with them, was anathema.

The concept of listening, discussing, debating, convincing was virtually non-existent.

But that is what India is about.

The idea of India is its vastness, not just by land mass, but in the idea of India itself and the voices within.

Hunger, poverty, climate crisis, unemployment, social unrest and injustice, hate crimes and crimes against women, economic slowdown and farmer distress don't go by ideologies or divisions of caste, creed, culture, gender, religion or region. Neither do, nor must, aspirations, social justice and welfare, good governance models.

This is exactly what the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress government, with other allies, is all about.

Empathy, understanding, collaboration, convincing and co-existence for a Maha-Rashtra, or great state.

This is democracy and India in its truest sense.

The vastness of views, extremeness of ideologies, differing perspectives and yet collaboration for a common goal: the people and their welfare.

(Aaditya Thackeray is a cabinet minister in the Maharashtra government. He holds the environment, tourism and protocol portfolios. He's also the president of Yuva Sena, the Shiv Sena's youth wing.)

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