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Raj Thackeray: a controversial politician makes the Indian media look a failure

Raj Thackeray: a controversial politician makes the Indian media look a failure

Raj Thackeray addressing a rally

In a growing crisis of credibility for the Indian media, an unlikely person has emerged as a reporter for the public at large. The Indian media has been accused of becoming a propaganda churner for the establishment under pressure from political quarters. The age of misinformation has not helped the partisan approach to reporting.

Raj Thackeray is the chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, a breakaway faction of the Shiv Sena. MNS has largely been involved in regionalist, identity-based politics, claiming exclusivity for Marathi-speaking people in the Western Indian state–part of the legacy of Bal Thackeray, the founder of Shiv Sena and Raj's uncle. 

Thackeray is a noted orator but is not contesting the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Yet, his speeches have made him a major oppositional force for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, particularly the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo. His rallies, under the campaign called 'Modi-Mukt Bharat', draw large crowds where he uses the speeches, campaigns and slogans of Modi-Shah to discredit them. He has 

The crowds at his rallies burst into roars when he says in Marathi: "Lava Re Video" which means "bring out the video" and asks his team to pull out the material from the Modi-Shah archives. Watch a video of his campaign here.

It is not merely the vacuum in the opposition that Thackeray has filled but the gaping hole left by the media, says The Quint.

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Photo: The Hindu