With an eye on its massive constituency in Mumbai, the use of violence or the threat of violence against its ideological opponents, or anyone who dares to oppose it, comes naturally to the Shiv Sena.
For long, the Sena has earned itself the unenviable description of a party of lumpens who would intimidate and coerce, bully and create fear across Mumbai.
The targets are usually soft – hapless Bangladeshi illegal immigrants, south Indians, people from the north who have chosen to live and work in the Maximum City and liberals who do not agree with the Sena’s politics of intimidation and intolerance. Whether it is digging up cricket pitches, beating or roughing up young men and women who choose to dress up in western outfits or Muslim-baiting, the Shiv Sena has been at the forefront of gratuitous violence, which has progressively eroded its voter base in Mumbai.
Here, in pictures, are some of the many instances when Shiv Sainiks (as members of the party are known) hit the streets in protest.
Against Ghulam Ali (1998)
Against Indian Railways
Against China’s Hu Jintao
...and Australia’s Kevin Rudd
Against... (We Can’t Figure Out Who)
Not Against, But For Gadar
Against a Statue’s Defacement
Against Election Commission
Against Dilip Kumar
Against Petrol Price Hike
...and Finally Against V-Day (Every Single Year)
(To mark Shiv Sena’s 51 years of formation, The Quint is republishing this photo story from its archives. It was originally published on 12 October 2015.)