Social Scientist. v 8, no. 94 (May 1980) p. 22.

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The Shiv Sena Movement : Its Organisation and Operation


THE Shiv Sena movement today is not what it used to be a decade ago. It has lost much of its popularity in Bombay, and is considered by many to be a dying force. Though this is true to a great extent, it cannot however be denied that the Shiv Sena still has some influence in Bombay outside the formal legitimate political structures. As it has never based itself or believed entirely in formal or "democratic" political participation, the mere fact of its diminished strength today among the Bombay municipal corporators should not tempt one to believe that the Shiv Sena is a spent force. As the social and economic factors which brought the Shiv Sena into existance, namely, massive unemployment, imbalance between rural and urban areas of Maharashtra and the overdeveloped industrial structure of Bombay relative to other areas (the uneven development of capitalism) still exist, the Shiv Sena, if given a conducive political atmosphere, could again play havoc.

In this connection, an understanding of the Shiv Sena movement becomes pertinent. In an earlier paper1 the writer had tried to detail the causes behind the rise of the Shiv Sena and the contradictions that it faced, given its class position and its ideological firmament. In this paper, an attempt is made to present the organizational structure of the Shiv Sena and its method of functioning.

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