The middle class should not ignore politics Opines Raj Thackeray


In a program organized by the Indian Institute of Architects, Pune Center, Raj Thackeray honored senior architects

PUNE: Middle-class citizens prefer to stay away from politics and politicians. However, they don’t realize that their entire life is somewhere connected to politics and politicians from the time they wake up in the morning to the time they sleep. MNS Chief Raj Thackeray asserted that if change is to be made, middle-class citizens do not even need to contest elections, but they should pay the required attention to politics rather than ignoring it.

Thackeray was speaking at a program organized by the Indian Institute of Architects, Pune Center to celebrate World Teachers’ Day and World-Architects Day at Annabhau Sathe Auditorium on Satara Road. On this occasion, three senior architects, Vikas Bhandari, Vishwas Kulkarni, and Shobha Bhopatkar, who have been working in the field of architecture for more than 50 years were presented with the IIA S. K. Belwalkar Award for Excellence in Profession at the hands of Raj Thackeray. The award was in the form of a certificate and a badge of honor.

National President of Indian Institute of Architects Vilas Avachat, Joint Secretary Sandeep Bavdekar, President of Pune Center of Indian Institute of Architects Vikas Achalkar, Vice President Sitesh Aggarwal and other dignitaries were present on the dais. The best teachers of 22 architecture colleges in the Pune division were awarded with IIA S. J. Contracts Award for Excellence in Teaching on this occasion. Subsequently, Deepak Karanjikar, Vikas Achalkar, and Sitesh Aggarwal interacted with Raj Thackeray on various topics related to architecture, urban planning, and so on.

Speaking on the occasion, Raj Thackeray said, “The middle class was the link between the poor and the rich. After 1995 India became part of the world economy. The middle class could predict what might happen and took the opportunity that was created. While everyone’s life has sped up due to internet facilities and other things, the grip of the middle class has loosened. Now the middle class should pay attention to politics since it affects their everyday life.

There is a need today to use the aesthetic vision of architects to work on urbanization. Thackeray said, “I will try my best to put the ideas of architects to good use when they come to me with their concepts and ideas in the near future.

Thackeray further said, “How to handle rapid urbanization, how to beautify the cities, what needs to be done for it, whom should we tell this? Today, we do not know the answers. Elections of all municipal corporations have been on hold for a long time. If those who are in power possess the aesthetic sense then it will reflect in their work too. The focus is on development planning and not the proper urban or town planning. Today, engineers are given much more importance than architects. We must understand that just building the roads is not enough, we also need to consider, plan develop, and create allied facilities.”  

Stating that it is unfortunate that the time has come to tell the importance of cleanliness in Maharashtra, where Saint Gadge Baba was born, Raj Thackeray further said, “Mumbai took time to come to the condition  that it is today but the situation in Pune may worsen much faster.” Today there are five Punes in this city. Hinjewadi Pune is different, Kharadi and Riverside Pune are different, and so on. No politician is paying attention to the needs of fast-growing Pune.”

If the power of the state comes into my hands, I will get all the architects to plan the cities. Only if cities are planned properly, beautiful cities will be built. Thackeray also emphasized that city planning is not rocket science.

Today, FSI has become popular in Pune city. There is a situation where the builders are increasing the FSI by paying the fee to the municipal corporation. According to the population, Pune should have 15% roads, today this figure is only 7-8%. Thackeray also remarked that one day a Punekar would leave home and be stuck there in traffic for a long. If politicians want to be taught a lesson, they should be given the answer from the ballot box only then will they realize their mistake. However, surprisingly, nothing like this is happening, Raj Thackeray felt.

Vilas Awachat expressed optimism that an architect is a holistic and reformist, so he will definitely think about how to improve the city while contributing to the environment. Vikas Achalkar pointed out that today’s program bringing together the heads, teachers, and students of 22 architecture colleges of Pune division is the only program in the history of IIA Pune and our entire team has put in a lot of effort for this. The program was followed by an entertainment program by Sarang Sathye, founder of Bhadipa and stand-up comedian.


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