In colonial India, people would place a cat inside a cage with pigeons and make bets on the number of birds it would bring down with one swipe of its paw. The game is said to have given birth to the phrase “to set the cat among the pigeons”.
Something of the sort happened in Maharashtra on September 1 when the police in Jalna district lathicharged supporters of a 40-year-old farmer who was on a hunger strike demanding reservation for Marathas. Videos of the police action went viral on social media, and the “fasting farmer” started pulling in huge crowds, making him, almost overnight, a force to reckon with.
Manoj Jarange-Patil’s arrival comes at a crucial juncture in the ongoing game of dice being played out in Maharashtra’s seemingly unending power struggles.
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