Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of Josip Broz Tito. Normally, this would have been just another entry in the history books. But the fact that he led what was probably the largest insurgency during World War II, single-handedly tying down an entire Nazi Army Group, that he held together Yugoslavia which – ironically – died only ten years later amid the worst blood-shed in Europe since World War II as well as the fact that as a leader of post-war Yugoslavia he was ultimately responsible for post-was massacres and political persecutions, still make him a controversial and highly divisive figure. Which is why there’s so much brouhahaha about him these days.
Tito may be dead, but the slogan “Tito after Tito”, coined by the Party and the Army after Old man’s death to ensure their political legitimacy took on a perverse meaning in modern-day Slovenia and (I’d venture a guess) most of what was once Yugoslavia. The spirit of Tito lives on, being artificially kept alive by various politicians who use his name either as a rallying point or as a scaremongering tactics. No matter whether it is the re-establishing of Titova Street in Ljubljana or the fact that the political right (one party in particular) aims to do achieve nothing less than a complete revision of history of the last 65 sixty-five years. It is also highly ironic that – general Yugoslav bloodbath aside – two countries, which can without a doubt “lay claim” to Tito are the same countries which squabbled over a speck of land for almost two thirds of the entire period sans Tito. Josip Broz Tito was born to Croatian father and Slovenian mother. How’s that for a Slovene-Croatian dispute?
BTW: As most of you noticed, yesterday’s MMM went AWOL. While not exactly a substitute, perhaps the Old man in his younger days (seen above addressing a crowd in Ljubljana) will offset the damage. Even though I only caught 4 May by a couple of minutes.