“Mumbai belongs to all.”
When legendary singer, Asha Bhosale, said these words, nobody could say a word. And that included Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, who was sharing the dais with the singer.
The snub came on Sunday evening during an event, Swar-Asha, in Pune, organised by channel Mi Marathi.
It began when Raj, in his speech, said: “Asha Bhosale has sung songs in different languages. People in different parts (of India) accept these songs as their own. This happened only because she is Marathi.”
Raj wanted to convey the message that people accepted Bhosale because she learnt and sang in various languages.
After Raj’s speech, television personality Sudhir Gadgil interviewed Bhosale, asking her to comment on the works of migrants in Mumbai.
“Mumbai belongs to all of India,” Bhosale said. “No one can snatch the job of a man who works here (Mumbai) from morning to evening. Our people (Maharash-trians) should also show the readiness to work hard.”
Raj chose not to react. MNS spokesperson Shrish Parkar refused to comment. “I have nothing to say,” he said.
But a slight from Bhosale means a rejection of Raj’s political agenda by one of his own. Bhosale is known to be close to Raj and his uncle, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
When industrialist Mukesh Ambani and cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar made similar statements recently, they received flak from the Shiv Sena.