A remark by Jaya Bachchan at a social event has given Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackery a reason to re-ignite the issue close to his heart and the elections — to oppose north Indians and favour the language of the land, Marathi.
Jumping on Jaya’s statement, Raj on Monday threatened not to allow the screening of any of the films starring the Bachchans.
However, the government and other political parties have chosen to play it safe.
“The police are looking into the statements made by both Bachchan and Thackeray. Necessary action would be taken if the statements were found to be objectionable,” Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil told the media on Tuesday.
“Hindi is our national language and everyone has the right to speak it. However, no individual should make a statement that will hurt any community, religion or language and vitiate the atmosphere,” said Patil, who belongs to Nationalist Congress Party.
When asked whether the government would take action against Raj, he said: “The government works under a set of laws. Until a law is broken, what is the sense in acting against anyone?”
Contrary to the political reactions, the people of Mumbai have taken a clear stand and have opposed Raj’s view. A survey conducted by the Hindustan Times clearly indicated this.
None of the political parties came out strongly against Raj, for obvious reasons. Firstly, to not get negative reaction from Maharashtrians, as the Lok Sabha elections are near, and except for Mumbai and its neighbourhood, most state voters are Maharashtrians. In Mumbai, about one-third voters are Maharashtrians, and considering the several parties involved in the poll-battle, every vote counts.
The Sena slammed the Bachchans for the statement and warned that “they (Bachchans) should not wait for the end of their patience”.
State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre said: “The government will do its work and nobody should take law in his hands.” He also advised Raj to “make his party politically strong instead of resorting to violent ways”.