No love lost between Sena, Raj Thackeray on Valentine's Day
After the victory for civic polls, the Shiv Sena is now gearing up for the next event?the Valentine's Day, reports Sanjeev Shivadekar.india Updated: Feb 07, 2007 02:27 IST
After the victory for civic polls, the Shiv Sena is now gearing up for the next event—the Valentine's Day.
Now that the party is sure that its support base—the middle class Mumbaiites—is intact, party workers are ready to play the moral police once again.
"We need not tell the gift shop-owners and event organisers specifically. They know what the Sena's stand is," said party legislator Anil Parab who also heads party's North West Mumbai unit which covers areas from Bandra to Andheri.
Bala Kalsekar, former Sena vibhag pramukh from South Mumbai and a veteran of several disruptions on the occasion of Valentine's Day in the past said: "We are against vulgar display of love."
President of Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena, party's students' wing Abhijeet Panse said: "We will follow orders given to us by our party chief Balasaheb Thackeray. His word is final in the party."
All of them are trying to say that this Valentine's Day on February 14 will be like the similar ones in the past. Sainiks barging into the gift shops and damaging the V-Day gifts and decorations. Groups of moral police gate-crashing into V-Day functions for couples and beating them up like they did last year in Nalla Sopara on the periphery of Mumbai. Sainiks going to college campuses and threatening the couples hanging around there.
This year, however, there might be a slight difference.
Chances are that another group of Sainiks, now calling themselves as part of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) might be opposing any disruption by their former comrades.
The Raj Thackeray led MNS has opposed the Sena's stand on Valentine's Day.
Thackeray himself was out of town but sources from the MNS said: "Wherever possible party would ensure that no shops selling gifts and cards are targeted or lovers are shooed away. Giving protection to shops, party halls and discos is the responsibility of the police but we would co-operate with them in maintaining law and order."
Sandeep Deshpande, Vice-president of the MNS' student wing said: "It should be left to every individual whether he should or should not celebrate Valentine's Day. Why any organisation should decide how people should live?"
It is clear that MNS' stand is aimed at pleasing city's youth but many youngsters will be happy if there is somebody to question Sena's wild ways.
Ironically, before Raj quitting the Sena, the activists of the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena led by him used to actively participate in targeting the Valentine Day celebrations.
Jitendra Janawale, Sena leader and secretary of party's labour wing Bharitya Kamgar Sena, said: "We will give a befitting reply to anyone who tries to stop us."
And with both the parties taking opposite stands, it is the Mumbai police —relieved recently after peaceful elections — that will have a field day while Mumbai will be celebrating Valentine's Day.