People from Bihar and the eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh have formed a new front in Agra, called the Ganga Yamuna Sanskritic Manch, to protect their interests and oppose Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray's "negative and anti-national politics".
The Ganga Yamuna Sanskritic Manch seeks to bring together people speaking different dialects of Hindi like Avadhi, Braj, Bhojpuri or Maithili and living in the Ganga-Yamuna basins to collectively face the onslaught from sectarian interest groups, said a statement issued in Agra by the group.
"Today it is Mumbai, tomorrow it could be Bangalore or Hyderabad. The people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who have contributed so much to national development in myriad ways, have always been taken for granted and targeted.
Their tolerance and the spirit of accommodation and liberalism has been taken as a sign of weakness. The time has come when a consolidated and powerful image of the people of the Ganga-Yamuna basins, sharing a common historical and cultural heritage, must be projected and the likes of Raj Thackeray and others must be effectively countered at the people's level," the statement said.
The group urged the union government to intervene in Maharashtra and prevent attacks on north Indians.