On Friday, the Hindustan Times received a call from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena spokesperson Shirish Parkar protesting the findings of a study done for HT by the market research agency C-Fore.
<b1>The survey, published on the front page of Hindustan Times on Friday (February 15), said that 73 per cent of Mumbai believed the insular line of the MNS and its president Raj Thackeray against north Indians was denting Mumbai’s cosmopolitan image.
Since the survey had been done from a scientifically chosen sample from the city’s diverse communities, this paper commissioned another survey — but this time only among Marathi-speaking Mumbai.
The questions remained the same. Forty-nine per cent of those surveyed believed that Raj’s insular line was ruining Mumbai’s cosmopolitan spirit. Thirty-seven per cent thought his party was a throwback to the past. And 31 per cent believed that the MNS was a nuisance and a troublemaker.
Anger at survey findings is not new among the Thackerays. In July 2005, the Hindustan Times was the target of ire from Raj’s cousin-turned-foe Uddhav.
Why was he angry? A survey done by the same agency — C-Fore — among 200 Shiv Sainiks revealed that that seven out of 10 Sainiks wanted Raj to lead the Sena.
Eighty-two per cent Sainiks had found Raj more charismatic than Uddhav and 72 per cent thought he was more honest.
Seventy-six per cent felt Raj was better equipped to hold the Sena together.
Since there was no MNS at the time, Raj had not found these results wanting in credibility.