Accusing Hindi news channels of orchestrating an anti-Maharashtra campaign on the small screen, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday warned them of a "fitting response" to protect the image of the state.
Referring to NCP president Sharad Pawar's reported refusal to speak to the media for distorted coverage, the Sena mouthpiece -- Saamana -- said, "Pawar has given a verbal lashing to these elements but this may not suffice while dealing with those bent on defaming Maharashtra."
The paper in its editorial titled, "If mud slinging goes on, we shall teach you a lesson," said the Hindi channels were painting a picture to give the impression to the world that non-Marathi people in Maharashtra were not able to lead a normal life.
"Maharashtrians are being projected as an uncivilised and violent community on the basis of isolated incidents happened recently," it said.
"Starters in journalism who have no understanding of Maharashtra and its issues are today manning electronic media and projecting a highly objectionable picture of the state. This is not journalism," the editorial said.
It said the coverage on the channels reflected a clearly partisan and malicious attitude towards Maharashtra as well as their abysmal ignorance of the state's history and the whole ethos.
"If this tirade against Maharashtra continues, we shall be forced to take concrete measures in the interest of the state. And when we do it, your so called freedom of expression could be a casualty," the paper said.