Feeling rejuvenated after the new lease of life in Mumbai and Thane municipal elections, the Shiv Sena is back in the form again. And to make it clear to everybody, activists of the saffron party has once again assumed its original territory of vandalism.
On Monday, hundreds of Shiv Sainiks gathered at a new mall constructed on Senapati Bapat road and attacked the Archies gallery for putting Valentine-day greeting cards on sale. These sainiks also set afire many cards.
While the Sainiks were indulging in vandalism, the shop owner watched helplessly while requesting the mob to take greetings cards outside the shop. The sainiks then agreed to it and brought only a few cards outside, setting them afire.
Soon after this incident, another bunch of Sainiks gathered at the old Deccan talkies on Deccan square and damaged a huge hoarding placed by Hutch showcasing Valentine's Day in balloons. There was however no formal police complaint registered until evening. City police officials said that if anybody came forward and registered formal complaints, police will definitely take action against those who are behind the act.
Ajay Shinde, president of city unit of Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena, a youth wing of Shiv sena, told Hindustan Times that, the party's message through its activity is clear. "Valentine day like celebrations are all western concepts and has been forced on our society for the commercial purpose. Shiv sena will never allow the commercialization of Indian feelings, projected through love.
On the other hand newly formed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has taken a nutral stand on the issue of Valentines day celebrations. City unit of MNS Vikram Boke told Hindustan Times that the party does not feel that in one day the culture of the country will be spoiled if Valentines day celebrations are made. "So far as Pune is concerned We will not come across shiv sainiks, who have decided to sabotage the celebrations. Ts basically police' job and they have to take the action.
Meanwhile in Pune, which is known as "Oxford of East" for its quality education, many educational institution are contemplating to ban the celebrations inside the campus in view of Shiv Sena's threat. "Last year we could not celebrate the v-day inside the campus because of college authorities banned it. This year too, teachers have been contemplating the same," said Sudha Shrivastava, second year student of commerce from Fergusson college.