The BJP-led government of Uttar Pradesh has decided to teach Marathi in universities there. UP chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, made the announcement at a function organised by UP governor Ram Naik on the occasion of Maharashtra state foundation day on May 1.
Speaking at the function in Lucknow, Adityanath said the UP government will develop facilities for teaching Marathi in universities of the state. This will be followed by signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for cultural exchange, according to a release issued by Naik’s office.
The move has surprised many, considering that the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is infamous for trying to create an anti-migrant atmosphere in Mumbai and other areas.
Ironically, the MNS welcomed the UP government’s decision to teach Marathi in state universities.
When asked, MNS spokesperson Nitin Sardesai said both the issues are different and that they are not against anyone. “Teaching Marathi is one thing and opposing migrants is another. We oppose those who comes to Maharashtra and are not ready to learn the local language and our culture. Apart from this, we are not against anyone,” Sardesai told HT.
Naik is a former Member of Parliament (MP) from north Mumbai constituency. He was appointed as UP governor after Modi government was elected to power at the Centre in 2014.