The Shiv Sena, on Friday, relaxed its stand on the presence of Pakistani participants in the reality show Bigg Boss and allowed the Colors channel to broadcast it.
Sena’s volte face came after the Colors management wrote a letter to Sena chief Bal Thackeray ‘apologising to Indians if their sentiments were hurt because of the show’.
However, the channel did not accept the Sena’s demand that the two Pakistani participants be withdrawn from the show.
So, the Sena protest against allowing the two Pakistani artistes to be part of the show remains.
Sena leader, Anil Parab, said, “Following the apology to Balasaheb, the party has allowed the show to air on cable networks from Thursday midnight. However, talks are still on with the channel on sending the Pakistani artistes back.”
He added that this move in no way meant that the Sena’s protest was over. “We will pursue the issue until they (Pakistani participants) are removed.”
Spokesperson for Colors, Soniya Huriya, said, “We clarified our stance to them (Shiv Sena) last night and said we had no intention of hurting anyone.” Sources, however, said it was only a clarification and not an apology, and that the Pakistani contestants were being kept on as part of the show.
The Sena had been protesting against the inclusion of Pakistani artistes Begum Nawazish Ali and Veena Malik, in the show. Their contention being, according to Sena leader Sanjay Raut, that if Indian artistes were not given any importance in Pakistan and Indian channels were being banned there, why should Pakistani artistes be allowed to star on Indian shows? Protesting against the show, the Sena had, on Monday, observed a bandh in Lonavla, where Bigg Boss is being shot.
The Sena has taken a strong stand against India-Pakistan cricket matches and has, in the past, threatened to disrupt matches if the Pakistani team is invited to play in India.