The Shiv Sena has threatened to vandalise railway stations in Mumbai, if train indicators do not display information in Marathi. The Central Railway has assured the Sena that it will work on a solution to introduce indicators in the local language soon.
On Wednesday, a delegation led by Sena leader Anil Desai met CR officials at Mumbai CST, requesting them to make the change. “Marathi should be added to the existing indicator system. We have warned the railway administration that if they do not do so, the Shiv Sena will start a campaign,” Desai said.
“There are lakhs of commuters from rural areas, who come to Mumbai and other places and Marathi is the only language they know,” he said. Sena sources said the delegation had aimed to meet the divisional manager but could only get an audience with another official.
“We spoke to the manager on the phone, and also to the company that maintains and operates indicators at the station. We were assured that Marathi will soon be incorporated,” a Sena leader said.
Railway officials said they have introduced a three-language formula wherever possible, and certain practical problems such as space constraints and technical issues need to be sorted out.
Desai said CR has intentionally ignored the Marathi language despite general recommendations that signs at government and semi-government offices in Maharashtra include all three languages, English, Hindi and Marathi.
The Shiv Sena and the MNS have been involved in a battle of one-upmanship to woo the Marathi manoos.
While the MNS has assaulted north Indians, claiming Maharashtrians are being denied job opportunities because of them, and forced commercial establishments to change name boards from English to Marathi, the Shiv Sena is claiming to be the party that originally promoted the sons-of-the-soil agenda.