‘Winds for Marathi-push expected to blow in Maharashtra,’ says Sena MP Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday questioned if the steps being taken by the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on increasing the usage of Marathi language in the state would be implemented effectively. In his weekly column in Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Raut stated that the “winds” for a Marathi-push were “expected” to blow after the new government came to power as chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray and Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray, had taken up the “fight” for the “pride of Marathi people”. However, he wrote, that while the new government has directed officials to make noting and remarks on government files in Marathi, teachers of the language are losing jobs.
This comes against the backdrop of the Sena-led MVA government emphasising on the importance of using Marathi language, over other languages. While senior Sena leader and Marathi language minister Subhash Desai announced last week that official files with contents written in languages other than Marathi were being sent back to officials, deputy CM Ajit Pawar said the government was considering making Marathi mandatory in all central board schools in the state.
Raut, in his column Rokhthok in Saamana, remarked that if the government promulgates an ordinance stating that no Marathi teacher will lose jobs, it will give strength to its order on files. “We celebrate Marathi language day once in a year, but Marathi-medium schools are shutting in Maharashtra’s capital, and thousands of Marathi language teachers are losing jobs. What will the state do to protect them?” he wrote. Raut also took a critical view of the steps being taken to preserve Marathi. He remarked that like former CM Devendra Fadnavis, Thackeray, too, has written to the prime minister, requesting Marathi be given the status of a classical language. “But has it helped? There is still a question over what has been done about Marathi language and culture,” he wrote in the column.
According to the officials from Mantralaya, the Thackeray government has decided to expedite the process of getting a classical language status for Marathi. Officials from the Marathi language department have been directed to follow up the matter with the Centre. The government has directed the department concerned to ensure that Rang Bhavan was taken off the list of heritage sites as the state plans to construct Marathi Bhasha Bhavan there. Raut, in his column, wrote the government should use Marathi as the official language in its communication with industry, business and educational institutes.