It is shameful that the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are brazenly practising the politics of hate with the aim of broadening their support base in Maharashtra. Their rhetoric against non-Mumbaikars has breached all limits of sanity, and, as Siddharth Varadarajan (Feb. 3) put it in his article: “Can the idea of India pass the Thackeray test?,” it is nothing short of ‘goondaism.’ As citizens of this country, we have had enough of divisive politics. Hope the Centre and the State act fast to stop this menace before it spreads.
Sunil P Shenoy,
The article was rightly indignant at the long rope given to the Shiv Sena in its campaign of parochialism by the powers that be in Maharashtra. The open threat issued to film star Shah Rukh Khan is downright condemnable. The way the Sena has unleashed violence and vandalism thus far against its political opponents and other personalities points to the total helplessness of the authorities. That it has got away with its acts too despite being out of power for over 10 years is a sad commentary on the functioning of the Congress-NCP coalition.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan
Does old age take a man to hate speech as one finds in the case of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray? Of late, Mr. Thackeray attacks everyone as his daily Samna has turned into a medium for mudslinging. It is time to impose some check on such hate speech.
The divisive Sena-MNS politics smacks of undemocratic motives and activities and often whips up people’s sentiments on grounds of religion, region and language, and strangles the freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution. Those practising the culture of hate politics pose a challenge to national integration. The taming of these regional and linguistic chauvinists who spearhead socio-political violence becomes imperative in the larger context of India’s future.
The Shiv Sainiks have the right to give expression to any philosophy they believe in, but it must be within the basic tenets of the Constitution. Shah Rukh Khan does not need to apologise to anybody and his movies are welcome in any part of India. The Shiv Sena neither represents the Hindus who believe in Lord Ram, nor the Indians who believe in democracy.
A. Raghunatha Reddy,
Siddharth Varadarajan has rightly pointed out the threat posed to national unity by the Shiv Sena. Now is the time for the Government of Maharashtra and the Union Home Ministry to act swiftly to put an end to such divisive forces. The authorities cannot simply watch forces with pernicious tendencies to gain political mileage. At a time when the nation is fighting terrorist attacks from within and across the border, such divisive forces cannot be allowed just because the parties they are affiliated to have been recognised by the Election Commission.