Sachin Tendulkar has made India proud again — this time with his statement that Mumbai is for all Indians. At a time when vested interests are out to inflame passions in the name of language, caste, region and religion, Sachin’s words come as a whiff of fresh air. If more celebrities follow him in rejecting parochialism, India will become a better place to live in. May his tribe increase.
N. Gopalan Kutty,
The Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray’s criticism of Sachin for his remark is unfortunate. Sachin only said he was extremely proud of being a Maharashtrian but he was an Indian first. And that Mumbai belongs to all Indians.
What is wrong in what he said? Is it Mr. Thackeray’s case that Mumbai belongs only to Maharashtrians? Will he agree if the Marathi-speaking people living in the other States are told that they are outsiders — that Chennai belongs to the Tamils and Gujarat to the Gujaratis?
Mr. Thackeray’s remark against Sachin has disheartened not only his fans but all Indians. With activists of the Shiv Sena, the MNS and the like bent on ruining the unity and integrity of the country, we do not need the Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Taiba. In the name of protecting the Maratha Manoos, the Shiv Sena is indulging in the politics of disintegration.
Mr. Thackeray should stop pouring venom on Sachin and others. Let him remember that he was disenfranchised for six years after the Supreme Court held that he incited hatred among communities. How seriously the people of Maharashtra take him and his party was proved in the just concluded Assembly elections.
Sachin is loved by millions in not only our nation but throughout the world. Why should he be targeted for saying he is an Indian? In the last 20 years, Sachin has done much more for our nation than some politicians have.
Why not Mr. Thackeray prove that he is in no way behind Sachin in upholding the national sprit by declaring that he is an Indian first? That he is upset over a person saying Mumbai belongs to all Indians is appalling.