It is most gratifying to note that the RSS has come out openly against the Shiv Sena, saying Mumbai is for all Indians (Feb. 1). No one can prevent non-Maharashtrians from migrating to the city for livelihood. It is time the Sena gave up narrow and divisive politics, which is certainly not supported by the Marathi-speaking people of Mumbai. Did not the non-Marathi security forces fight valiantly when Mumbai was under the siege of dreaded terrorists on 26/11? Can anyone say that the Taj Mahal belongs to the people of Agra and the Charminar to the people of Hyderabad?
The agitation held by the Sena activists outside actor Shah Rukh Khan’s house for supporting the cause of Pakistani cricketers in the IPL is unfortunate. They find in Mr. Khan a soft target. Our Constitution gives us the freedom of speech. It is unfortunate that the film industry has not come out against the Shiv Sena for spewing venom against Mr. Khan.
The protests in front of Mr. Khan’s house were unfortunate and unwarranted. The contention that “this is the issue of patriotism and Shah Rukh should not interfere in politics” is not in good taste either. One must understand that sports and arts have no religion.
The RSS bid to protect the north Indians in Mumbai is commendable. The Shiv Sena and the MNS condemn the attacks on Indians in Australia and threaten that they will not allow Australian cricketers to play in India. On the other hand, they make every effort to deprive fellow north Indians of their basic right to live in Mumbai.
That the subcontinent’s favourite sport can no longer unite Indians and Pakistanis is bad enough. Worse is the saffron brigade’s politics of hate and vandalism whenever it feels that someone is not “Indian” enough. What is the definition of good Indian? Is freedom of speech just a myth?