The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena demonstrated its parochial agenda yet again when its activists beat up north Indian aspirants appearing for the Railway Recruitment Board examinations for the Western region in Mumbai on Sunday.

In the actions of the MNS, one discerns an eagerness to outwit the Shiv Sena, its equally misguided and intolerant competitor. Hooliganism can never advance the cause of the people it seeks to represent. Such actions will rob the cosmopolitan character of Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. They will also jeopardise the interests of Maharashtrians settled in other States.

P. Prasand Thampy,


It was horrifying to see the photograph of Shiv Sena and MNS activists attacking north Indian candidates in Mumbai stations (Oct. 20). The attack is a sad reflection on society which has given a free hand to Shiv Sena and MNS activists to subdue the collective conscience of a liberal society by using violence. The controversy involving north Indians in Mumbai reflects the desperation of some political groups that disrupt normal life to gain political mileage. We should not get carried away by their actions. Mumbai does not lend itself to the concept of locals and outsiders. It is a migrant city and migrants have built what Mumbai is today.

T. Marx,


The so-called ‘sons of the soil’ slogan propagated in some States is misconceived. It encourages divisions within the country. The MNS and its ilk should be condemned and nipped in the bud. The government of Maharashtra should take stringent action against the MNS.

A.J. Venkatasubramanyam,


Ours is a big nation and that is our strength. Why is the MNS targeting vulnerable people like poor, unemployed youth from other States? If it is really concerned about Mumbai and the Maratha cause, it should take up development issues. Mumbai is the commercial capital where people from all over India, including the north, reside and contribute significantly to its development. Regionalism and chauvinism must not be allowed to come in the way of development.

Jagannath Dash,


It is time the saner elements in Maharashtra realised the danger posed by the MNS to their State. What if the people of other States stop buying goods manufactured in Maharashtra? What if they do not allow the flights taking off from Mumbai and other places of Maharashtra to land in their cities? What if they do not allow the trucks bringing goods from the State to enter their borders?

Enoch Hazen,


Raj Thackeray should understand that Mumbai is part of India and not vice versa. Just as the Maharashtrians are accommodated elsewhere in India, others have to be allowed to live in peace in Maharashtra. The State is already grappling with problems of a stagnant economy and decline in investments. Mr. Raj Thackeray should remember that such hostile acts will only isolate Mumbai further on the industrial map.

Krishna Prasad,


The MNS leader is creating a false feeling of separation and exclusivity among Maharashtrians, which is highly condemnable. Is it enough to register a case of rioting against six “unknown persons?”

Does not the MNS’ action amount to a violation of the fundamental right to employment, for which Raj Thackeray can be sued directly in the Supreme Court?

Neha Singh Yadav,


Regionalism is the new brand of politics that is growing in Maharashtra. The Centre and the State government did nothing to curtail it when it was first started by the MNS a few months ago.

They expected the MNS and the Shiv Sena to cut into each other’s vote-bank. In the bargain what they got was a huge law and order problem, as both the MNS and the Shiv Sena are competing to be more destructive. We can only hope that the parochial tendency does not spread to other States.

N.T. Narendra,


It is unfortunate that leaders who divide the people for petty political gains get respect in our society. All-India competitive examinations are not meant for a section of people. Everyone has a right to appear for them.

Syed Danish,

New Delhi

The attack by MNS activists on north Indian candidates appearing for the railway recruitment examination is deplorable. But it is also time a quota was earmarked for the local aspirants. When the Railway administration has been zonalised, it is incorrect to say that earmarking posts for the locals is parochial.

P.S.S. Murthy,


The first thing to do is to ban the MNS. Mr. Raj Thackeray’s divisive antics should be dealt with severely. It is shameful that he has adopted the policy of intolerance like his mentor to settle personal scores. Politicians seem to be afraid of him, and politics is dominating his arrest.

Inamdar Ramachandra,