Keeping up the relentless censure of it saffron ally, the Shiv Sena launched into yet another tirade against the Bharatiya Janata Party, lambasting Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for his party’s “double standards” by welcoming Pakistan ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali on one hand and branding Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan a “traitor” on the other.
“On the one hand, the Chief Minister invites Ghulam Ali from Pakistan, saying they would be providing full security for him and on the other hand, his partymen order Shah Rukh Khan to go to Pakistan. What kind of double-faced politics is this?” said the Shiv Sena in a bristling editorial in their party’s mouthpiece Saamna.
While the editorial rebuked Mr. Khan for dipping frequently into the “whirlpool of controversies”, the Sena also strongly condemned the verbal attack on him.
“Targeting him because he is a Muslim and telling him to go to Pakistan is unfair,” it reiterated.
Instead, it was people like Hafiz Saeed and the likes of him who are trying to drive a wedge within the Muslim community in India. The politicians should not criticise Khan over the debate of intolerance, the editorial said.
Earlier, in response to Mr. Khan’s comments on the growing culture of intolerance in the country, senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya had dubbed the actor’s statement as “seditious” while infamously remarking that “while he lived in India, his mind was in Pakistan”.
But even as he came under fire from sections of the BJP, the Shiv Sena rallied round Mr. Khan with MP Sanjay Raut stating that the actor should not be targeted only because he is a Muslim.
Early last month, the Sena had succeeded in forcing sponsors to cancel Ghulam Ali’s concerts in both Mumbai and Pune.