Raj Thackeray slams English, Hindi journalists

February 9th, 2008 - 8:02 pm ICT by admin  

Manmohan Singh
Mumbai, Feb 9 (ANI): Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday criticised English and Hindi language journalists for reporting in a biased manner on his activities over the last few days.

Barring both from a “Marathi only” press conference here this afternoon, Thackeray Junior appeared more obstinate than ever on his insistence that those wanting to live in Maharashtra should adopt the ways of Maharashtrians.

Questioning the media’s role, he asked how could it assume the role of being both the judge and the jury.

Justifying the exclusion of the national press from his press conference, he said: “It was media only which had played up my remarks (on north Indians and against Amitabh Bachchan), sometimes out of context,” Raj said.

Defending his inflammatory remarks against North Indians, he said people from North India, especially from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, were snatching away the livelihood of the Marathi people.

As an example, he cited the problem of Marathi films facing difficulty in getting screening space in Mumbai, where as Bhojpuri films were doing so very easily.

Thackeray also had an advice for migrants, telling them to adopt local language when living in Maharashtra.
Taking a dig at the Samajwadi Party (SP), Thackeray said when Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa don’t come to Maharashtra to address rallies, why do SP politicians do so.

He also advised politicians from Uttar Pradesh to restrict their rallies to their State only.

The MNS chief also regretted that SP leaders were allowed to get away with their inflammatory remarks, while he became the target of everyone.

Clarifying his previously made controversial remarks on Chhath Puja, Thackeray said he was not against the ritual, but its politicisation.

Chhath Puja should be performed on the banks of River Ganga, and not in Mumbai, he added.

When Amitabh Bachchan can love his place of birth (Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh), why can’t I,” Thackeray argued.

Dismissing speculations about his arrest, the MNS chief asked on what grounds would the Maharashtra Government arrest him.

On Friday in an article for the Maharashtra Times, Thackeray said that his struggle for creating a Maharashtra only for Maharastrians would continue in spite of the verbal backlash from the country’s northern and eastern belts.

Thackeray Junior said that if Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh could take on the Government of France over the Sikh turban issue and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi could defend the recent Malay Tamil agitation in Malaysia, why could he not defend the right of all living in Maharashtra to behave like Maharastrians?

He said that no one had the right to label him a “goonda” (anti-social element), when all he was doing was promoting the “self-respect of his state”.

Even if the whole world opposes my stand, I and my party will continue the struggle to protect Marathi culture, Maharashtrian people and will trample the goondaism of UP and Bihar.

The piece titled Majhi bhumika, majha ladha (My stand, My struggle) urges the Maharashtrians to stop “sitting on the fence” and urges them to “join the struggle.”

He also used his article to criticise film star Amitabh Bachchan again, calling him an out and out regionalist, and scathingly refers to West Bengal’s Communists as non-liberal and unsecular.

The Raj Thackeray-led MNS has been targeting north Indian migrants living in the metropolis and taken objection to celebrations like Chhat puja and Uttar Pradesh Diwas in Maharashtra.

Earlier, violence had rocked Maharashtra as the Samajwadi Party (SP), which is largely based in Uttar Pradesh, took out a rally despite the threat of disruption by Thackeray. (ANI)

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