India is one country, apex court says on plea against MNS

February 22nd, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Raj Thackeray

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Coming down sternly on the sectarian politics practised by some regional parties, the Supreme Court Friday said it did not approve of “the sons-of-soil theory” and would not “allow the balkanisation of India”. “This Bhumiputra (sons-of-soil) theory is not acceptable,” observed a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and Markandey Katju while hearing a petition seeking a direction to the Maharashtra and the central governments to stop the sectarian movement against north Indians spearheaded by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray.

“We will not allow balkanisation of India. India is one country,” thundered Katju against the concerted drive by the MNS to oust those from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from Mumbai in particular and Maharashtra in general.

The bench, however, asked the petitioner, lawyer Arvind Suhkla, to first go to the Bombay High Court to challenge the sectarian politics adopted by Thackeray’s MNS.

In his public interest lawsuit, Shukla has sought a direction from the apex court to the Election Commission to derecognise Raj Thackeray’s political outfit for indulging in sectarian politics and making controversial remarks against north Indians earlier this month.

Raj Thackeray is the nephew of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

Shukla also wanted a direction to the central government to provide security to non-Maharashtrians and north Indians living in Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra.

The petition was filed following the violence in Maharashtra as the MNS stepped up its attack on north Indians and the party’s workers began targeting them.

Shukla alleged that Thackeray’s action had endangered the integrity of the nation.

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