Even though Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said that he doesn’t want to escalate the controversy that the party finds itself in after its Thane MP, Rajan Vichare, stuffed a chapati into a fasting Muslim employee’s mouth at Maharashtra Sadan, party followers aren’t letting the issue fade out.
Thane MP, Rajan Vichare
Sena followers have come out vehemently in support of Vichare on Facebook and Twitter, after a video of the act surfaced yesterday. Shiv Sainiks hit back at the MP’s detractors, and said media and the opposition were giving the issue a communal overtone. Sena leaders claimed they found it fishy the video emerged a week after the episode.
“It seems the media is hell-bent on provoking us. If someone incites us, we deal with them Shiv Sena-style,” said a Sena leader. A Sena supporter said, “Our leaders didn’t know that the man Vichare was feeding was a Muslim who was fasting.
But if people are turning it into a communal issue, why should we back away?” A Sena leader said, “Our leaders have apologised. It’s good if the issue dies a natural death, but if someone is going to rub it in our face, we won’t keep quiet.”
The BJP’s silence on the issue, however, is disturbing the Sena. “When the 2002 riots had happened, it was Balasaheb who stood up for Modi. But we don’t see even a single leader from BJP standing on our side now,” said another leader.
BJP leaders in the city said the issue, if fuelled, may lead to polarisation and turn the floodlights on Shiv Sena, which might try to gain mileage from the issue. A senior minister said, “The CM was upset that the issue is besmirching Maharashtra’s name in New Delhi.”
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena is in no mood to let go the Roti issue of Maharashtra Sadan.
The editorial of Saamna, party's mouth piece, has taken the matter ahead and attacked the media and Opposition stating that if feeding roti during fasting can lead to chaos, then why isn't Muslims raping during Ramzan also being discussed by the media.
The editorial has stated two examples, one is that of Afghanistan moulvi raping a 10-year-old girl and the other is of an instructor in Bangalore raping a school girl.
Sainiks on Twitter and Facebook have continued their offensive against opposition and media alleging that they are giving the whole matter a communal colour.
They have even started a hash tag #IstandwithRajanVichare, the Thane MP who has been accused of forcing an IRCTC employee for being fed a roti during his Ramzan fast.