Saamna editorial enters testy waters, with the saffron party warning the Bombay High Court against crossing swords with people of Maharashtra over the Shivaji marine memorial
In an unprecedented move, the Shiv Sena came down heavily on a division bench of the Bombay High Court that told the state government last Thursday that it would stall Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s marine memorial if the construction of Mazgaon Court building was not funded properly.
The editorial said that two judges of the High Court had challenged Chhatrapati Shivaji and, like an extortionist, put a knife on the neck of an elected government for demanding the grants. Representation pic
In an editorial published in its mouthpiece Saamna yesterday, the saffron party warned the HC against crossing swords with the people of Maharashtra who revere Shivaji as a deity. While the article lacked mention of the names from the division bench, it did question the mental ability of the judges for making such observations. The editorial also accused the judiciary of playing politics by claiming that the judicial appointments were politically motivated.
“Be warned if you talk of stalling the Shivaji memorial, My Lord! We’re saying this without any fear, but with all respect to you. Let your law be with you. Maharashtra worships Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and follows his (Shivaji’s) law,” stated the editorial, which is seen as Sena’s official viewpoint.
Wolf or tiger?
The editorial also claimed that the judiciary looked more interested in matters beyond its purview of law than dispensing justice. It questioned whether the judiciary was behaving like a wolf or a tiger. “Our judiciary is fond of tasting the blood of politicians. A wolf attacks everyone who is in its sight, but a tiger refrains from doing so if he is not hungry. We wonder whether we have a Jungle Raj or the laws that were defined by Dr Ambedkar because our judiciary attacks whoever comes across it,” the article reads.
It added that two judges of the High Court had challenged Chhatrapati Shivaji, and, like an extortionist, put a knife on the neck of an elected government for demanding the grants. “This is nothing but a threat. If such a threat was made by a gunda or a politician, he or she would have been booked for extortion, kidnapping, theft, etc. But who will get punishment if such a crime happens in the court itself?”
The article stated that the court would have hanged an indebted farmer had he got his loan waived off by threatening a lender at gunpoint. “The judges have intervened in the government matters time and again,” it said, adding, “The judges should issue government directive on expediting public welfare schemes like farmers’ relief, homes for mill workers and police personnel. But such matters of public interest are postponed for hearing and long-pending for seeking justice.”
Will you be unbiased?
Giving the issue a communal angle, the editorial challenged the court to make frivolous statements in the matters concerning religions like Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. “Journalists were killed in France for publishing cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. The people, who threaten to stall the Shivaji memorial, cannot apply uniform civil code across the country, and have not advocated the need of Article 370. The loudspeakers on masjids continue to blare. What have our judges done in this regard?” the editorial questioned.
The article reiterated that it was because of Shivaji’s heroics that the country and its religion (read Hindu) were protected from the onslaught of invasive forces. It quoted from poet Bhushan’s work stating that the country would have turned into an Islamic nation in the absence of King Shivaji and his Maratha forces.
The Sena said that the Marathi people would have killed a Pakistani like Afzal Khan for making such a threat (against Shivaji), but the people who talk of staying the Shivaji memorial are our very own modern judicial officers. “What do these judges want to achieve by making such illegal statements? Do their statements fit judicial language? They should demand government grants in a legal manner,” the article asserted. “Will you also tell the government to stall land allotment for Ambedkar memorial and scrap the Vallabhbhai Patel memorial in Gujarat?”
The editorial further accused the judiciary of doing injustice to the poor. “People, who believe that justice can be bought and judiciary is blind, kneel before the judges”, it said.
‘Judges play politics’
In a startling charge, the editorial accused the judiciary of playing politics. “Judges play politics. Their appointments are very much political. Post-retirement, the judges aspire for gubernatorial positions, Lokayukta’s office, Lokpal’s office or chairmanship of any commission. They are free to think of their future, but they must not make any untoward statements against Maharashtra’s history and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” the editorial stated.
Asking the judiciary to introspect, so that the people continue to have faith in it, the article said the elected government would decide the future of the memorial. The article also stated, “We don’t have any tussle with the judiciary, but we were forced to express our thoughts only because of disrespect shown to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.”