Maharashtra Congress legislator Nitesh Rane has slammed Girish Karnad over his comments on Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, saying the writer should 'either aopologise or face the Maratha heat' for his remarks.
Karnad, a Jnanpith winner, had stoked a controversy when he said that 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan would have enjoyed the same status as of Shivaji, if he was a Hindu and not a Muslim.
"Let whatever happen or done in Karnataka it's their issue but won't allow any Karnad to compare and lower our Shivaji Maharaj to anyone. Maharaj was much greater than all these. So I dare Karnad to come and say the same thing on our Maharashtra soil and see if he goes back," Nitesh, son of former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, posted on his twitter handle.
"This Karnad earns from our Bollywood for years and then dares to insult our Maharaj. He either should apologise or face the Maratha heat," he further tweeted.
The MLA from Kankavkli constituency said that unless Karnad tenders an apology to Maharashtra, he will not be allowed to enter the state.
"Tipu Sultan must be a good king in his own right but comparing him to Shivaji Maharaj does not fit anywhere. Shivaji Maharaj was much above," Rane said.
Nitesh had earlier embarrassed his party with his comments against the Gujarati community for being vegetarians. Karnad had also come under criticism from the Shiv Sena, which said that Tipu Sultan cannot be compared to the Maratha king, who was a judicious leader and had compassion for the poor and the sons of the soil irrespective of their caste, creed, religion.
Karnad and BJP MP Prathap Simha have allegedly received death threats on social media in the wake of the row in Karnataka over birth anniversary celebrations of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.
Karnad, who also came under attack for his remarks that the Bengaluru international airport should have been named after Tipu Sultan rather than the city's founder Kempe Gowda, received a threat on Twitter that he would meet with the same fate as rationalist MM Kalburgi, who was gunned down recently by two men at his residence in Dharwad in north Karnataka.
Security has been posted at the residence of Karnad in the wake of the controversy over his remarks.