Sambhaji Brigade will continue to protest against honours for Purandare

Thane: Sambhaji Brigade, a hardline Maratha outfit, today said it will continue to protest on all occasions where 'Maharashtra Bhushan' recipient Babasaheb Purandare will be honoured.

The outfit and some other sections of the Maratha community protested the government's decision to confer the state's highest honour 'Maharashtra Bhushan' on the noted auhtor, known for his extensive writing on the life of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Sambhaji Brigade president Datta Chavan told reporters here they condemn the state government for moving ahead with the felicitation ceremony, held at Raj Bhawan in neighbouring Mumbai yesterday, despite resistance from various corners.

Protesters claim that Purandare tarnished the image of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji by casting aspersions on the warrior king's parentage and the role played by his guru Dadaji Konddev. While the Congress and the NCP opposed government's decision to give him the award, the BJP, the Shiv Sena and the MNS backed the move.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao and Babasaheb Purandare at the ceremony yesterday. Pic/Rane Ashish

"During the function (ceremony at Raj Bhawan) chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced that Purandare would be felicitated at various places of the state for receiving the coveted award. "We also declare that we will protest on every occasion wherever Purandare will be honoured," he said.

Chavan said as many as 17 organisations and groups will gather for a meeting on August 30 in Thane where they will share among people the actual facts behind the noted historian's work. "The award has been given to a person who has distorted facts about Shivaji Maharaj and it is the main cause of concern," he said.

Among the groups/outfits that will participate in August 30 meeting include Bahujan Samaj Vikas Sansta, Maratha Sewa Sangh, Jijau Brigade, National Dalit Movement for Justice, Bahujan Vikas Samajik Sansta, Samata Manav Seva Sansta, Matang Asmita Sangasha Sena.

Meanwhile, the Thane Municipal Corporation at its general body meeting here today passed a resolution to honour Purandare on its anniversary day on October 1, 2015. The resolution was passed amid chaos as Congress and NCP corporators opposed it, while the ruling Shiv Sena, BJP members helped the resolution pass through 46 corporators voting for it.

As many as 32 corporators of Congress and NCP voted against it. Standing committee chairman Naresh Mhaske and Shiv Sena group leader Santosh Wadavale brought in the resolution to felicitate Purandare in the general body meeting.

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