‘Have no wish to poison Eid festivities, but if Muslim community do not listen, we will be left with no option’, says MNS chief
Mumbai: Refusing to back down on his ultimatum of removing loudspeakers from mosques, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray Sunday warned that if the Muslim community did not do the needful even after requesting them, then he would not be held responsible for what would occur in Maharashtra after May 4.
He reiterated that he had no interest or the need to disturb the peace in Maharashtra by causing riots in the State.
The MNS chief remarked, “I do not want to poison the Eid festivities. But after (May 4), we will not listen. I urge all my Hindu brothers and sisters to play the Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques with double the volume. If you (Muslim community) do not listen humbly to our requests, we will have no option left.”
Addressing a jam-packed rally at Aurangabad’s Marathwada Sanskruti Mandal Ground on Sunday evening, Raj Thackeray, further hardening his hard line ‘Hindutva’ credentials, exhorted the Hindu community to remove loudspeakers playing the Azaan (prayer) from mosques after May 4 or else play the Hanuman Chalisa in double the volume in front of mosques if the speakers were not dislodged.
The MNS chief further remarked, “If they (Muslim community) do not understand in simple language, then let what has to happen happen…you (Hindu community) should not sit quiet. I urge the police to dismantle these loudspeakers from mosques.”
While he said that even loudspeakers outside temples ought to come down, they would be removed only after the ones in the mosques are removed.
Exhorting the crowd, Raj Thackeray stated “Loudspeakers are not part of your religion (Islam)… Even those in temples must come down, but only after those in mosques. It is now or never.”
The MNS chief further remarked, “Don’t think of anything, these loudspeakers must come down. I have said earlier that this is a social and not a religious question. I have no wish to cause riots in Maharashtra. The Muslim community needs to understand this.”
Raj Thackeray further stated that if the Uttar Pradesh government could remove loudspeakers, then why could not the Maharashtra government do it.
Raj Thackeray added, “All these loudspeakers (on top of mosques) are illegal. How many mosques have the requisite permission as mandated by the Supreme Court? Someone told me there are 600 mosques in Sambhajinagar (Shiv Sena, MNS name for Aurangabad) alone. Is this concert going here every day?”
Arguing as to why should the Hindu community only suffer always when it wanted to hold a public event on grounds of being told that a particular area was a silence zone.
Lambasting Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, he said that Pawar senior had an allergy towards the word ‘Hindu’ and the State had deteriorated because of the caste politics being played by the NCP chief.
He further added that, “I have never heard Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s name on his (Sharad Pawar’s) lips ever. He has deliberately spewed poison among the castes in order to secure votes. Even college students decide their friendships today based on castes.” The MNS chief further accused the NCP chief of playing divisive and casteist politics.
In the run-up to the much-anticipated Aurangabad rally, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had earlier been slapped with a number of caveats by the Maharashtra police on the need to maintain decorum and to desist from using offensive slogans, hurting communities and making casteist references in his speech.
While the police had restricted the number of attendees to 15,000, more than 50,000 supporters thronged the venue, several lining outside to listen to the speech.
The Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has accused Raj Thackeray of betraying the ‘Hindutva’ ideology.
It may be recalled that late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray had first played his hard-line Hindutva card at the same venue as Raj Thackeray’s speech in Aurangabad in 1988. Since then, the Shiv Sena has had a vice-like grip on Aurangabad city, winning the Aurangabad civic body several times and transforming it into a bastion outside of their Mumbai stronghold.