MNS Rally in Mumbai
MNS chief Raj Thackeray addresses party workers after a march from Marine Drive to Azad Maidan Sunday | PTI File Photo
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Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray targeted Muslims in an aggressive if incoherent speech Sunday, saying the community should live within the framework of the country’s laws and not indulge in “activities that will affect their status”. 

Addressing a rally at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai, Thackeray said the Muslim community should not indulge in any “natak (drama)” as the MNS “would take them on at their own game”.

“Why did the Muslims hold a morcha (a gathering) some time ago? What was the reason for this show of strength? What message did they intend to send across?” Thackeray said. “This morcha today is the answer to that morcha. Henceforth, it will be a stone for a stone and a sword for a sword.” 

“No other country gives you (Muslims) so much freedom,” he added. “Don’t destroy what you have.”

The venue of the rally was a display of saffron, with Thackeray looking at pitching himself as the true heir to his uncle and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, who was known as the ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’ for his Hindutva push. His push in this direction seems to have strengthened since the Shiv Sena, currently led by his cousin Uddhav Thackeray, tied up with the Congress to form the state government.

MNS members travelled from across Maharashtra to attend the rally, with a large number of BJP activists present at Azad Maidan too, according to sources.

A muddled speech   

Thackeray’s speech, however, lacked coherence and flitted between attacks on Indian Muslims and those from Pakistan and Bangladesh.   

He elaborated on various aspects of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and said the country needed stringent laws to throw out illegal Muslim immigrants. According to him, there are about two crore Bangladeshi Muslims living in India.

“My country is not a dharamshala,” he said. “The Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants should be kicked out of this country. The central government should implement both these laws very stringently.”

At the same time, Thackeray questioned the Modi government, asking if laws such as the CAA were brought in to deflect attention from the dismal economic situation. 

The MNS chief then went on to say that there have been “no attacks” on Indian Muslims. “These Muslims are part of our country, so there have been no attacks against them. The attacks have been against the illegal Muslim immigrants in this country,” he said, without elaborating on what these attacks were. 

Making it clear that he was appropriating the Hindutva narrative, Thackeray slammed Hindus for “thinking of their religious roots only during riots”. 

“Only after riots do Hindus wake up,” he said. “Then candlelight marches are held. Then they wait for other events to happen to hold candlelight marches again.”  


Also read: Over 400 protesters booked for Mumbai’s ‘Shaheen Bagh’, but participants say won’t budge


Nothing new in MNS chief’s stand: Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said there was nothing new in the MNS chief’s stand. “Let us see how long his new stand will last. Even if you change the colour of your flag, it will not change the ideology. The question is, what is the ideology of MNS?” she said in an interaction with the media. 

BJP’s leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Pravin Darekar, also questioned Thackeray’s “stone for stone and sword for sword” statement and sought clarification. “If people hold peaceful demonstrations within the framework of the law what is wrong?” Darekar asked at a press interaction. “They have a right to express their views.” 

Darekar, a former MNS leader, had defected to the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.


Also read: Shiv Sena flip-flop on CAA continues, now Uddhav Thackeray says law has been misunderstood


 

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10 Comments Share Your Views

10 COMMENTS

  1. It is clearly known to every body that partition in 1947 was clearly based on Hindu and Muslim. If all musalman goes in Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) , and all Hindus comes in Bharat (India) , then today’s situation would not create. No any Owasi barking like their statements. Partition was not done on the basis of that who are followers of khwaja Ajmery and who are not.

  2. well done MNS, india is the only country where would be caa beneficiaries can take shelter of , whereas india should never accept muslims of pakistan and bangladesh if they can’t bring their share of land that goes with them in 1947, rather these illegal
    muslims should avail due provision of beneficiaries in their islamic state and live happily ever after if they can not repartition pakistan and bangladesh to join indian union with their land.

  3. MNS is on survival mode, therefore looking up for ways that lead up to it. But so far all has proved to be a failure.
    The question is can he get support, by his constant changes

  4. Ye sab political punch hai,apna khoya hua wajood wapas Lana chahte Hain Raj thakre muslimon ke name par,,AJ rajniti se inka safaya ho chuka hai,,Apne apko hilight Karne ki koshish karte rehte Hain ,,apne ap ko rajniti me bachakar rakhne ke liye

  5. Who removed Talwar or who threw stone. Everybody have a right to express their views. If people are holding peaceful demonstrations within the framework of the law what is wrong?On the contrary just for your Political benefit you are provoking people.The following quote suits you very well.. Hum to Dubey huey hai sanam ab kisi ko bhi chain se rahne nahi denge. You are unable to digest that Shivsena has formed Government in Maharashtra and your cousin has become the Chief Minister. So now the only way out is you want to burn Maharashtra.

  6. Whose brief is Mr. Raj holding? What does he stand for? He looks confused. It is sad to see him go down like this. We were looking up to him as the bright spark in Indian Politics. Terribly disappointed.

  7. Muslims are the most valuable people on earth to politicians who are out of ideas and have zero plans for budget, for better education, for better medical facilities for better agriculture. Muslims need to copyright the word muslim and then charge these idea-less politicians royalty each time they use the word.

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