Nail MNS Immediately

MNS grows in the Congress Ka Swayamvar. Without the selfish interests of Congress MNS may not have come to this stage. Yes it is politically important to play the divide and rule policy. But it is nationally devastative for the pan Indian party to follow this principle in the crucial state of Maharastra. Congress should have played one stone two mangoes formula to wipe out Shiv Sena and MNS if its governance is good in the state. Leaving the governance to a low casual level the Congress party has depended on the vote splitting formula of MNS and Shiv Sena. This will affect the nation in the long term. If the party takes a leaf out of the past it will be clear any encouragement to the sectarian parties will boomrang on it. Akali growth with the Congress support in 1980s is a case in point.

There is no wonder to see the unruly behaviour of MNS MLAs in the Maharastra assembly. More will follow if the Congress government remains a mute witness to the sectarian politics of Shiv Sena or MNS. Immediately it must put an end to its self-destructive game. It is a welcome step to suspend the MLAs for four years. The MLAs should be treated like the criminals and booked under the national security act if they indulge in any further nefarious activities. All the immunity and privileges of the MLAs should be stopped.

Times of India writes (11 November 2009)

Indian Parliament and state assemblies have seen some awful behaviour over the years, including MPs waving wads of cash inside the House and MLAs
hurling chairs at each other. On Monday, yet another chapter was added to this shameful history when Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) legislators roughed up Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi for taking his oath of office in Hindi. Their reasoning, as explained by MNS spokesperson Shirish Parkar, was that Azmi by speaking in Hindi had offended the Marathi manoos.

Actually it’s the other way around. It’s the MNS that has offended the Indian Constitution and subverted all norms of parliamentary functioning. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. The MNS and its chief Raj Thackeray have been saying all sorts of incendiary things over the past year or so. One of the primary planks of the MNS agenda is regional chauvinism. If it had its way outsiders wouldn’t be allowed to live and work in Maharashtra. This is patently against the Indian Constitution and the right of an Indian citizen to move freely and work in any part of the country. But by expressing his nativist agenda in a violent way inside the Maharashtra assembly, Thackeray and his party members have breached all constitutional norms. There is absolutely nothing that prevents a legislator from taking his oath of office in Hindi, English or any of the regional languages.

That the hooliganism inside the House was premeditated is evident from the warning that Thackeray issued last week when he asked all the newly-elected MLAs in the Maharashtra assembly to take their oaths in Marathi or else face the “MNS music”. The MNS kept its promise on Monday when it attacked Azmi under the full glare of television cameras. Such acts cannot be allowed to go unpunished. Democracy does not sanction a “might is right” principle.

Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan has asked the assembly Speaker to take action against the MNS legislators. The assembly responded by suspending four MNS legislators for four years. This is heartening since the Maharashtra government has often turned a blind eye to threats issued by the MNS and acts of violence perpetrated by it. The MNS’s argument that Hindi is not used in Maharashtra stretches the limits of credulity. Not only is Mumbai the country’s commercial capital but also the headquarters of the Hindi film industry. By letting loose the law of the jungle inside the assembly the MNS has struck at the very roots of India’s constitutional democracy. It would set an extremely dangerous precedent unless tackled right away.


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