Calling the attack on his office ‘cowardly’, former Mumbai mayor and sheriff Nana Chudasama on Thursday said that he would not succumb to threats and would continue to express his opinion. Chudasama went on to say that he has nothing against the Marathi language, but that he is entitled to his opinion.
“It was very weak and cowardly of them to break in to my office in my absence. I want to make it very clear to everyone that I will never succumb to such threats. I have been writing for banners since 40 years and will continue to do so until I am alive,” said Nana Chudasama.
On Wednesday afternoon, a group of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party workers had vandalised Chudasama’s south Mumbai office, breaking furniture and equipment in response to his banner at Marine Drive, which said, “Promotion of Marathi welcomed, diktat not welcomed.”
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“I am a Maharashtrian by birth. Neither am I against the Marathi language nor the government. I am merely against any kind of coercive imposition of it on common man. Each one has a freedom of choice. I am strictly against vandalism,” said Chudasama.
The same banner on Thursday read, “Pen is mightier than the sword.
Agitate, debate but don’t vandalize.”
“Vandalism is definitely not the solution. If a matter is to be raised, one should protest, debate but ruthless destruction of property is directly going against the Constitution of the country. My father has been the legitimate voice of dissent since 55 years. There have been around 2500 tweets since yesterday in our support. Eminent personalities like Rajdeep Sardesai, Prannoy Roy have shown support and sympathy,” said Chudasama’s daughter Shaina NC.
She added, “We are not scared of anyone. I challenge them to do whatever they can, we are ready to face them. We are not afraid of such blackmails. There are many core issues in Mumbai which the agitators should introspect on rather than vandalizing people’s offices.”
Meanwhile, the Marine Drive police on Thursday arrested five MNS workers including Arvind Gawde, who unsuccessfully contested the 2009 state assembly elections from the Colaba constituency in connection with the incident. “We have booked the accused under sections of the Indian Penal Code for trespassing, rioting and vandalism. We are looking for the other MNS workers,” said Krishna Prakash, Additional Commissioner of Police, South region.