Facing condemnation over its MPs trying to “force-feed” a fasting Muslim staffer at the New Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi — as first reported by The Indian Express — the Shiv Sena on Thursday asked why it is being targeted while no questions are raised when “some Muslim men rape women during Ramzan”.
“Why is an unnecessary controversy being created over a chapati while no one raises a voice over the rapes committed by some Muslims during the holy month of Ramzan. People understand all this. The media and certain parties and politicians are okay with rape but not with chapatis,” said an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana. It listed recent rapes in Afghanistan and Banglaore which it claimed were committed by Muslims.
“The media and the selfish politicians who are crying themselves hoarse about the incident do not see the rape of a 10-year-old by a maulvi during the holy month of Ramzan in Afghanistan. The media does not speak then, nor are questions raised in Parliament, or cries of sensitivities being hurt voiced. In Bangalore, a Muslim teacher, while fasting, recently raped a little girl. Why do the media and the selfish politicians not speak about these incidents,” it said.
“It was not written on the man’s forehead which religion, caste or creed he belonged too. He turned out to be a Muslim. We came to know that he was observing his fast and reports started spreading that the Sainiks tried to break the fast of a Muslim,” said the editorial.
Maintaining that its MPs were only protesting against the management and catering service, it blamed Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Maharashtra Sadan Resident Commissioner Bipin Mallick for the poor condition.
“In reality, this chapati should have been thrust down the throats of the chief minister, PWD minister, chief secretary and Bipin Mallick… Why this brouhaha after we took a chapati close to the caterer’s mouth and told him a bit sternly that he should eat and see how unpalatable it is,” it said.
“We treat all religions equally. Everyone should keep their religion at home and in their hearts. Personal faith is a different thing but if if this faith is going to be used for scoring political points and defaming the Shiv Sena, people should realise that they have to deal with the Shiv Sena,” said the editorial.
Meanwhile, party president Uddhav Thackeray demanded Mallick’s dismissal. “He (Mallick) should be sacked from his present post,” he said, adding that the Sena respects all religions and its MP, Rajan Vichare, had expressed regret for the incident.
Interestingly, the Shiv Sena found an unlikely ally in MNS president Raj Thackeray. “I watched the incident, and it does not seem that Rajan Vichare acted with a mala fide intent of breaking that person’s fast,” he said.
The market is considered the largest cloth market in Asia and it houses a number of textile units and factories.