A day after senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP attacked a well-known Jain monk, comparing him to televangelist Zakir Naik and alleging that the BJP had won the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation polls using “money and muni (monk)”, the party appeared to offer the olive branch to the powerful Jain community. A Sena leader on Thursday filed a police complaint against the sale of women’s apparel bearing the Navkar Mantra, a significant chant in Jainism, saying that the sale of such apparel hurts Jains’ sentiments.
The Sena, in its complaint, has said many items of women’s apparel bearing this mantra are available in markets in Vile Parle, Santa Cruz and others. “It should be stopped immediately. A warning should be given to the vendors before seizing such apparel. It is not right to play with a community’s emotions,” said Jitendra Janawale, former deputy vibhag pramukh in the western suburbs and the complainant in the matter. Janawale is also a secretary of the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena, the party’s labour arm.
“I was approached by some people from the Jain community, who objected to the mantra on the clothing. So I decided to take the issue up with the police,” said Janawale. “This shows that we are not against the Jain community and monks. The Sena is against those monks who seek votes on religious lines,” he added.
Shantanu Pawar, senior police inspector of the Santacruz police station, confirmed they received a letter from the Sena. “We have asked our patrolling staff to stop the sale if they find such items in shops,” said Pawar.