Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said Thursday that India should be declared a Hindu Rashtra, and demanded imposition of uniform civil code in the country.
“They are speaking about laws banning beef in the country. They should first announce that this country is a Hindu Rashtra and impose the uniform civil code,” Thackeray said at the party’s annual Dussehra rally at Mumbai Shivaji Park. His speech was keenly awaited in the backdrop of growing rift between the Sena and its senior alliance partner, the BJP, in the state.
He chose to target the BJP on the issue of Hindutva, projecting the Shiv Sena as the only saviour of Hindus in the country. Thackeray, however, made it clear that he was not keen on snapping ties with the BJP as yet.
The Sena president’s 45-minute speech was laced with criticism of Pakistan, Muslims and secularists. He also criticised the BJP on the issue of Ram Mandir and its “soft approach” towards Pakistan.
“Mandir wahi banayenge lekin tarikh nahi batainge (We will build a temple there but won’t tell when). If this is the way the issue of Ram Mandir is being handled, all slogans of the temple being made are hollow,” said Thackeray. He also dared the BJP to enter Pakistan and kill terrorists on their soil. “ Ïf you have the courage, you should enter Pakistan and slay terrorists there,” he said.
He also slammed the BJP on the issue of price rise. “What is happening in the country? Why are people speaking on the issue of cows? Why can’t they speak on the price rise that the country is facing? I have not come here to criticise anyone. However, my responsibility is towards my people and not towards any seat of power,” Thackeray said.
He criticised those questioning the Sena on why it was not quitting the government if it had serious differences with the BJP. “When something good is done, we will praise, but if something wrong is happening, we will criticise as well. People ask me when we will step out of this government. We have joined this government. Let us do some work. We know how long to stay in power,” said Thackeray.
He, however, put the BJP on notice saying the Sena would pull the plug on the alliance if price rise was not controlled. “When our government was in power in 1995, prices were stable. Why can’t the same happen now,” asked Thackeray.
He also took on Muslims and the “policy of appeasement”. He said the renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhaji Nagar would take place soon. “You have the mausoleums of Aurangzeb and Afzal Khan here on this soil. Some people still go to pay obeisance to these figures that had come to wipe out the fledgling Hindvi Swaraj. Imagine the mentality of such people,” he said.
According to him, Hindus are deliberately being targeted in terror cases and that there is no one to defend Hindus in the country. “We do not have any problem with Muslims. A few years ago, there were 14 crore Muslims in the country. Their population has now gone up to 25 crore. Imagine what will happen in 25 years. Will this nation survive if Hindus are not there,” he asked.
Thackeray also demanded that Bharat Ratna should be conferred on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar for the sacrifices he made for the country.
Surprisingly, he also chose to hit out at rabid elements of the Sangh Parivar, criticising them for asking Hindus to have 10 children, harping on the beef issue and the lynching incident at Dadri. “Ït is because of incidents like Dadri that the head of this nation hangs in shame,” Thackeray said.
He also questioned the BJP’s stand on allowing Pakistanis into the country and said the Sena would not change its policies on the neighbouring country. “This government that is in power at the Centre is the last hope for this country. If it fails, we do not know where this country will head. The BJP is able to adjust with Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in whose state Pakistani flags are being waved. If it can do so, it should learn to adjust with the Shiv Sena too,” Thackeray said.
He also criticised General V K Singh for his statement in reference to the burning of two Dalit children in Haryana. “The General compared Dalits in the country to dogs. If this is how you think, what made you do the Bhoomipujan of the Ambedkar memorial here in Mumbai,” asked Thackeray. He said the party would strive hard to gain power on its own. “I promise you that the Bhagwa (the Sena flag) would flutter on Mantralaya,” he said.
Muslim boys from Marathwada being trained in Pak: Minister
Mumbai: Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam, while addressing the Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally, claimed that Muslim youngsters from Marathwada were being trained in Pakistan to foment trouble in the state. He also said Muslims should to be sent to Pakistan. “They eat here, earn here, proliferate here and then praise Pakistan,” Kadam said, adding that members of the community “should to be sent to Pakistan”. Kadam’s depiction of Muslims was based on the fact that pro-Pakistani slogans were being raised in Kashmir. “Ä lot of Muslim youngsters from Marathwada are being sent to Pakistan. I know we are in the government and need to act. I have asked the chief minister to hand over the charge of home ministry to me for a few days to address this problem,” he said.