Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday questioned the Bharatiya Janata Party on what it had done for Hindutva, NDTV reported. His comment came after the BJP accused his party, the Shiv Sena, of forgetting its ideological roots.
“Is Hindutva a dhoti? That we put it on and take it off?” Thackeray asked at an event in Mumbai. “When the Babri Masjid was brought down, you [BJP] ran into your hole. “The decision to build the Ram Temple was not from your government but from the court. And when it was built you went with a jhola [bag] to the people. Where is your Hindutva?”
In November 2019, the Supreme Court had awarded the disputed site on which the Babri Masjid was demolished by a Hindutva mob in 1992 to the Hindus. The verdict paved the way for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Leaders of the Shiv Sena and the BJP have been targeting each other since a row erupted last week after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray last week exhorted his party members to play the Hanuman Chalisa – hymn dedicated to Hindu deity Hanuman – if the state government failed to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 3.
Independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana scaled up the matter by threatening to recite the hymn outside Thackeray’s home. Both the leaders were sent to judicial custody on April 24.
On Monday, Thackeray said that if BJP leaders wanted to recite the Hanuman Chalisa, they were welcome, but should approach him “with a proper method”.
“But if you want to visit by ‘dadagiri’ [hooliganism], Balasaheb [Thackeray’s father and Shiv Sena founder] had taught us how to break that dadagiri.”
On Monday, an editorial in the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana had stated that Hindutva was going strong in Maharashtra under Thackeray’s rule.
“There is no ban on [reciting] Hanuman Chalisa in the state,” the editorial had said. “Then why the insistence on chanting the Hanuman Chalisa at Matoshree [the Thackeray family’s home]?”
The Shiv Sena had said that if the Ranas wanted to organise a national event to chant the prayer, they could have done so outside the homes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.