MNS President Raj Thackeray has offered “help” to all, including media persons, who have recently been slapped with police notices to explain social media posts. “All those who have received or may receive such notices in future, please feel free to write to me along with the FIR copy. I will personally look into what needs to be done,” Thackeray said on his official Facebook page. Many people, including mediapersons, have in the recent past been served police notices in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra ordering them to explain objectionable posts referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
Thackeray added that though he admires and supports the police, they (cops) should not harass the common people on the government’s instructions. “Governments keep changing!” he said. Launching a strong attack on the ruling party at the Centre, he said “what you sow is what you reap” has proved true for the BJP. “They orchestrated a completely misleading media campaign, whereby tricking the common man with deceit and misinformation. But this very ‘weapon’ of social media the BJP made use of has boomeranged on them,” Thackeray said. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief pointed out how winning the 2014 elections became an obsession where “all principles and ethics were relinquished, false promises were made, truth was distorted and unscrupulous and deceitful means were employed to ignite the public sentiments”.
He said that photoshop techniques were used to display what really never existed. Thackeray said that journalists and intellectuals who opposed the BJP had to suffer humiliation, adding one actually got disillusioned with the entire gamut of social media. “You derived immense pleasure in ridiculing other political parties and their leaders but when the tables were turned and you were made the recipient of such slander, the police force was asked to intervene,” Thackeray countered. “Those who tried to oppose this were trolled and humiliated. That voice of dissent was crushed. Using such methods, you all came to power. Had you all done your job well and fulfilled all those promises, people would have yet overlooked this,” he said.
“What was most shocking and disgraceful was the acknowledgement that the assurances were just an election gimmick,” he noted. Continuing his tirade against the government, Thackeray said: “Then came demonetisation. What a blunder! So dispassionately executed! Innumerable people lost their jobs. Inflation reached its peak. All this happened and no one could question the government.” Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proclamation that he is a “servant” of the public and the people are his “king”, Thackeray asked: “Then doesn’t the king have the right to question on non-performance?”
He questioned why the rights of citizens to express dissent and disappointment, freedom of thought and expression via various social media platforms was sought to be muzzled by sending them police notices. “Is questioning the failed policies of the Prime Minister supposed to lead to a law and order situation? Then what about the damage done by trolls. Aren’t we heading to a state of anarchy? he threw a poser. Thackeray made an open offer of help not only to the MNS activists but all citizens who have been served police notices for social media posts on the Facebook page which had notched a staggering following of over 645,000 in the past one week.