Shiv Sena protests outside Shobha De’s residence in Mumbai

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Mumbai | Updated: June 12, 2017 12:40:33 PM

Stepping up attack on author Shobha De, Shiv Sena staged a protest outside her residence here...

Shobha De, Shobha De news, Shobha De residence, Shobha De protest, shiv sena, shiv sena protest, Shobha De shiv sena, nation newsAs her comments against screening of Marathi films on prime time stoked a controversy, an unfazed Shobha De reacted to the protest. (PTI)

Stepping up attack on author Shobha De, Shiv Sena today staged a protest outside her residence here, alleging that she has insulted Maharashtrian culture by opposing government decision on mandatory screening of Marathi films, and said she should not stay in the state.

As her comments against screening of Marathi films on prime time stoked a controversy, an unfazed Shobha De reacted to the protest saying that she has total faith in Mumbai police about her personal security and is not worried at all.

The protesters gathered at De’s Cuff Parade residence here. They brought with them a tray of “Vada Pav” and “Dahi Misal” as De’s mocking tweet had said that Marathi delicacies will now be available in theatres instead of popcorn.

Reacting sharply to De’s comments, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that no Marathi person would tolerate such statements.

“This is an insult of Marathi culture and we will give her a taste of Vada Paav and Dahi Misal by this evening. When you are so irked with Marathi cinema and culture, then why are you living here,” he said.

“Shobha De’s remarks are an insult to Maharashtra, Marathi language and culture. You are staying in Maharashtra, calling yourself a Maharashtrian and then speaking against Marathi films. I feel such people have no right to call themselves Maharashtrian… Why are you staying here, You can go and start your Page-3 culture wherever you want,” he said.

De, however, remained firm on her statement and said she was not worried by such remarks.

“I am not at worried. I am very confident. And whatever is said … we will see,” she said, adding she had got support from all quarters.

“I am completely overwhelmed by the support not just on the social media but everywhere,” she said.

Sena ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, appeared to distance itself from the issue saying it was government’s obligation to protect Marathi cultire and De’s “right to protest”. It also tried to play down Sena’s protest against her.

“She had been given the protection she deserves. I think it was the right of the government, infact obligation, of the government to protect Marathi culture and it was also her right to protest. The protest from the political party concerned is not physically intimidating,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narasinha Rao said.

The Congress said the whole episode was outrageous and showed that the government “is probably not interested in governance”.

Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha tweeted: “The protests against @DeShobhaa by the Shiv Sena heralds the launch of election campaigning for the BMC elections. Ridiculous!”

Sena had yesterday sought to move a breach of privilege motion against the well-known novelist, taking objection to her tweet on Maharashtra government’s decision.

The Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ today carried out a stinging editorial against De on the issue today.

“You have done great service to the Marathi land in which you were born. It is unfortunate for Maharashtra that such comments came from a Marathi woman,” it said while mocking De.

Coming down heavily on the author, the editorial said, “Since you have termed the decision of the state government as dadagiri, let us tell you (Shobha)…Had Chhatrapati Shivaji, in his time, and Balasaheb Thackeray not done ‘dadagiri’, then your forefathers and her children would have been born in Pakistan and you would have been attending Page 3 parties in a burqa.”

De, reacting to Maharshtra government’s controversial move to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi films in the prime time slot, had earlier tweeted: “I love Marathi movies. Let me decide when and where to watch them, Devendra Fadnavis. This is nothing but Dadagiri.”

As the proesters gathered , De tweeted, “Police barricades are up ! I am feeling perfectly calm and safe ! Thank you..Mumbai Police.”

Coming to the defence of De, writer Chetan Bhagat hit out at ruling Shiv Sena, saying it should work to save farmers instead of attacking authors.

“Shiv Sena bullying @DeShobhaa for her opinions, to position themselves as Marathi saviours, is not cool. Save farmers, don’t attack authors,” he said in his first tweet.

“How to win Marathi vote: Option A: work hard, improve lives slowly, maybe go unnoticed. Option B: Do symbolic posturing and no work. Answer?”.

“Real community pride comes from real achievement and real progress. Not divisive politics, bullying the powerless and being touchy,” his another tweet said. P

Yesterday, a tweet by De which triggered the row said, “No more pop corn at multiplexes in Mumbai ? Dahi misal and vada pav only. To go better with the Marathi movies at prime time.”

“Devendra Fadnavis is at it again!!! From beef to movies. This is not the Maharashtra we all love! Nako!Nako! Yeh sab roko!I love Marathi movies. Let me decide when and where to watch them, Devendra Fadnavis. This is nothing but Dadagiri (sic),” said De’s another tweet.

RPI(A) workers have also decided to hold a protest at De’s residence and will present her with Marathi dishes such as ‘Vada Paav’, ‘Misal’, ‘Kanda-Poha’, ‘Kothimbir Vadi’ etc.

The tweet controversy had erupted after the Maharashtra government asked all multiplexes to screen Marathi movies on prime time.

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