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50 days are up, time for whip-lashes? Uddhav Thackeray mocks PM Modi’s demonetizaton move

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Continuing his tirade against Narendra Modi government over demonetization, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray asked what should we do now as the ’50-day’ period the prime minister asked for was about to end.”Narendra Modi had said give me 50 days’ time (for the situation to normalise after demonetization) or else give me whip-lashes. Fifty days are getting over on December 30, what should we do on December 31?” Thackeray asked at a rally in Dhule, north Maharashtra.He expressed confidence that Sena will retain power in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Sena will win maximum number of municipal corporations in the coming polls and have maximum number of mayors elected, Thackeray claimed.Referring to the Prime Minister’s speech at Bhoomi-pujan ceremony of Shivaji memorial off Mumbai coast, Uddhav said, “After listening to the Prime Minister’s speech, after some time I felt is there any end to this (constant speech-making)?”Meanwhile, a senior Sena minister in the Maharashtra government, requesting anonymity, said his party was ready to contest the crucial MCGM elections on its own.”Sena has made up its mind to contest the elections on its own, given the bitter experience we had with BJP calling off the alliance at the last minute before 2014 Assembly elections,” he said.The minister ruled out possibility of alliance with Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. MNS was a spent force, he said. According to a senior BJP minister, the party’s top brass in New Delhi has yet had not taken serious note of the ally Shiv Sena’s regular outbursts against the Modi government. Sena has been attacking the government over demonetization move, among other issues.Sena mouthpiece Saamana today took a swipe at Modi for greeting his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on birthday. Chhatrapati Shivaji never extended such greetings to “the enemies of the nation,” it said.

Raj Thackeray has an apt question: Why spend money on memorials when historical forts are in a state of neglect?

With the BJP and Shiv Sena busy bickering over who was “hijacking” the grand Shivaji Memorial for reaping “political gains”,  Raj Thackeray, leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), had something pertinent to say.

Barely two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the ‘jal-pooja’ for the proposed memorial in the Arabian Sea — a Rs 3,600-crore worth of grand affair —  Thackeray questioned how the state government planned to finance it. “Where is the money going to come from? Do they have the money for the project? In the past, they have made many similar announcements, but the funds never came,” he said

Alleging that the state government keeps making such announcements, without planning the resources, he suggested that the money should be utilised for the development and maintenance of the scores of forts and palaces in Maharashtra, many built during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Incidentally, this had been a long-standing demand of the MNS.

As the state government is busy basking in the glory of another multi-billion project to claim the legacy of the the 17th century warrior king, the 3oo forts that the Maratha war hero built and captured during some of Indian history’s most iconic wars are languishing in a state of neglect.

Here’s a look at Maharashtra’s most prominent edifices that are the legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — an integral part of the Maratha pride.

Rajgad Fort

Aerial view of Rajgad Fort. Wikimedia commons

Aerial view of Rajgad Fort. Wikimedia Commons

The 14th century majestic edifice, built atop a hill near Pune, was the capital of the Maratha king and one of the most notable hill forts in the country. However, today, it remains callously ignored and is in dire need of fortified security measure as reports of thefts of historical artifacts from the fort have surfaced. According to a report in Pune Mirror on 12 Decembera piece of Shivaji’s sword disappeared that was a part of a well-known statue called Raj Sadar Sinhasan (the grand throne), at the fort. The report further states that the Maharashtra government has no paperwork to document the exact number and location of these artifacts, which makes it difficult for such thefts to be reported and documented.

From a tourism point of view also, the development of these forts remains far from satisfactory. Another report in The Times of India states that poor sanitation facilities at the fort and lack of a proper motorable road to the hill top are an impediment in harnessing the true tourism potential of the fort. The government, according to the report, is pushing for the historical site to be included among the World Heritage Sites maintained by the Unesco, but with shoddy upkeep, the Maratha heritage is unlikely to be restored to its past glory.

Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad fort. Wikimedia

Sinhagad fort. Wikimedia Commons

The Maharashtra Tourism website boasts of the strategic fort’s grandeur in these words, “As one of the top military outposts during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the fort of Sinhagad not only offers a fascinating peek into the history of the Maratha Empire but is also a perennial favourite… While taking in the panoramic view of the landscape below, you cannot help but wonder at the vision of those who built such imposing structures at such great heights.”

However, the structure sadly is in a dilapidated state and not much of it’s original structure has remained intact with time. According to The Times of India, parts of the structure are crumbling down due to lack of repair and restoration. The report also states that unmanouverable road, lack of security at the fort and garbage strewn across the place have further reduced its former glory. Vandalistaion is another problem, as visitors, in the absence of proper security carve out names and paint graffiti on the historical structure.

Sindhudurg Fort

Sindhudurg fort. Wikimedia Commons

Sindhudurg fort. Wikimedia Commons

Noted for its serene coastal beauty, the Sindhudurg Fort was built by Shivaji in 1664 AD off the Malvan coast. According to the Maharashtra Tourism website, it is believed that Shivaji personally chose the site for the construction of the fort, and it also has a temple dedicated to the warrior king, built by his son Rajaram.

However, this oceanic fort is also in a poor state, as the administration chooses to look the other way. As per The Times of Indiathe lashing waves from all sides have weakened the structure and its once impregnable boundary wall is crumbling in places. It’s well camouflaged and the sturdy gate has developed creaks because of which it cannot be closed anymore.

Walls of the Shivaji temple now has cracks. This temple has hosted many politicians who have wished to invoke Shivaji’s valour as a symbol of Maratha pride for making political gains.

Shramik Gojamgunde, the founder of Pune-based Sahyadri Pratishthan which is involved in spreading awareness about the conservation of forts in Maharashtra, rues at the terrible state of the over 350 forts dotted across Maharashtra. “The central government has 35 forts under their purview, while the state has 45. Who is responsible for the rest of the forts?” Gojamgunde is quoted in Mid-Day as saying. According to the report, frustrated by the lack of renovation and restoration initiatives, Gojamgunde’s organisation is taking up the work in its own hands and is involved in cleaning up a few forts. They have also installed information boards, where necessary, to inform the tourists about the glorious past of these monuments.

“The only reason we are taking on the responsibility is because the government shuns it. If we don’t do anything about these 2,000 year-old forts, they won’t exist 200 years down the line,” Mid-Day quotes him as saying. However, restoration and maintenance of historical structure should ideally be overseen by historians and the due authorities. The weathering and ageing of these structures is also an essential part which adds to their historical value. Unwarranted renovation work can damage the rustic beauty of these places. Installing newer and more lavish memorials to glorify the Indian history and heroes is a great idea but what is needed is the administration’s attention and support to protect the existing historical heritage.

With inputs from IANS

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 19:41 IST

Shiv Sena takes a dig at Narendra Modi for greeting Nawaz Sharif on his birthday

Mumbai: In a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wishing his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday amid chill in relations between the two countries, Shiv Sena on Tuesday invoked Chhatrapati Shivaji saying the warrior king never extended such greetings to “the enemies of the nation.”

Significantly, the Sena’s barb at Modi came within days of his laying the foundation for a grand memorial to Shivaji in Mumbai.

The ally also voiced its displeasure over the BJP supporters chanting “Modi, Modi” during a public meeting addressed by the prime minister, which was also attended by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

“What is outstanding about Shivaji Maharaj’s thoughts is that he considered enemies of Swarajya as enemies of the nation. Shivaji Maharaj never extended birthday greetings to Aurangzeb, Afzal Khan and Shaista Khan,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.

During the build-up to ‘jal pujan’ for the memorial, Sena did not hide its feeling that BJP has sought to “hijack” the event for claiming the legacy of the Maratha icon to secure political mileage.

“We only ask politicians not to use Chhatrapati to play low-grade politics. Those who claim rights on Chhatrapati will bite the dust in the end. They would do well to remember the history,” the editorial said on Tuesday.

“Ensure that the memorial does not get trapped in selfish politics, thereby forcing Shivaji Maharaj to use his sword against these self-centred politicians,” it said.

The ruling alliance partner, however, said it understood the importance of Modi in the BJP, and that his party is what it is today only due to the “Modi tonic”.

“While the Sainiks and Shivaji fans were chanting slogans hailing the Chhatrapati, BJP workers were shouting slogans in the name of Modi. Can anyone compare himself to Shivaji? Modi himself will not approve of this,” Sena said.

Notably, during the public meeting addressed by Modi here on Sunday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s speech was interrupted for a while, apparently by BJP supporters present among the audience by chanting “Modi, Modi,”.

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 14:30 IST

PM Modi lays Foundation for Rs 3,600-crore grand memorial for Shivaji Maharaj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the Foundation for a Rs 3,600-crore grand memorial for Shivaji Maharaj off the city coast on Saturday, an event that comes a few months ahead of the civic polls and amid tussle among parties to claim the legacy of the 17th century warrior king. Modi, accompanied by select dignitaries, including Governor Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, sailed in a hovercraft from Girgaum Chowpatty beach in south Mumbai to reach near the memorial site, some 1.5km off the coast.The PM performed the ‘jalpujan’ at the designated spot, symbolically marking the start of construction of the magnificent memorial in the Arabian Sea, which, according to the state government, is going to be the tallest such structure in the world. Shivaji’s descendants Udayanraje Bhosale and Sambhaji Raje (both Parliamentarians) were also on board the hovercraft. Before the event, Fadnavis handed over to Modi a ‘kalash’ (vase) containing river waters and soil collected from all districts in Maharashtra.When the hovercraft reached the memorial site, Modi immersed the ‘kalash’ in the sea. The PM also inspected a float depicting Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation. During the ceremony, Modi was seen talking to Thackeray, whose party, despite being an ally, has been a bitter critic of many of the BJP-led NDA Government’s decisions, including demonetization. Earlier in the day, Sena alleged the BJP has “hijacked” the occasion to reap political benefit.In October last year, Thackeray had ‘boycotted’ a foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Ambedkar memorial, apparently after he was denied a seat along side the PM on the dais. The proposed memorial’s main feature will be an imposing 192-metre-tall statue of a triumphant Maratha king riding a horse. The statue will be surrounded by an art museum, an amphitheatre, auditorium, exhibition gallery and other facilities.In run up to the ceremony and Modi’s visit, the BJP government launched an advertisement blitzkrieg. Maharashtra’s nodal agency for information dissemination, DGIPR, had instructed officials in districts to put hoardings and posters celebrating the event. The government also released radio jingles, newspaper and television advertisements, and online commercials to promote the grand ceremony.With elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) round the corner, the BJP in Maharashtra left no stone unturned to ensure Modi’s official visit here also boosts the party’s chances in the crucial elections. Shiv Sena is ruling the BMC for over two decades in alliance with BJP. The event marking laying of foundation for the memorial is being seen as the BJP Government’s ‘vachanpurti’ (fulfilment of Assembly poll promise).The state government had ordered collection of water from all rivers across Maharashtra and soil from historic sites, which were brought to Mumbai in metal pots (kalash) on Friday. This was then collected in a large pot, which Modi immersed at the ‘jal pujan’ site. The ‘jal pujan’ ‘muhurt’ at the memorial site was at 2.59 PM. Three hovercraft were roped in to carry the PM and other dignitaries to the 16.5-hectare rock islet off the coast along Girgaum Chowpatty.Major political parties, including BJP and Shiv Sena, are competing to claim the legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji, a highly revered figure in Maharashtra and across the country. BJP’s bickering ally Shiv Sena as well as Opposition Congress and NCP are miffed the way the ruling party is trying to “appropriate” the legacy of the Maratha king. Sena, which has always claimed the legacy of Shivaji, faced a challenge on that front for the first time from the BJP in 2014, when General Elections changed the social and caste equations with aspiring Marathas, OBCs and some Dalit factions joined hands with the saffron party. The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fisherfolk and environmentalists, who have alleged it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea.

Here’s why Uddhav Thackeray will be sharing the stage with PM Modi for the first time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party had boycotted a function involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, will attend the public function in Mumbai on December 24 to be addressed by Modi. The Prime Minister, after laying the foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, elevated rail corridors project, the Mumbai Trans Harbour link and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial off Arabian Sea, will address a public function in suburban Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). “There will be only one function to lay the foundation stone for these projects and Uddhav Thackeray will attend the proceedings at the MMRDA grounds in BKC,” a close aide of the Sena chief said on Wednesday.On October 11 last year, Modi had laid the foundation stone of a grand memorial to Babasaheb Ambedkar at the Indu Mills compound in the heart of Mumbai, a function which was boycotted by Shiv Sena whose chief Uddhav Thackeray was not invited. Sena is a part of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre as well as the BJP-led Maharashtra government.Meanwhile, NCP president Sharad Pawar is in Delhi and will attend the birthday celebrations of Ajit Singh, former union minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief on Thursday. “Pawar saheb will attend the function to lay the foundation stone of Pune Metro in Pune if invited. His office in Mumbai has not received an invite,” one of the aide of the Maratha strongman said.

Uddhav Thackeray meets RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur

Sun, 4 Dec 2016-05:04pm , Nagpur , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur.Thackeray, who arrived in Nagpur this morning, drove to the RSS headquarters where he met Bhagwat. Their meeting lasted for about an hour. What transpired between the two leaders is not known, but Sangh sources claimed it was a courtesy call by Thackeray, whose party is an ally in the BJP-ruled coalition at the Centre and Maharashtra.Later, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also met Bhagwat. Singh and Thackeray among other politicians were here to attend the wedding of Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s daughter.The Winter session of Maharashtra Legislature is beginning in Nagpur from Monday, which is likely to be a stormy one with the Opposition expected to raise the issue of demonetization and its impact on common man. The Sena has been critical of the implementation of the Centre’s demonetization drive.

Gadkari’s office rubbishes reports of 50 chartered flights to ferry VIPs for daughter’s wedding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The office of Union Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday dubbed reports stating that 50 chartered flights will ferry VIPs for his daughter’s wedding as ‘mischievous and incorrect’.Gadkari’s office stated that only ten non-scheduled flights have landed at Nagpur Airport in the last 24 hours, according to the Air Traffic Control (ATC).It said that ten non-scheduled flights included at least three government flights of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan.Other non-schedules flights included those of yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Shiv Sena chief Udhhav Thackeray, media baron and veteran filmmaker Ramoji Rao and Rajya Sabha member and former non-executive chairman of ZEE TV Subhash Chandra.Earlier reports suggested that over 10,000 guests, most of them VVIPs, will be flown to the city in 50 charter flights on Sunday evening.Ketki, the youngest of Gadkari’s three children, is getting married to Aditya Kaskhedikar, a professional with Facebook in San Francisco.

Mumbai remembers horrific 26/11 attack, pays homage to martyrs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the nation remembers the deadly 26/11 attack which enters into the eighth anniversary, the political fraternity thronged to the memorial to pay homage to the victims of the horrific terror attack.Floral tributes were paid to the martyrs who laid their lives while fighting terrorists who launched series of attacks at the southern Mumbai eight years ago.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was accompanied by Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao Police Commissioner Data Padsalgikar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, paid visits to the 26/11 police memorial site at the Mumbai Police Gymkhana. “Paid humble tributes and salutes to the brave heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect several lives on 26/11 in Mumbai,” tweeted Fadnavis.”We remember and pay homage to all those who lost their lives in 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai and we resolve to fight Terror at every level,” tweeted Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh. Family members of the policemen, who lost their lives during the November 2008 attacks, were also present during the ceremony. Students of Mithibai College too organised a peace march to commemorate the memory of the martyrs of the 26/11 attack.On this day in 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists came to Mumbai via sea route from Pakistan and carried out series of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across the city. The attacks lasted four days, killing 166 people and injuring over 300. Various events are today being organised in the business capital to pay tribute to the victims of 26/11.To pay tribute to the martyrs, Public Concern for Governance Trust(PCGT) an NGO, in association with the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), is organising an event, “Unity in diversity-together we remember 26/11”, at NCPA’s Jamshed Bhabha Theatre.

Demonetization: Samajwadi Party invites Shiv Sena to join Nov 28 shutdown for ‘national protest’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Appreciating Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for supporting former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh over demonetization of high-value currency, Samajwadi Party on Friday urged the former to take part in the shutdown being observed by the opposition party on November 28.”Manmohan Singh is an intellectual man, he is a well known economist and senior politician. If he saying that the step taken by the Prime Minister will affect the economy of the nation then one should have taken his advice. I laud Uddhav Thackeray for supporting him,” Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi said.Azmi said that the entire Maharashtra should observe shutdown on Monday in the wake of the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes adding that Thackeray should take some serious steps over this issue.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi is following a Hitler policy. The change in demonetization norms everyday shows that they have not done any preparation on it,” he said.On Thursday, Thackeray asserted Prime Minister Modi should have prior to implementation of the scheme taken the views of his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh seriously as he is an eminent economist. “Former prime minister Manmohan Singh is an eminent economist. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take his viewpoint seriously before implementation of demonetization,” said Thackeray.Thackeray said there is no meaning of the Prime Minister getting emotional and shedding tears during his speeches, adding the latter should have instead made efforts to wipe out the tears of the general public.Later in the day, the Centre announced that there will be no counter exchange of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes after the midnight today.However, certain exemptions relating to cancellation of legal tender character of old currency notes has been extended up to December 15, including for the payment of current and arrears dues to utilities which will be limited to only water and electricity.

Shiv Sena chief equates feedback over demonetization to Britain referendum before Brexit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After taking repeated digs at the Centre over demonetization, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray dubbed the move on Thursday as “extortion of common man” and asked the BJP to take former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s words on the issue seriously as it came from a “renowned economist”.”I will not hesitate in taking a critical stand on the process in which demonetization was implemented,” Thackeray told reporters here. “The way in which a referendum was sought in Britain before its withdrawal from the European Union, a survey is being done here. But seeing people’s response, their (UK) Prime Minister chose to step down. Will something similar happen here?” he said.Thackeray was apparently referring to the Prime Minister seeking people’s feedback over demonetization on the Narendra Modi App, where a number of questions have been posed with regard to scrapping of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. He said there was no point in Modi becoming emotional at a time when people have tears in their eyes. “One person cannot take a decision for 125 crore people. Before taking the decision to demonetise the currency, people should have been taken into confidence,” he said.
ALSO READ Maximum black money transactions took place under UPA: Arun Jaitley hits back at Manmohan Singh”Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a renowned economist. Thus, his words and opinions should be taken seriously. The way in which money is being collected, seems that money is being extorted from common man. You have brought tears in the eyes of people who made you come to power with a lot of aspirations,” Thackeray said.Coming down heavily on the government over the issue, Singh castigated the government and the Prime Minister over demonetization during Rajya Sabha debate on Thursday, saying its implementation was a “monumental management failure” and a case of “organised loot and legalised plunder”.
ALSO READ GDP will take 2% hit thanks to demonetization: Manmohan SinghReferring to the Reserve Bank’s decision not to allow district central co-operative (DCC) banks to exchange the old currency, the Sena chief asked if liquor baron Vijay Mallya had taken loans from these banks. “Did Vijay Mallya take loans from any of the DCC banks? Banks from which he did take loans, how have they been allowed to exchange the old currency?” he questioned.He said that the government should extend the dates up to December 31, until which defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are accepted at petrol pumps and hospitals.

PM Narendra Modi reassures Sena MP’s on demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day before the opposition protests against demonetization in the Parliament premises, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reassured a group of Shiv Sena MPs on Tuesday that Centre is taking all measures to ease the hardships of the people. Led by Sena’s leader in Lok Sabha Anandrao Adsul, 14 MPs of the party called on the PM to discuss the consequences of demonetization faced by the common man. NDA’s biggest ally has been vocal in their criticism on the lack of planning by Centre while rolling out demonetization.According to Sena MPs present in the meeting, the PM acknowledged the hardships of the people who are facing a cash crunch but said that it would not continue for a long time. While talking to Sena MPs, the PM also invoked late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and the long-standing association between the two parties to reassure them in the wake of Sena leaders joining hands with the opposition in the march against demonetization last week.While expressing their view on the difficulties faced by people, the party also urged the PM to allow co-operative banks and credit societies to exchange old currency notes. “We conveyed our concerns to the PM regarding demonetization and he heard us patiently. Since the rural economy is dependent on district co-operative banks and as nationalised banks are few in numbers, we urged the PM to bring co-operative banks in the demonetization drive,” said Sanjay Raut.”Over the course of last 13 days the on-ground situation has become alarming in terms of hardships being faced by common people whose daily sustenance is based on cash income. But the presence of nationalised banks is extremely limited in large parts of the country. It is the co-operative movement which has sustained the economic needs of this large section of our population for more than 50 years,” the party said in a statement issued on Tuesday.Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, Arvind Sawant, Shrirang Barne, Anandrao Adsul, Rajan Vichare, and Gajanan Kirtikar were among those present in the meeting with the Prime Minister.

Bal Thackeray would’ve backed demonetization: PM to Sena MPs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Amid Shiv Sena’s growing criticism of Centre’s demonetization move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told the party MPs had former party patriarch Bal Thackeray been alive, he would have supported the move.Modi said this while interacting with Shiv Sena MPs, who met him in the national capital urging him to allow co- operative banks, district central co-operative banks (DCCBs) and credit co-operative societies to exchange notes. “Prime Minister told the visiting MPs that had late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray been alive, he would have supported the decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes,” a Sena source said. Responding to Modi’s invocation of former Sena supremo, party president Uddhav Thackeray said he was happy that PM had respect for Balasaheb in his heart.”But right now, Modi needs to answer the people who are looking up to him with questions. If people get the answers they seek and their lives are made easier, Balasaheb would be happier,” Thackeray said.Centre’s demonetization move seems to have brought more bitterness in the already-strained ties between the two ruling allies — BJP and Sena– as the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has been consistently slamming Modi over the decision.In an embarrassment for the BJP, Shiv Sena had taken part in the protest march led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in New Delhi last week against demonetization. MPs Chandrakant Khaire and Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena had taken part in the march.

Do not teach patriotism to people who are distressed and standing in lines: Uddhav Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena on Tuesday escalated its broadside against the BJP over demonetization with party chief Uddhav Thackeray saying the senior ally should stop branding people as partiots or anti-nationals as per its “whims and fancies”.The hard hitting remarks by the Sena came when it took strong exception to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s statement that those opposing the move are harming the country. Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ came out with yet another stinging editorial, holding that the currency scrapping exercise has failed to unearth the “real” black money and that it only helped the government deflect attention from burning issues like hunger, inflation and unemployment. “You do not need to teach patriotism to people who are distressed and quietly standing in queues. Their hard earned money is being used for all works in the country. Thus, you (the BJP) should not label people as patriots or anti- nationals as per your whims and fancies,” Thackeray told reporters at his residence ‘Matoshree’ in suburban Bandra.Fadnavis, while addressing a civic election rally at Ratnagiri recently, had said those opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetization were harming the country and people should come together to win this decisive battle against black money. On reports of Reserve Bank mulling opening of “Islamic window” in conventional banks for “gradual” introduction of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country, he wondered as to where the country was heading. “You do not allow district co-operative banks to exchange old currency and on the other hand permitting Islamic banking. I do not understand where is our country headed towards,” he said.Thackeray further said that if demonetizing Rs 500/Rs 1,000 bills could stop terrorism, the whole world should have adopted this model. “If it were true that scrapping old currency would stop terrorism, the whole world should adopt this model as terrorism is a global evil and every country is at risk,” he said. While criticising the government over demonetization, the Sena mouthpiece also took a dig at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar over his remarks on “financial emergency” in the country, saying that he should have made the comment in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (when they met during an event at Pune recently).”Due to the demonetization decision, the government has been able to divert the attention of people from hunger, inflation, unemployment and terrorism. The government was successful in making people forget important national issues,” an editorial in ‘Saamana’ said. “Not a single big fish has been seen standing in long queues to exchange their money. This means that the real black money has not yet come out and Modi’s friends (supporters of the decision) will have to accept this,” the NDA partner said.Seizing on Pawar’s remarks, the Sena said “It is hypocritical of Pawar to say there is financial emergency in the country, or Pawar would have made the comments in presence of Modi (in Pune). But indulging in bonhomie and then speaking against Modi outside is not good for the people.

Rajnath reaches out to Uddhav after march against demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the Shiv Sena joined hands with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to march to Rashtrapati Bhavan on the demonetization move by the Narendra Modi-led government, party president Uddhav Thackeray said the hardships faced by the people after the delegalisation of high-value notes needed to be alleviated.Speaking to reporters at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, on Thursday, which is the fourth death anniversary of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, Uddhav said while they were with the Centre in the war against black money, the people needed a relief from the hardships faced by them.Uddhav sought that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) withdraw its curbs on allowing district banks to exchange Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes. Uddhav said he had told Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who had called him, that “if the intention was good, the procedure also needed to be good.” The Shiv Sena has also sought an extension of the deadline for exchanging and accepting old notes.It is believed that Singh shared with the Sena chief the government’s steps to ease the pressure on citizens queuing up at banks and ATMs amid a massive cash crunch. Rajnath is also believed to have told the Sena chief that government and NDA allies all need to speak in one voice on the floor of the Parliament.The Sena has been strongly critical of the government on the decision. Amid relentless queues at ATMs and banks for cash, Uddhav accused the government of ‘torturing people’ and warned Prime Minister Modi of a ‘surgical strike’ by people. “If you have guts, conduct a surgical strike on Swiss Banks where Indian money is stashed. Bring back this black money,” he said, adding, “Do not betray the people’s trust or you will see the impact of peoples’ ‘surgical strike’ against you.”

Demonetization: Rajnath Singh speaks to Uddhav Thackeray after Sena joins hands with Opposition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after NDA ally Shiv Sena joined hands with the opposition to protest demonetization, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday spoke to its chief Uddhav Thackeray and is believed to have conveyed the BJP’s unhappiness over the move.During the 10-minute telephonic conversation, Singh is understood to have told Thackeray that Shiv Sena joining hands with the opposition, despite being part of the Modi government, was sending a confusing signal and such an action was avoidable.The Shiv Sena on Wednesday taken part in a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and participated by Aam Aadmi Party and National Conference.The parties lodged their protests before President Pranab Mukherjee against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of demonetization of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes and conveyed concern over the hardship being faced by the common people following the government action.Sena is the oldest ally of BJP and part of the Modi government at the Centre and the BJP-led government in Maharashtra.While the other parties which took part in the march sought immediate withdrawal of demonetization exercise, the Shiv Sena had differed on the issue and insisted the government extend the deadline of accepting the old currency notes.”We welcome the demonetization move. But we are against the inconvenience caused to people due to it. We have not signed the memorandum (that will be presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee).”We are going to submit a separate memorandum seeking redressal of the inconvenience caused to people. We also want the period to be extended,” Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena had said.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya to release list of companies with black money

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP MP Kirit Somaiya on Sunday claimed that he would release a list of bogus companies where black money of ‘some people’ in the city was parked.”I will show the Shiv Sena president what a surgical strike on black money means, when I release the list next week,” he said referring to Uddhav Thackeray daring Prime Minister Narendra Modi to conduct “surgical strikes” on Swiss banks to bring back black money. Thackeray had spoken of public inconvenience following the Centre’s demonetisation move, saying it amounted to “torture” of people.”People have put immense faith in you (PM). Do not betray their trust or you will see the impact of peoples’ surgical strike against you,” he had said.Somaiya told PTI that Mayawati, Mulayam and Uddhav Thackeray should clarify if they were worried about poor people or those with boxes of money. “When I release the list, the ‘Mumbai mafia’ and the Congress and NCP will know where the black money is marked,” he said.The BJP MP has been using the term ‘Mumbai mafia’ over the last several days to denote alleged corruption by Shiv Sena in BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). “Uddhav Thackeray will come to know where the Mumbai mafia money is parked, when I disclose the names of the companies concerned next week,” Somaiya added.

Shiv Sena should conduct a surgical strike on BJP than just criticising demonetisation: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a jibe at Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for criticising the demonetisation move by the Narendra Modi government, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Ashok Chavan said it is time the saffron ally carries out a “surgical strike” on BJP by walking out on it in the state and at the centre.”Uddhav is equally responsible for the inconvenience caused to the people since he is part of the government. Instead of criticising the move and talking of surgical strikes on Swiss banks, he should walk out of the government and conduct a surgical strike himself on BJP,” Chavan said. He said the government took the demonetisation decision without giving it a proper thought. “What is the point in extending the deadline for accepting old notes for payment of government dues by three or four days. It is a mockery of people’s sentiments,” he charged, adding the government should have made alternative arrangements for benefit of the ordinary citizens and then withdrawn the high currency notes.”The decision was taken without proper application of mind on the adverse impact it will have on the common man,” he said adding that Congress is not against steps to curb black money but this is not the right way. “Two persons including an infant died in the state due to shortage of cash. The government is responsible for this,” he alleged.

Chhath puja celebrations in Mumbai: MNS’ attack on performers stems from a class hatred

By Maya Palit

Does it surprise you to hear that Raj Thackeray’s party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has made what looks like a random attack on performers who were dancing on a stage at a chhath puja in Mumbai?

On 6 November, four women were booked for dancing in a ‘vulgar’ fashion to Bhojpuri songs at a chhath puja celebration in Nalasopara East after a police complaint was lodged by MNS party members. Bhojpuri dancing and music has always been sexually-charged, witty, full of suggestive innuendo and contemporary references, and there was nothing unusual about the dancing this year. But the organisers, the Hindi Bashik Vikas Mandal, were charged under Sections 294 (obscene acts and songs) and 34 (common intention). The MNS also claimed that the organisers had insulted Chhatrapati Shivaji and various goddesses because their portraits were on the stage behind the dancers.

Devotees worshiping on the occasion of the Chatt festival at Boat Club in New Delhi on Sunday. PTIDevotees worshiping on the occasion of the Chatt festival at Boat Club in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The videos of the dancing on this particular occasion were uploaded to YouTube and went viral soon after — they are pretty mild-mannered and would hardly offend anyone who has ever watched a Bollywood film. It is highly probable, though, that a lot of the animosity stemmed from a deep-set prejudice against the migrant Bihari community, for whom the chhath puja is the biggest social event of the year, a fact that the ruling party this year has clearly recognised.

The MNS, though, has created trouble around the festival for years now, but agreed to hold off on protesting against it this year. Thackeray, whose aversion to the Bihari community has never been too subtly disguised, once even insisted that only Maharashtrian festivals should be celebrated in Mumbai. Perhaps the MNS were not too thrilled as well that some of the dancers in question were transgender.

A few years ago, filmmaker Surabhi Sharma’s documentary Bidesia in Bambai (2013) recorded how Bhojpuri migrants from UP and Bihar use music and dance to celebrate festivals in a city that demands their labour, but otherwise makes them feel deeply unwelcome. Sharma agreed that this particular attack has more to do with politics than the apparently lewd dancing, particularly because Nalasopara East is an area where MNS hardly has a presence and the majority Bhojpuri working class population is represented by smaller parties like Bahujan Vikas Aghadi. “This is an attack to put the Bhojpuri community in place. The performances of the transgender persons, which is common elsewhere but not often seen on big Mumbai stages, are testament to the political confidence of the Bhojpuri community in the area and this probably threatened the MNS. There was nothing unusual about the dancing. People might argue that at chhath puja events you won’t witness sexualised dancing — which in itself is no different from Bollywood item numbers — and it is true that Chhath celebrations typically do have devi geet and devotional songs, but on any stage that is sponsored by a political party would have this kind of dancing.” said Sharma.

In fact, a scene in Sharma’s film, which captured performances put together by the same organisers, the Hindi Bashik Vikas Mandal, had dancers doing item numbers to Bollywood songs on a stage that was funded by the Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi party, and there was no trouble. Abandoning the pious songs was a strategic move to captivate audiences with dances to ‘Sheila ki Jawani’, says one of the organisers, half-apologetically, half-amused, in the film: “The devotional spirit is over here, now it’s only politicking. If we get into devotional song mode, the public won’t come to us.” The message he gives off very clearly is that an item number is just the most obvious way to engage your audience, the same idea that an unidentified BJP leader echoed when he organised for a bar dancer to perform at the massive parivartan yatra in Bagpat, Uttar Pradesh on 7 November. Party leaders were running late and the entertainment, he said, was intended to mollify the crowd and prevent it from getting restless. Unsurprisingly, he has not been subject to the same kind of police procedure or public backlash.

“Obscenity is a vital cultural component of several traditions, from Bidesia songs sung by labourers to marriage ceremonies in Maharashtra to performances in the intervals during Ram Lila or even Kali Puja, to rituals in Tamil Nadu,” said Brahma Prakash, an assistant professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who has worked extensively on the Bidesiya tradition. “This introduction of a sacred-profane divide is just getting way too Victorian. Class hatred is a big part of the attack on such performances too, which explains why the folk song ‘Launda Badnaam Hua’ is considered vulgar, but not its Bollywood remake ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’. The traditionally Bihari launda naach, which is characterised by male impersonation of females, sensual body movement and loud music and often performed by transvestites, is looked down upon,” he added.

The MNS is certainly not the only organisation to create an uproar about chhath pujas, and last year the Bombay High Court sighed over the song and dance involved in the festival and wondered what happened to the “sanctity and solemnity” associated with the event. The MNS’ convenient display of public morality continues to be po-faced and farcical.

The Ladies Finger (TLF) is an online women’s magazine

First Published On : Nov 11, 2016 17:08 IST

Goa polls 2017: Shiv Sena, Subhash Velingkar begin talks on seat-sharing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar-led Goa Suraksha Manch and the Shiv Sena have begun discussions on seat-sharing for the state Assembly elections due next year. Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut and Velingkar met in Panaji on Friday and began discussions on the seat-sharing. The Sena has proposed to contest on 10 seats.”Our leaders were of the opinion that the Sena should contest on three seats, Goa Praja party on two seats and 30 will be contested by them (GSM),” a senior GSM leader said.All the parties have decided to keep the details of alliance talks under wraps till the final announcement, which is expected to happen after November 10. The leader said that Raut was not ready to accept only three seats and insisted that the party will contest at least on seven, he said.However, at the meeting, which remained inconclusive, it was decided that GSM will hold its internal organisational meeting on November 8 wherein the discussion on seat-sharing would be taken up.”The next meeting between GSM and Shiv Sena leaders is expected to happen on November 10,” he said.GSM is an offshoot of Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch, a front demanding mother tongue as medium of instruction in elementary education in Goa schools. The Shiv Sena has already announced its three candidates for the forthcoming polls. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had last month announced in-principle approval for alliance between GSM and his party for the forthcoming state elections.

Hindu Sena has no love for ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, raises slogans against film

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of ‘Hindu Sena’ held protests on Friday against Karan Johar produced movie ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ .The protesters were raising slogans against the movie to ‘Ban all the films of Pakistani artistes’.Earlier, MNS ended their protest against ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ and ‘Raees’ after a closed-door meeting between party supremo Raj Thackeray, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Karan Johar, Mukesh Bhatt and others.Claiming victory and satisfaction at having achieved their demands, Thackeray revealed that he has received assurances from the film industry that henceforth they wouldn’t be working with any Pakistani actors. Raj also set forth conditions that filmmakers who worked with Pakistan actors will have to comply with.In a video statement on October 17, Johar expressed a “deep sense of hurt and pain” by the charge of being anti-national. “I condemn terror in the strongest terms, I respect our Army, for me, the country comes first,” the 44-year-old said.

Maharashtra govt’s proposed land monetisation policy will ‘kill Mumbai’: Aditya Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray on Wednesday opposed Maharashtra government’s proposed policy that seeks to monetise land saying it was a plan to “kill Mumbai”.In a statement, he said Mumbai has a large population that coexists with rich biodiversity, which includes forests, salt pan lands, beaches and a dockyard, all within the city limits.He said the government is killing Mumbai environmentally and has failed to understand the metropolis in the last two years of office.”We cannot run a government that is so unaware of the global and local impact of climate change. The rising sea level will not be healed by hailing and retweeting international treaties and photo-ops, but by truly acting on it,” Thackeray said.The debt-ridden Maharashtra government has decided to raise around Rs 2 lakh crore by selling unused land located at prime locations in the city and other parts of the state. A committee headed by D K Jain, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) has been set up to take the decision of selling government land located in Mumbai and other parts of the state.”Monetising Mumbai’s open spaces will bring in global warming and dangers of environmental destruction,” Thackeray said.The Centre and the state are actively considering opening up of salt pan lands for housing, he said adding, “Salt pan lands flat expanses have traditionally been no-development zones and massive open spaces without construction. Their use by builders, marketed as affordable housing (one wonders affordable for whom?) would only destroy the ecological balance that this space maintains for our coastlines.” He said that in 2007, large areas of land were freed for builders by repealing the Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) Act.”It was said that affordable housing would be created and Mumbai would get a revenue of Rs 2,000 crore. However, not a single affordable house was made and not a single penny came to Mumbai,” he added.Raising questions over the government’s new land policy, Thackeray wanted to know whether open spaces without any commercial activity or without it being owned by builders have no value.”Can the entire land be made into simple, beautiful green tract of land that enables Mumbaikars to see the sun rise?” he asked.Thackeray said the land size of 1,200 acres that is opening up for monetisation, is three times the size of all textile mill lands in Mumbai and can create 50 Oval Maidans and eight times the waterfront promenade available at Marine Drive.He further said that the government renews the lease of 226 acres of open space at Mahalaxmi Racecourse with those who have earlier proposed and tried to build a seven-star private hotel, heliport and much more there.In the past, the Sena had demanded that a public garden be constructed at the racecourse here. Now, the Sena is demanding construction of a war memorial at Mahalaxmi Racecourse.

When political feuds trumped family values

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Independence may have done away with royalty in India, paving the way for democracy, but political dynasties have continued to flourish, both at the local and national level. Over the years , these family ‘enterprises’ have nurtured their constituencies as a legacy to handed down from one generation to the next. Almost 50 years since Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was first elected to the UP Assembly, 17 of his family members have followed suit. The sprawling SP family is followed closely by the Nehru-Gandhi one, where 11 family members followed Jawaharlal Nehru into public life. Their feuds have replaced palace intrigues, complete with conspiracies laced with melodrama, coupled with a clash of ambitions and the desire to inherit the political legacy.The earliest such feud was between Indira Gandhi and her aunt Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit . According to late author Khushwant Singh, the two could not stand each other. After Indira Gandhi ascended to the prime ministership, a message went out to Congress leaders that any contact with Pandit would be at the cost of their political career.But the greatest falling out so far has been between Indira Gandhi and her widowed daughter-in-law Maneka, worthy almost of a real-life saas-bahu (mother-in-law vs daughter-in-law) saga. Two years after death of her husband Sanjay in a plane crash, then 26-year-old Maneka and her 3-year-old son Varun Feroze, were reportedly evicted from her mother-in-law’s house. The uneasy relationship between the two daughters-in-law – Sonia Gandhi, now President of the Congress party and Maneka, a BJP minister in the current government – have been the talk of Delhi’s gossip circles.Several other families, like the Scindias, Thackerays, Badals, and Karunanidhis have fought a bitter succession war. In the erstwhile royal family of the Scindias, Rajamate was a key BJP leader while her son, the late Madhavrao, was a senior Congress leader. Madhavrao’s son Jyotiraditya is now a key Congress leaders of Congress and a confidante of Vice President Rahul Gandhi, himself Sonia’s son. Jyoriaditya Scindia’s aunt Vasundhara Raje is the BJP chief minister of Rajasthan . Another aunt Yashodhara Raje Scindia is a minister in the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government.In Punjab, CM Parkash Singh Badal’s nephew Manpreet Singh Badal was ousted from the state cabinet, and went on to join the Congress. In Maharahstra, the rift between Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar to claim the NCP is well known after Supriya Sule became active in the politics. Similarly, BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s nephew Dhananjay raised the banner of revolt and went to join the NCP. The rift in the Thackeray family is well documented, where nephew Raj fell out with his uncle and mentor Bal Thackeray following the emergence of senior Thackeray’s son Uddhav as the political heir to the Shiv Sena.In Tamil Nadu, the DMK suspended MK Alagiri, the elder son of patriarch M Karunanidhi, from the party after he complained against his brother Stalin, who was given charge of the party. The family feud of Telugu cinema legend and former chief minister NT Ramarao has been the most talked about issue in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. NTR’s two sons-in-law – Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Duggubati Venkateshwara Rao – did not see each eye to eye, and have been in opposing camps for over 25 years.A comical family dispute played in Bihar’s first political family of Lalu Prasad Yadav. Many of his relatives, whom he brought into politics, are now against his family. His brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav left the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in 2009 to join the Congress. He was later expelled from Congress. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, another trusted aide and cousin Ramkripal Yadav crossed over to the BJP, defeated Laloo’s daughter Misa Bharti, and is now a union minister. Sadhu Yadav also contested against his sister and Laloo’s wife Rabri Devi as an independent .More discontent is brewing in Lalu Yadav’s family in Bihar. He himself planted the seed of discontentment by breaking an age-old tradition in which the eldest son is the successor to the throne. He declared younger son Tejashwi as his heir by making him the Deputy Chief Minister over his eldest daughter Misa and elder son Tej Pratap Yadav.

Digvijaya Singh slams PM Modi, BJP for backing abolition of triple talaq

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hitting out at the Centre for abolition of ‘triple talaq’ and introduction of a Uniform Civil Code, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today said the move was aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear directed against Muslims to reap electoral benefits.”By seeking abolition of triple talaq and imposition of Uniform Civil Code, Modi and the BJP are trying to create an atmosphere of fear against Muslims, so that they could create a communal frenzy in the country to reap benefits in the next general elections,” he told reporters here. Singh was on a day-long visit to Bihar to appear in a four-year-old case of making alleged derogatory remarks against Yoga guru Ramdev, in which a court in Vaishali district granted him bail.Launching a frontal attack on Modi for questioning the justification of triple talaq and backing empowerment of Muslim women recently, the Congress General Secretary said, “The Prime Minister talks about empowerment of Muslim women, but has himself failed to do so.” He was referring to Modi’s separation from his wife decades ago.The Congress leader said the triple talaq issue should be left to religious leaders of the respective communities, as the Constitution provides every citizen the right to practice his religion or such beliefs of one’s choice.On BJP’s stand that a number of Muslim countries have banned triple talaq, Singh said he was aware that as many as 22 countries had banned the practice.However, these countries should also leave the issue to the people to decide, he said.On the Uniform Civil Code, Singh said the proposal should be debated under the ambit of Article 25 (every individual is equally entitled to freedom of conscience) and Article 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs subject to public order, morality and health), and a consensus should be built after discussion among all political parties. Singh charged Modi and his government with creating a “frenzied atmosphere” in the country to deflect attention from failures of the NDA government on all fronts during its rule of over two and a half years.”The NDA government has failed on all fronts, be it creation of two crore jobs, bringing black money from abroad and distributing Rs 15 lakh to each person or to boost manufacturing sector on the theme of ‘Make in India”, Singh said. This is the reason why, he alleged, that religious issues were being deliberately pursued to deflect attention from “real” issues. He claimed that on the recent surgical strikes against Pakistan-terror camps, the Congress had backed the NDA government, but objected to the “undue political advantage the ruling party was trying to reap out of it.” He also decried the Prime Minister and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for “politicising” the strikes with the latter claiming the they were carried out to translate RSS ideology into action. “The surgical strikes have not happened for the first time…even the UPA government carried out strikes across the LOC, but refrained from taking political advantage,” he said.”However, by keeping the discussion on the surgical strikes alive, it appears that the Prime Minister will take India to war with Pakistan in the times to come,” Singh said. On the political situation in Uttar Pradesh, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said that whatever had been happening was the internal affair of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP). “The political clash among the SP leaders is an internal matter of the party that is bereft of ideology,” he stated.On the speculation doing rounds that the wedge between SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav may prompt the latter to stitch an alliance with the Congress, Singh said that such talks were “premature”. He said that there was no political crisis in Uttar Pradesh as far as he was concerned. “The Congress is going alone in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls due early next year,” Singh said, adding that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi has successfully toured the poll-bound state and “received massive response of the people” which bodes well for the party.Singh said the Congress has already started the process of selection of its candidates for the Assembly polls. He added that the party was keeping a close watch on the political developments unfolding in the northern state. On the raging debate over various political parties declaring their respective prime ministerial candidates, the senior Congress leader felt that there was nothing wrong in the exercise as every party was within their rights to do so. “What is wrong if political parties so decide to declare their prime ministerial candidates?…let them do so,” he said in a reply to a question on the JD(U) declaring its national president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the prime ministerial material for the next general elections.Asked if the declaration of so many prime ministerial candidates by the secular parties will affect Rahul Gandhi’s prospects, Singh said Gandhi remained his party’s leader. On MNS president Raj Thackeray opposing the release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ starring a Pakistani actor, Singh lashed out at the leader for meddling in the matter, saying that the said Pakistani actor was granted visa by the Indian government. The Maharashtra Chief Minister should not have allowed Raj Thackeray to browbeat or blackmail the producers of the film over its release, the Congress leader added.

Donation to army voluntary: Manohar Parrikar on MNS diktat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday made it clear that donation to the Army was “voluntary” and he does not appreciate “holding of someone’s neck”, amid a row over the MNS diktat asking film producers employing Pakistani actors to pay Rs 5 core to army welfare fund. The army has been upset over being dragged into politics. “The concept is voluntary donation and not catching neck of someone. We don’t appreciate it,” Parrikar told reporters here on the sidelines of the naval commanders conference here. The Defence Minister said the concept behind the newly created Battle Casualty Fund was to ensure that all those people who wanted to donate voluntarily for welfare of the family of martyrs could do so. “There will be a scheme managed by MoD with assistance from Adjutant General Branch concerned. It is a voluntary donation and therefore we are not concerned with anyone demanding something to be donated to that,” he said. He said the Ministry is formulating a scheme through which all families of martyrs will be helped equally. The controversy erupted after Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ ran into a storm of protests led by MNS because Pakistani actor Fawad Khan has a role in it. The film has been allowed to be released after its producers met with three conditions put forward by MNS chief Raj Thackeray, including payment of Rs 5 crore to Army Welfare Fund. “All contributions (to welfare fund) are voluntary. Extortion is not allowed. We would want people to contribute on their own rather than under any coercion,” a senior army official had said. Army sources said that they have a system in place to check all contributions and can even reject a contribution made under duress or by any person whom the force does not want to be associated with.

ADHM row: Had opposed MNS’s Rs 5 crore demand right there in meeting, says Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under fire over “brokering” a deal between producers of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and MNS chief Raj Thackeray, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has maintained that he had opposed the offer of Rs 5 crore contribution from makers to the Army welfare fund.Karan Johar’s film faced protests by MNS workers for casting Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Film’s smooth release, scheduled to open on October 28, was ensured at a meeting Film Producers’ Guild, producers and MNS Thackeray, mediated by Fadnavis last week. A key demand conceded in the meeting was Rs 5 crore contribution from makers for the army welfare.”Thackeray had put three demands, out of which there was no objections to the other two. When the issue of Rs 5 crore came up, I intervened and made it clear to the Film Producers’ Guild that they need not have to agree to it. I also told them that the contribution has to be made voluntarily. However, it was producers’ decision to accept it,” Fadnavis said last evening at his residence ‘Varsha’.”I categorically told that although it is nice that the Guild has decided to stand by the families of our martyrs but it is not a compulsion. Still if they wish to do, they may contribute whatever amount they feel (is) appropriate. This figure of (Rs) 5 crore came from MNS but was not agreed in the meeting and turned down then and there only,” he said.When asked about allegations of “brokering” the deal, Fadnavis said, “Another choice was deploying thousands of police staff outside theatres (when film releases). I would then faced allegations like I have spoiled Diwali holiday mood of police staff. Issues should be solved by talking, and we are a democratic government,” he said.Before intervention, Mumbai Police had already arrested MNS activists, hence there should not be any doubts about government’s intentions. Some even called that state government is playing both sides, which is not true, he added.BJP’s ally Shiv Sena has slammed the CM’s intervention in the matter and had termed Fadnavis’s act as “siding with Pakistani personalities.”On this, the CM said, “Did our governments not talk with separatists like Hurriyat (Conference) or negotiate with Naxal groups for peace? Then holding discussions with a political party, though this is comparatively a minor one (issue), should not be criticised so bitterly. I think, successful mediation has disappointed some people,” he said.He also refuted charges of going soft on MNS and emphasised that there was “no political motive” behind such negotiations.

Glad Karan Johar’s film is out of ‘mushkil’, says Pak envoy Abdul Basit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ finally being cleared for release after the movie underwent a massive onslaught for having Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in it, Islamabad envoy Abdul Basit on Monday said that he was glad the movie was out of hot waters.Speaking here at the Institute of Peace and Conflict, the Pakistani envoy made a pun saying, ‘Glad to know Karan Johar’s film is out of ‘mushkil’,” and wished the audience a happy Diwali.Asserting that Pakistan has never tried to snap cultural relations with India, Basit further said that artistes from his country have been facing a range of issues in India.He also said that for more than a decade, Pakistani has been enjoying Indian entertainment channels like Zee and Star.Talking about the ban on Indian channels, he added, ‘I just think this is short lived.’On October 1st, two days after India’s movie industry body banned Pakistani artists and technicians from working in India, Islamabad banned the broadcast of all Indian television channels in Pakistan.Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said strict action would be taken if TV channels and distribution networks failed to implement the ban after October 15. It said it has been receiving complaints that several local private channels were showing Indian talk shows, reality programmes and dramas without permission.Earlier, decks were cleared for the release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ on Saturday after a meeting of film producer Karan Johar with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and MNS chief Raj Thackeray in Mumbai.”Every producer who has cast a Pakistani actor must contribute Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund,” MNS chief Raj Thackeray said after the meeting.Thackeray further said that producers will have to give in writing that they will not take Pakistani actors in their films in future.Speaking to the reporters after the meeting, Mukesh Bhatt said that it was “positive and constructive and ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ will release as per the schedule.””We discussed the unfortunate events related to the film’s release. I shared the film industry’s emotions regarding the entire issue. We are Indians first and then comes our business,” he said.Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma who are starring in the film, will also contribute a portion of its revenue to the Army welfare fund, Bhatt said, adding “We owe this to the Army.”Bhatt also said that they have assured Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that neither the Producers’ Guild nor any filmmaker will work with any Pakistani artiste or technician in the future.Also, the Producers’ Guild will call a meeting to pass a resolution on not working with Pakistani artists and a copy of the same would be sent to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as well as the chief minister, he said.However, taking on his cousin and Raj Thackeray for asking filmmakers to donate Rs 5 crore to the Army, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the Indian armed forces do not need ransom money.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil row: Karan Johar, MNS or Devendra Fadnavis, the real winner will emerge after film release

Who won?

Karan Johar, who now got the approval to screen his Diwali release Ae Dil Hai Mushkil on 28 October? No, he had to pay a price, along with other Bollywood producers, for agreeing to not cast any Pakistani artiste in their productions henceforth. It was rather a step down for Bollywood which saw art without boundaries.

Is it Raj Thackeray’s victory? Does not seem so at all. His party’s cine cell chief’s threat of “we’ll beat up” such filmmakers has lost its purpose. His party has settled to a claim that the producer has agreed to credit Rs 5 crore to the Army Relief Fund.

The move appears to be some sort of penitence to secure some reprieve. But Raj Thackeray only gained one thing: That his party believed in muscle, and has earned a stamp of being an ‘extortionist’ party. But it does not matter to the MNS. It ploughs its furrow its way.

Poster of Karan Johar film 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'.

Poster of Karan Johar film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’.

Devendra Fadanavis? He will be seen as a person who negotiates with those who threaten than deal with the threat-issuers. A threat, so blatant, so brazen, cannot be taken as one of those statements that political parties issue now and then and that the media print and government watches.

The real test of the outcome is ahead, on and after 28 October. Now that the film has been ‘allowed’ to be screened, would the MNS cadre, and others who dislike Pakistani actors, musicians and cricketers in India, go watch it in multiplexes? After all, their conscience has been cleared – some atonement has come from the guilty.

This time, the producers and actors did not promote the film by generating a controversy or taking the crew to hop TV studios. This time, the controversy has been imposed upon the movie. Those who believe that it is wrong to curb artistic sensibilities by banning Pakistani artistes crowd the multiplexes, but there is still a question mark on its success.

At least, the success measured by box office returns. Kitna crore kiya hai is the measure of a movie’s success. However, with the single-screen theatres remaining firm on not screening them really cuts the number of seats that could be sold to the audience.

This segment fears vandalism, but speaks of “sentiments” of the people. They speak of the “prevailing public sentiment” against Pakistan and in guarded whispers, they talk about the fears of damage to their properties. It can be a matter of abundant caution or an apprehension that the hotheads of the confrontational party cadre can still pose risks. Moreover, the MNS is not the only party that wears its ‘patriotism’ or ‘nationalism’ on its sleeves. Lot of imponderables are there.

The attendance at the multiplexes will also be a test of the depth of public opinion on the issue of casting Pakistani artistes in Indian movies. But public mood can play havoc with businesses and movies in India. Art is a claim in most cases.

Meanwhile, after the Uri terror attack and the surgical strikes along the Line of Control, China’s refusal to help get terrorists in Pakistan on the UN list have led to a call for boycott of Chinese goods with regard to Diwali related items on social media. There has been a precipitous drop in their sales. Jaipur has reported 40 percent decline, even though the alternative was relatively expensive. Delhi, likewise.

We will know where we stand on or after 28 October.

MNS now wants traders to ‘sacrifice’ their business with Pakistan for the nation

Mumbai: Emboldened by its successful campaign against Bollywood film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, MNS now wants traders to “sacrifice” their business with Pakistan for the sake of the “nation” even as cotton exporters on Sunday observed that the Raj Thackeray-led outfit’s stand will affect the industry.

The stir by MNS against release of the Karan Johar film for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan blew over on Saturday following mediation by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a tripartite meeting among Thackeray, Johar, and Producers’ Guild president Mukesh Bhatt at the CM’s residence in Mumbai.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray. AFP

MNS chief Raj Thackeray. AFP

Exploiting the controversy to the hilt ahead of the Mumbai municipal corporation polls next year, Thackeray on Saturday asked the filmmakers who had worked with Pakistani actors to contribute Rs 5 crore as “prayaschit” (penance) money to the Army Welfare Fund.

MNS spokesperson Shalini Thackeray on Sunday demanded that the traders should sacrifice business for the sake of nation.

“Nation should be first. If jawans are sacrificing their lives (at border), why can’t traders sacrifice their trade? Money making should be the secondary priority in case of Pakistan,” she said in Mumbai on Sunday.

“Pakistan has already violated the clauses of MFN status given by India. Now, it’s high time that India isolate Pakistan, not only on cultural issues but on trade (front) as well. Banning the film (ADHM) was only to set an example that India has started to isolate Pak…next comes trade,” she told PTI.

The senior leader said MNS will definitely play its role in ensuring that all kinds of trade with Pakistan are stopped. “However, the government will have to play a major role as far as trade is concerned,” she said.

Meanwhile, concerned over rising tensions between the two countries after the Uri attack coupled with aggressive posturing by MNS, the cotton traders said they are afraid of losing business to the tune of Rs 5,500 crore with Pakistan.

Maharashtra is a major contributor in cotton manufacturing states, followed by Gujarat.

According to Sharadram Sejpal, spokesperson of Power Loom Association, India had placed an order to import 20,000 bales cotton from Pakistan in June as there was low production in the domestic market.

“Generally, we export cotton to Pakistan. But June period was bad. At a time when we are expecting a record breaking production (of cotton), MNS’s stand against Pakistani actors has affected the cotton industry as well and powerloom industry will ultimately have to suffer,” Sejpal said.

He demanded that the Raj Thackeray-led party should keep politics away from trade.

Reacting to this, Shalini said, “Cotton associations should themselves come up and stop exporting to Pak, instead of them banning our imports.”

According to Pradeep Jain, who operates a ginning mill in Jalgaon, Maharashtra will record a bumper production of cotton this year as monsoon has been very good.

“We will produce around 1 crore cotton bales (1 bale equals to 170 kg) this year and if exports are stuck due to sentiments of patriotism after Uri attack by Pakistan, it will have a negative impact on the cotton industry, specifically on cotton growing farmers,” he said on Sunday.

Jain said that Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China are the major importers of Indian cotton.

“Pakistan starts import of cotton from September every year. It consumes an average of 20 to 25 lakh bales whereas Bangladesh consumes 20 lakh bales from Indian cotton exporters,” Jain said.

Out of the total cotton production, an average 65 lakh bales of cotton are exported from India alone.

After ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ stir, MNS’ next target is traders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Emboldened by its successful campaign against Bollywood film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, MNS now wants traders to “sacrifice” their business with Pakistan for the sake of the “nation” even as cotton exporters today observed that the Raj Thackeray-led outfit’s stand will affect the industry.The stir by MNS against release of the Karan Johar film for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan blew over on Saturday following mediation by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a tripartite meeting among Thackeray, Johar, and Producers’ Guild president Mukesh Bhatt at the CM’s residence.Exploiting the controversy to the hilt ahead of the Mumbai municipal corporation polls next year, Thackeray on Saturday asked the filmmakers who had worked with Pakistani actors to contribute Rs 5 crore as “prayaschit” (penance) money to the Army Welfare Fund. MNS spokesperson Shalini Thackeray on Sunday demanded that the traders should sacrifice business for the sake of nation.”Nation should be first. If jawans are sacrificing their lives (at border), why can’t traders sacrifice their trade? Money making should be the secondary priority in case of Pakistan,” she said.”Pakistan has already violated the clauses of MFN status given by India. Now, it’s high time that India isolate Pakistan, not only on cultural issues but on trade (front) as well. Banning the film (ADHM) was only to set an example that India has started to isolate Pak…next comes trade,” she told PTI.The senior leader said MNS will definitely play its role in ensuring that all kinds of trade with Pakistan are stopped.”However, the government will have to play a major role as far as trade is concerned,” she said.Meanwhile, concerned over rising tensions between the two countries after the Uri attack coupled with aggressive posturing by MNS, the cotton traders said they are afraid of losing business to the tune of Rs 5,500 crore with Pakistan. Maharashtra is a major contributor in cotton manufacturing states, followed by Gujarat.According to Sharadram Sejpal, spokesperson of Power Loom Association, India had placed an order to import 20,000 bales cotton from Pakistan in June as there was low production in the domestic market.”Generally, we export cotton to Pakistan. But June period was bad. At a time when we are expecting a record breaking production (of cotton), MNS’s stand against Pakistani actors has affected the cotton industry as well and powerloom industry will ultimately have to suffer,” Sejpal said. He demanded that the Raj Thackeray-led party should keep politics away from trade.Reacting to this, Shalini said, “Cotton associations should themselves come up and stop exporting to Pak, instead of them banning our imports.”According to Pradeep Jain, who operates a ginning mill in Jalgaon, Maharashtra will record a bumper production of cotton this year as monsoon has been very good.”We will produce around 1 crore cotton bales (1 bale equals to 170 kg) this year and if exports are stuck due to sentiments of patriotism after Uri attack by Pakistan, it will have a negative impact on the cotton industry, specifically on cotton growing farmers,” he said.Jain said that Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China are the major importers of Indian cotton.”Pakistan starts import of cotton from September every year. It consumes an average of 20 to 25 lakh bales whereas Bangladesh consumes 20 lakh bales from Indian cotton exporters,” Jain said. Out of the total cotton production, an average 65 lakh bales of cotton are exported from India alone.

dna Evening Must Reads: From Yadav vs Yadav feud to India’s win over Pak in Asian Champions Trophy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Live | Yadav vs Yadav: Shivpal out of Akhilesh’s ministry; Ram Gopal sacked from SP in retaliationCrisis hit a new low in ruling Samajwadi Party with UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday taking the extreme step of sacking Shivpal Singh Yadav and three others from his Cabinet. In retaliation, Shivpal Yadav has sent close Akhilesh aide Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years. Catch the live updates here 2. UP, Punjab and three other states likely to go to polls in February- March next yearUttar Pradesh, which is set to witness game-changer elections, and four other states will go to polls simultaneously, most likely in February-March next, commencing shortly after the presentation of the Union Budget on February one. Read more here3. Black money: IT department to intensify crackdown against stash holdersWith both the one-time black money declaration windows concluded, the Income Tax department is set to intensify its crackdown against stash holders after a recent case where an IDS participant surrendered a fresh Rs 30 crore of unaccounted wealth to the taxman after raids were conducted against him. Read more here4. Clinical strike: Pacy India down arch-rivals Pakistan in Asian Champions Trophy India exhibited their composed defence when under pressure from early Pakistan raids and worked hard to gain control of the showpiece encounter of the tournament at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium. Read more about the ‘Clinical strike’ here5. ADHM row: Fadnavis, Johar and Raj Thackeray producing a film called ‘Yeh to hona hi tha’, says UddhavSena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday poked fun at the meeting called by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis to resolve the imbroglio over the release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, which was facing threat by MNS over the casting of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Read what Thackeray said here

ADHM row: Fadnavis, Johar and Raj Thackeray producing a film called ‘Yeh to hona hi tha’, says Uddhav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday poked fun at the meeting called by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis to resolve the imbroglio over the release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, which was facing threat by MNS over the casting of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.”I have not got details about the meeting. But I have news that all three (Fadnavis, Johar and Raj Thackeray) have decided to produce a movie. The name has also been finalised. It is titled ‘Yeh to Hona hi Tha’,” Thackeray told reporters here.on Saturday, Fadnavis mediated a meeting between MNS chief Raj Thackarey and the makers of the film, at his residence ‘Varsha’ in Mumbai to cool tempers and facilitate the smooth release of the movie after MNS called off its agitation.MNS had been vehemently protesting against the screening of movies featuring Pakistani actors and artists post the Uri terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 19 soldiers.Responding to a question, Thackeray said Shiv Sena did not participate in the protests alongside MNS as they (Sena) were gauging the situation.”We decided to keep aloof and see who takes what stand on this issue,” Thackeray said refusing to answer any further question on the controversy.”Sometimes it is better not to answer a few questions,” he said, adding “people are wise enough to judge the situation.”Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” had been embroiled in a controversy over the past few weeks after the MNS raised a flag against it, thus putting a question mark on the fate of the movie, slated for a Diwali release on October 28.The film starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma in lead roles will, however, release as per schedule after a truce was clinched. The producers gave some assurances such as that they would not work with Pakistani artists and technicians in their future projects, given the people’s sentiments in the wake of the Pathankot and Uri terror strikes.

Congress hits out at Maha CM Fadnavis over ‘ADHM’ release

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress hit out at Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday for “brokering” a truce with MNS chief Raj Thackeray over the release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, saying the Maharashtra Chief Minister would now be the country’s “new Censor Board”. “CM Fadnavis has demeaned his office and disregarded Constitution by playing vendor to diktats of MNS. Democracy shrugged for a BMC election deal,” party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said in a series of tweets.He alleged that “Self styled goons, compliant film makers bartering freedom of expression brokered by BJP’s Mah. CM would now be India’s new Censor Board.” Earlier, he had wondered on the micro-blogging site as to “Why would our proud Indian Army accept donations forced by MNS goons from subservient filmmakers with profit motive?” Under pressure from political and other outfits, Bollywood film producers had yesterday announced that they would not engage with Pakistani artistes, clearing decks for the smooth release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” as MNS withdrew its threat to stall the screening. The movie had been embroiled in a controversy over the past few weeks after the MNS opposed the screening of movies featuring Pakistani actors after the Uri terror attack, putting a question mark on the fate of movie, slated for Diwali release on October 28. The movie features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.

Bollywood ‘buys’ peace with MNS; party agrees to releasing ADHM, but with three riders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bollywood seems to have bought peace with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray. Decks were cleared for the release of Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, after a deal was brokered between Thackeray, the Producers’ Guild and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday.Thackeray declared that the Guild had agreed that Pakistani actors won’t be cast in Indian films any more. It was also agreed that producers who have already cast Pakistani actors will pay Rs 5 crore to the Army Welfare Fund and a special mention in the beginning of the film paying homage to the martyrs killed in the Uri attack. He was quick to add that the public themselves won’t go to watch movie with Pakistani actors.MNS had threatened to disrupt the screening of the film as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. Film and TV Producers Guild of India President Mukesh Bhatt told reporters that the meeting was “positive and constructive and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil will release as per schedule”.”We discussed the unfortunate events related to the film’s release. I shared the film industry’s emotions. We are Indians first and our business comes later,” he said.The Guild will call a meeting to pass a resolution on not working with Pakistani artistes. A copy of the same would be sent to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as well as the Chief Minister, he said.The makers of the film, slated to release on October 28, with Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles, will also contribute a portion of its revenue to the Army Welfare Fund as demanded by MNS.Soon after the ‘deal’ was made public, there was outrage in the social over the ‘extortion’. Questions were also raised about the Chief Minister’s role in ‘buying peace’, pointing that as head of state, it was his duty to ensure that threats were dealt with a firm hand. In a similar case, the Ashok Chavan-led Congress government had dealt with the Shiv Sena in a stern manner when it had resisted the release of Johar’s My Name Is Khan in 2010.Political observers pointed out that by ‘accommodating’ the MNS, Fadnavis is sending a subtle message to the Sena, the BJP’s alliance partner in the state, both of which are at loggerheads. Speculations are rife that they may not join hands for the upcoming Mumbai civic elections. The Sena is also trying to get back at the BJP by strengthening the hands of Subhash Velingkar, a rebel RSS leader from Goa, who has vowed to hand defeat to the BJP in Goa.

Goa polls 2017: Shiv Sena gives ‘in-principle’ nod for alliance with RSS rebel Velingkar’s GSM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena on Saturday announced its in-principle approval to forge a pre-poll alliance with rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar-led Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM), for the election to the 40-member Goa Legislative Assembly to be held next year.”In-principle, we have decided to fight the election in an alliance. It would be a seat-sharing agreement. The details of seat sharing would be discussed later,” Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said after emerging from the meeting with Velingkar. Thackeray and Velingkar held a meeting at a five-star resort near here to formally discuss the alliance.The Sena chief said both the parties share similar ideology, which prompted them to think about joining hands.Responding to questions, Velingkar ruled out that the GSM was his attempt to venture into politics. “I have no political aspirations. I will not be contesting election. The party is formed for the cause,” he said.”BJP completely betrayed people on the issue of the medium of instruction (MoI). Now, we want to ensure that BJP is thrown out of power, that is why we are in the fray. We are sure of winning several seats considering the response that we receive during our visits,” he added.Velingkar, an RSS veteran in Goa, was given the marching orders on August 31 after Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), of which he is a convener, expressed its intention to contest the 2017 Assembly elections against BJP.Velingkar was removed by RSS after he took a strident stance against the ruling BJP over the issue of medium of instruction and even showed black flags to the party chief Amit Shah at Bambolim during his visit there on August 20. Thereafter, Velingkar had announced his plans to float a new political outfit to take forward the cause of regional languages such as Konkani and Marathi as Medium of Instruction (MOI) and against the state government’s policy of supporting English medium schools.On October 2, Velingkar floated GSM and vowed to defeat the BJP in the coming Assembly polls. BBSM has been vociferously opposing grants to English medium schools in Goa and led agitations against the Laxmikant Parsekar government demanding that primacy be given to Marathi and Konkani languages as the medium of instruction (MoI) in schools.Shiv Sena had earlier announced support to Velingkar, stating that the party was ready to join hands with him if he launches a political party to contest the Goa Assembly polls scheduled early next year.

ADHM row: Army ‘upset’ over being dragged into politics over release of Karan Johar’s film

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Army officials and veterans were “upset” over the force being dragged into “politics” over films after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) demanded that producers of movies employing Pakistani actors pay Rs 5 core to an army welfare fund.The controversy erupted after Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil ran into a storm of protests led by MNS because Pakistani actor Fawad Khan has a role in it. The film has been allowed to be released after its producers met with three conditions put forward by MNS chief Raj Thackeray, including payment of Rs 5 crore to Army Welfare Fund.”All contributions (to welfare fund) are to be voluntary. Extortion is not allowed. We would want people to contribute on their own rather than under any coercion,” a senior army official said on Saturday. He said the army is “upset” over being dragged into this politics.”The army is completely apolitical. It is wrong to drag the force into politics,” another army official said.”(We) would never support it,” Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd), former military secretary, said when asked if he supports the move of the MNS. “Why should the armed forces be made a part of this extortion? By accepting this money they would become a ‘receiver’ of tainted money,” tweeted Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (Retd).Army sources said that they have a system in place to check all contributions and can even reject a contribution made under duress or by any person whom the force does not want to be associated with.

ADHM row: MNS ends protests against film after producers meet Thackeray’s 3 demands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which staged high-voltage protests against the release of Karan Johar’s movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, on Saturday withdrew its agitation after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis mediated talks between the MNS chief and the filmmakers here. The move to officially call off the protests came after Johar, Producers’ Guild President Mukesh Bhatt and Thackeray met the Chief Minister at his residence ‘Varsha’ in the morning.Thackeray said MNS laid down three conditions that filmmakers who worked with Pakistani actors have to comply with. These include a contribution of Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund. The Producers’ Guild has agreed to the demand, Bhatt said after the meeting.Speaking to reporters, Thackeray said, “I am told that all the three demands of MNS have been accepted by the producers. Before the beginning of the movie, a tribute should be offered at every screening to the jawans who were martyred in various terror strikes including recent Uri and Pathankot attacks. The producers should also put a blanket ban on Pakistani artistes, singers and technicians henceforth. Every producer, who has so far casted Pakistani actors, should give Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund as an atonement. The producers should handover the cheque to the Defence Minister and make the photo public.”
ALSO READ ADHM row: MNS claims ‘victory’, film producers give in to Raj Thackeray’s 3 demandsEarlier too, Johar had assured that a portion of the earning from ADHM would go for the welfare of the family members of the jawans killed in the Uri attack. Thackeray also sought to know why our film industry is entertaining Pakistani artistes in an atmosphere of conflict. “The Pakistan government flatly bans broadcasting of Indian news and entertainment channels without any valid reasons. In such a situation, I do not find (a reason) why we should entertain their artistes here,” Thackeray said. MNS had been vociferously demanding a ban on Pakistani actors and artistes in the Indian film industry after the Uri terror attack, which claimed the lives of 19 soldiers. It vehemently opposed the release of the upcoming movie as Pakistani actor Fawad Khan features in it in a cameo. The party’s continued protests here led to the arrest of 12 of its activists. It also found support from several quarters of the society including some nationalist groups.
ALSO READ Aamir Khan, Zoya Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, who said what on ADHM row and Indo-Pak tensionThough MNS’ agitation was restricted to screening of the movie in Mumbai and other major cities in the state, the party’s stand could have incurred huge losses to makers in the country’s entertainment capital, with a huge network of multiplexes, prompting them to approach Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Fadnavis, seeking smooth release for the movie, slated to hit theaters on October 28.

Soft target

Bollywood director Karan Johar’s promise not to work with Pakistani actors could end up encouraging bigotry, argues Sidharth Bhatia.

ADHM row: HM Rajnath Singh assured support for film’s release without any violence, says Mukesh Bhatt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured full support for the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) in cinema halls, said Film & Television Producers Guild of India president Mukesh Bhatt.Speaking to media after their meeting, Mukesh Bhatt said, “Rajnath Singh ji assured us 100% support and that he will convey to CM to maintain law and order.” He also said that the Home Minister said he would speak to the chief minister of every state and that ADHM will release without any violence or issue.Bhatt and Apoorva Mehta from Dharma Productions, the studio behind ADHM, met Singh to discuss the smooth release of the upcoming film.The Raj Thackeray-led MNS has asked theatre management not to hold any show of ADHM which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a cameo.Meanwhile, reacting to MNS threat, Union Minister Babul Supriyo said that Raj Thackeray’s party was full of goons. “MNS should not have the right or audacity to create ruckus at theatres, they have always been a party of goon,” Babul Supriyo told reporters.Before meeting Singh, Bhatt had said, “Those who don’t want to watch the film are free to not watch it, but they should not stop others.”On Wednesday, police arrested a dozen workers of MNS for protesting against the upcoming release of ADHM as the party rejected his statement that he will not “engage with talent” from Pakistan in future.MNS cine wing head Amey Khopkar, after a meeting with senior party leaders and Raj Thackeray, said they were firmly opposing the release.The MNS and some other political parties have opposed release of films with actors from Pakistan after the Uri terror attack, putting a question mark on the fate of Johar’s movie, slated for release on October 28.

ADHM row: 12 MNS workers arrested for protesting, sent to judicial custody till Nov 4

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A dozen workers of MNS were on Wednesday arrested for protesting against the upcoming release of filmmaker Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Muskhil as the party rejected his statement that he will not “engage with talent” from Pakistan in future. The workers from MNS’ film unit Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena were protesting and raising slogans outside Metro Cinema in South Mumbai.The Raj Thackeray-led party has asked the theatre management not to hold any show of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. The MNS had given a written appeal to the theatre management urging them not to show the movie as it features a Pakistani actor. The party workers also raised slogans outside the theatre, police officials said.”We arrested 12 MNS activists and booked them under relevant sections of Maharashtra Police Act and also CrPC,” Senior Inspector of Azad Maidan Police Station Vijay Kadam. They were produced before a local court which granted them cash bail of Rs 5,000 each in the case (carrying out procession without permission) under the Police Act. The MNS activists were also booked under the CrPC section 151 (3) (arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences) in which they did not get any relief and sent to judicial custody till November 4.Seeking to calm tempers over opposition to the release of his directorial venture, Johar on Wednesday had made a fervent appeal against stalling the release, saying he will not engage with talent from Pakistan in future. However, MNS said reality has dawned late on Johar.MNS cine wing head Amey Khopkar, after a meeting with senior party leaders and Raj Thackeray, said they were firm on opposing the release. “We will not allow the film to be screened in single screens and multiplexes. Reality has dawned late on the producer,” Khopkar said.The MNS and some other political parties have opposed release of films with actors from Pakistan after the Uri terror attack, putting a question mark on the fate of Johar’s movie, slated for release on October 28. The Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India, too, decided not to screen films with Pakistani actors in four states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa.A team from Johar’s Dharma Productions along with filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt and Vijay Singh of Fox Star Studios had met Mumbai’s top police officials on Wednesday and sought protection for the theatres to screen the film. Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Dudhe had said, “Mumbai police will provide adequate protection to cinema theatres.”

Goa polls 2017: Velingkar approaches MGP for alliance, offers to project Sudin Dhavalikar as CM face

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar-led Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) has offered to project MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar as the Chief Ministerial face for the upcoming Goa Legislative Assembly elections, if the latter’s party forges an alliance with them.”We have informally conveyed to Sudin Dhavalikar that he would be projected as CM face for the election, if his party (MGP) aligns with us (GSM),” Velingkar said on Wednesday.GSM is an off-shoot of Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM), an outfit which has been on loggerheads with the BJP-led government over demand on making regional languages the Medium of Instruction (MOI) in elementary education. Velingkar said that while GSM’s proposal is still pending with MGP, it has in-principle agreed to have an alliance with Shiv Sena.”We will be informing Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray during his Goa visit this weekend (October 22) that we are ready to align with them on seat sharing basis,” he said.Thackeray’s visit which was scheduled on October 16-17 was postponed due to BRICS Summit in the state. “The seat sharing would be discussed in a meeting that will happen after Thackeray’s Goa visit,” he said.Shiv Sena has already submitted the proposal to GSM stating that they (SS) will contest on 20 seats. About Dhavalikar, Velingkar said MGP has told GSM that they will take a call on the alliance only after notification for the election is issued.”MGP has told the same to BJP too,” he added. MGP is currently in alliance with BJP in the state with two of its legislators inducted in Laxmikant Parsekar’s cabinet. Dhavalikar had recently ruled out possibility of aligning with GSM reiterating that the party will go with BJP for Goa polls which are due before March 2017.

India should come first, not art and culture: Mukesh Ambani on Pak artiste ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani joined issue with those opposing the ban on Pakistan artistes in India, saying the nation should come first and not arts and culture.”I am absolutely clear about one thing – that for me it is always country first. I am not an intellectual so I don’t understand all these. But undoubtedly like for all Indians, India is first for me,” Ambani said here tonight.The billionaire businessman was answering questions from the audience on ban on Pakistan actors and other artistes at the ‘Off the Cuff’ show organised by The Print, a digital media outfit owned by senior journalists Shekhar Gupta and Barkha Dutt.Asked whether he will join politics, Ambani replied in the negative, saying “I am not made for politics.” The statement from the richest Indian, a known movie buff, comes amid criticism from some quarters of the demand for a ban on Pakistan actors in the wake of Uri terror attack, blamed on the militants operating from the neighbouring country.Tension between the two nations escalated after the September 18 terror attack on an Army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, which killed 19 soldiers, and the September 28-29 surgical strikes by the Army’s Special Forces on terror launch pads in the PoK.The latest victim of this heightened tension has been the decision of the organisers of the Mumbai International Film Festival to drop Pakistani film “Jago Hua Savera” in its retrospective section amid threats of protests at its screening.The move comes after a city-based organisation, Sangharsh, threatened to stage protests at the screening of the movie made in 1958. Meanwhile, Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena today threatened to intensify its opposition to Karan Johar’s soon-to-be-released film “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, and issued a veiled threat of vandalism to the multiplexes if they screened it.Single-screen theatre operators from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa, had last week announced they would not screen “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and other movies featuring Pakistan artistes. PTI HV JUR BEN RSY

One needs 56-inch chest to conduct a surgical strike: BJP’s response to Shiv Sena

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One needs a 56-inch chest to conduct a surgical strike, the BJP said on Wednesday taking a dig at Shiv Sena President President Uddhav Thackeray, who had challenged its ruling ally to ‘strike off’ their alliance ahead of the crucial BMC polls in Mumbai.”They (the Sena) should not talk about surgical strikes. For doing that, you need a 56-inch chest. It was only PM Narendra Modi who could get the surgical strike done because it is only he who has a 56-inch chest. You (the Sena) are not capable of it,” BJP Mumbai unit Chief Ashish Shelar told reporters here.The Sena chief had taken potshots at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday, asking him to decide a specific leader in the BJP. He had also dared the BJP to contest the upcoming polls separately if it had the courage. “Break the alliance and we will show you our surgical strike,” Thackeray had said in an apparent reference to MP Kirit Somaiya’s recent remark that BJP was all set to contest BMC polls, due early next year, independently.
ALSO READ Uddhav Thackeray lauds PM Modi over surgical strikesShelar further said that the BJP will continue its campaign against the “mafia raj” prevalent in the Sena-ruled MCGM and that the intensity of the party’s agitation against corruption there will only increase henceforth. “They (the Sena) have started it but we will end it. We will respond in a manner in which they understand. We will not go back in our fight against corruption,” Shelar said.

Shiv Sena warns BJP of ‘surgical strikes’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lashing out at the BJP by warning of “surgical strikes” if they snapped ties with it, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said the party would strike an alliance with the saffron party for the crucial elections to the cash-rich Mumbai civic body, on its own terms. He also walked a thin line on the demand for quotas by the dominant Maratha community which had led to a massive churn within the Sena.Speaking at the Shiv Sena’s Dusshera rally on Tuesday, Uddhav reiterated the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s stance of having quotas in jobs and education based on economic criteria. He said if this was not possible, the Marathas should be given their “just rights” without affecting reservations for categories like the other backward classes (OBCs).The massive morchas by Marathas seeking quotas have led to a churn in the Shiv Sena as the OBCs, who form a bulk of the party’s support base, resent the attempt to enter the backward class category.
ALSO READ Shiv Sena aims to hurt BJP on its turfIn a major climbdown, the Sena, which also enjoys support among poor Marathas, was forced to apologise for a cartoon in the party mouthpiece which mocked protestors at the massive Maratha rallies sweeping Maharashtra.”People suddenly get brainwaves (and say) we may form an alliance or not or even contest the elections on our own. I want to tell them, if you have the guts, break the alliance now and take us head-on, our men are ready,” said Uddhav.
ALSO READ Shiv Sena distances itself from Nawazuddin-Ramleela rowPointing to how the BJP had snapped its alliance with the Shiv Sena on the eve of the 2014 assembly polls, Uddhav said said they would not be caught on the wrong foot now.”I will not speak on the BMC (elections) now. Let something adverse not happen because of me. We will not come to you with a begging bowl but will take what is due to us,” said Uddhav, asking the cadre to prepare for the elections without thinking about an alliance between the Shiv Sena and the BJP. This decision, he said, would be taken at an appropriate time.
ALSO READ Shiv Sena equates RSS rebel leader Subhash Velingkar to ‘Lord Krishna’The BJP, which elbowed out the Shiv Sena to emerge as the single-largest party in the assembly polls, is demanding a larger pound of flesh in the elections to the BMC, which is the richest civic body in India.While praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Indian Army’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) to destroy terror launch pads, Uddhav said the BJP-led state government had allowed the release of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book last year despite the Sena’s opposition.Pointing to Modi’s promise of getting back black money back to India, Uddhav tried to tap the discontent in the business community on Income Tax raids on small vendors and eateries, Uddhav dared the authorities to conduct similar action in Muslim-dominated localities.

Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray mum on Somaiya’s remarks to contest BMC polls solo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has declined to comment on BJP MP Kirit Somaiya’s reported statement that his party was prepared to contest all 227 seats in upcoming BMC polls on its own strength.”Somaiya’s statement has not reached me yet and I don’t want to comment over it. Shiv sainiks have already reacted to his remarks,” Thackeray said.The Sena chief, however, added that he would speak on many issues at his party’s annual Dussehra rally at Dadar in Central Mumbai on October 11.In a statement that riled Sena, Somaiya yesterday said that “BJP is prepared to contest all 227 wards for BMC elections alone, along with small parties to end the mafia raj in BMC.”BJP and Sena are alliance partners in Centre and state governments, besides in BMC.The country’s richest civic body will go to polls next year.Meanwhile, Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said that her party was positive about the alliance.”Uddhav Thackeray shares a very good rapport with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. They have a good understanding about issues between them. If their (BJP’s) proposal is reasonable then we shall have an alliance. Uddhav ji will take a final call on the issue,” she said.Meanwhile, state unit BJP president Raosaheb Danve told reporters that the issue of forging any tie-up with the like-minded political parties has been left to the respective district level units.”If there is any deadlock then they can report it to the state BJP unit which shall take the final call,” he said.Danve added that the stage for holding talks about alliance has not arrived yet.When asked about Somaiya’s comments, he termed them as the “personal views” of the MP.Somaiya has been targeting the Sena-ruled BMC on the issues of corruption in Deonar garbage dump, potholes on roads and other civic issues.

dna Morning Must Reads: Jawan martyred in Baramulla attack, Trump’s new hotel vandalised and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. J&K: 2 militants neutralised in attack on Rashtriya Rifles camp in Baramulla; 1 jawan martyredThree days after the Indian Army’s surgical strike on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), militants launched a major attack on an Army camp at Baramulla town on late Sunday evening. Late night reports said two terrorists and a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan were killed. One jawan was wounded. Read more2. Gujarat ATS nabs 2002 Kolkata terror attack accused from BiharThe Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has arrested a 44-year-old man, suspected to be one of the conspirators of the 2002 terror attack on American Centre in Kolkata. Read details 3. PM Modi’s constituency Varanasi can only meet its toilet target by 2048: AnalysisIs Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mega Swachchagraha campaign, that aims at building a toilet for every home till by 2019, lagging far behind its target? A survey carried out by Down to Earth Hindi magazine claims even Modi’s own Varanasi constituency will not be able to achieve the target till 2048 if the work on the scheme continues in the current speed. Read details4. Reservation based on caste should be scrapped, says Raj Thackeray; praises Maratha marchesMNS chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday said reservation based on the caste should be scrapped. He alleged that former Prime Minister V P Singh was the “culprit” who brought in the reservation system and “poisoned” the country. Meanwhile, he praised the Maratha community for taking out “disciplined” protest marches across the state. Read more 5. Donald Trump’s new DC hotel vandalised with spray-painted graffitiDonald Trump’s new luxury hotel in downtown Washington has been vandalised. District of Columbia police say someone spray-painted the phrases “black lives matter” and “no justice no peace” on the front of the building on Saturday afternoon. Read more

Reservation based on caste should be scrapped, says Raj Thackeray; praises Maratha’s ‘disciplined’ marches

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday said reservation based on the caste should be scrapped. “Reservation based on the caste should be scrapped. The reservation should be given only for the economically backward. Whenever I get the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), I will request him to give reservation to those who are economically backward irrespective of the caste,” Raj said while addressing a gathering.He alleged that former Prime Minister V P Singh was the “culprit” who brought in the reservation system and “poisoned” the country.Meanwhile, he praised the Maratha community for taking out “disciplined” protest marches across the state.”Such ‘morchas’ (protest marches) were never taken out in the country and the state,” he added.The MNS chief also took a jibe at Congress-NCP asking why no reservation was given to the community when the two parties were in power.The members of the Maratha community are taking out protest marches to press for their demands which include stern action against the culprits of Kopardi rape and murder case, reservations for the community and scrapping of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.The silent marches began after the alleged rape and murder of a Maratha girl by some Dalits youths at Kopardi in July.Congress-NCP ruled Maharashtra from 1999-2014.

Friendship not above state, country: MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Salman row

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to his friendship with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday said friendship was not above the state and country.”After Salman’s recent comments about Pakistani artistes, people felt that Raj Thackeray will not comment on the issue (as the two are friends). No one is a friend when it comes to state and nation,” he said addressing a rally here.Raj also advised Salman that the actor should have spoken with responsibility.On September 30, a row broke out over remarks by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, director Anurag Kashyap and Shyam Benegal that boycotting Pakistani artistes in Bollywood is no solution to terrorism.Salman said artistes come to Bollywood with proper visa and work permit.The star’s comments came in the wake of Indian Motion Picture Producers Association’s resolution to ban Pakistani actors from the industry following the terror attack on an army camp in Uri.Raj had slammed Salman for supporting Pakistani artistes, saying he was only concerned about his movies doing well in that country.Meanwhile, Raj also said every issue is being raised with an eye on elections.”But our party is different from others. We don’t take up issues with eye on polls,” he claimed.

Uddhav Thackeray apologises for Saamana cartoon, tries to turn tables on BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In its first major climbdown, which insiders said resulted from a churn between the caste factions in its ranks, the Shiv Sena beat a retreat with party president Uddhav Thackeray apologising for a cartoon in the party mouthpiece Saamna on Saturday. The apology may also be aimed at ensuring that it is not the Sena, but the BJP – the party’s senior ally in the state government – which is eventually singed by the anger of these protests.The cartoon in the Sunday supplement of the newspaper, which has Uddhav as the editor and Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut as the executive editor, had drawn the ire of organisations participating in the ‘Maratha Kranti morchas’.On Saturday, Uddhav said he was apologising to women if “sentiments had been hurt”, but added there was no intent to hurt anyone. The Sena on Friday submitted a memorandum to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for a one-day legislature session to discuss the demand for quotas in jobs and education.”The chief minister has said that he will give reservation. But there is no clarity on when this will be done. A time frame is necessary, else it will be a play on the community’s sentiments,” said Uddhav.A senior Shiv Sena leader said Uddhav’s decision to apologise was unanticipated and due to differences between the Marathas and the resurgent other backward classes (OBCs) in the party boiling over. He claimed that while the apology had satiated the Marathas, OBCs were feeling slighted. “The cartoon was not the official stance of the Shiv Sena,” said the leader.The upwardly mobile OBCs, who have benefited from quotas in the post-Mandal era, form a substantial bulk of the Shiv Sena’s support base. However, they resent attempts by Marathas to gain entry into the OBC category.Sena sources admit they are walking the tightrope as they cannot afford to alienate the OBCs or the Marathas, who form the largest caste grouping in Maharashtra with Kunbis. A large section of poor Marathas, who feel left out of traditional power structures also supports Sena.A Shiv Sena source reasoned that Uddhav’s apology could be aimed at defusing the situation before the Maratha morcha in Thane and NCP making use of it to turn the tables on the Sena in rural Maharashtra. Maratha leaders say since Kunbis (tillers) have been included in the OBC category, Marathas (warriors) also should be extended the benefits as the two were the same.

‘Will ban your movies too’: MNS chief Raj Thackeray takes on Salman for supporting Pakistani artistes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the controversy surrounding the inclusion of Pakistani actors in Indian cinema, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday turned the heat on Bollywood actor Salman Khan and threatened to ban his movies if he continued supporting artistes from Islamabad.”Jawans are fighting for us at borders. What’ll happen if they decide to put down their weapons? Who’ll guard the borders? Salman Khan? Bollywood? These artists (Salman Khan) should realise ‘Nation first’. If they have so many problems, we will ban their movies too,” Thackeray said.Further escalating his attack on Khan, Thackeray said when Tamil Nadu and Karnataka can stand up for the Cauvery issue, why can’t the actors stand for the country.”It is nothing but business to them. Are we short of artists? They say art doesn’t have boundary. When Tamil Nadu and Karnataka protest over Cauvery water, Tamil artistes came on the road including Rajnikanth. When they can stand for the rights of their states, why can’t these artists stand for the country,” he added.The MNS chief asserted that it is important to stand united amid such adversities.”In a country with 1.26 billion population, you can’t find talent? You have to borrow it from Pakistan? Who are they? Do they have any respect in their own country,” he added.Earlier, speaking at an event in Delhi on Friday, Khan had said, “They are artists, not terrorists. It’s the government who gives them work permits and visas. Art and terrorism should not be mixed.”Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande told ANI today that Salman Khan needs to be taught a lesson for his statement.”If he has so much love for Pakistani artists, he should migrate there,” she added.Last week, Raj Thackeray-led MNS issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistani artistes and actors, following which Fawad Khan left India on September 27.

Sena leader condemns Salman’s remarks; asks to be patriotic

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena leader and minister for industries Subhash Desai on Friday said that actor Salman Khan should learn patriotism from his father Salim Khan instead of making statements in favor of Pakistani artistes.Demanding that Government should snap all the ties including sporting ties and those related to film artistes with Pakistan, Desai criticised Khan’s comment where he said that Pakistani artists are not terrorists.Desai was responding to a question on Salman Khan’s statement that artistes don’t have any religion and had opined against banning Pakistani artistes from acting in Indian films. Addressing a press conference at Mantralaya. Desai made it clear that Shiv Sena had its stand clear right from its founder Late Balasaheb Thackeray’s era who had stated that when Pakistan attacks Indian soldiers on borders, we should snap all the ties with them.Desai said that we should neither have any sporting ties nor we should continue any ties in the area art and culture. He said that the lyricist and script writer from Bollywood Salim Khan is known for his patriotism and Salman Khan needs to learn from his father before making such statements.Replying to a question on whether the cartoon controversy has hit Shiv Sena, Desai said, ` Kartoonmule amhala changlech chatke and fatke basle aahet meaning we have received enough flak because of the cartoon.’ It was after a cartoon published in Sena mouthpiece daily Saamana that Maratha community had taken strong exception for the objectionable cartoon and cartoonist Shrinivas Prabhudesai had to tender apology. There was demand for apology by Saamana editor and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and when asked about the same Desai said that the issue is over now.

Shiv Sena taunts Salman Khan for his comments on Pakistan artistes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi on Friday welcomed Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s remarks on Pakistani artistes, while there was subdued criticism from the Raj-Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). The Shiv Sena, however, taunted the actor and advised him to take lessons on national pride from his father Salim Khan.Salman on Friday said artistes from Pakistan were not terrorists and art and terrorism should not be mixed. Welcoming his stand, Azmi said, “Our fight is against Pakistan and we are proud of our soldiers for going into Pakistan-occupied territory and killing the terrorists. But, when we are talking about those who are here on valid visas for either work purpose or medical treatment, it is our duty to welcome them with open arms.””When we give these Pakistanis a good treatment, they will go back to their country and condemn the atrocities perpetrated by them on our soil. When Pakistanis say good things about our country, it will be that country which will be embarrassed on the global front,” he told reporters,Maharashtra Industries Minister and senior Sena leader Subhash Desai advised Salman to “take lessons” on national pride from his father and noted scriptwriter Salim Khan. “Pakistan is our enemy and has killed our jawans by crossing the Line of Control (LoC) at Uri. The Sena has always opposed cricketing ties with Pakistan,” he said.Desai said Sena believed that there should be no cultural ties between the two countries when people’s reaction was “strong” over the terror attacks “from Pakistan”.Meanwhile, MNS leader Shalini Thackeray said if Pakistani artistes do not condemn their country’s wrongdoings, Indian actors should also respect the sentiments of Indians. “Filmstars should understand the sentiments of the people under the current circumstances. People are very angry and actors like Salman Khan should respect them,” she said.”If Pakistani artistes do not condemn the wrongdoings of their country, why can our filmstars not respect the Indian sentiment. Bollywood is not bigger than the country,” Thackeray added.

Shiv Sena unity broken by Saamana cartoon: Spot the irony here

It’s ironic. The party was formed and united by cartoons, but now, the party appears to be on the verge of a breakdown because of a cartoon. The Shiv Sena was born from a weekly cartoon magazine called Marmik. Party founder and supremo for many decades Bal Thackeray was known to the world through his cartoons. But now the Shiv Sena is in trouble for publishing a cartoon in its mouthpiece Saamana.

In the years gone by, the Shiv Sena — it could be said — stretched the limits of Freedom of Expression when taking down its targets through cartoons. But, this is the first time the Maratha community has demanded an apology from Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut and Sena president-cum-Saamana editor Uddhav Thackeray for publishing a cartoon that hurt the sentiments of the community.

The cartoon published by Saamana. Image courtesy: Twitter

The cartoon published by Saamana. Image courtesy: Twitter

The Sena on Wednesday published an apology by its cartoonist Ravindra Prabhudesai, after the Saamana office in Navi Mumbai was pelted with stones over a cartoon published. But now, the Maratha Kranti Morcha organisers want apologies from Raut and Uddhav. Published on the front page page of Saamana‘s Wednesday edition, Prabhudesai’s apology read: “There was no intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments. The controversy over the cartoon is unnecessary. I am an artist and not a political cartoonist. The issue was made political and some people attempted to drag the Shiv Sena as well as Saamana into it and therefore, I am issuing this clarification.”

“With great humility, I would like to state that I did not wish to hurt the sentiments of any community; I apologise for that,” Prabhudesai continued, adding, “In a busy life, my intention is put a smile on people’s face. That’s why I make cartoons.”

Speaking to Firstpost, a senior journalist from the Pudhari newspaper Uday Tanpathak suggested it was a case of chickens coming home to roost. “The cartoon published in Saamana was in bad taste. It hurts people’s sentiments. It’s not only the Maratha Morcha remark in the cartoon, I am very hurt by the remark against martyrs (referring to the frame wherein a cop looks at a dead soldier and says “Something’s amiss. This soldier died as a result of dengue and not a terror attack”). It’s below the belt. Nobody thinks this way about our soldiers. The Sena never respects the Freedom of Expression of others,” he added, “Also a leader like Pramod Mahajan used to ask Bal Thackeray to caricature him, now nobody wants any cartoons on any political leader,” he said.

A cartoonist and senior journalist with Lokmat Sandip Pradhan said that in the current situation, this type of cartoon cannot be published. “The silent morcha has been organised by the Maratha community and it damages the law-and-order situation. It’s interesting that earlier it was the Sena attacking media houses and now others are attacking Saamana office,” he added. Of 63 Sena MLAs, 38 are from the Maratha community and are under pressure to resign (from members of their own community). “There are internal politics within the Sena and due to this, a section of Sena leaders want an apology from Raut. This has united Raut’s rivals,” added Pradhan.

Sources in the Shiv Sena said Raut had refused to tender an apology and that was why Maratha Sena leader Subhash Desai issued a press note about the cartoon. Desai blamed the Congress and the NCP for what he said was fuelling the ongoing pro-reservation agitation among Marathas all over the state.”They ruled the state for 15 years, but did nothing for Maratha reservation. They created a farce of reservation, which was later struck down by the courts,” he said.

Desai added that Uddhav has fully supported the ongoing Maratha agitation and even Raut had backed it through his writings in Saamana, but elements like (Opposition leaders) Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Dhananjay Munde are spoiling the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

In the years gone by, the Shiv Sena — it could be said — stretched the limits of Freedom of Expression when taking down its targets through cartoons

Incidentally, three youths on Tuesday arrived in a vehicle at the Saamana printing press building located in Sanpada in Navi Mumbai, and allegedly pelted it with stones and fled. Shiv Sena’s office in Navi Mumbai was also attacked by the workers of Sambhaji Brigade, a Maratha outfit. Commissioner of police (Navi Mumbai) Hemant Nagrale told Firstpost, “An incident of stone-pelting was reported at the Saamana office, Sanpada, where two or three windows have been damaged.”

“An offence is being registered against the culprits. Investigations will be conducted and appropriate action will be taken against the accused. Pursuant to the incident of stone-pelting at the Saamana office in Sanpada, an offence has been registered vide CR No 140/2016, U/S 336,427 of IPC against Shrikrushna Sawant, Amol Jadhavrao, Manojdada Aakhre, Purushottam Khedkar, office-bearers of the Sambhaji Brigade and others,” said Nagrale and added, “The said attack is purported to condemn the article in Saamana, with damage worth Rs 30,000 caused. An investigation being conducted and accused will be arrested soon.”

Shiv Sena cartoon row: FIR against Uddhav Thackeray and Sanjay Raut after Saamana mocks Maratha agitation

As the controversy around a cartoon published in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana gathered dust, advocate Vishnu Navale filed an FIR against Shiv Sena chief and editor of Saamana Uddhav Thackeray, executive editor Sanjay Raut, cartoonist Ravindra Prabhudesai and printer and publisher Rajendra Bhagwat.

The case was filed in Nanal peth police station, Parbhani, Marathwada region, under IPC Sections 153 A, 292, 505, 500, and 109, sources told Firstpost.

A file photo of Uddhav Thackeray. PTIA file photo of Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

A file photo of Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

The cartoon, which was first published in Saamana on Sunday, drew immense flak from senior Shiv Sena leaders, political parties and even ally BJP. The cartoon alludes to the ‘silent march’ being taken out by the Maratha community. Shiv Sena has largely kept mum on the ongoing agitation, but the cartoon puts party in the back foot.

DNA earlier reported that following the publishing of the cartoon, Bhaskarrao Bhange from Marathwada, Ravi Raj (corporator) from Dhule and Ashok Khedkar from Buldhana have submitted their resignations to the Sena chief.

On Tuesday, enraged by the incident, a pro-Maratha social organisation, ‘Sambhaji Brigade’, stoned the Saamana office in Navi Mumbai.

Condemning the cartoon, the organisation’s spokesperson Shivanand Bhanuse told PTI, “We are condemning a cartoon which was published in Saamana. Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and Saamana‘s executive editor Sanjay Raut must apologise to the women of Maharashtra.”

“The attack was spontaneous and an expression of emotions of the Maratha community,” he said. On Sunday, a cartoon on “silent march” was published in Saamana, which drew criticism from various political quarters.

The Marathas have been organising silent marches across the state following the Kopardi rape and murder incident, in which the victim was a member from the community. Some more such rallies are also planned in the state in the coming days.

With inputs from PTI

Maharashtra: Revolt in Shiv Sena over cartoon on Maratha protests, Saamana office attacked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A revolt is brewing in the Shiv Sena over a cartoon published in party’s mouthpiece, Saamna, alluding to the ‘silent march’ being taken out by the Maratha community. Some of its Maratha leaders have openly come out against party supremo Uddhav Thackeray and are set to quit the party in the coming days.Bhaskarrao Bhange from Marathwada, Ravi Raj (corporator) from Dhule and Ashok Khedkar from Buldhana have already submitted their resignations to the Sena chief. Also, stones were pelted at Saamna press in Navi Mumbai even as burning of the newspaper and blackening of Sena hoardings were reported from across Maharashtra.Kailash Pungale, chief of Shiv Sena in Bhokardan taluka, told dna that he is upset with his party over the “insult meted out to the Maratha mothers and sisters”.”Our community people are fighting for their rights and Sena is demeaning them. I have been associated with the Sena since 1987, but today I have decided ‘not any more’ and has submitted my resignation,” Pungale said.Saamna’s Sunday supplement had published the cartoon, which started making rounds on social media. The toon showed a couple kissing amidst a rally and said it’s rather ‘mooka morcha’ (kiss rally) rather than ‘mook morcha’ (silent rally).”This has angered the community members. We were silently protesting for the past 15 days, without raising slogans against any particular caste or religion. We even cleaned the roads in the end so that the local authorities do not suffer,” said Lilaladhar Patil, a Maratha Seva Sangh leader from North Maharashtra.The protests were aimed to press for capital punishment to Kopardi rape and murder accused, seek reservation and implementation of Dr Swaminathan report so that farmers get fair price to their produce.”There was no need to make fun of the Maratha women in cartoon. Uddhav Thackeray should have apologised and ended the matter. But he refused. It shows that he is against Maratha community and used them for mere political gains. The community members will now teach him a lesson,” Patil said.Caught on the back-foot, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday night issued a statement saying that party president Uddhav Thackeray had declared his support for the morchas. The statement, signed by industries minister Subhash Desai, accused opposition leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Congress) and Dhananjay Munde (NCP) for aggravating the situation. The Sena had earlier claimed that anti-social elements were fanning the controversy over the cartoon.Shiv Sena leaders and state minister Eknath Shinde also met party ministers and legislators on Tuesday to discuss how to deal with the fallout of the controversy.Meanwhile, Congress state president Ashok Chavan and leader of Opposition in state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil condemned Saamna and demanded a public apology from Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray over the issue.

Watch: Sangeet Som calls Pakistani artists ‘Gaddar’, says should be beaten with shoes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Pakistani artistes in India facing threats from parties like MNS following the Uri terror attack, controversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som has said that they should be “beaten with shoes”. “There are quite a few artistes who are earning crores from here, no one cares about them in Pakistan. They come to Bollywood and earn in crores then they do ‘Gaddari’ (betrayal) with India,” Som, the MLA from Sardhana in UP, said.”They should have given Pakistan a message that we eat and earn here (India) so such incidents (of terrorism) should not happen here,” said Som, an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013. In the wake of the Uri attack by Pakistan-based terrorists which killed 18 Indian soldiers, Raj Thackeray’s MNS had told Pakistani actors to leave India immediately, threatening to disrupt the shooting of their movies if they do not comply.”Such people should be beaten with shoes and forced out of this country at any cost. Even an animal who eats at some person’s house shows loyalty. Pakistanis eat from India and then backstab us. (namak harami karte hai). Only a ‘Deshbhakt’ should stay in India,” said Som.”An answer should be given to them and entire Pakistan. Don’t worry, the Indian army will give them a reply,” he said.

ZEE TV might stop airing Pakistani shows on Zindagi channel, says chairman

Against the backdrop of the Uri attacks, the resentment against Pakistani artistes in India has grown.

A still from Zindagi Gulzar Hai. Image courtesy: Facebook.A still from Zindagi Gulzar Hai. Image courtesy: Facebook.

A still from Zindagi Gulzar Hai. Image courtesy: Facebook.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), headed by Raj Thackeray, made news on Friday 23 September 2016 when it ordered Pakistani actors and artistes working in Bollywood to leave Bollywood in 48 hours. This was followed by a similar dikat issued by Chitrapat Sena, headed by Ameya Khopkar.

Also Read: MNS issues diktat to all Pakistani artistes: ‘Leave India in 48 hours, or else…’

Subhash Chandra Goel, the chairman of Essel Group and Zee Media, tweeted that he might stop Zee’s Zindagi channel from airing popular Pakistani soaps.

Zee’s Zindagi channel airs popular Pakistani soaps in India. It is one of the only Hindi-Urdu channels in India.

It was shows like Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai, which are being aired on Zindagi, that made Fawad Khan more popular, who might be facing deportment if MNS is to be taken seriously. He is all set to appear in Karan Johar’s soon to be released Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. 

Will this tweet mean the end of Pakistani TV series on Indian TV?

To boycott or not? After MNS threat to Pakistani actors, Twitter divided over demand for ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Friday, the MNS found its nationalist card as it demanded that all Pakistani artistes leave India within 48 hours or else they’d stall the shooting of their movies. While the Mumbai police said that it’d provide protection to all foreign nationals on a legal visa, it did lead to a debate on major news channels about the presence of Pakistani artistes in India while the nation grapples with issues of cross-border terrorism. The Indo-Pak relationship hit an all-time low after the Uri attack and has seen the two nations sniping at each other at the United Nations General Assembly. A look at the debates across various news channels: India TodayCNN News 18Times NowWhat journalists said about the prospective banOther people’s reactions: True storyWait what?Hard decisions were made.MNS asks Pakistani artists to leave, Bollywood hits backThe party wrote an open letter to Bollywood producers and production houses, asking them why they need to rope in actors from the neighbouring country when enough talent is available in India. Actors like Mahira Khan (featuring in Shah Rukh Khan- starrer ‘Raees’) and “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” star Fawad are hijacking the opportunities of Indian artistes, MNS General Secretary Shalini Thackeray told a press conference.In Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, slated to release next month, Fawad is in a supporting role, while Mahira essays the lead role opposite SRK in “Raees”, which will mark her Bollywood debut. Mumbai Police, however, assured the actors they need not worry as they will be given protection. “They (Pakistanis) don’t give our people any respect in their country. Pakistani artists don’t earn anything in their country but in India they get name, fame and money. After all this, their government funds terror activities in India, this is completely unacceptable,” Thackeray said.Thackeray, along with President of the party’s cinema wing, Amay Khopkar, released copies of the open letter to the media. The letter questions Indian producers’ “love” for Pakistani artistes. “In a country of 1.25 billion people, where lakhs and crores struggle for an opportunity to be launched in movies, why you have so much affection for the Pakistani artistes? Do you want to say that our actors do not have requisite talent? This is akin to insulting our country,” the letter read.Thackeray lambasted the NDA government for not dealing with Pakistan in a “stern” manner. Speaking to PTI, she said, “The current government has been only giving assurances that they will deal sternly with Pakistan, but unfortunately nothing has happened so far.” “All foreign nationals who land in the country with valid documents issued by Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra need not worry,” Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Deven Bharti said. Johar’s Dharma Productions, which has produced “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, said it has to understand the issue before commenting on it.”We have not come across anything yet. If there is an issue, we need to understand the matter first, so we cannot comment anything,” an official from Dharma Productions said. The calls and messages to the makers of “Raees” did not elicit any response. Heavily armed militants stormed the headquarters of the Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the wee hours of September 18, killing 18 jawans and injuring 19 other personnel in the terror strike in which four ultras were neutralised. Bollywood reactions Taking a jibe at MNS, director Hansal Mehta tweeted, “MNS for next central govt. In one master stroke they have solved the India Pakistan problem. After all it is artistes who provoke attacks.”Vikram Bhatt said India should push for declaring Pakistan as a terrorist state than involving actors into the situation because that will “trivialise” the issue.”We should concentrate on making sure that Pakistan is declared a terrorist state. That should be our effort. This (asking Pak actors to leave) is like trivialising the issue– whether artists or cricket should be allowed nor not…”How does that matter? What matters is that people are dying, we have been constantly suffering… And the only thing we do is ban artists!” he said.When asked if he thinks Pakistani artistes, working here, should take a stand on the Uri attack, Bhatt said, “I expect them to take a stand but can they do that? They are actors, creative people, not activists.”I don’t think they can go back if they are going to talk against the terrorist outfits in Pakistan. They would surely fear for their lives, might as well become Indian citizens then. I think they would really fear for their safety.” Film critic Mayank Shekhar said culture is apolitical and when government of India has given permission to Pakistani actors to work here, any other political outfit should not “spread fear” among people.”Something which is cultural is by nature apolitical. But if it does become political as in this particular case, then that is the political decision that the authorities need to take. It can’t be any particular outfit deciding to issue a diktat and everyone living under the fear of what they would do or would not do,” he told a news channel. With inputs from agencies

After MNS threat, Mumbai police promises protection to Pakistani actors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid tension in the wake of Uri terror attack, the MNS asked Pakistani artistes like Fawad Khan to leave immediately, failing which their shootings will be stalled. Actors like Mahira Khan (starring Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Raees’) and “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” star Fawad Khan are hijacking the opportunities of Indian artistes, Shalini Thackeray, MNS general secretary rpt MNS general secretary, told a press conference.She said these two actors have been served the ultimatum to leave the country. In Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, which is slated to release next month, Fawad is in a supporting role Mahira plays the lead role opposite SRK in ‘Raees’. However, Mumbai police assured the actors that they need not worry as they will be given protection. Shalini told PTI that their Chitrapat wing has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to all the Pakistani actors to leave the country.”We have started dashing off letters to Pakistani actors, whose country is allegedly sponsoring terrorism, to stop their acting business here. “We would also issue letters to the producers on what grounds they are hiring the Pakistani actors, when there are ample number of actors here in the country and struggling to find an opportunity,” she said.In a country of 1.25 billion people where lakhs and crores struggle a lot for an opportunity to be launched in movies, these big brands are giving opportunity to Pakistani artistes, she added.To a query on what MNS would do if the Pakistani artistes don’t leave, Thackeray said, “Our workers would push them out… would not let them do their acting business.” Mumbai police has, however, given an assurance to the actors not to worry. “All foreign nationals who land in the country with valid documents issued by the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra need not worry,” Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order), Mumbai, Deven Bharti told PTI. Bharti also said that police will give proper protection to them as and when required. Commenting on the development, Dharma Productions, which has produced “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, said it has to understand what the issue is about. “We have not come across anything yet. If there is an issue, we need to understand the matter first, so we cannot comment anything,” an official from Dharma Productions said.The calls and messages to the makers of “Raees” did not elicit any response. This is not the first time that Pakistani artistes have been threatened in Mumbai. Last year, noted Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali had to cancel his performance in Mumbai after Shiv Sena threatened him.

Will respond to Pakistan on ‘Uri misadventure’ at multiple levels: Ram Madhav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lashing out at Nawaz Sharif for glorifying slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani as a ‘young leader’ at UN General Assembly, BJP leader Ram Madhav on Thursday said that Pakistan Prime Minister spoke like he was the Supreme Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.”Pakistan PM at UN was at his pathetic best, he talked not like Supreme Commander of Pak but Supreme Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. Pakistan PM was openly campaigning for one of his terror commanders,” Ram Madhav told ANI.Saying that it was pathetic to see the Pakistan PM championing the cause of UN designated terror organisations, he said, “Pakistan should be declared a terrorist state. Nawaz Sharif with his speech established everything that India has been saying about him and the government in Pakistan.”
ALSO READ Uri attack: Time to reply Pak in language it understands, says Uddhav ThackeraySpeaking about the Uri attack, Ram Madhav said, “At diplomatic level, befitting response to Pakistan has been given. We will respond to Pakistan on its Uri misadventure at multiple levels.””Apart from diplomatic offensive which we have already launched, the other aspects will also be taken care of. I am sure the government will take necessary actions. Perpetrators of Uri attack will not be spared,” he added.
ALSO READ Uri attack: India summons Abdul Basit, gives five-point proof exposing Pak handHeavily armed militants from Pakistan-based JeM had on Sunday attack at an Army Brigade Headquarter in Uri in which 18 soldiers were killed.

Uri attack: Time to reply Pak in language it understands, says Uddhav Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said it’s time the country gives Pakistan a reply in the language it understands because talks with the neighbouring nation “would not yield any result”.”Talking with Pakistan won’t work now. It is now time to answer Pakistan in the language it understands. If war (with Pakistan) is to take place, it should be for well-being of the nation, not for votes. When will we finally understand Pakistan’s language,” Thackeray told reporters in the backdrop of the Uri terror strike which left 18 soldiers dead.Taking a jibe at Narendra Modi when asked if he spoke to the Prime Minister over the attack, Uddhav said, “He must be busy talking to Pakistan right now. When he gets free, we will talk.” He said there is a wave of anger among the masses over the Uri attack and that Modi is well poised to take a definite action against the neighbouring country owing to the overwhelming majority that the BJP enjoys in the Lok Sabha.”If you keep doing what the previous government did, how can you say there is an atmosphere of change in the country? It seems that the government is of the view that those who want to shed tears may do so, we will continue to go to Pakistan to have tea and continue to welcome their artists and sportspersons here,” he said. He said people entrusted Modi the PM’s chair following a series of promises he had made during his Lok Sabha election campaign which now needs to be fulfilled.”This is not the first time they have attacked us. They recently stabbed us with the Pathankot attack. There is no use of merely harbouring feelings of anger against Pakistan,” he said.Thackeray also called for a special one-day session of Maharashtra Legislature to address the grievances of the Maratha community. “Maratha leaders should come forward and voice their issues. There needs to be a discussion on the Atrocities Act and their reservation issue. We expect (NCP president Sharad Pawar) to raise this issue in the Parliament while we will raise it in the state Legislature,” he said.

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