Thackeray Changes Tack, Says, Forget Regionalism, Unite As Hindus

Shiva Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has appealed to Hindus all over India to set aside their regional differences and unite to combat  what he called the danger from jihad.  In an editorial in his party
thackeray changes tack says forget regionalism...
PTI November 20, 2009 14:24 IST

Shiva Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has appealed to Hindus all over India to set aside their regional differences and unite to combat  what he called the danger from jihad. 

In an editorial in his party organ Saamna, Thackeray writes: "Ayodhya today has a Ram temple just because of the Shiv Sena. The Sena will fulfil its promise of completing the temple by building its dome," he stated.

"Everyone knows who removed the Babri Masjid, which was a blot on Ayodhya. The Kothari brothers, who demolished the domes of masjid and hosted a saffron flag there, were Shiv Sainiks. I am proud of them."

Thackeray came down heavily on Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi for his "desire to rebuild the Babri Masjid". He said, "The Sena still has the guts to shatter his dreams of rebuilding Babri. The country is being crushed by a Muslim python... In this country, there are Marathis, Bengalis, Gujaratis, Kannadigas, Assamese and Hindis. But are there Hindus? Instead of unifying, they have decided to spill the blood of their Hindu brothers in the name of regionalism…. We must stand together as Hindus to fight this Islamic attack. Otherwise, our future generations will be seen offering namaaz instead of celebrating Dussehra and Diwali. Radical Muslims are the biggest threat to our country. Except for a few, such as Salim Khan, Javed Akhtar, Mukhtar Abbas and Farooq Abdullah, the rest of them are trying to destroy our country. We will have to fight them. We can win the battle only if we unite as Hindus."

However, according to a report in DNA newspaper, Shiv Sena's ally BJP disagrees. BJP refuses to give Sena full credit for the makeshift Ram temple.

BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari, who was jailed twice during the temple movement, said, "Like me, lakhs of kar sevaks had spontaneously gathered at Ayodhya from all over the country. They did not have any relation with the Shiv Sena. I will not deny that there were some Shiv Sainiks too. But no one can claim the sole credit for building the makeshift temple to Indians." But on Thursday, the Shiv Sena chief himself advocated nationalism. He appealed to the Hindus all over India to set aside their regional differences and unite to combat the "calamity of Islam."

Thackeray, who admits to being a "staunch Hindu", had once suggested that a memorial of Mangal Pandey, the hero of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, be erected at the disputed area in Ayodhya. However, on Thursday he said that Sena would complete building the Ram temple in Ayodhya. He claimed credit for the makeshift Ram temple that is there now in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna. "Ayodhya today has a Ram temple just because of the Shiv Sena. The Sena will fulfil its promise of completing the temple by building its dome," he stated.

"Everyone knows who removed the Babri Masjid, which was a blot on Ayodhya. The Kothari brothers, who demolished the domes of masjid and hosted a saffron flag there, were Shiv Sainiks. I am proud of them."

Thackeray came down heavily on Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi for his "desire to rebuild the Babri Masjid". He said, "The Sena still has the guts to shatter his dreams of rebuilding Babri. The country is being crushed by a Muslim python... In this country, there are Marathis, Bengalis, Gujaratis, Kannadigas, Assamese and Hindis. But are there Hindus? Instead of unifying, they have decided to spill the blood of their Hindu brothers in the name of regionalism.

"We must stand together as Hindus to fight this Islamic attack. Otherwise, our future generations will be seen offering namaaz instead of celebrating Dussehra and Diwali. Radical Muslims are the biggest threat to our country. Except for a few, such as Salim Khan, Javed Akhtar, Mukhtar Abbas and Farooq Abdullah, the rest of them are trying to destroy our country. We will have to fight them. We can win the battle only if we unite as Hindus."

Sena's ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, refused to give it full credit for the makeshift Ram temple. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari, who was jailed twice during the temple movement, said, "Like me, lakhs of kar sevaks had spontaneously gathered at Ayodhya from all over the country. They did not have any relation with the Shiv Sena. I will not deny that there were some Shiv Sainiks too. But no one can claim the sole credit for building the makeshift temple." DNA

 
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