A Maharashtra Shame Four MNS MLAs Suspended for Slapping Abu Azmi

Abu Azmi Was Slapped for Taking The Oath in Hindi – This National Shame Deserves High Condemnation

Maharashtra Assembly witnessed a shameful act when four newly elected MNS MLAs attacked and slapped Abu Azmi, a BSP MLA for taking the oath in Hindi. There was a rukus in the Assembly following this incident. Earlier, a few BJP MLAs took the oath in English, while a few MLAs from the Congress took the Oath in Hindi. They were not attacked. Why then was Abu Azmi targetted by MNS? They even misbehaved with a woman MLA in the melee. This forced the Assembly to suspend all four MNS MLAs for four years.

Suspension of MLAs was not the solution. They should have been expelled immediately for contempt of the Assembly after a brief enquiry. Since the incident happend on the floor of the Assembly, the court has no jurisdiction to try them or for police to take action against the erring MLAs. Even the suspended MLAs cannot move the court in the matter as it was the prerogative of the Assembly to take action and award punishment using its quasi-judicial powers. The action was swift that sent a strong signal to all that the Assembly would not be a sitting duck.

The newly elected MNS MLAs indulging in such a shameful act, deserve no sympathy. It is reprehensible and condemnable. The first time MLAs instead of spending their first day in the Assembly exchanging greetings with other MLAs, took to rowdyism purportedly on the direction of their boss Raj Thackery. Shiv Sena did not condemn the incident in totality besides abstaining from the voting along with BJP MLAs when a resolution was pressed in the Assembly on the expulsion of four MLAs. This is nothing but a sheer hypocrisy on their part.

Hindi is a national language. It should be respected by one and all. Maharashtra is a part of India and such action against Hindi speaking people may have a cascading effect elsewhere in the country. Linguistic extremism is more dangerous than the religious divide India has witnessed. If the MNS is keen to keep Hindi off Maharashtra, they must stop the Hindi Film Industry from functioning in Mumbai. They must stop Lata, Asha and other singers singing songs in Hindi. If the Lata sisters are famous today its only because they were singing Hindi songs and not Marathi songs. Mumbai would crumble if the Hindi Film Industry moves out of Maharashtra. Marathi manoos beware.

Regional language like Marathi should be respected and promoted. But then taking action against linguistic minorities in such a bizarre manner would endanger the unity of the country. MNS is trying to create a political space for itself by usurping the Shiv Sena agenda. The Shiv Sainaiks were watching the rukus in the Assembly from a distance, as the newly elected MNS MLAs went on the rampage to appease their leader. The question asked was why was Abu Azmi targetted and why not other MLAs who took the oath in English and Hindi? There is no such rule in the Assembly that prevents an MLA from taking the oath in any other language other than Marathi. As a matter of fact, it gives an option for non-Marathi speaking MLAs to take the oath either in Hindi or English. This was exactly what was done by Abu Azmi.

In the interest of democracy, linguistic minorities, and unity, it demands stern action against not only MLAs but also against MNS Chief Raj Thackery, who is sowing a dangerous seed of division of the country on the basis of language. First he created a hate campaign against the Biharis and North-Indians followed by a physical attack on them. Now this linguistic extremism. This is a dangerous situation, which undermines unity. If every state starts or enacts the same kind of drama, like the Madhya Pradesh CM did recently, then God alone would save the country from the impending chaos.

In the end, all right thinking people should join in to condemn the incident and urge the Central Government to take stern action against such extremist elements to save the linguistic minorities and their interest. Jai Hind.

A.M. Jamsheed Basha
A.M. Jamsheed Basha is a Chennai-based columnist, political commentator, who writes on matters of importance, political, social and self-improvement.