Mumbai, Feb 13 (Calcutta Tube) The Shiv Sena Friday night claimed ‘victory’ in its agitation against Shah Rukh Khan and his movie and the party ‘congratulated’ all its activists for the success.
In a signed statement issued here late Friday night, Sena chief Bal Thackeray also lashed out at the Maharashtra government for trying to make ‘My Name Is Khan’ a success by cracking down on thousands of Shiv Sena workers, arresting them and putting them behind bars.
‘If patriotism and love for our country is a crime, then we shall commit the crime repeatedly,’ the statement said, indicating that the Sena agitation is likely to continue further.
Thackeray said that while the MNIK show did not go houseful despite Congressmen buying tickets, jails were ‘houseful with the arrested Sainiks’.
Claiming that the agitation was against Shah Rukh Khan’s pro-Pakistan stance, he wondered, what was the need for the Congress government to be so anxious about it.
‘Instead of a Khan, if there was a ‘Khanvilkar’ (a Maharashtrian) supporting Pakistanis who come and create mayhem here, our stand would have been the same,’ Thackeray said in the statement.
He added that the campaign by the Sena in Mumbai and Maharashtra was ‘zabardast’ and the Sainiks would be ready for any such sacrifice even in future – ‘Who else is there?’ (for such sacrifices).
He said that the government ministers watched the movie under the security of commandos and AK-47 rifles which forced the cinema hall owners to screen the movie.
Thackeray said that the party was not against the movie MNIK as much as it was against Khan for his pro-Pakistani statements, nor had it asked Khan to apologise to the Sena, but say sorry to the whole country.
He said that the Sena has done what it had to do and expressed regrets over the role of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
‘Earlier, he picked up the footwear of Delhi (referring to Rahul Gandhi, whose footwear was picked up MoS Home Ramesh Bagwe last Friday) and now has to carry around Khan’s shoes, creating a new record,’ he said with sarcasm.
In a post-script, Thackeray urged media persons and television channels ‘reporting nonsense about the Shiv Sena’, to read an article by P. Sainath in ‘The Hindu.’ (Referring to an article on paid news penned by P.Sainath recently).
A senior party office-bearer said that contrary to speculation in some circles, the party chief has not indicated that the anti-Khan and anti-MNIK agitation has been called off.