Mumbai belongs to all : RSS chief

Mumbai belongs to all : RSS chief

Mumbai belongs to all : RSS chief

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat Sunday criticised the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for fuelling a language row by insisting on speaking only in Marathi even in the legislature.

"At a time when the country is facing so many problems, it is unfortunate that political parties like the  MNS and Shiv Sena are raking up the language issue and insisting on jobs for locals only in a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai," Bhagwat said while addressing about 15,000 swayamsevaks (RSS volunteers) at the sprawling Bangalore Palace grounds here.

Decrying the MNS legislators for preventing Samajwadi Party member Abu Azmi from taking oath in Hindi in the Maharashtra legislative assembly on Nov 9, Bhagwat said it was strange that while taking oath in an alien language like English was acceptable, the same was not allowed in the national language - Hindi.

"We are all one. There should be no discrimination on the basis of one's language or religion. We should treat everyone equal. Hindi and other Indian languages should be as much acceptable as Marathi in a city like Mumbai," Bhagwat said.

Expressing concern over growing unrest across the country in the name of language, culture and religion, Bhagwat said it was wrong on the part of the MNS or the Shiv Sena to insist that people of different languages and backgrounds should speak only in Marathi, that too in a metro like Mumbai which belongs to all.

"Should we be fighting over language for vote-bank politics? Assaulting Azmi for taking oath in Hindi in the house (assembly) is a wrong approach. To insist that jobs should be given to only locals or only Maharashtrians in a city like Mumbai is equally wrong as Mumbai belongs to all Indians," Bhagwat said in his hour-long address.

In this context, he praised Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for unveiling the statues of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar in Bangalore Aug 9 and Kannada poet Sarvajna in Chennai Aug 13.

"For the first time in Indian politics, the chief ministers of two states have shown the country that we can all live together in harmony and peace. They both have demonstrated the spirit of nationalism and brotherhood," Bhagwat recalled.

Bhagwat is on a two-day visit to the city for the first time since he took over as the RSS supremo March 21.