Is the BJP gone off its head? If not then who has given it the authority to compare Narendra Modi to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This was proved when a book titled Aaj ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi was released last Sunday, 12th January at a religious-cultural meet organised by the Delhi BJP.
Where was Shivaji Maharaj and where is Modi. Where the noted Maratha king had numerous followers who liked and revered him, Modi is worshipped by only a few BJP bhakts who treat him like God. Well if this was somewhere in 2014, when Modi’s popularity was at its peak, people would not react. But now in 2020, his popularity has waned and the process goes on.
This endeavour by the ruling party has landed the party in a controversy. Criticising the author and BJP leader Jay Bhagwan Goyal, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said . “This man has compared Narendra Modi to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Is it acceptable to Maharashtra leaders of the BJP? Is it acceptable to the descendants of the king? Shouldn’t they speak up?” he asked. “At least the Maharashtra BJP should come clean and announce its position on this. Chhatrapati Shivaji cannot be compared to anyone in the world. There is only one Chhatrapti Shivaji Maharaj,” Mr. Raut said adding, one can compare the great king in whatever manner.” Incidentally, Mr. Goyal was in the Sena until a few years ago but was thrown out after he attacked Maharashtra Sadan.
The king’s descendants include former NCP MP Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosle who joined the BJP but lost the Lok Sabha by poll and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje, a Rajya Sabha member from the BJP’s quota. On his part, Chhatrapati Sambhaj Raje said, “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is our revered king. Comparing him to contemporary politicians is not acceptable to us Shiv Bhakts. The party that has published this book should not take our sentiments for granted. I demand the party president withdraw this book.”
State Public Works Department minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan said the personality and work of Shivaji Maharaj are unmatchable. His party too condemned the book. “Comparing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to Narendra Modi is an insult to the ideology with which Maharaj worked. This is exactly the opposite to that of the BJP,” Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.
NCP leader and State Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde said that the action had hurt the feelings of all Marathi-speaking people. “Maharashtra will not forgive those who attempt to compare themselves to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” Mr. Munde averred.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe has filed a complaint against Mr. Goyal and the publisher at Nagpur’s Nandanvan police station and sought an immediate ban on the book.