Taking a dim view of the goof-up in translating the Maharashtra governors address to the state legislature, the Shiv Sena claimed that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis shied away from speaking in Marathi at public events.
Fadnavis was trying to portray the image of a “leader of all languages”, the Sena claimed, adding that the state government was “pessimistic” towards the Marathi language.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party said it was a matter of concern if those in power were not proud of their language and the state.
The remarks of the Sena came on the “Marathi Bhasha Din”, which is observed every year on this day to mark the birth anniversary of eminent Marathi poet, Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar.
The state Assembly witnessed a goof-up in translation during Governor Ch Vidyasagar Raos address on Monday, triggering protests and a walkout by the opposition.
During the governor’s customary address to the joint sitting of the two houses of the state legislature on the opening day of the Budget Session, the Marathi translation was not available due to a technical problem.
“Why do faults occur only when the Marathi language is concerned?” the Sena wondered in an editorial in its party mouthpiece, “Saamana”.
“Somebody talks about dividing Maharashtra and the government becomes deaf and mute. Then someone else talks in an insulting language about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and now, there are problems in translating the Marathi language,” it said, taking potshots at the BJP-led state government.
Asserting that it was fighting to save the Marathi culture in Mumbai, the Sena alleged that the BJP, along with other parties, was creating controversies against the language to win the Assembly and the city civic body polls.
“The chief minister of Maharashtra represents a Marathi state and his duty is the well-being of the Marathi language and the people. However, in a bid to display an image of a leader of all languages, he shies away from speaking in Marathi at many public events,” it said.
The Sena, an ally of the ruling BJP in Maharashtra and at the Centre, alleged that attempts were being made since the last two-three years to divide the Marathi votes and win polls with the help of non-Maharashtrians.
“The Marathi self-esteem is suffering in the process,” it said.
“All this is happening due to the government’s pessimistic attitude and its mistrust towards the Marathi language. It is a serious problem if those in power are not proud of their language and the state,” the Sena said.
It taunted the BJP, saying the saffron party managed to build its headquarters in New Delhi in mere 16 months, but the proposed memorial of Babasaheb Ambedkar was left in a lurch and the fate of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s memorial was unfathomable.