Coming down heavily on the Sambhaji Brigade for vandalising the bust of Marathi playwright and humorist Ram Ganesh Gadkari in a Pune civic park, the Shiv Sena said the act went against Maharashtra’s cultural ethos and urged the government to ensure that the guilty are punished.
“Those who have claimed that Gadkari has insulted Chhatrapati Sambhaji are enemies of Maharashtra’s social and cultural ethos,” an editorial in Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
“In the field of Marathi literature, nobody, after Saint Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram, has produced such outstanding literature like Gadkari. He was a person keen on improving the society,” it said.
“Those who have attacked his bust under cover of darkness are enemies of Shivaji’s school of thoughts and are traitors of Maharashtra,” the editorial added.
“These people, who are playing politics in the name of Shivaji Maharaj and Sambhaji are cowards,” the Sena said.
It also said it is imperative that the upcoming municipal elections are put off for a while since there had been attempts to “vitiate the atmosphere by poisoning people’s minds in the name of caste and creed”.
The bust, installed in a garden at Pune, was knocked out and taken away in the early hours on Tuesday following which four persons have been arrested.
The pro-Maratha group had claimed responsibility for the act, saying it was done in retaliation to the “poor portrayal” of Shivaji Maharaj’s son Sambhaji in a play written by the 20th century litterateur.