Mumbai: Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Saturday warned the political class in neighbouring Karnataka not
to "provoke" the Maharashtrians, against the backdrop of
World Kannada Convention at Belgaum, and reports of repression
of Marathi-speakers living there.
Karnataka government can not bolster the state`s claim
over Belgaum merely through holding the Kannada Convention
there, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece `Samana`, edited by
Bal Thackeray, said today.
Belgaum, which has a sizable Marathi-speaking population,
has been a bone of contention ever since the two states came
"Is there a democracy or a Libyan dictator Gaddafi`s
rule?", the editorial asked today, referring to reports of
beating up of Marathi-speakers by Karnataka police.
"Marathi and Kannada languages are like twin sisters and
therefore we wish the World Kannada Meet well. However, the
Karnataka Government chose Belgaum as the venue purposely",
the editorial said.
Alleging that in the run-up to the event, the
Marathi-speakers in Belgaum faced atrocities at the hands of
Karnataka police, the editorial said the objective of the
Convention was not to promote Kannada language, but to
"provoke and crush" the Marathi-speakers.
The editorial also referred to Bollywood actor, Aishwarya
Rai, who has been invited to the Convention. "We do not oppose
Aishwarya attending the convention. We have no quarrel with
the Kannada language, but with the regime there which uses
force against Marathis.
We wish Aishwarya goes there as a Maharashtrian and
offers sympathy to Marathi-speakers there, but actors go to
such events not as a social duty, but as a part of deal," it