Thackeray warns of anti-Kannada backlash

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday warned of a "backlash" in Maharashtra.

Mumbai: Appearing unruffled over the flak
his attack on Jnanpith awardee Kannada writer Chandrashekara
Kambara over his "anti-Marathi" remarks has drawn in
neighboring Karnataka, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday
warned of a "backlash" in Maharashtra.

"Those ruling Karnataka should check the goondas
indulging in anti-Marathi activities. Don`t let a spark ignite
here," Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece

"Karnataka government should stop police protection to
the goondas attacking Marathi. We are taking all this with
restraint. However, it does not mean that this restraint stems
from impotence," Thackeray said, adding "What is needed is
just a flash point. Maybe those goondas aren`t aware of this."

On the criticism over his attack on Kambara, Thackeray
said he considers "verbal abuse by anti-Marathi goondas as his

The Sena chief had recently demanded that the Jnanpith
committee should take back the prestigious award from Kambara.

"Kambara has said that Marathi-speaking populace in
border areas (of Karnataka) was born only to create chaos. He
has also said that if Marathi people in these areas want
education in Marathi medium, they should move to Maharashtra,"
Thackeray had said.

"On behalf of the eight crore Marathi people in
Maharashtra, we are demanding that the Jnanpith committee
should take back the award from him," the Sena chief said.

Thackeray reminded Kambara that lakhs of people from
Karnataka were engaged in industry and business in Mumbai and
rest of Maharashtra. "In fact, the Udupis control the hotel business here.
What will happen if we ask all these people to return to their
(native) state," he had said.

"Kambara should remember that language is nobody`s
enemy. Doyens like Girish Karnad, Dr Shivaram Karanth, U R
Ananthamurthy, Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal have ruled
over the Marathi minds," the Shiv Sena patriarch had said.

Thackeray`s comments came after the Karnataka
Government, angered by the "anti-Kannada acts" of some
pro-Marathi councilors, slapped a show-cause notice on the
Belgaum City Corporation asking it to reply in two weeks as
why action should not be initiated to dissolve it.

Karnataka government has decried the "provocative"
statements of the Shiv Sena supremo over Kambara, which it
said had the potential to trigger tension between the two
neighboring states.


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