Raj Thackeray issues open letter justifying loudspeaker issue
He said that while there were important issues like unemployment and inflation plaguing the country, the loudspeaker row was necessary to ensure ‘mental and social peace’
Mumbai The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has issued an open letter addressed to the public, in which he explained the reason behind his stand against loudspeakers on top of mosques. In the letter, he also sought the help of citizens to take the issue to its logical conclusion.
He said that while there were important issues like unemployment and inflation plaguing the country, the loudspeaker row was necessary to ensure ‘mental and social peace’.
“We are aware that Maharashtra is going through turbulent times. Water shortage, farmers’ suicide, inadequate educational and health facilities, the skyrocketing prices of petrol and diesel and inflation along with unemployment is plaguing the state. All these issues are crucial but along with them, we cannot overlook the noise pollution which causes mental torture and disturbs social peace,” Thackeray has said in the letter explaining his stand.
He further went on to claim that for the first time in independent India, an anti-loudspeaker campaign bore results as more than 92 per cent mosques in Mumbai restricted their decibel levels and complied with the timings as well.
Further, he gave a three-pointer and appealed to citizens to participate in his campaign. He said citizens should take up -signature campaigns, complain about loudspeakers to the local police station and/or ask the MNS workers for help in case of any problem.
In another letter to MNS workers, Thackeray sought to boost their morale and said that the time has come to end this loudspeaker menace ‘once and for all’.
Meanwhile, Thackeray insisted in his letter that his agitation was successful. “The ban on loudspeakers is not a new demand and numerous such demands from independence fell on deaf ears,” he said and added that the Supreme Court’s guidelines on noise pollution were ignored as mosques continued blaring the loudspeakers.
“It was only when we said that we will play the Hanuman Chalisa outside mosques if the loudspeakers are not curtailed, the picture started changing. This was appreciated by our Hindu brothers and sisters and it spread across the country. The results were seen almost immediately as in Uttar Pradesh, under the Government of Yogi Adityanath, loudspeakers were removed,” he said.
However, political analysts are of the opinion that this could be a desperate attempt to convince the citizens of his stance.
“This is a self-defeatist justification as Raj Thackeray’s campaign has failed miserably. How can one compare a campaign against price rise or unemployment with loudspeakers? Citizens are hassled with hikes in petrol and diesel prices than with what is blaring on loudspeakers,” said political commentator Surendra Jondhale.
Political analyst Hemant Desai said that Raj failed to derive any political mileage from this campaign. “Raj Thackeray lost his face as the state government, headed by his cousin, deftly handled the whole situation and prevented it from turning it into a Hindu-Muslim conflict. In fact, we hardly saw any resentment in the public over the issue,” opined Desai.