The Shiv Sena is facing criticism, after one of its MPs, Rajan Vichare force fed a fasting Muslim, allegedly to protest being served bad food in the Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi. Now one MP has compared the incident to the Godhra train burning incident in Gujarat and claims that nobody is looking at the real reason for Vichare’s actions.
Shiv Sena MP Anandrao Adsul told “This is just like Godhra. Everyone forgot Godhra but only remembered what happened after that. Here too, everyone is talking about the incident, but no one is bothered about why it happened.”
The Godhra train burning incident in which 59 people were burnt alive and also had Kar-Sevaks (Hindu pilgrims on board) is widely acknowledged to be the trigger for the deadly 2002 riots in Gujarat.
In this Sena Bhavan case, the MPs have alleged that they didn’t know that the attendant was a Muslim or that he was fasting. Rajan Vichare, who was captured on camera, has tried to defend his actions saying he didn’t intend to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments, and that his actions were prompted by his anger at the quality of the food.
“The facilities aren’t proper at Maharashtra Sadan. This incident is being given a communal colour, we must not do so. It is the same thing as going to a restaurant. If you are served bad food, won’t you call the manager and ask him to taste it? We did the same he said.
The MPs have also denied IRCTC’s claim that the employee, Arshad Zubair S, was wearing a name tag on his uniform. Vichare told IE, “You see the footage and then tell me yourself.”
Meanwhile Shiv Sena chief Uddav Thackeray has tried to do some damage control over the incident. He said, “There was no intention to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments.”
According to PTI, Uddhav told reporters in Aurangabad, “This (uproar over the incident) is an attempt to silence Shiv Sena’s voice. We are proponents of Hindutva but we don’t have hatred for other religions.”
Other Sena MPs have called this incident an attempt to defame their party ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra elections. It’s a conspiracy by Congress. The Resident Commissioner Bipin Mallick has backing of chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. This is an attempt to defame Shiv Sena in view of the upcoming assembly elections,” Vinayak Raut, a Shiv Sena MP told Firstpost.
Denying the alleged incident, Raut said, “We didn’t even know that the supervisor is a Muslim. The facilities provided by the canteen are very poor. While the rooms given to us are from general category, the VVIP rooms are allotted to the MPs from other states. The officials are using the ‘Maharashtra Sadan’ as lodging and boarding.”
Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil, Shiv Sena MP from Shirur Lok Sabha constituency in Pune, also denied the incident. “It is a political conspiracy against us. No such incident has happened on that day,” Patil said.
“We went to the canteen to show the poor quality of the food. We were trying to pull apart chapatti into two pieces but failed to do so. So, we asked the supervisor to eat it but we didn’t force him to eat the chapatti,” he added.
As to the ‘real reason’ behind the incident, the Indian Express report has quoted sources in the IRCTC as saying that the MPs were angry because they didn’t get Maharashtrian food like vada pav etc, and were upset with ‘North Indian’ being served.