Mumbai: Saamna, the Shiv Sena's newspaper on Tuesday enraged the Maratha community by publishing a cartoon that appears to poke fun at the campaign for Maratha reservations that's being organised in the state.
Playing with words, the cartoon has twisted the word "mook morcha "(silent rally) to "Mooka Morcha" (kiss rally). Showing a couple kissing amidst a rally, the cartoon says that some people have taken out some other meaning of the rally. But the intended pun didn't go down well with the protesters as well as other political parties. Angry protestors from the community burnt copies of the newspaper and several complaints have been filed in Latur and Aurangabad.
Maharashtra witnessed massive silent rallies by the Maratha community all across the state in the past one month over the Kopardi rape and murder as well as for demanding reservation.
"The cartoon is in bad taste…It's an insult to women who are protesting against the heinous rape in Kopardi…Not only Saamana, but the Shiv Sena, should also tender an apology to the women of Maharashtra as well the entire Maratha community," said Abhijeet Rane, President of Maratha Mahasangh.
Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too attacked the Shiv Sena on the issue. Calling the cartoon an example of perverted mindset, Congress Spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, "Silent sallies by the Maratha community have set an example through their discipline. The participation of women in these rallies is unprecedented. By making such perverse comments, the Shiv Sena has insulted women in the rally who call themselves daughters of Shivaji."
The NCP called the cartoon an insult to the Maratha Community. Party Spokesperson Nawab Malik has warned the Shiv Sena to be careful before making such comments about women. Meanwhile a fringe Maratha group under the banner of Maratha Kranti Morcha, has come out in defense of Shiv Sena. "This is an attempt to divert attention from the successful rallies and create a rift between the protesters. One should not pay heed to such gimmicks and maintain the unity" their release said.