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Sena protests against Shobhaa De outside her house, circulates her address

April09/ 2015

Mumbai,April 9: The Shiv Sena decided to take the battle against columnist Shobhaa De up a notch, by not only protesting outside her house in Mumbai, but also circulating her address on WhatsApp and SMS, exhorting people to turn up in front of her house to protest against the tweets she had sent out, sources told Newsatclick.in. De had sent out a series of tweets after the Maharashtra government declared that multiplexes will have to screen one Marathi film in prime time slots in one auditorium.

Despite Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik moving a breach of privilege notice against De in the Maharashtra state Assembly (which could even result in her being jailed) and the Shiv Sena editorial Saamana slamming her for her tweets, the party seems to believe that such harassment is not enough.

So, they decided to resort to the next best strategy they know – bullying and intimidation. Put yourself in De’s place and consider this: a political party starts circulating your address to their supporters and empathisers, asking them to turn up before your house and ‘protest’ for a largely harmless tweet you have sent out.

The protest against De outside her house began at 1 pm. De also tweeted about the protest, saying that even though a Shiv Sena morcha was heading towards her house, Mumbai police had set up barricades around her house and she was feeling ‘perfectly calm and safe’.


The irony is that the police will have to act against a party which is part of the ruling government, the very organisation which controls the police.
The columnist also spoke against the protest, saying that she was proud of her idenity but that did not mean she was a parochial person. “This is the third or fourth such protest taking place outside my home. I haven’t said anything that can be called anti-Maharashtra or against my culture. I’ve always been very proud of my identiy. But that does not make me a parochial person,” she told CNN-IBN.
“If Shiv Sena has chosen to misrepresent the tweet, they can do that. I am just a Mumbaikar. I do not belong to a political party. I will do what I can as per the law,” she said.
“I don’t understand how Shiv Sena can protest against me over ‘dadagiri’, something which they themselves have engaged in from time to time…I will not respond in the manner the way they expect me to,” De said.
In a vitriolic attack against De, Shiv Sena in their editorial Saamana, had said that had Bal Thackeray not done “dadagiri” to preserve Marathi culture, her forefathers would “have been born in Pakistan” and she would have “attended Page-3 parties in a burqa”.
“You have done great service to the Marathi land in which you were born. It is unfortunate for Maharashtra that such comments came from a Marathi woman,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.
“Since you have termed the decision of the state government as dadagiri, let us tell you (Shobhaa)…Had Chhatrapati Shivaji, in his time, and Balasaheb Thackeray not done ‘dadagiri’, then your forefathers and her children would have been born in Pakistan and you would have been attending Page 3 parties in a burqa.
“The comments that Shobhaa has made on Marathi culture and food amount to insulting the Marathi people. She has even insulted our culture,” the editorial said.
This is not the first time Shiv Sena-BJP workers have protested against Shobhaa De.
On 3 June, 2014, leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the BJP, had shouted slogans against Shobhaa De over her controversial tweet about Gopinath Munde’s death outside the Crossword bookstore at Mumbai’s Kemp’s Corner.
Shobhaa De was supposed to attend the launch of renowned journalist Shekhar Gupta’s book ‘Anticipating India: The Best of National Interest’ at the bookstore at 6:30 pm that day. However, she cancelled her visit due to tension over her tweet about Munde’s death and his family. Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde had passed away at 7.20 am on the same day. De had tweeted, saying, “Burrey din aa gaye for the family.”
“She will have to come here and apologise in front of the entire media,” BJYM worker Roshni Mishra had said, further saying that the workers would protest outside her house if she did not turn up at the book launch.
Though police had been present at the site to prevent violence and escalation of the protest, this correspondent had spotted some police officials laughing and chatting up with the protesters. One of the police officials even shook hands with a protester.
One of the protesters had even suggested burning a copy of the book being launched by Shekhar Gupta as a sign of protest.
De was forced to apologize on Twitter. “My deepest condolences to Munde family in their hour of grief. No offence was ever intended. Apologies for inadvertently hurting sentiments,” she had said on Twitter, after which the protest had fizzled out.
(With inputs from PTI)

Tags: #Shiv Sena, #ShivSena, #ShobhaaDe