Sena, MNS threats: Shabnam Hashmi's open letter to Maharashtra CM

The Chief Minister,

Dear Mr Ashok Chavan,

Every society gives enough warning signals before turning totally anti democratic and fascist in nature. If we go back in history we will find that even in fascist Germany the first attack came on the freedom of expression of artists and intellectuals. It is very natural as the struggle for peace, democracy, secular thought, justice and communal harmony is waged by sensitive and creative people. The dream of an equal and just society has always been projected by either the mass movements of ordinary poor and marginalized people, secular political forces, human rights activists or has been portrayed by artists, poets, film makers, theatre directors etc. So those people whose agenda and preoccupation is to spread hatred and disharmony always attack the artists, activists, intellectuals and thinkers.

Unfortunately in the past we have ignored these danger signals and violent acts thus allowing the perpetrators of hate mongering not only to go scot free but also to further vitiate the atmosphere.

What has been happening in Maharashtra the past few months is absolutely shocking and is an attack on the democratic rights of the citizens of not only Maharashtra but all Indians.

I am writing to you as a member of the National Integration Council, Ministry of Home Affairs and I request you to immediately take steps to ensure that the goondaism unleashed by the Shiv Sena and MNS is stopped immediately.

I request you to ensure that Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan , whose effigies were burnt in Mumbai and especially Shahrukh Khan, who has received threats in the past few days, are given adequate security, that there is no disturbance when their films are released or screened in theaters. I request you to ensure that no taxi driver or auto rickshaw driver is harassed for not knowing or speaking Marathi (its good that you backtracked on January 20 from a similar unconstitutional stand on the question of issuing licenses to the taxi drivers) and that their constitutional and democratic rights of working or living in any part of India are not violated by Shiv Sena hoodlums on the roads.

The kind of filthy language which is being used and threats which are being issued against the senior leaders of your own party are absolutely unacceptable and need to be condemned strongly.

I request you to urgently arrest and prosecute those who are behind the recent incidents.

Sincerely yours

Shabnam Hashmi

Member, National Integration Council, MHA

Copy: Home Minister, Government of India

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