Accusing Hindi news channels of orchestrating an anti-Maharashtra campaign on the small screen, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday warned them of a “fitting response” to protect the image of the state.
Referring to NCP president Sharad Pawar’s reported refusal to speak to the media for distorted coverage, the Sena mouthpiece—Saamna—said, “Pawar has given a verbal lashing to these elements but this may not suffice while dealing with those bent on defaming Maharashtra.”
“Maharashtrians are being projected as an uncivilised and violent community on the basis of isolated incidents happened recently,” it said.
If anyone is distorting the news, it’s Saamna—nowhere in the media have Maharashtrians been projected as “an uncivilised and violent community”. Maharashtrians are thought of, to the extent that stereotypes hold, as peace-loving and hard-working people, and there is nothing in the media recently to counter that.
On the other hand, the media has faithfully reported what the Shiv Sena and the MNS has been up to recently, and those reports might well give the impression that those two parties are “uncivilised and violent”. That seems pretty accurate to me, and it has nothing to do with Maharashtrians, for these parties represent no more than a lunatic fringe.
Saamna’s editorial also says:
If this tirade against Maharashtra continues, we shall be forced to take concrete measures in the interest of the state. And when we do it, your so called freedom of expression could be a casualty.