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Friday, September 19, 2008

Jaya Bachchan Vs Raj Thackarey - A War of Words

The verbal spat between Jaya Bachchan and Raj Thackeray has been in the news recently. Raj Thackeray is the nephew of the Shiv Sena Leader, Bal Thackeray and has become the chief of a party called the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Raj Thackeray seems to be following his own political agenda in order to gain cheap publicity and votes from the local people by resorting to "Hitler" type dictats in the state.

He started the attack on the Bachchan clan when Amitabh Bachchan and his family members inaugurated a girl's school in the name of Aishwarya Rai in a village in UP (Uttar Pradesh), which happens to be their home town. Raj made some comments against this openly in a press conference, stating that Amitabh owes a lot to the land of Maharashtra, where he became an actor, and gained popularity. He also said that they had done nothing to pay back the soil of Maharashtra so far, instead, Amitabh has become an ambassador for the state of UP. Jaya Bachchan could not take any comments on her family lying down, so she retorted back in another press conference saying that if Raj would give them a piece of land in Maharashtra, they would be more than willing to open another girl's school in the name of Aishwarya, there too.

This happened sometime in January, this year. Since then, the attacks have become more and more vicious. Raj Thackeray started a campaign against all "North Indians" in the state and there were some violent incidents also reported. He then tried to implement "compulsary" Marathi Language course in all the schools in the state. He has also made all the shopkeepers in the state to have their signboards converted to Marathi.

Recently, at the music release function of her son, Abhishek Bachchan's film "Drona", Jaya Bachchan made a comment saying that she would speak in "Hindi" as she is from UP and that all the people from Maharashtra should please excuse her. This statement did not go down well with Raj Thackeray, and he promptly called a press conference and demanded that Jaya Bachchan owed an apology to the whole state of Maharashtra and the Marathi people. In his statement he called Jaya an "old woman" "Buddhi" and also said that she had no "brains".

Apparently, Jaya Bachchan has rendered an apology in response to this and said that she was misunderstood.

How long will this verbal sparring continue between these two families? Raj Thackeray is behaving like a "dictator" and taking law into his own hands, by his actions. Will this be tolerated by the people and the police? Why don't they arrest him? He had gone so far as to publicly claim that he would not allow any of the "Bachchan's" Movies to be released anywhere in Maharashtra. The buck did not stop there, he also sent his goons all over the city to tear up any film posters or even any Advertising posters that had any of the Bachchans on it.

Apparently, the Mumbai police has not taken kindly to this action and has said that they would keep a lookout for such incidences and if they caught any of the culprits red-handed, they would be dealt with very strictly as per the law. Easier said than done. We are still waiting to see some positive action by the law to curb Raj Thackeray and his ways.

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