Sixty two years of freedom, liberty and enfranchisement have not done any good for our country, with disintegrating forces out to ruin it. The nation showers its praise on cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar who expressed pride in being an Indian and claimed that Mumbai belongs to every one of us. The words used by the Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, against him in Saamna — asking Sachin to stick to cricket and dare not tread into the realm of politics — exposes his skewed mindset. It is time the state marginalised such voices, thereby preserving the fabric of unity in diversity.
The Shiv Sena and the MNS seem to stop at nothing to woo the Marathi-speaking voters. They do not hesitate to speak or do anything that is against the unity and integrity of the nation. To meet their ends, they exploit people’s sentiments. Maharashtra, however, is not the only State where the politics of language or religion is played. It is the same in Uttar Pradesh, where caste is a major electoral issue, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and other States. It is futile to expect our leaders to change their ways. We must make a beginning by casting our votes for the right persons.
When Sachin plays, he plays for India. All his records bear the name of India. He is proud of being an Indian. And by saying so, he has made all Indians proud.
Mr. Thackeray has the habit of hogging the limelight by making controversial statements. He has done it many times in the past. But what Sachin said is really encouraging and worth emulating. His assertion that he is an Indian first sends a fitting reply to secessionist forces across the country.