Mumbai: The controversy over participation of Nayantara Sahgal in Marathi literature conference saw manifold growth on Monday. The Opposition parties have demanded explanation from chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, whereas Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray expressed regrets over his party men opposing Ms Sahgal’s participation.
Various authors and social organisations slammed the conference organisers for their decision to revoke invitation to Ms Sahgal. The annual Marathi literature conference will be held at Yavatmal, Vidarbha on January 12 and 13.
The organising committee of the Yavatmal conference had invited Ms Sahgal for opening speech, which she had accepted. But, the MNS local leaders took objections on the invitation saying that Ms Sahgal’s literature was in English and not Marathi. This pushed the organiser, Ramakant Kolate, to cancel the invitation to her.
The decision faced opposition not only from various authors, poets and social activists, but also from MNS chief Raj Thackeray.
Mr Thackeray expressed regrets over wrong position taken by his party men. In a press statement, Mr Thackeray apologised for the same and said that his party has no objection to Ms Sahgal. He also appealed to invite Ms Sahgal with due respect.
There was a buzz that ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to prevent Ms Sahgal from opening ceremony. Ms Sahgal is known for her strong view against current political system in country lead by BJP. But, the chief minister’s office (CMO) clarified that it has nothing to do with controversy.
“To invite anyone or not is completely the prerogative of the organisers, which is never intervened by CMO. There is malicious attempt to drag CMO into this controversy,” said a press note by CMO Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, the Opposition leaders slammed BJP for undeclared Emergency and an attempt to silent the voice of dissent.
“Mr Fadnavis should give clarification,” said opposition leader Radha-krishna Vikhe-Patil.
NCP state chief Jayant Patil demanded that Mr Fadnavis should apologise and make sure that she attends the conference....