'Koshyari Ki Hoshyari': Uddhav Thackeray's reply to the Governor leaves people in splits

The letter in Marathi has become a talking point in the state. Shiv Sainiks are gleefully and approvingly quoting from the letter. 'Koshyari Ki Hoshyari utaar di', is the refrain

Uddhav Thackeray & Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Uddhav Thackeray & Bhagat Singh Koshyari

Sujata Anandan

The four-page reply in Marathi to Maharashtra Governor has become a talking point in the state. Shiv Sainiks are gleefully and approvingly quoting from the letter. Koshyari Ki Hoshyari utaar di (The too clever by half Governor has been exposed), is the refrain.

The Governor had written to the CM in the context of the Nirbhaya-like rape at Sakinaka, a suburb of Andheri a few weeks ago. The CM reminds the Governor that police reached the site within 10 minutes and apprehended the rapist in less than 24 hours. A fast-track court has been set up to bring the man to justice and every police station is now in the process of setting up a special rapid response squad of women officers to combat threats to women. Edited excerpts of the English translation of the letter:


The Governor

"…Some opposition leaders are trying to politicise the rape and I notice the Governor is adding his voice to theirs and making the same demand…I am aware that atrocities on women, rapes and exploitation are a blemish on the nation, state and society.

While the state government is taking the strictest measures to prevent such incidents, women’s safety is a national issue and it needs discussion at the national level. In the last few years there has been an unimaginable rise in rapes in Delhi and the world has described Delhi as the capital of rapes. One must remember that law and order of the national capital is in the hands of the Centre.

Last month's incident of atrocity against a girl in Delhi has been mind-numbing. A nine-year-old was gang-raped in a crematorium by a priest and his three accomplices and they brutally murdered her. But their cruelty did not stop with that act. They actually cremated the girl to destroy all evidence against their crime. This is an incident that happened in a place where the entire union cabinet resides.

I would also like to draw your attention to an incident in Bihar, ruled by the BJP. A member of parliament raped a party worker but the police refused to register a FIR as there was political pressure on them. Ultimately, after running from pillar to post three women approached the court and a FIR was registered on court orders. In contrast, Maharashtra police took prompt action and I would request you to compare the actions of the two."

A resplendent Ram temple is coming up at Ayodhya in UP. We are all devotees of Prabhu Ram. Lord Ram's bow and arrow were always at the ready to protect women and their honour; but today are they truly safe and secure in that state?

We were all shaken by the incident of the rape and murder of a woman kho-kho player in Uttar Pradesh. Her blood-ridden body was found at the Bijnor railway station where she had reached after a job interview. Rapes at Hathras and Unnao shook the nation. The brutal Badayun rape found mention in the United Nations. Even the NCRB has recorded an alarming rise in violence against women in UP. But the BJP does not seem to be demanding a special session of the assembly there to discuss the issue."

We describe Uttarakhand as the abode of the gods (devbhoomi). You yourself are a son of the soil of this devbhoomi and have led the state as its chief minister. But atrocities against women in this abode of the gods have risen by 150 percent in recent years. Even a city like Dehradun has been reporting a rise in rapes, dowry deaths and abductions. Is it possible to call a special session of the assembly there too?

We have a special emotional relationship with our neighbouring state. Gujarat. But are women really safe under the Gujarat model? In recent times, 2908 women have gone missing from Ahmedabad, about 14,229 women went missing all over Gujarat in the last two years. In Mehsana, Rajkot, Baroda, Ahmedabad Rural, Chhota Udaipur, Surat Rural, Jamnagar, Patan also the incidence of crime against women are disturbing. To discuss this one would definitely need to call a special session of the assembly.

In view of your concern, women throughout the nation are looking at you with great hope. The honourable governor should demand a special four-day session of Parliament and the Sakinaka rape too can be discussed in that session.

Maharashtra is the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Even with women from the enemy camp, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had treated them with respect and dignity. (Shivaji had respectfully returned the daughter-in-law of the Muslim governor of Kalyan to her family after she was captured by his soldiers).

A Governor is like a father. We hope we have your blessings in this regard.”

Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray

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