Mumbai : Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana Sunday hit out at cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar once again, saying he plays for the Indian cricket board, not Maharashtra.
“Sachin is not bigger (greater) than Maharashtra, he is not like Lokmanya Tilak, Rajguru, Bhagat Singh who sacrificed their lives for the nation,” Saamana said in an editorial written by Sanjay Raut, MP.
“Sachin may be great as a cricketer, but his runs and shots belong to the cricket control board’s record book. They have nothing to do with Maharashtra’s pride.”
“Maharashtra hasn’t got Mumbai because of Sachin’s 17,000 runs. Mumbai’s Maharashtrian character has not been retained because of Sachin’s fours and sixers,” the editorial read.
“More than Sachin’s strokes, the spilt blood and sacrifices of lives of Maharashtrian martyrs are important.”
It added: “‘Nehru is greater than Maharashtra’, Yashwantrao Chavan once uttered. For that he had to apologise to Maharashtra. As Nehru is not greater than Maharashtra, the emperor of cricket also cannot be bigger than Maharashtra.”
The Shiv Sena has been attacking Tendulkar ever since the cricketer remarked at a press conference that while he was a proud Maharashtrian, he was an Indian first. He added that Mumbai “belongs to all”.
The Shiv Sena’s assault on Tendulkar led to national outrage, with even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticising the Sena. This has angered the Shiv Sena further, leading to the latest editorial.