The illustrious newspaper Saamna, also the mouthpiece of the venerable Shiv Sena party, has asked that the right of Muslims to vote should be revoked. Like moth to a flame, all the secular politicians have rushed in to criticize the Saamna. Some have gone so far as to ask for a ban on this wonderful newspaper.
Come on people, taking the Saamna seriously, it like taking Tinkle comics seriously.
Let’s take the issue of the request to ban it. Why would you want to ban something that brings a wry smile to your face each morning? If I could read Marathi, I would want the Saamna to meet me at my doorstep each morning. I can see myself sit down with my morning coffee and cigarette, and have a good laugh to start my day.
Add to that the feeling of intellectual superiority it could foster among its readers. Each morning, you could read the newspaper and ask in five-minute intervals – “Which idiot wrote this?” This is brilliant! A whole population that can feel intellectually superior to the people in print. No wonder Maharashtrians are such happy people.
I would not support any call for a ban on this wonderful newspaper for all the money in the world.
Now let’s cast our weary eyes on the argument per se. I think it holds a lot of water. Any group of people who can be seen as a vote-bank because they share a religion, state, or color of shirt, should be banned from voting. It would be, in Saamna’s words, for their own good and to stop political parties from abusing their trust. For instance, we could take away the voting rights of all Maharashtrians to stop the Shiv Sena from abusing their trust. Yes! Let’s start there.
Long live the Saamna! Long live Suppandi!