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Vasant More rejects communalism, stands up to Raj Thackeray

Pune’s Katraj Muslims sigh in relief as Corporator Vasant More refuses to follow Thackeray’s instructions to play Hanuman Chalisa outside masjids to protest loudspeakers

Sabrangindia 08 Apr 2022
Vasant More

Pune Corporator Vasant More has shown spine, and done what has thus far been rare in Maharashtra’s political circles. More stood up to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and refused to follow his dictat to play Hanuman Chalisa in front of masjids. By rejecting this blatantly communal agenda he has once again inspired trust in secular values and basic human decency. But the decision cost him greatly, as he was removed from his post as City President of the MNS on April 7, 2022.

Around Gudi Padwa, Thackeray demanded that Hindus should put up speakers twice the size of those used at mosques and play Hanuman Chalisa at a loud volume to protest the use of loudspeakers for Azaan (the Muslim call for prayer). While this demand created considerable buzz in the news, former MNS Pune President More refused to follow his leader's advice. Speaking to Maharashtra Times, he said most Muslims in Katraj, the area that he oversees, have supported him since 2007. He considered it a disservice to them to follow such directions where there is no communal sentiment in the region. He asked, “I am connected to these people. How can I blare a horn in front of their houses like this?”

More, who has constructed a big graveyard and hall for the Muslim community in his constituency, said he built good relations with the people over 15 years. Speaking to National Herald he said he has “khalas, chachas and mamus” (uncles and aunts) who support his position in the city administration. These supporters approached More with concerns of Thackeray’s speech, especially in light of Ramzan. Even police officials reportedly asked him about his stand. However, the veteran politician allayed their fears to maintain peace.

By Thursday, More was sacked from his MNS position and replaced with sitting Kondhwa MNS corporator Sainath Babar. Raj Thackeray personally handed over the letter of appointment to him in Mumbai, said reports.

The news displeased More who anyway intended to resign from the party in the coming month. Far from hurting his political career though, he has been receiving offers from various political parties including Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress to jump ship. According to Loksatta, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray personally wanted to talk to him. Yet, as of Thursday, More said he would rather contest as an independent in coming local elections than join a new party.

On Friday, some local media reported that More was in a meeting with Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. However, he said he will give a final decision only after talking to the MNS Chief next week.

Related:

What does Raj Thackeray hope to achieve with his anti-Muslim speech?

Maharashtra: Hindu man offers terrace to Muslims for namaz in Amravati

Are increasing calls for economic boycott of Muslims a sinister precursor to something worse?

Bajrang Muni Das openly threatens Muslim women with sexual assault

 

Vasant More rejects communalism, stands up to Raj Thackeray

Pune’s Katraj Muslims sigh in relief as Corporator Vasant More refuses to follow Thackeray’s instructions to play Hanuman Chalisa outside masjids to protest loudspeakers

Vasant More

Pune Corporator Vasant More has shown spine, and done what has thus far been rare in Maharashtra’s political circles. More stood up to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and refused to follow his dictat to play Hanuman Chalisa in front of masjids. By rejecting this blatantly communal agenda he has once again inspired trust in secular values and basic human decency. But the decision cost him greatly, as he was removed from his post as City President of the MNS on April 7, 2022.

Around Gudi Padwa, Thackeray demanded that Hindus should put up speakers twice the size of those used at mosques and play Hanuman Chalisa at a loud volume to protest the use of loudspeakers for Azaan (the Muslim call for prayer). While this demand created considerable buzz in the news, former MNS Pune President More refused to follow his leader's advice. Speaking to Maharashtra Times, he said most Muslims in Katraj, the area that he oversees, have supported him since 2007. He considered it a disservice to them to follow such directions where there is no communal sentiment in the region. He asked, “I am connected to these people. How can I blare a horn in front of their houses like this?”

More, who has constructed a big graveyard and hall for the Muslim community in his constituency, said he built good relations with the people over 15 years. Speaking to National Herald he said he has “khalas, chachas and mamus” (uncles and aunts) who support his position in the city administration. These supporters approached More with concerns of Thackeray’s speech, especially in light of Ramzan. Even police officials reportedly asked him about his stand. However, the veteran politician allayed their fears to maintain peace.

By Thursday, More was sacked from his MNS position and replaced with sitting Kondhwa MNS corporator Sainath Babar. Raj Thackeray personally handed over the letter of appointment to him in Mumbai, said reports.

The news displeased More who anyway intended to resign from the party in the coming month. Far from hurting his political career though, he has been receiving offers from various political parties including Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress to jump ship. According to Loksatta, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray personally wanted to talk to him. Yet, as of Thursday, More said he would rather contest as an independent in coming local elections than join a new party.

On Friday, some local media reported that More was in a meeting with Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. However, he said he will give a final decision only after talking to the MNS Chief next week.

Related:

What does Raj Thackeray hope to achieve with his anti-Muslim speech?

Maharashtra: Hindu man offers terrace to Muslims for namaz in Amravati

Are increasing calls for economic boycott of Muslims a sinister precursor to something worse?

Bajrang Muni Das openly threatens Muslim women with sexual assault

 

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