Marathi Sammelan and politics

Today, western Maharashtra had two major events. Both were related to language, literarute, culture and its growth. Both however ended up on controversial note. While first one- Marathi Sahitya Sammelan- in Sangli, was rocked by a controversy about politicians overshadowing literary members, another- Marathi Natya Sammelan- in Solapur, was touched by an untoward incident like lathi-charge.

President (Jai Maharashtra) Pratibha Patil’s presence at both places was also a bone of contention for many. At natya sammelan, Sushilkumar Shinde turned the event into a show of strength. Never before in the sammelan’s history, the venue saw almost fifty thousand people, mostly congress workers. And while bringing discipline to the crowd at the venue, police resorted to mild lathi-charge.

At other place Arun Sadhu, outgoing sahitya sammelan president, vent his pent up ire against politicians and their growing presence at such events. He even refrained from attending the sammelan, breaking 80 years’ tradition. Sadhu is very shrewd (after all he is originally a journalist). A thought of boycotting the event did not even touch his mind last year despite politicians’ presence on dais. Little wonder, Sadhu himself was president of the sammelan last time.

Another interesting development: S M Krisha was absent at both places despite the protocol’s clear demand that state governor should accompany president of India. I think Krishna had something different in mind.

The sammelan, as expected, discussed the border row over Belguam and Maharashtras role. Krishna, a lawyer turned politician from Karnataka probably must have seen himself in an uncomfortable situation had he been present at the venue. The poor fellow might have to hear all against his state while sitting on the dais.