“Chalo Subhash Maidan” is the call given by the MES (Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti) on October 26. Subhash Maidan is Lele Ground where a similar Melava was planned when the Assembly session was held in Belgaum for the first time. Well-known Marathi leaders and politicians from Maharashtra are expected to participate.
The MES has called for this particular Mahamelava or convention to keep alive the burning flame of the 53-year-old struggle of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti for merger of Marathi-majority areas of Karnataka with Maharashtra. The organizers say it is not a show of strength but for a cause of the Marathi people to come together and fight back on the atrocities made by the Karnataka Govt. MES also wants all the rights under the linguistic minorities to be adhered to by the state Govt. like all forms and other documents be given in Marathi along with Kannada.
The KRV and other Kannada organizations have criticized the govt. for giving permission for the convention at a time when North Karnataka is reeling under flood fury. The state govt. has asked that the Rajostsav be celebrated on a simple note because the flood havoc caused, the why permission has been given for this convention, asks Raj Toppannavar of KRV.
Belgaum and the border issue and such conventions and bandhs have been part of Belgaum life for 53 years now. In addition, this will go on until the Supreme Court decides on the matter.
The success of the convention will depend upon the results of the Maharashtra elections as well. If the Shiv Sena BJP combine can form a govt. one could expect huge fireworks from big leaders but if it is otherwise we could just see one or two leaders coming in.
For common Belgaumites does Marathi or Kannada matter?
Many would call this just a political stunt and others may call it struggle for their rights, always the coin has two sides, doesn’t it.