Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers played Hanuman Chalisa on a loudspeaker near a mosque in Charkop area of Mumbai on Wednesday morning, a day after their party chief Raj Thackeray gave a call to recite the religious hymn to protest against loudspeakers blaring 'azaan'. In a video, an MNS worker, holding the party flag, was seen playing the Hanuman Chalisa on a loudspeaker from a high-rise here. In the background, the 'azaan' could be heard from a loudspeaker of a nearby mosque.
In neighbouring Thane city, some MNS activists played the Hanuman Chalisa on a loudspeaker at a spot in Indira Nagar area. No mosque was located in the vicinity.
Undeterred by the registration of a case against him, MNS president Raj Thackeray had on Tuesday urged people to play the Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers on Wednesday wherever they hear loudspeakers "blaring azaan (Islamic prayer call)".
In an open letter, Thackeray had asked people to lodge complaints with police by dialling 100 if they are disturbed by the sound of 'azaan'.
"I appeal to all Hindus that tomorrow, the 4th of May, if you hear the loudspeaker blaring with azaan; in those places, play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers. That's when they will realise the hindrance of these loudspeakers," the MNS leader had said.
Police have already beefed up security in Mumbai and several other parts of the state, especially where the MNS has a sizeable presence.
Bal Thackeray's video
Raj Thackeray who has appealed to people to play Hanuman Chalisa outside mosques today tweeted an old video of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray talking about loudspeakers. In the old video, Hindutva leader Bal Thackeray could be seen speaking on namaz on roads and loudspeakers in masjids. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said Bal Thackeray and Veer Savarkar are the ones who taught Hindutva to the country and Shiv Sena's school of Hindutva is original.
Sharing the video of uncle Bal Thackeray, Raj Thackeray seems to be claiming a fresh stake as the original flagbearer of the Sena legacy amid claims that Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena has changed from what it was - presumably because of their alliance with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party in the state.
Maharashtra is amid a political turmoil over the Hanuman Chalisa-loudspeaker row with independent politicians Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana still behind the bars for their plan to chant Hanuman Chalisa in front of Uddhav Thackeray's residence.
Security has been tightened in Mumbai and other districts of Maharashtra as, in an open appeal on Tuesday, Raj Thackeray urged people to play Hanuman Chalisa outside mosques on Wednesday, since his ultimatum of May 3 is over.