‘Crass’ remarks on Savitribai Phule: CM orders action against websites

Mumbai, May 31 (IANS) Hours after the opposition Nationalist Congress Party met the Mumbai Police Commissioner on the issue, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde directed the Chief Secretary to take action against a couple of websites which published offensive articles against the legendary social reformer Savitribai Phule, here on Wednesday.

An official said that the article has created a furore with many political parties and social organisations raising serious objections to the ‘derogatory’ references to the pioneer of women’s education, Savitribai Phule.

“Taking cognizance of these objections, the CM has directed the Chief Secretary to probe the content of the website and take strict action if there is any objectionable material found in the article. He has also warned that the government will not spare those who indulge in offensive language while writing about great icons,” said the official.

The developments came barely hours after a high-level NCP delegation called on Mumbai Commissioner of Police (CP) Vivek Phansalkar and demanded stringent action against two websites for publishing the articles with vulgar references to Savitribai Phule.

The delegation, comprising state NCP President Jayant Patil, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, senior leader Chhagan Bhujbal, MP Sunil Tatkare and others submitted a two-page memorandum to the CP, listing the names of the websites and their offensive remarks.

The memorandum said that a person claiming to be some ‘Bharadwaj’ had made the scurrilous remarks against Savitribai (1831-1897) – considered the pioneer of women’s education from the mid-1850s – who is revered in the state and country.

“The comments are so low that I can’t mention them and feel embarrassed even to talk about it… We have requested the police to immediately book the two websites, the authors and also remove the article from all media platforms,” an irate Pawar said.

Earlier, Bhujbal had shot off a letter to the CM and the CP bringing to their notice the foul language used against Savitribai in its January 2022 articles, among other things, questioning her credentials as a teacher.

He said that the attempts to malign the legendary educator was “highly condemnable, outrageous and painful”, with the websites seeking to rearrange and destroy Indian history.

The articles have also stirred a raging debate on social media with many slamming the authors for the vituperative references and outrageous insinuations against the iconic social reformer, and questioning her historical contributions as an academic trail-blazer.

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