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Maharashtra Governor Koshyari won’t back down

Mumbai: Even as Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s praise for the entrepreneurial spirit of the Rajasthani and Gujarati communities raised the hackles of opposition political formations in Maharashtra, he refused to backtrack from his averments. Instead, he chose to articulate his statements even more clearly at an event in Mumbai on Saturday.

Speaking at a felicitation function of Gujarati community members at the Raj Bhavan, Koshyari clarified, “Although, Indians belong to varying cultures from Kanyakumari to Uttarakhand’s Badrinath and Kedarnath, I have always noted the distinction of citizens. Especially, the people of Uttarakhand, the Gorkha community from Nepal (and Maharashtrian and Sikh communities) for their courage and fighting spirit demonstrated in the Indian Army. In Uttarakhand, almost every family has at least one member in the Indian armed forces.”

Koshyari added that his intention was not to denigrate or belittle the Maharashtrian community, as he has always held the state in high regard, particularly, the cultural legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Koshyari also added that he has visited the Shivneri, Pratapgad, Raigad and Sinhagad forts in Maharashtra.

A Raj Bhavan official said, “On Saturday, the governor said that he always urges communities from his home state Uttarakhand to settle in Maharashtra and become one with the state’s culture. He demonstrated this sentiment best by becoming the only (out of state governor) to deliver his 50 minute-long address to the state legislature entirely in Marathi.”

The Maharashtra governor noted that, “Just like the earlier mentioned communities are renowned for their fighting spirit, no one can deny that the communities from Gujarat and Rajasthan are well known for their spirit of enterprise and business. Those settled in Maharashtra have significantly contributed to its development story.”

The function at Raj Bhavan was organized by the Gujarati Sanskrutik Forum, Ghatkopar, to recognize and felicitate members of the Gujarati community for their varied contributions to the state.

The event was attended by well-known television serial actor and writer of ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ fame Dilip Joshi, 90-year-old trustee of the Kamala Mehta School, Hansa Mehta and Kundan Vyas, editor of the ‘Janmabhoomi’ newspaper.

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