Mumbai : Under normal circumstances it would not have made any difference which medium of instruction Amit opted for a degree course in mass media. But then Amit is no ordinary student; he is the son of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, the man whose mission is to promote Marathi.
Recently, Raj, along with Amit, called on the principal of Ruia College in a Mumbai suburb accompanied by an entourage of securitymen and party activists. Suhas Pednekar, the principal, said Raj asked about subjects being taught in the mass media course. “He wanted to get all the information regarding the course, the prospects after graduation. But, Amit has not taken admission in our college yet,” he added. Raj and Amit also visited the facilities in the college. “They visited the classroom, checked out the library and spoke for a short while to the course co-ordinator,” a Ruia College faculty member said.
If Amit opts for English medium then it would cause enormous political embarrassment to Raj and his party, since they have been aggressively pursuing a Marathi agenda in a bid to project themselves as more Marathi than the Shiv Sena. But a section of the MNS feels Amit’s decision need not cause any problem since he had studied school in English medium and nobody had made an issue of that.
A couple of years ago, when Amit joined the neighbouring Podar College, in Class XI, he had opted for German language ignoring the option of Marathi. He had apparently selected German since it was a scoring subject. Incidentally, all the grandchildren of Sena chief Bal Thackeray have either completed their schooling in English or are studying in English-medium schools.
Raj is the estranged nephew of Thackeray Senior who quit the Sena a few years ago to float MNS. A professor at Ruia added that each year, either Raj or his wife Sharmila visit the college during the admission season to enquire about the response the college gets for the BA (Marathi) course.