Mumbai: For the first time in the history of Maharashtra, the State government has failed to provide the Marathi translation of Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao’s address to the joint session of legislatures.
The incident is even more surprising, as it happened a day prior to ‘Marathi Language Day,’ due to which the government had to face the embarrassment of apologising on the first day of the budget session of the State legislature.
On the first day of the budget session, the Governor addresses both the houses jointly in the central hall. The Governor addresses the houses in English and the translator conveys the message in Marathi. On Monday, the translator did not reach the translation room, where he translates the Governor’s speech.
As the members of opposition parties realised that there is no translator in the room and they can hear the Governor’s speech only in English, they started shouting that the government has no right to rule. “How can the government not translate the speech into Marathi? They don’t have the right to take the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” the opposition members said.
As the opposition made allegations against the government over the double standards over Marathi language, Education Minister Vinod Tawade immediately rushed towards the translation room and took charge of the mike and started to read the Marathi copy of the speech.
After the chaos, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accepted that it was a ‘grave’ mistake. “It is an absolutely serious issue. An inquiry will be conducted by Monday evening. I wholeheartedly apologise on behalf of the government and want to assure that such mistakes will not be repeated,” said Fadnavis.
The opposition, however, boycotted the speech, alleging that BJP-Shiv Sena government had humiliated the Marathi language. The incidence occurs a day before the official ‘Marathi Bhasha divas’ (Marathi Language Day) celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of renowned Marathi poet late VV Shirwadkar alias Kusumagraj.
Leader of Opposition in State assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil raised the issue inside the house demanding strict action against the officers who failed in their duty. “This is the most unfortunate incident that the legislative house has ever seen. This is unprecedented and cannot be taken lightly,” said Vikhe-Patil.
‘The government showed their double standards towards Marathi. The government is claiming that it will ensure that Marathi language will get ‘classical language’ status and on the other hand, it can’t even provide a translator to translate English speech into Marathi,” he added.
The Leader of Opposition in State council, Dhananjay Munde, claimed that instead of Marathi, the government provided the translation in Gujarati. The government, however, denied the allegation, with Tawde saying it was preposterous.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar alleged that the government has failed 12 crore citizens of Maharashtra.
Earlier, Governor Rao stated the State government’s achievements in his speech. “My government has the vision to make the State into a one trillion dollar economy by 2025. For this purpose, policies relating to industries such as defence, agro and food processing, textiles, aerospace, logistics, fin-tech, animation, robotics, artificial intelligence have been launched,” he said.
Claiming that the present State government inherited ‘a crisis-laden agriculture sector,’ Rao said, “From a negative growth rate of minus 0.5 per cent in 2012-13 and minus 11.2 per cent in 2014-15, the growth rate increased to 12.5 per cent in 2016-17. This growth was achieved by making heavy investments in the agriculture sector. From Rs 29,000 crore of investment in the year 2013-2014, it grew by 280 per cent to Rs 83,000 crore in 2017-2018,” he said.