A resident of Alibaug in Maharashtra has urged the Bombay High Court to ban the "derogatory" and "humiliating" phrase "Alibaug se aaya hai kya?" meaning "Are you a fool?".As per the plea, the phrase is used commonly in Maharashtra to address someone who is considered "foolish" or naive.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed by Rajendra Thakur, a resident of Satirje village of Mapgaon in Alibaug. His father, Madhukar Thakur, is a former MLA of the Congress.
In his plea, Thakur has said the phrase is "unfair" and "humiliating" as it projected people of Alibaug as "illiterates".
Alibaug is a coastal town and a municipal council in Raigad district of Maharashtra, located around 95 kilometres from here. Thakur's plea states that Alibaug is a well-to-do place, a major tourist attraction, and has several "good schools" and a high literacy rate.
It also says that Alibaug has a rich culture and history.The plea was mentioned earlier this week before a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar.
It is likely to be taken up for hearing after two weeks.
"Alibaug is bestowed with nature with scenic beauty. In spite of having such a rich background filled with history, culture, industry, tourism, medical facilities, nature and education, it is highly objectionable to ridicule the people of Alibaug by projecting them as 'illiterate' who do not have common sense," reads the plea.
"Every time the petitioner hears this dialogue, he gets hurt sentimentally. This phrase always makes an adverse emotional impact on the petitioner and every person of Alibaug," it said. Thakur has urged the court to direct the state authorities to get the public to refrain from using this phrase.
He has also urged the court to ensure that films, documentaries, TV serials, etc, that have the phrase as part of their dialogues, are not granted the censor certificate.