On Tuesday, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar questioned the intolerance of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. He referred to actor Yogesh Soman, the director of Mumbai University’s Academy of Theatre Arts being sent on compulsory leave for his comments on former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Shelar accused the student organizations affiliated to the Left and Congress of threatening Soman.
गेल्या महिनाभरापासून मुंबई विद्यापीठात अभिनेते योगेश सोमण याच्या बाबतीत जे घडते आहे. त्यांना सक्तीच्या रजेवर पाठवण्याचा निर्णय घेणे, त्यांना काँग्रेस आणि डाव्या विद्यार्थी संघटनेने धमकावणे...या सगळ्या गोष्टी आता असहिष्णुतेत बसत नाही का? pic.twitter.com/BNpBDjHgYe— Adv. Ashish Shelar - ॲड. आशिष शेलार (@ShelarAshish) January 14, 2020
Soman came under the spotlight after posting a video blog on Facebook on December 14. He was responding to Rahul Gandhi mocking freedom fighter Veer Savarkar in a public rally.
On December 28, the NSUI, the student wing of Congress called for a criminal complaint to be registered against Soman for making objectionable remarks about Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the video blog.
Today, NSUI office bearers filled a criminal complaint against #YogeshSoman - Director of Academy of Theatre Arts @MumbaiUni for using objectionable statement against Shri @RahulGandhi at BKC Police Station. pic.twitter.com/mVTShjzIcE— NSUI (@nsui) December 28, 2019
Meanwhile, the NSUI held a number of rallies on the Mumbai University campus to demand Soman's ouster. Thereafter, the Mumbai University's fact-finding committee found merit in the allegations. The university administration also clarified that there were other complaints against him as well. Congress is currently a part of the Maharashtra government.
Incidentally, this is not the first occasion when BJP has accused the Uddhav Thackeray-led government of perpetuating an environment of intolerance. For instance, Shiv Sena workers shaved the head of a person living in Mumbai who had allegedly made a derogatory comment about Thackeray. Similarly, a Sena worker threw ink at an individual in Beed, who had criticised the Maharashtra CM.