A controversy broke out after National Bravery Award winner Zen Sadavarte was criticized by Shiv Sena BMC workers for not speaking Marathi at an event organized on Women's Day on Sunday. Visuals of the event show Sadarvate being interrupted for not speaking in Marathi.
Speaking to ANI, Sadavarte, who had saved multiple people when a fire broke out in her building in Mumbai in 2018, narrated the incident. She said, "What happened there was that I talked about several issues that affect India. That develop India. That are going wrong in India like mid-day meals to children are not given on Saturdays and Sundays. Those are the issues that I talked about. I talked about horizontal reservation to be given to transgenders. But I don't know what happened to the leaders of the Shiv Sena who were present there on the stage."
The youngster added, "They started humiliating me. They started as if they were mob lynching at me. They even held me and they started lying on stage that we have given reservation and we are state and we know better than what you know. They even started exploiting my right to expression. I have the right to expression through Article 19. And through Article 343 of the Constitution of India, I have the right to speak in English and in Hindi as it is the union language. But what they alleged me was if you want to live in India, then you need to learn Marathi."
"I am a National Bravery awardee. I am not saying anything like Marathi is bad. But I am saying that it is my right to speak in the language that I wish to speak in," she added.
According to the accessed video, as the National Bravery Awardee started her speech in English, one of the alleged Shiv Sena netas snatched the mike from her hand as she was not speaking in Marathi. The leader is further seen saying "The country in which we live in, it is important to speak Marathi. Speaking in Marathi has been made compulsory and this is a Marathi crowd. In Maharashtra, we will always support you. But the most important thing, we should decide what to say in front of which people."