RJ’s satirical song mocking Mumbai’s potholes makes Shiv Sena see red

The Hindu

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Viral video mocks civic body for Mumbai’s potholes

With over 12 lakh views (and counting) on YouTube, a satirical song on Mumbai’s potholes from popular radio jockey Malishka Mendonsa is making the Shiv Sena hot under the collar. So upset are they that, in what does not seem to be a coincidence, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — which the Sena currently rules — slapped a notice for breeding dengue mosquitoes on the RJ’s door.

A week ago, RedFM uploaded a song on their YouTube channel, ‘Sonu Tuza Mazyavar Bharosa Nai Kai - Pothole Mix’ (Sonu, don’t you trust me). The video features Malishka (as she styles herself on air) and her colleagues mocking the BMC for not maintaining the roads in the city during the rains.

The party, founded by Bal Thackeray, who built a reputation with biting political cartoons before becoming a full-time politician, did not take kindly to being mocked.

Sena corporator Samadhan Sarvankar called the video an insult to every Mumbaikar and the workers of BMC: “This is nothing but a cheap publicity stunt. Legal action must be taken against her for spoiling the civic body’s name. When the city has several agencies controlling roads, how can BMC be blamed for potholes? Traffic and railway problems are not because of us.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Sarvankar and fellow Sena corporator Ameya Ghole visited BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta and asked him to file a ₹500 crore defamation suit against the radio channel.

On the same day, officials from the Public Health Department (PHD) served a notice at the RJ’s mother’s home in Bandra, sayingofficials had detected Aedes aegypti (a dengue-transmitting mosquitoes) in the “clay bowl kept under the plant pot kept in front of door”.

The PHD’s notice is under Section 381 B of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, which is applied when an owner has not taken any preventive measures, and has thus jeopardised their own and their neighbours’ lives. The next step is a summons to the owner from the Metropolitan Court, asking her/him to pay a fine from ₹2,000 to ₹10,000. If the owner contests the charge, the case is fought in court.

The civic body denies attempting to frame the RJ. But political parties and citizens do not believe this to be true. “Do you really believe that this is a coincidence?” asks Sandip Deshpande of the MNS. “This is a clear attempt to target her for speaking out. Sena should stop targeting citizens and instead concentrate on improving the road conditions.” Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, “If you cannot stop corruption in the civic body, why blame Malishka for speaking the truth?”

Even Sena ally BJP sided with Malishka. “It is brave of her to come out of comfort zone and apply her creativity to express Mumbai’s problems,” said BJP Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar. He said it was unfair to turn up at her house and find faults.

Malishka could not be contacted over the phone. She tweeted, thanking citizens of Mumbai for their support and said she had faith in them: “Mala tuzyavar bharosa aahe.”

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