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Tuesday 21 January 2020

KBC infuriates Sena with mention of Shivaji without honorific

Activists of Shiv Sena burnt posters of film star and popular host of KBC Amitabh Bachchan in towns of Maharashtra for 'insulting' Shivaji while urging the party's cyber cell to turn #BoycottKBCSonyTV into a Twitter trend

#BoycottKBCSonyTV trended on micro-blogging site Twitter today after an episode telecast on Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) on 6 November. At the Shivaji Putla Chowk in Kolhapur, Shiv Sena workers burnt posters of film star and popular host Amitabh Bachchan and raised slogans against him. The brouhaha was about a question asked on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the show. Now Sony TV has apologised through a tweet.

Sony TV wrote on Twitter, “There was an inaccurate reference to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj during Wednesday’s KBC episode, due to inadvertence. We deeply regret the same and being mindful of the sentiments of our viewers have carried a scroll expressing regret during our episode yesterday. # KBC11”

In a recent episode of KBC, anchor Amitabh Bachchan had asked a question about Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The question was, “Which of these rulers were contemporaries of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb?” The options for the answer were

  1. Maharana Pratap
  2. Rana Sanga
  3. Maharaja Ranjit Singh
  4. Shivaji

While the Shiv Sena would have liked to hear the name as “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj” the mention of Shivaji without prefixing it with “Chhatrapati” and suffixing it with “Maharaj” turned the party livid. The activists of the party said this was irreverent.

Shiv Sena workers burnt posters shouting slogans against Amitabh Bachchan in several towns of Maharashtra after the KBC episode was aired. Shiv Sena chief in Kolhapur Ravi Kiran Ingawale said, “In the KBC programme on a TV channel two days ago, Amitabh Bachchan mentioned Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj only as Shivaji. He should apologise, or else a bigger movement will be waged against him in the coming days.”

Shivaji Bhonsle I (c. 1627/1630 – 3 April 1680) is revered not only by the Shiv Sena but Hindus across the world for offering valiant resistance to the otherwise domineering Islamist Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. The reverence for the historical figure in Maharashtra is phenomenal.

The Indian warrior king and member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan, Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that laid the foundation of the Maratha Empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (Emperor) of his realm at Raigad. In Maharashtra, mentioning his name without honorifics is largely considered sacrilegious. Lord Ganesha (since the institutionalisation by freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak) and Chhatrapati Shivaji are also the greatest cultural icons of the State.

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