Just take three recent decisions of your government. First, the ill-advised decision to ban meat in Mumbai for four days. Yes, similar attempts to ban the sale of meat during the Jain Paryushan festival have been made in the past by your predecessors but your government tried to widen its ambit to well beyond the Mumbai suburb of Mira-Bhayandar.
The third perplexing decision taken by your government is its recent circular on guidelines to be followed by the police while making arrests on sedition charges. The circular says “words, signs or representations to be treated as seditious if they are against a person who is shown to be a representative of the government". Does that mean that if I criticise a government minister I will be liable to be charged with sedition? Are we confusing legitimate anti-government criticism with anti-national activity?
These controversies have shadowed what should really be the single-minded focus of your government at the moment: alleviating agrarian distress in large parts of the state. First, it was Vidarbha; now Marathwada is staring at drought-like conditions. More than 600 farmers have committed suicide since January this year after successive failed crops. Drinking water is scarcely available and the tanker mafias are holding sway. Farmers can’t even sell their ageing cattle because of the ill-conceived beef ban.