Mumbai, Jan 26 (ANI): The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) distributed Marathi language alphabet books to north Indian taxi and auto rickshaw drivers as part of an exercise to teach them Marathi.
MNS activists asked taxi drivers to learn the language within 40 days or else return to their native places.hey also pasted pamphlets on taxis and auto rickshaws.
The President of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena, Haji Arafat Sheikh, said that around 50,000 Marathi books were ordered for distribution among taxi and auto drivers.
Sheikh said: "If they want to stay here and earn their livelihood and drop their passengers safely at their destinations, then they must learn Marathi and speak in Marathi. That is why we have chosen a better way for them."
"If not, and if they are so adamant on speaking Hindi, in that case also we have made some arrangements," Sheikh added.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party coalition government in Maharashtra had on Wednesday framed new rules for recruitment of new taxi-drivers in Mumbai.
The new rule said a person applying must have fifteen years of domicile Status in Maharashtra.
The new rule also stressed that the person must know how to read and write Marathi.
On Thursday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan backtracked from his earlier statement saying, taxi drivers need to speak Marathi, Hindi or Gujarati. (ANI)