The Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray is behaving like a Maula Jatt in Maharashtra. This Maula believes in dictating his village folks even on what to talk and what not. While the people of other Indian states enjoy some measure of freedom of expression, the Maharashtrians are effectively denied this freedom by him. We know the kind of humiliation Amitabh Bachchan had to face when he spoke in Hindi, the official language of India, at a function in Mumbai. When another great icon of India, master batsman Sachin Tendulkar said, "I am Indian first and a Maharashtrian later, I am extremely proud of that and Mumbai belongs to all Indians", the Maula Jatt of Shiv Sena flew into a rage. His latest victim is Shah Rukh Khan who is being targeted for talking about Pakistani cricketers being included in the IPL. There is some dissipation of virulence in the Sena support in Mumbai lately, for we see the protests against Shahrukh's film, "My Name Is Khan" losing steam. There is a gradual fizzling out of the campaign but not before giving the film unprecedented publicity in India and abroad. Once in a while, the Maula Jatt, very like the Sultana Dakoo of the yore, does some good too, even if inadvertently. -REHMATULLAH AFRIDI, Peshawar, February 20