Going against the general tradition of distributing sweets on birthdays, Maharashtra's Shiv Sena is planning to give knives to women supporters as a part of the birth anniversary celebration of former party chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday.
The Shiv Sena's announcement came in backdrop of the escalating rise in crimes against women in the country.
"Bal Thackeray used to say women should prefer a Rampuri in their purse rather than a lipstick," Shiv Sena's South Region head Ajay Chaudhry told NDTV when asked about the inspiration behind the plan. "This government has failed to provide security to women so we are distributing these knives to empower them."
Sena worker Sada Shiv said that about 3000 women are expected to attend the celebrations and collect the knives. The knives which will be distrubted are the retractable kinds having sharp three-inch blades.
Uddhav Thackeray will be made Shiv Sena President on the occasion of his father's birth anniversary on Wednesday.
Bal Thackeray died of a cardio-respiratory arrest at the age 86 on Nov 17, 2012. He formed the Shiv Sena party in 1966 to fight for the rights of Maharashtrians in the state. The party later allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the common Hindu nationalism ideology and even formed the state government with it after winning the state Assembly elections in 1995.