An Alibaug resident has approached the Bombay High Court seeking a ban on the phrase "kya re, Alibaug se aaya kya?" claiming that it is "offending" and "humiliating" for residents of the area, which has higher literacy rate than any other village in Raigad district.
The phrase, as per the petition, is used commonly in Maharashtra to address someone who is considered "foolish" or "naive" and is "highly objectionable".
Petitioner Rajesh Thakur, a businessman and resident of Alibaug, said often he has to hear the phrase at various meetings he has to attend, which people use to infer that he does not understand his business well.
"Every time the petitioner hears this dialogue, he gets hurt sentimentally. This phrase always makes an adverse emotional impact on the petitioner and every person of Alibaug," the petition says.
The petition also states that Alibaug, a coastal town and municipal council in Raigad district of Maharashtra, is a major attraction for tourism - there are 27 tourist places in Alibaug. It states that besides a rich culture and history, Alibaug also had a higher literacy rate than any other village in the district.
It also mentions that the town is the weekend home for rich and famous people, like actor Shah Rukh Khan, former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar, businessmen Ratan Tata, Godrej, Ashok Mittal and Singhaniya (of Raymond) and singer Alisha Chinai, who own sea-facing bungalows in and around the town.
In spite of having such a rich background filled with history, culture, industry, tourism, medical facilities, nature and education, the petition states, it is "highly objectionable to ridicule the people of Alibaug" by projecting them as "illiterate" and "do not have common sense".
The petitioner has urged the HC to issue directions to the state government, directorate of cultural affairs and Central Board of Film Certification to stop using the "offending" dialogues "Kya re, Alibaug se aaya kya" in Hindi and "Kaire, Alibaug varun aala kay" in Marathi in films, TV serials and comedy shows in future.
The plea was mentioned earlier this week before a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar. It is likely to be taken up for hearing after two weeks.