Former Advani aide is target of Shiv Sena’s ink attack

| Updated on: Oct 12, 2015

For his refusal to cancel launch of former Pakistani Minister’s book

Former journalist and chief of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Sudheendra Kulkarni on Monday was attacked by members of the Shiv Sena, ahead of an ORF-organised book launch of former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

ORF is a think-tank that regularly publishes authored reports on social, political and economic issues.

Kulkarni told reporters that Shiv Sena workers threw ink on his clothes and also smeared his face with ink. They abused him for inviting Kasuri for the book launch in Mumbai.

Despite the attack, Kulkarni went ahead with book launch, which was attended by many well-known personalities including columnist Dileep Padgaonkar and veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah.

Kulkarni said the huge turnout at the event was testimony to the people’s resolve for liberal thinking. “Mumbai is a liberal city and it belongs to Maharashtra. Both Gandhi ji and Jinnah spent most of their lives in the city. The liberal values Mumbai always stood for needs to be defended. No organisation would be allowed to trample it,” he said.

Kasuri’s book Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy was launched at the event.

Sena stays put

In spite of the massive public outrage over the blackening of Kulkarni’s face, Shiv Sena warned the organisers against going ahead with book launch.

The party shares power with the BJP in Maharashtra as well as at the Centre. It put the blame on State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for failing to stop the event organised by ORF.

Fadnavis also holds the Home Department portfolio.

The Shiv Sena said there should be no relations with Pakistan as long as it supports terrorism in India. Last week, the party forced the cancellation of legendary Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in the city.

The saffron party said it would not call off its protest. The ink attack was “non-violent, democratic and historic”, it said.

Sena’s emerging leader, Aditya Thackeray, in a social media post said the “ink spilt may be more violent for you than its intent to protest against all the innocent blood spilt on the streets of Mumbai, Jammu and Kashmir, every city that has faced Pakistan-sponsored terrorism”.

Published on January 22, 2018

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