Mumbai: A day after his face was blackened by Shiv Sena activists, veteran journalist and LK Advani's former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni on Tuesday thanked those who showed solidarity against “forces of intolerance and prejudice”.
On Monday, Shiv Sena activists abused and blackened the face of Kulkarni to protest his organising the launch of former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's book.
The event later passed of without any further incident.
Kulkarni today took to Twitter and said:
I sincerely thank all who showed solidarity against forces of intolerance and prejudice. India-Pakistan peace is a noble cause to strive for
— Sudheendra Kulkarni (@SudheenKulkarni) October 13, 2015
The incident created a nationwide outrage with condemnation from all major political parties including the state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in alliance with the Sena in both the Centre and in Maharashtra.
Taking the Sena's challenge headlong, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had assured that the function would be held, and full security would be provided to the event and the visiting dignitary.
The state government ensured tight security at the venue, Nehru Centre in Worli, where "Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove: An Insider Account of Pakistan's Foreign Policy" was released peacefully without any untoward incident in the presence of a large number of dignitaries from different walks of life.
The attack happened earlier in the day as Kulkarni was leaving his home in Sion in south-central Mumbai.
A group of around a dozen Sena slogan-shouting activists accosted him, asked him to cancel the event and then smeared him with black ink.
The Monday incident came close on the heels of last week's threats by Sena leading to cancellation of two concerts - in Mumbai and Pune - by renowned Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali.
It came a day after the BJP virtually snubbed the Shiv Sena leadership by keeping them at bay during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Mumbai to lay the foundation for three mega-projects - the Ambedkar Memorial, two new lines of Mumbai Metro and a new container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
(With IANS inputs)