Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray`s favourite newspapers Saamna (in Marathi) and Dopahar Ka Saamna (in Hindi) were Sunday published with a full black cover jackets and full black cover pages.
Thackeray, who passed away Saturday afternoon, was the founder-editor of both the newspapers, though the day-to-day affairs were managed by hand-picked and trusted executive editors.
This is the first time in Saamna`s history -- since it was launched Jan 23, 1988 -- that its two main cover pages are printed in sheer black.
On the jacket cover is a large smiling picture of Bal Thackeray, a heading in large font -- "Aaple Saheb Gele" (Our Boss Departs) -- and a small poem in Marathi below it.
The inside main cover has a flier headline: "Ishwari Avtarache Swargarohan" (A divine avatar goes to heaven), accompanied by the day`s top story headlined: "Balasaheb navache vadal shaant zhale" (A storm cloud called Balasaheb is peaceful).
Dopahar Ka Saamna, which usually remained closed Sundays, brought out a special edition as a tribute to Thackeray, said executive editor Prem Shukla.
It also sports a full black cover with a silhouetted right side visage of Thackeray with the headline: "Hinduon Ke Mahadev Ka Mahaprayan", and a small poem: "Jo uthe Ram/jo uthe Krishna/Bharat ki mitti roti hai/ Kya hua hamare Saheb ko/Yeh murti na zinda hoti hai."
The remaining inside pages have thick black bands with the stories in a grey background, or other colours depending on the editorial and pictorial content.
Saamna was founded as a party organ to convey Thackeray`s views to the Marathi masses directly.
Dopahar Ka Saamna was launched Feb 23, 1993, to woo north Indians settled in Maharashtra and also make Thackeray`s views heard in New Delhi.
Shukla said this was probably the first time in Indian media history that two daily newspapers had published their front pages in full black as a tribute to the Shiv Sena founder and their editor Bal Thackeray.
Moreover, Thackeray`s name also appeared as `Editor` in its regular place, as it has been since the launch of both the newspapers.