Senior journalist and editor-in-chief of Marathi daily Divya Marathi Kumar Ketkar has been provided with police protection after a group of Shiv Sainiks filed a police complaint against him for making ‘hurtful’ comments about a community to which Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray belonged.
Shiv Sainiks led by Chintamani Karkhanis, who belonged to the same community as the Thackerays, filed the complaint against Mr. Ketkar on Wednesday for his comments and criticism of Mr. Thackeray in his recent article in Forbes India magazine.
“Despite Mr. Thackeray’s father being a social reformer and a militant anti-Brahmin activist, the Thackeray clan is a typical Chandraseniey Kayastha Prabhu lower middle-class family from Central Mumbai. This class has never shown any entrepreneurial talent or technological heft. The Maharashtrian middle-class has, in fact, suffered from a strange inferiority complex,” wrote Mr. Ketkar in his article, which has triggered the controversy.
“The magazine reaches readers across the world. He [Mr. Ketkar] had demeaned the Sena chief and Marathi people. He has unnecessarily criticised our community. He should immediately apologise,” said Mr. Karkhanis.
“I am in contact with people from our community. We will approach the court if he does not apologise. He is an intelligent man but is using his intelligence in a destructive manner,” he said.
Mr. Ketkar meanwhile refused to apologise and said since ‘some’ people could not bear criticism of Mr. Thackeray they have brought up the issue of ‘hurtful’ comments. “This has been done purposely. I was told to take the article back by some people, but I haven’t done so,” he said.