Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday tendered a public apology for hurting the sentiments of the Maratha community, especially its women, through a cartoon published in the September 25 edition of the party’s mouthpiece, Saamna .
The cartoon punned on the Marathi words “Mook morcha” (silent morcha) and “Mooka morcha” (kiss morcha) to comment on the silent protests by Marathas seeking reservation. It offended the Maratha community and its members staged protests and burnt copies of Saamna in several places.
The Opposition attacked the Sena and demanded a public apology from Saamna’s editor-in-chief Mr. Thackeray and its executive editor Sanjay Raut.
Mr. Thackeray blamed vested interests and the Opposition for raking up the controversy. He said: “There was no intention to insult or hurt sentiments of anyone. We respect women. Even inadvertently, we do not insult or hurt the sentiments of women. But, if the cartoon has hurt the sentiments of women because of the controversy raked by certain people, I — as the son of late Sena chief Bal Thackeray, Sena president and editor of Saamna — apologise from the bottom of my heart to all mothers and sisters of Maharashtra.”