Shiv Sena cartoon stirs row, hurts powerful Marathas; cartoonist Shrinivas Prabhudesai apologises

By: | Updated: September 28, 2016 2:07 PM

Shiv Sena cartoon row: The three-panelled cartoon published on Monday showed different categories of protesters. One of the panels showed a male protester kissing a female.

Shiv Sena, Cartoon, Shiv Sena Cartoon, Shiv Sena Cartoon row, what is Shiv Sena Cartoon controversyShiv Sena cartoon row: A Maratha rally in Navi Mumbai last week. A cartoon in ‘Saamana’ poked fun at such rallies. (Source: IE)

A cartoon published in Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ has apparently offended the Maratha community in Maharashtra. The three-panelled cartoon published on Monday showed different categories of protesters. One of the panels showed a male protester kissing a female.

The cartoon, however, didn’t go well with a section of Maratha people. Members of the community claim the cartoon has mocked several years of their struggle for rights across the state. Some people on Tuesday protested outside the house of cartoonist Shrinivas Prabhudesai in Mumbai. The protesters also burnt copies of ‘Saamana’ across the state.

Shiv Sena has been known for its aggressive politics and several times in past, its workers have attacked offices, included those of some other media houses. On Tuesday, the party got a taste of its own medicine as protesters pelted ‘Saamana’ printing press in Sanpada with stones.

Shiv Sena, Cartoon, Shiv Sena Cartoon, Shiv Sena cartoon row, what is Shiv Sena Cartoon controversyShiv Sena cartoon row: The ‘Saamana’ cartoon. (Source: Twitter)

Sanpada police said that the glasses of the printing press’ building were broken and they have detained four suspects, allegedly members of a Maratha organisation, Sambhaji Brigade.

Meanwhile, Prabhudesai issued an apology in Saamana today. The cartoonist said he had no intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments. He said, “The controversy over the cartoon is not necessary. I am an artist and not a political cartoonist.” Claiming that the name of Shiv Sena and ‘Saamana’ was unnecessarily dragged into the controversy, Prabhudesai said that he only intends to put a smile on people’s face with his cartoons.

The cartoon row has put Shiv Sena on the backfoot. Several top leaders have expressed their displeasure over the cartoon. In Jalgaon, NCP MLA Satish Patil protested on streets, while Rajya Sabha MP Sambhajiraje Bhosale criticised it. The Sena also received a flak from BJP, its ally in the state.

While Shiv Sena has not formally apologised for publishing the cartoon, reports said that some leaders of the party are considering to resign over the issue. The leaders who have conveyed their anger to the party include Pratap Jadhav, MP, Buldhana, Sanjay Raimulkar, MLA, Mehkar, and Dr Shashikant Khedekar, MLA, Sindkhed Raja.

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