Shiv Sena ‘neither represents the citizens of Mumbai nor is its conduct a sign of patriotism’


Shiv Sena ‘neither represents the citizens of Mumbai nor is its conduct a sign of patriotism’
Karachi Press Club journalists feted on arrival to India, May 2012. File photo: Jatin Desai

Journalists from Mumbai and Karachi, who established a ‘sisterly relationship’ between their Press Clubs in 2011, protest the Shiv Sena’s attacks on Pakistanis in India

Concerned journalists of Mumbai and Karachi have expressed their dismay at the recent violent disruptions and threats against Pakistani artists, writers and cricketers in Mumbai.

“We in Mumbai would like to assert that this behaviour does not represent the average Mumbaikar,” say the signatories in a press statement of Oct 20, saying that they “see each other as colleagues”.

The statement says that Mumbaikars appreciate both Ghulam Ali and Pakistani cricketers.

“The successful book launch of former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book shows that the people of Mumbai do not share the bigotry of the Shiv Sena,” say the signatories.

“The Shiv Sena has a hatred for Pakistan in its DNA, and has unfortunately been allowed free rein by all governments. We are ashamed of its goondagardi and want to assert that it neither represents the citizens of Mumbai nor is its conduct a sign of patriotism”.

“We journalists in Mumbai & Karachi believe we are colleagues who can work together to eliminate hostility between our two countries. We know that is what the majority of our fellow citizens desire.”

Mumbai journalists who initiated and signed the statement are Jatin Desai, Jyoti Punwani, Prakash Akolka, Joel Rebello, Pragati Bankhele, Ketan Tanna, Rachita Prasad, Norma and Niranjan Takle.

Co-signatories in Karachi are Fazil Jamili, A. H. Khanzada, Rizwan Bhatti, Imtiaz Khan Faran, Iqra Baig, Shoaib Jatt, Aamir Lathif, Shamim Bano, Hina Mah Gul and Akram Khan.

The Press Clubs of Mumbai and Karachi signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) declaring each other as sister organisations in 2011.

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