Mr Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chairman Observer Research Foundation India, who took a heroic stand and stood steadfast against threats by Shiv Sena for organising the launch of former Foreign Minister Khurshid Manhmud Kasuri’s book in Mumbai will be in Pakistan next week. He has accepted Mr. Kasuri’s invitation to join the launch of his book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’ in Karachi on November 2, 2015 along with a number of prominent Pakistanis and Indians. His bold stand was widely appreciated in Pakistan, India as well as by the international media.
It may be recalled that both Mr Kasuri, who was then in Delhi in connection with his book launch there and, Mr Kulkarni who had invited him to launch his book in Mumbai were repeatedly warned by Shiv Sena to cancel the event. Both refused to bow down to this pressure. Mr Kulkarni, became the victim of a heinous black paint attack by Shiv Sena members ahead of the October 12, 2015 launch of the book in Mumbai. The Shiv Sena vehemently opposed the event and threatened to disrupt it. Interestingly, it failed to do so as the book was launched as planned in the evening at the iconic Nehru Memorial Center in Mumbai before a packed house with people standing on the roads outside, unable to get in to the auditorium for lack of space. This was one of the few times that Shiv Sena had actually failed in achieving its objective in getting an event cancelled through hard handed crude pressure.
Kulkarni did not back down and attended a joint press conference with Mr. Kasuri with the black paint still on Mr. Kulkarni’s face before being admitted to a hospital. The horrific memories of this sad and regrettable moment will be remembered for a long time as an act of defiance with Mr Kulkurni with his painted face sitting next to Mr Kasuri, both defiantly showing the title of the book Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove. This spectacle was repeatedly shown by the electronic and print media worldwide and commented upon both by the South Asian and international media. Many opinion leaders in both Pakistan and India strongly condemned the attack by Shiv Sena hooligans. The likely appearance of Mr. Kulkarni in Karachi so soon after the Mumbai attack in connection with the launching of same book is likely to excite public interest and add a sense of drama to his visit to Pakistan.