November 20, 2009
life in journalism: another cowardly attack on nikhil wagle & his team by shiv sena goons
Whenever any one asks me who is my most favorite editor in the media I take no more than a micro-second to answer "Nikhil Wagle". Yes, Nikhil Wagle, who is presently the editor of a Marathi TV channel, IBN-Lokmat, but whom I know since 1992-93 as the editor of daily Marathi newspaper, Apla Mahanagar. I do not watch TV so I don't know what Wagle and his team is upto on IBN-Lokmat channel but I still buy and read, as often as I can, the Marathi newspaper 'Apla Mahanagar'.
Today, two groups of Shiv Sena party workers, under instructions from their goon leaders, severely attacked the offices of IBN-Lokmat in Bombay and Pune. In the Bombay office they targetted Wagle as well as physically assaulted journalists and other employees including women. These goons were armed with iron rods and cricket wickets (these wickets have pointed metal jutting out at one end, see the image to the right) and they used these to break computers as well as assault people in the two offices. Read more about the attacks here and here among several other places.
What a shame! I am born and brought up in Bombay and studied Marathi as one of the three language subjects in school. But my real grasp on Marathi is thanks completely to the Marathi newspaper 'Apla Mahanagar' because it was the only newspaper in Bombay during December 1992 and January 1993 that dared to take on the terrorism of Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party. Wagle and his small team of brave Marathi journalists then formed a civil group called 'Nirbhay Bano Andolan' ('Be Firm' Movement) that organised public meetings to protest against the terror of Shiv Sena and the other three rogues.
I participated in these public meetings and a few of them were also attacked by Shiv Sena's goons. But the group sustained itself and the Shiv Sena and BJP terrorists learnt that civil society will not get intimidated by their terror tactics. Today, Pakistani civil society is also undergoing attacks by Talibani terrorists. Its a sad state of affairs in this sub-continent of our planet.
There is no difference between Shiv Sena goon-leaders and the goons of their subsidiary political group 'Maharashtra Navnirman Sena'. After Bal Thackeray, the mastermind of terror in Bombay since the last 40 years, these two groups will merge themselves and continue spreading their terrorism in Bombay and elsewhere.
But the real onus lies on the Congress party and the Nationalist Congress Party which is the joint ruling alliance in Maharashtra. They failed miserably in 1992-93 and several other times to book these goons to justice. The NCP itself is known to be violent in Pune and some other parts of Maharashtra. I do not think they will fare any less miserably this time around. Bombay's police force is completely communalised and beholden to elements from Shiv Sena and MNS. Nothing can be expected from them.
But I once again salute Nikhil Wagle and his team of brave Marathi journalists and staff members because of whose force of moral and ethical strenght which I respect Maharashtra's culture and its language. Shame on the false representatives of Maharashtra belonging to Shiv Sena and MNS!