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Maharashtra: Loksatta editor Girish Kuber faces ink attack at Marathi literary meet in Nashik

Girish Kuber has a substantial connection to controversies. In May 2020, social media users had exposed him for passing off a blog post by UK based economist Andrew Lilico as his own editorial.

On December 5, activists of Sambhaji Brigade threw ink at Girish Kuber, editor, Loksatta, at the Marathi literary meet venue at Nashik. The activists were protesting against allegedly controversial references about Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in Kuber’s book. NCP chief Sharad Pawar and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis condemned the incident.

Reportedly, Kuber had made some controversial remarks about Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in his book “Renaissance State: The Unwritten Story of the Making of Maharashtra”.

Kuber was participating in the 94th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan on its concluding day and was scheduled to attend a symposium. When he was behind the stage, some unidentified men hurled ink on his face, shirt and hair. The Police personnel present at the spot received some splashes too.

Former CM Dadnavis said anything written against Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj should be condemned, but at the same time, an ink attack during the literary meet was wrong. “If something is factually wrong, it should be countered with facts and evidence,” he said.

NCP leader Pawar said the attack on the writer was an attack on the freedom of expression. “I condemn this incident which doesn’t suit the image of Maharashtra,” he said. He further added that he has read Kuber’s book and said there were some controversial portions in it. “Though there is a controversy over some portions of this book, at the same time, Kuber has the right to express himself. Those who disagree with his views also have the right to oppose him, but such attack is not acceptable,” he added.

Girish Kuber has a controversial history

Girish Kuber has a substantial connection to controversies. In May 2020, social media users had exposed him for passing off a blog post by UK based economist Andrew Lilico as his own editorial. Though his piece was published in Marathi, the uncanny resemblance with Lilico’s post was clear. The UK economist himself tweeted that Kuber did not seek permission from him for using his work.

In October 2020, he was censured by the Press Council of India for publishing a fake story about the Statue of Unity. In the contentious editorial on November 3, 2018, in Loksatta by Editor-in-Chief Girish Kuber, he alleged that several Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) had contributed ‘immensely’ for the construction of the Statue of Unity. The basis of his claims was supposedly a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report from August 2018. His claims were rubbished by activist Sadanand Ghodgerikar.

In 2019, the PCI had slammed the media group Loksatta for spreading fake news after it had published a hit job article written by journalist Karan Thapar, one of the oldest members of the Congress-backed Lutyens media, against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat by attributing fake quotes to him. Along with Karan Thapar, the editor of the Loksatta Girish Kuber wrote an editorial containing a fake quote of the RSS chief.

In 2020, former CM of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, indirectly accused Loksatta of being partisan and overly deferential to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. He said that the paper, which prided itself on being anti-establishment for years, had forsaken its role of the neutral organisation after the Maha Vikas Aghadi government came to power in Maharashtra.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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