Kasab moment

Kasab moment

Going by the cover stories in both Sangh Parivar journals, where the Congress's alleged misdeeds have been highlighted, the execution of Ajmal Kasab has failed to find the most prominent display.

While Panchjanya has carried an editorial, the Organiser has carried a brief news report on VHP leader Pravin Togadia's statement on the issue.

Regretting the secretive manner in which Kasab was hanged, the editorial in Panchjanya says the government should have undertaken a "public execution". It also raises the question of capital punishment for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. "The UPA government must realise that the country now awaits [the] hanging of Afzal," concludes the editorial. The report about Togadia's statement in Organiser makes similar demands.

Ballad of Balasaheb

The demise of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray gets prominent space in the Organiser, with a full-page obituary of the leader who made the politics of Hindutva "fashionable" and fought "casteism, Muslim fanaticism and Pak lobbyism", as well as an editorial.

The editorial says Balasaheb changed the "city under siege" where "roads blocked by namaz being offered" held the city to a standstill "until the '60s". Thackeray's politics got Hindus spilling on to the streets and holding up traffic through "organised 'aartis' in temples".

"Now, the police had to act. And they did. They were forced to end one to end the other. Such a dramatic and clever strategy set Bal Thackeray apart from the politicians of the day and caught the imagination of the ordinary man," says the editorial, elaborating on his brand of politics whereby he opposed the Mandal Commission report, and maintained a "committed anti-Pakistani" position throughout his career. The editorial also dismisses the accusation of his complicity in the 1993 Mumbai communal riots saying, "But for the restraining hand of the Shiv Sena chief, the riots would have been much worse".

... contd.

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