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    Published On : Mon, Oct 12th, 2015
    National News / Top News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    Kasuri’s book launch concludes peacefully at Nehru Centre, Mumbai

    Sudheendra Kulkarni1
    Mumbai/ Nagpur: Despite the Shiv Sena’s recalcitrant stance on their attack on Sudhendra Kulkarni chairman of Observer Research Foundation (ORF),  this morning, and Sanjay Raut’s defiant press conference later where he continued to mantain that they would not let the function happen, the book opening concluded peacefully albeit with heavy police protection.

    Naseerudin Shah, noted Indian Actor also attended the function. Others present were Dilp Padgaonkar. Satish Sahni CEO of Nehru centre and ofcourse former Pakistan Minister Kasuri and Kulkarni himself – all spruced up after his face and his person were blackened by the ink attack carried out by Shiv Sena goons.

    Speaking first, Sudheendra Kulkarni,  said the attack on him was on attack on the fair face of Mumbai.
    “We had invited Kasuri to Mumbai because this city Mumbai and Mumbaikars believe in diversity, tolerance, and respect for all faiths” said Kulkarni. “Mumbai is a liberal, tolerant, democratic, diverse city.”

    Sudheendra Kulkarni said he had visited Udhav Thakarey yesterday evening to explain his position and his reason for holding the book launch in Mumbai and understand why the Sena was opposed to it.

    “I told Udhav then that  former Pakistani Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri is proud of the fact that he comes from a family of strong Indian patriots, and he is proud of the fact. Kasuri’s grandfather was President of the Indian National Congress in Punjab and he took over the mantle from Lala Lajpat Rai. His father was imprisoned for his participation in the Quit India movement.

    I told Udhav that unless such people who are ready to give up bitterness and acrimony that creeped in into our relations later are allowed to speak their mind and broker peace we will not find a solution to the India-Paskistan contentious issue. It is only through dialogue and not through a military action that we shall solve our problems.”

    Kulkarni made glowing references to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the reason why both the book launch in Delhi and Mumbai were held in buildings that carried the imprint and name of Nehru.

    He quoted from Nehru and noted philosopher Voltaire saying ” I may disagree with what you say , but I will defend to death your right to say it”.

    Speaking after Kulkarni, Kasuri thanked the Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis for providing him excellent protection ever since he came to Mumbai in the morning and making him feel safe and welcomed.

    Without mentioning the Shiv Sena and their attack on Kulkarni, he cited examples of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s mutual love for Mumbai and what they had visualised for their two countries.

    “These founders of our two nations and two staunch followers of Mahatma Gandhi had never foreseen that their would be such enmity between India and Pakistan. If he had anticipated it, he would never have allowed Pakistan to happen” Kasuri said about Jinnah.

    “Jinnah was so fond of Mumbai that he built his house here and he was planning on spending at least two months every year in India, in his house in Mumbai. He had asked for the best cooks from Pakistan to be shifted to his house in Mumbai”.

    Kasuri said his book was an attempt to dispel a lot of misconceptions about partition and how the two nation theory was supposed to evolve.

    “I have done a lot of painstaking research and tried to answer every question that every Indian and Pakistani reader may have about anything to do with the happenings here in the last 60- 70 years” said the former Minister who was one of the key persons responsible for inviting Lal Krishna Advani to Pakistan.

    “We were supposed to be like two brothers, see how we turned out to be?” Kasuri said ruefully.

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