Shiv Sena has once again shown its utter intolerance and unadulterated hatred towards all things Pakistani, as activists attacked Sudheendra Kulkarni, who heads the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on Monday. A group of Shiv Sainiks threw black oil paint on his face ahead of a book launch of former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri being organised by ORF. Kasuri’s book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’ will be launched at Mumbai’s Hall of Culture, Nehru Centre, despite the shameful attack.

Kulkarni and Kasuri held a joint press conference following the incident, with Kulkarni photographed sitting next to the author smeared with black paint. His grit and resolve to go forward with the launch despite this act of vandalism is surely commendable. The Shiv Sena on the other hand has owned up to the assault on the Chairman, labeling him a Pakistani agent. The party has further claimed that it will not compromise when it comes to the issue of Pakistanis being allowed to hold functions in the state and this stance is nothing new.

Although PM Modi remains tight-lipped on the actions of the Shiv Sena, many others are voicing out their distaste for the party’s extremist stance. Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday slammed the Shiv Sena saying that it was ‘Talibani hooliganism’ and that Uddhav Thakeray must control his ‘goons’. “First Ghulam Ali’s concert and now Kasuri’s book launch. We don’t want a Desi Taliban in India,” he added. It should be noted that even the criticism for the party is laced with a veiled reference towards the unanimous stance of Pakistan sponsoring terrorism. However it is a positive sign that the party faces criticism instead of the usual free rein that it gets to do whatever it well pleases.