Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday came out in support of jailed cartoonist Aseem Trivedi but also gave him a sharp rap on the knuckles.
While contending that the sedition charge slapped by Mumbai police on the cartoonist was a bit too much, Thackeray also pulled up Trivedi for his cartoons mocking the Indian national emblem, constitution and parliament.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray said: "Trivedi has definitely insulted these national symbols, but labeling him as a traitor and jailing him under sedition charge is not proper."
Drawing a parallel, Thackeray said terrorist Afzal Guru who attacked parliament 11 years ago continues to enjoy government hospitality though he has been sentenced to death, while Trivedi who merely drew a cartoon was being hauled up for sedition.
A noted political cartoonist himself, Thackeray said that through his caricatures, Trivedi attempted to depict the present day scam-ridden situation afflicting parliament but that did not mean that he (Trivedi) could cross limits. "Although he claims a patriotic fervour, Trivedi should have upheld the dignity of parliament and not insulted it in this manner," the Sena chief observed.
He added that there were scores of other instances when the country's symbols have been subjected to insults in different manner by different personalities.
Among other things, Thackeray pointed out how Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab attacked the country and how currency note counterfeiters indulge in sedition on regular basis.