The Week, a magazine published by Malayala Manorama, issued an apology today for a five-year-old article about Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
The piece, published in 2016 and titled was written by Niranjan Takle, the journalist who in 2018.
The publication said that it held Savarkar in “high esteem” and apologised for any personal hurt that the article may have caused to anyone.
The context of this apology goes all the way back to 2016, when Savarkar’s grand-nephew, Ranjit Savarkar filed a defamation case against the weekly, alleging that they had “deliberately ignored facts” to defame Savarkar. , Ranjit said in 2017, “I want them to be punished as per the due process of law, so that nobody dares to write false things about Savarkar."
Ranjit had alleged that Takle, the author of the piece, had produced false data and should have sought the family's views before publishing.
Takle, however, had denied the allegations, telling the Sunday Guardian in 2017 that he had merely "reproduced what was written about him, and what I gathered from various archives". At the time, Takle had also said that he had not "received a single piece of paper or any legal notice. I came to know about this only when it was carried in the local media".
Four years later, Niranjan Takle told Newslaundry that he still has not received an official copy of the complaint.
“I am still waiting for the copy of the complaint to be served to me officially. It is in such an early state for the case," he said. "Arguments can’t even begin without serving notice to all the parties.”
However, VS Jayaschandran, the editor in charge of the Week, the publication had reached an out of court settlement with Ranjit Savarkar. "We had been fighting the case for sometime and we found it quite difficult to continue the case," Jayaschandran told Newslaundry. "The main reason for this is that the person who wrote the story is no longer in our employment and neither is the editor in charge who published the story, TR Gopalakrishnan. So I recommended that we close the case because of all these reasons.”
Jayaschandran added, “We spoke to the person who filed the case and agreed that we would issue a kind of correction or apology and this is what we have published. After this we hope that we don't have to appear in court.”
Niranjan Takle, however, told Newslaundry he is shocked by the Week's decision. “I will never apologise," he said, "and I will fight to win the case.”