Bal Thackeray

Bal Thackeray

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Bal Thackeray'
Start a new discussion about 'Bal Thackeray'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Bal Keshav Thackeray (born 23 January 1926), popularly known as Balasaheb Thackeray, is an Indian politician, founder and chief
Party leader
In politics, the party leader is the most powerful official within a political party.The party leader is typically responsible for managing the party's relationship with the general public. As such, he or she will take a leading role in developing and communicating party policy, especially election...

 of the Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena , is a political party in India founded on 19 June 1966 by Balasaheb Thackeray. It is currently headed by Thackeray's son, Uddhav Thackeray...

, a right-wing Hindu nationalist, and Marathi
Marathi people
The Marathi people or Maharashtrians are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, that inhabit the Maharashtra region and state of western India. Their language Marathi is part of the southern group of Indo-Aryan languages...

 ethnocentric party active mainly in the western Indian
West India
West India or the Western region of India consists of the states of Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra, along with the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It is highly industrialized, with a large urban population. Most of Western India was part of the Maratha Empire before...

 state of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

.

Born in Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

, Thackeray began his professional career as a cartoonist
Cartoonist
A cartoonist is a person who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is usually humorous, mainly created for entertainment, political commentary or advertising...

 with the English language daily the Free Press Journal in Bombay, but left it in 1960 to form his own political weekly Marmik. His political philosophy was largely shaped by his father Keshav Sitaram Thackeray, a leading figure in the Samyukta Maharashtra movement
Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti
http://ekmarathimanoos.blogspot.com/2009/01/belgaum-border-dispute-bleeding-wound.htmlSanyukta Maharashtra Samiti , roughly translated as United Maharashtra Committee, was an organisation that spearheaded the demand in the 1950s for the creation of a separate Marathi-speaking state out of the ...

 (United Maharashtra movement), which advocated the creation of a separate linguistic state of Maharashtra. Through Marmik, he campaigned against the growing influence of Gujaratis, Marwaris
Marwaris
Marwari or Marwadi or Rajasthani people are Indian ethnic group, that inhabit the Rajasthan region of India. Their language Rajasthani is a part of the western group of Indo-Aryan languages....

, and migrants from South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

 in Bombay. In 1966, Thackeray formed the Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena , is a political party in India founded on 19 June 1966 by Balasaheb Thackeray. It is currently headed by Thackeray's son, Uddhav Thackeray...

 party to advocate more strongly the place of Maharashtrians in Bombay's political and professional landscape. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Thackeray built the party by forming temporary alliances with nearly all of Maharashtra's political parties.

A controversial figure, Thackeray has attracted significant attention by making statements expressing admiration for Hitler, inciting violence against Muslims, expressing support for the LTTE, and taking strong stances on the aspects of popular culture, including fervent opposition to the celebration of Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496...

.

Early life and career


He was born to Keshav Sitaram Thackeray (also known as Prabodhankar Thackeray because of his articles in his fortnightly magazine named Prabodhan or 'Enlightenment') in a lower-middle class, Marathi family. Keshav Thackeray was a progressive social activist and writer who was against caste biases  and played a key role in the Samyukta Maharashtra Chalwal
Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti
http://ekmarathimanoos.blogspot.com/2009/01/belgaum-border-dispute-bleeding-wound.htmlSanyukta Maharashtra Samiti , roughly translated as United Maharashtra Committee, was an organisation that spearheaded the demand in the 1950s for the creation of a separate Marathi-speaking state out of the ...

 (literally, United Maharashtra Movement) in the 1950s to form the Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

-speaking state of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

 with Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 as its capital. Shiv sainiks called them 'Hindu Hriday Samrat' with love(Emperor of Hindu's heart)

Bal Thackeray started his career as a cartoonist
Cartoonist
A cartoonist is a person who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is usually humorous, mainly created for entertainment, political commentary or advertising...

 in the Free Press Journal in Bombay. His cartoons were also published in the Sunday edition of The Times of India
The Times of India
The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. TOI has the largest circulation among all English-language newspaper in the world, across all formats . It is owned and managed by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd...

. In 1960, he launched a cartoon weekly Marmik with his brother. He used it to campaign against the growing numbers of and influence of non-Marathi people in Bombay targeting Gujaratis and South Indian labor workers.

He formed the Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena , is a political party in India founded on 19 June 1966 by Balasaheb Thackeray. It is currently headed by Thackeray's son, Uddhav Thackeray...

 on 19 June 1966 with the intent of fighting for the rights of the natives of the state of Maharashtra (called Maharashtrians). The early objective of the Shiv Sena was to ensure job security for Maharashtrians competing against immigrants from southern India, Gujaratis and Marwaris.

In 1989, the Sena's newspaper Saamna was launched.

Politically, the Sena was anti-communist
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

, and wrested control of major trade unions in Mumbai from the Communist Party of India
Communist Party of India
The Communist Party of India is a national political party in India. In the Indian communist movement, there are different views on exactly when the Indian communist party was founded. The date maintained as the foundation day by CPI is 26 December 1925...

 and demanded protection money(extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

) from mainly Gujarati and marwari business leaders. It later allied itself with the Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party
The Bharatiya Janata Party ,; translation: Indian People's Party) is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Indian National Congress. Established in 1980, it is India's second largest political party in terms of representation in the parliament...

 (BJP) over the common issue of Hindu Nationalism
Hindu nationalism
Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expressions of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of historical India...

 which both parties believed in. The BJP-Shiv Sena combine won the 1995 Maharashtra State Assembly
Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha
The Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha or the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral legislature of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is situated in the Nariman Point area of South Mumbai in the capital Mumbai...

 elections and came to power. During the tenure of the government from 1995 to 1999, Thackeray was nicknamed 'remote control
Remote control
A remote control is a component of an electronics device, most commonly a television set, used for operating the television device wirelessly from a short line-of-sight distance.The remote control is usually contracted to remote...

' since he played a major role in government policies and decisions from behind the scenes.

On July 28, 1999 Bal Thackeray was banned from voting and contesting in any election for six years from December 11, 1999 till December 10,2005 on the recommendations of the Election Commission. After the six-year voting ban on Bal Thackeray was lifted in 2005, he voted for the first time in the 2006 BMC elections.

Thackeray has claimed that the Shiv Sena has helped the Marathi manoos (the Marathi commoner) in Mumbai and also fought for the rights of Hindu people,Thackeray is a staunch Hindu and believes that Hindus must be organised to struggle against those who oppose their identity and religion. especially in the public sector. Opposition leftist parties allege that the Shiv Sena has done little to solve the problem of unemployment facing a large proportion of Maharashtrian youth during its tenure, in contradiction to its ideological foundation of 'sons of the soil.'

Controversies


Thackeray is very vocal in his controversial opposition to people who migrate to Mumbai, to non-Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s (especially Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s), and to illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. In the late 1960s to mid-1970s, as part of his 'Maharashtra is for Maharashtrians' campaign, Thackeray threatened migrants from South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

 with harm unless they left Mumbai.

In the 1960s he called South Indians Lungiwaale and Yanda Gandu and had slogans like Lungi Hatao Pungi bajao.

In 2002, Thackeray issued a call to form Hindu suicide squads to counter alleged Muslim violence:
If such suicide squads are formed only then can we take on perpetrators of mindless violence.


In reaction to Thackeray’s call, Maharashtra government registered a case against him for inciting enmity between different groups.

Asia Times further reported on Thackeray’s rhetoric:
'to take the Muslims head on'. 'Trouble-making Muslims should be wiped out from the country... kick out the four crore [40 million] Bangladeshi Muslims and then the country will be secure', the Shiv Sena leader said. Urging Hindus to start calling India 'Hindu rashtra' (Hindu nation), he maintained that only 'our religion Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 is to be honored here' and then 'we will look after other religions'.


At least two organizations founded and managed by the retired Indian Army officers namely Lt Col (retired) Jayant Rao Chitale and Lt Ge. P.N. Hoon (former commander-in-chief of the Western Command), answered Bal Thackeray’s call to set up the suicide squads in India. Lt Gen. Hoon claimed, Thackeray instructed him to set up the training camps through his writings and inflammatory articles.

Thackeray continues to publish inflammatory editorials in his party's newsletter, Saamana
Saamana
Saamana is a Marathi language newspaper owned by the Shiv Sena, a right wing Hindu party in Maharashtra, India. The Chief editor is Bal Thackeray. The Executive editor is Sanjay Raut.-External links:**...

(Confrontation).

On 11 November 2009, Thackeray published an editorial in Saamana which criticised a statement made by Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is an Indian cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is the leading run-scorer and century maker in Test and one-day international cricket. He is the only male player to score a double century in the history of ODI cricket...

 in an interview where he said 'Mumbai belongs to India... I am a Maharashtrian and am extremely proud of that, but I am an Indian first'.

In February 2010, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's film My Name Is Khan
My Name is Khan
My Name Is Khan ; commonly referred to as MNIK, is a 2010 Bollywood film directed by Karan Johar, with a screenplay by Shibani Bathija, produced by Hiroo Yash Johar and Gauri Khan, and starring Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, who reunite after nine years...

was opposed by Bal Thackeray and his party members for the former's remarks supporting cultural interaction between Indians and Pakistanis to help build friendly relations between the two nations. This especially created a furore since it was unofficially decided by most people in India to not allow Pakistanis to work in India due to the ramprant terror attacks carried out on Indian Soil by militants sponsored by Pakistani elements.

Views on Muslims


Thackeray's views have typically been highly anti-Muslim. He is usually attacking them and occasionally sympathizing with them. He has declared that he is 'not against every Muslim, but only those who reside in this country but do not obey the laws of the land.... I consider such people traitors.' His party is viewed as being anti-Muslim, though Shiv Sainiks officially reject this accusation. When explaining his views on Hindutva
Hindutva
Hindutva is the term used to describe movements advocating Hindu nationalism. Members of the movement are called Hindutvavādis.In India, an umbrella organization called the Sangh Parivar champions the concept of Hindutva...

, he has conflated Islam with violence and has called for Hindus to 'fight terrorism and fight Islam'. In an interview in Suketu Mehta's book 'Maximum City', he advocates the hanging of Indian Muslims who indulge in terrorism and mass expulsion of Bangladeshi Muslim migrants from India.

In the 1980s he had stated that:

'"They [Muslims] are spreading like a cancer and should be operated on like a cancer. The... country should be saved from the Muslims and the police should support them [Hindu Maha Sangh] in their struggle just like the police in Punjab were sympathetic to the Khalistanis.'

Balasaheb Thackeray criticized and challenged Indian Muslims through his party newspaper, Sāmna, around the time the 16th century Babri Masjid
Babri Mosque
The Babri Mosque , was a mosque in Ayodhya, a city in the Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh, on Ramkot Hill . It was destroyed in 1992 when a political rally developed into a riot involving 150,000 people, despite a commitment to the Indian Supreme Court by the rally organisers that the mosque...

 was demolished by members of the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in the northern town of Ayodhya, on December 6, 1992. Hindus believe that the Babri Mosque was built on the demolished ruins of a Hindu temple in the 16th century, and consider it to be the Ram Janmabhoomi
Ram Janmabhoomi
Ram Janmabhoomi is the "Birthplace of Lord Rama."Lord Rama is a major God in Hindu theology and the Hindu religion where He is described as an Avatar of Lord Vishnu in Hinduism. The exact location of Lord Rama's birth as stated in holy Ramayan as being in the city of Ayoudhya in Uttar Pardesh...

 (birthplace of the Hindu God Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

, an avatar of Vishnu, one of the Trimurti
Trimurti
The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahmā the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Śhiva the destroyer or transformer," These three deities have been called "the Hindu triad" or...

 of the Hindu Pantheon).
The communal riots that followed the demolition of the mosque led to nearly a 1000 deaths and many enquiry committees constituted by the government have accused Shiv Sena and Thackeray of being involved in and coordinating the riots. Thackeray however has shown no regret and feels that he is proud of what he and his partymen did back in those days because he feels that if it was not for the Shiv Sena then no one would have been able to control the Muslims after the demolition of the mosque.

However, in an interview in 1998, he claims to have tempered his stance on many issues that the Shiv Sena had with Muslims, particularly regarding the Babri Mosque or Ram Janmabhoomi
Ram Janmabhoomi
Ram Janmabhoomi is the "Birthplace of Lord Rama."Lord Rama is a major God in Hindu theology and the Hindu religion where He is described as an Avatar of Lord Vishnu in Hinduism. The exact location of Lord Rama's birth as stated in holy Ramayan as being in the city of Ayoudhya in Uttar Pardesh...

 issue, saying:


'We must look after the Muslims and treat them as part of us.'


He has since made more inflammatory statements regarding Muslims, and reiterated his desire for Hindus to unite across linguistic barriers and to see 'a Hindustan for Hindus' and to 'bring Islam in this country down to its knees'.

However, he has also expressed admiration for Muslims in Mumbai in the wake of the 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings
11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings
The 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings were a series of seven bomb blasts that took place over a period of 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai, the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the nation's financial capital. The bombs were set off in pressure cookers on trains...

 perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists
Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L...

. In response to threats made by the leader of the Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party
Samajwadi Party is a political party in India. It is based in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It describes itself as a democratic socialist party...

 that accusations of terrorism directed at Indian Muslims would bring about communal strife, Thackeray said that the unity of Mumbaikars (residents of Mumbai) in the wake of the terrorist attacks was 'a slap to fanatics of Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi' and that Thackeray 'salute(s) those Muslims who participated in the two minutes' silence on July 18 to mourn the blast victims'.

In 2008, Thackeray wrote 'Islamic terrorism is growing and Hindu terrorism is the only way to counter it. We need suicide bomb squads to protect India and Hindus'.

Views on people from Uttar Pradesh & Bihar


On March 6, 2008, Bal Thackeray issued an editorial titled Ek Bihari, Sau Bimari (One Bihari, Hundred maladies) in Saamna, Shiv Sena's political mouthpiece, saying Biharis were 'an unwanted lot' in the Maharashtra. In what was termed as an apparent bid to recapture his party's Marathi sons of soil plank, which was being hijacked by the MNS leader Raj Thackeray, Bal Thackeray wrote about Biharis,

'They [Biharis] are not wanted in southern India, Assam and also Punjab and Chandigarh. The Biharis have antagonised local population wherever they had settled. The UP-Bihari MPs have shown their ingratitude towards Mumbai and Maharashtra with an anti-Marathi tirade in Parliament.'

He also denounced Bihari MPs, saying they were 'spitting in the same plate from which they ate' by criticising Mumbaikars and Maharashtrians. He also wrote, 'They are trying to add fuel to the fire that has been extinguished, by saying that Mumbaikars have rotten brains'. Additionally, he criticized a major holiday celebrated by people from Bihar, and eastern UP which happens six days after the Hindu New Year (Diwali) known as Chath Pooja. He said that it wasn't a real holiday. The outburst was apparently in response to MPs from Bihar who had disrupted the proceedings of the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

 in protest against the attacks on North Indians.

Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumār is an Indian politician currently serving as Chief Minister of Bihar, an eastern state of India. He leads the Janata Dal party...

, upset with the remarks, demanded that the Prime Minister and the Centre intervene in the matter immediately. The Saamna editorial prompted at least 16 Lok Sabha MPs from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, belonging to the RJD, JD (U), SP and the Congress, to give notice for breach of privilege proceedings against Bal Thackeray. After the matter was raised in the Lok Sabha Speaker
Speaker of Lok Sabha
The Speaker is the presiding officer of the lower house of Parliament of India. His/her role is similar to that of Speakers elsewhere in other countries that use the Westminster system of government....

 Somnath Chatterjee
Somnath Chatterjee
Somnath Chatterjee is an Indian politician who had been associated with the Communist Party of India for most of his life, though he is currently an independent...

 said: 'If anybody has made any comment on our members’ functioning in the conduct of business in the House, not only do we treat that with the contempt that it deserves, but also any action that may be necessary will be taken according to procedure and well established norms. Nobody will be spared.'

On March 27, 2008 in protest against Balasaheb Thackeray's editorial, leaders of Shiv Sena in Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 resigned citing its 'outrageous conduct' towards non-Marathis in Maharashtra and announced that they will form a separate party. Addressing a press conference Shiv Sena's North India chief Jai Bhagwan Goyal said the decision to leave the party was taken because of the 'partial attitude' of the party high command towards Maharashtrians. 'Shiv Sena is no different from Khalistan and Jammu and Kashmir militant groups which are trying to create a rift between people along regional lines. The main aim of these forces is to split our country. Like the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, the Shiv Sena too has demeaned North Indians and treated them inhumanely', he said.

Views against former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam


Thackeray has been a vocal critic of the former President of India
President of India
The President of India is the head of state and first citizen of India, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. President of India is also the formal head of all the three branches of Indian Democracy - Legislature, Executive and Judiciary...

, Dr. Abdul Kalam
Abdul Kalam
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam usually referred to as A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, is a renowned aerospace engineer, professor , and first Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram , who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007...

. Thackeray said Kalam was a leading scientist of the country but had 'lost the dignity of the post' after he became President. He has criticized Kalam's indecisiveness regarding the conviction of Mohammad Afzal
Mohammad Afzal
Mohammad Afzal, also known as Afzal Guru, is a Kashmiri who was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India in 2004. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on 20 October 2006...

, who has been sentenced to death following his conviction for the 2001 Indian Parliament attack
2001 Indian Parliament attack
The 2001 Indian Parliament attack was a high-profile attack by Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists against the building housing the Parliament of India in New Delhi...

. Thackeray criticizes the fact that a convicted terrorist's appeal for clemency is even being considered by Kalam.

'Afzal was sentenced to death by the highest court in this country in October and yet the file has been sitting on the President's table for the past four months. I have not said anything wrong about Kalam. We all have supported him to become President. Afzal's clemency letter is still lying with the President. Give me another example where the President has not taken decision on a clemency petition for four months.'


His views on Kalam have been heavily criticized by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi
Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi
Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He represented the Raiganj of West Bengal and is a member of the Indian National Congress party.-Career:Dasmunsi was President of Youth Congress in West Bengal from 1970 to 1971...

 as inappropriate and 'violative of decorum'.

Admiration of Hitler


Thackeray has attracted controversy for his praise of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

.

Apparently he was quoted by Asiaweek
Asiaweek
Asiaweek, the English edition, was a news magazine focusing on Asia, published weekly by Asiaweek Limited, a subsidiary of Time Inc. Based in Hong Kong, it was established in 1975, and ceased publication with its December 7, 2001 issue due to a "downturn in the advertising market," according to...

as saying:
'I am a great admirer of Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, and I am not ashamed to say so! I do not say that I agree with all the methods he employed, but he was a wonderful organizer and orator, and I feel that he and I have several things in common.... What India really needs is a dictator
Dictator
A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch. When other states call the head of state of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship...

 who will rule benevolently, but with an iron hand.' http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/95/0922/nat5.html
In an interview with the Indian Express that was printed on January 29, 2007, Thackeray remarked,
Hitler did very cruel and ugly things. But he was an artist, I love him (for that). He had the power to carry the whole nation, the mob with him. You have to think what magic he had. He was a miracle.... The killing of Jews was wrong. But the good part about Hitler was that he was an artist. He was a daredevil. He had good qualities and bad. I may also have good qualities and bad ones. http://www.indianexpress.com/story/21977-3.html
However, in the Star Talk talk show on channel Star Plus, he claimed himself not to admire Hitler.

Thackeray's supporters, such as columnist Varsha Bhosle
Varsha Bhosle
Varsha Bhosle is an Indian singer, journalist and writer based in Mumbai. She is the daughter of Indian playback singer, Asha Bhosle.-Career:...

, have defended Thackeray's position as necessary in what they claim is an atmosphere of religious extremism against Hindus. In defense of a statement by Thackeray that 'If the Muslims of India behave as the Jews in Germany did, they will deserve the same treatment', Bhosle writes:

Germany's Jews...? What else is required for Hindus to shake off the stupor and consider protecting our civilisation and culture? If telling it like it is makes one a Nazi, I say: Fine, better that than the spineless, deaf, dumb, numb and blind state exalted as Nehruvian Secularism. I wouldn't even spit on it.


In an article appearing in Newindpress.com on August 20, 2007, Thackeray is quoted as wanting to be a dictator and the Hitler of the whole of India:
He is on record as having told the Navakal: 'Yes, I am a dictator. It is a Hitler that is needed in India today'. He was once asked in a television programme whether he wanted to be the Hitler of Mumbai. "Do not underestimate me," he is reported to have retorted. 'I am (the Hitler) of the whole of Maharashtra and want to be of whole of India.' The Hitler question was put to him in September 1996 by Outlook magazine as well during an interview. 'Once you’d expressed admiration for certain facets of Hitler.' 'Comparison was inevitable', the interviewer prompted. Thackaray said: 'I have not sent anybody to the gas chamber. If I’d been like that, you wouldn't have dared to come and interview me.'

Pro-Tamil Tiger views


Thackeray has admitted that he is pro-Tamil Tiger. He says, "I am proud of the Tigers for the gallant manner in which they are fighting."

He also wanted a ban on the LTTE lifted by the center-wing government.

Rift in party


An increase in intra-party rivalry between Balasaheb Thackeray's son Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray is the executive president of the Shiv Sena, a right wing, Marathi ethnocentric regional political party based in the Indian state of Maharashtra...

, and nephew Raj Thackeray
Raj Thackeray
Raj Shrikant Thackeray is the founder and president of the right-wing Marathi ethnocentric regional political party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in the state of Maharashtra, India...

 led to divisions within the Shiv Sena. In addition to this, several old hands such as hard-line leader Narayan Rane
Narayan Rane
Narayan Rane is an Indian politician. He is currently the Minister for Industry, Port, Employment and Self-employment in the Government of Maharashtra. He was a member of Shiv Sena until July 2005, then he joined Indian National Congress party....

 and Sanjay Nirupam
Sanjay Nirupam
Shree Sanjay Nirupam is a third time Member of Indian Parliament. He has served two terms as a nominated MP in the Rajya Sabha first of which was as a Shiv Sena member and the second as a Congress party member. He now represents North Mumbai as an elected Congress member in the Lok Sabha. He is the...

 were expelled or left the Sena.

On November 27, 2005, Raj Thackeray
Raj Thackeray
Raj Shrikant Thackeray is the founder and president of the right-wing Marathi ethnocentric regional political party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in the state of Maharashtra, India...

 announced his resignation as a primary member of the Shiv Sena. On March 9, 2006, Raj announced the formation of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is a political party based in Maharashtra operating on the motto of "Sons of the Soil". It was founded on the March 9, 2006 in Mumbai by Raj Thackeray after he left the Shiv Sena due to differences with Uddhav Thackeray and sidelining in major decisions like...

 (MNS).

On November 28, 2009, in another jolt to Shiv Sena, Smita Thackeray, daughter in law of Bal Thackeray announced to quit Shiv Sena and join Congress party.

Valentine's Day protests


Boycotting shops and restaurants that allow young people to celebrate the Western holiday of Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496...

, interpreted as bestial, indecent and a-Bharatiya (un-Indian) by Thackeray, is one of his recent actions. These boycotts have often culminated in violence and the destruction of those shops.

On February 14, 2006, Balasaheb Thackeray condemned and apologized for the violent attacks of Shiv Sena members upon a private Valentine's Day celebration in Mumbai. 'It is said that women were beaten up in the Nallasopara incident. If that really happened, then it is a symbol of cowardice', Thackeray said, 'I have always instructed Shiv Sainiks that in any situation women should not be humiliated and harassed.'http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1419743.cms Thackeray and the Shiv Sena remain opposed to Valentine's Day celebrations, although they may support an 'Indian alternative'.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1413273.cms
However, in some cases, the Sena has been more tolerant during Valentine's Day celebrations.

Threats for the Final match of ICC World Cup Cricket Tournament


Just before the "ICC World Cup Cricket Tournament" begins, Manohar Joshi, a senior leader of Shiv Sena, announced that, if the Pakistan team reaches the final (scheduled in Mumbai), Bal Thackeray will decide whether to allow them to play or not.

Cultural references


Thackery is satirized in Salman Rushdie's novel The Moor's Last Sigh
The Moor's Last Sigh
The Moor's Last Sigh is the fifth novel by Salman Rushdie, and was published in 1995. Set in the Indian cities of Bombay and Cochin , it is the first major work that Rushdie produced after the The Satanic Verses affair, and thus is referential to that circumstance in many ways, especially the...

as 'Raman Fielding'. Suketu Mehta
Suketu Mehta
Suketu Mehta is a writer based in New York City. He was born in Kolkata, India, and raised in Bombay where he lived until his family moved to the New York area in 1977. He has attended New York University and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.His autobiographical account of his experiences...

 interviews Thackeray in his critically acclaimed, Pulitzer-nominated
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

, non-fiction 2004 book Maximum City
Maximum City
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found is a narrative nonfiction book by Suketu Mehta, published in 2004, about the Indian city of Mumbai . It was published in hardcover by Random House's Alfred A. Knopf imprint...

. The Sarkar (film)
Sarkar (film)
Sarkar is a 2005 Indian dramatic thriller film set in the world of politics and crime, directed by Ram Gopal Varma...

 series is reportedly based on the Thackeray family and this idea was furthered in the second film in which the character of Sanjay Somji was expected to represent Raj Thackeray
Raj Thackeray
Raj Shrikant Thackeray is the founder and president of the right-wing Marathi ethnocentric regional political party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in the state of Maharashtra, India...

.

External links