Balasaheb Keshav Thackeray was the chief supremo and founder of political party Shiv Sena. He breathed his last on November 17, 2012, and was given a funeral where the entire state of Maharashtra gathered together on the streets of Mumbai to bid their last goodbye to the man who changed how people look at Maharashtra today.
The whole point of me telling all of that is to make you understand Bal Thackeray’s specialty. Why did people think that losing him was a great loss for the nation? What exactly did he do as the founder of a political party that left marks on the life of millions?
If you are looking for these answers and want to know all the whats and whys then this article is definitely for you. Read on and you will know why people preach his name and consider him the ‘legal don’ of India.
A firm believer of ideologies of Adolf Hitler
Bal Thackeray was a firm believer and follower of Adolf Hitler. Basically, he openly admired him and was an anti-communist. He was criticised for his love and inclination towards Hilter but just as every great person, he never got swayed away by the opinions of people and was always vocal about what he truly believed in.
He was also reported quoting:
“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.”
He smartly used his cartoons as a way to show displeasure
He surely had power, a lot of power, enough to change the nation but he started his career as a cartoonist and to everyone’s surprise, he used his creative cartoons to show displeasure and to run a campaign against growing number of non-Marathis in the state of Maharashtra
The Maharashtra State Assembly elections
The BJP and Shiv Sena together won the 1995 Maharashtra State Assembly elections and came to power. This gave Bal Thackeray an indirect control over the government. He was often called the remote who controlled the government. The government was formed with Manohar Joshi as the chief minister and the BJP’s Gopinath Munde as his deputy.
He was a man with strong beliefs yet no one had the power to call him wrong
Bal Thackeray had a very controversial life and he was often considered as a man who ignited a spark between two of the most prominent religions of India, namely Hindu and Muslims. He was reported saying:
“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.”
Despite saying such things he was loved by all and people worshipped him like God
All Bollywood stars in Maharashtra looked up to Thackeray for advice, and he was in a very cordial relationship with Bollywood’s megastar none other than Amitabh Bachchan.
He wrote an editorial with a controversial title
On March 6, 2008, Bal Thackeray issued an editorial titled Ek Bihari, Sau Bimari (One Bihari, Hundred maladies) in Saamna, which signified that the Biharis were ‘an unwanted lot’ in the state of Maharashtra.
Shiv Sena’s effect and fear
When Bal Thackeray established his political party people feared to go against it and those were the days of power and responsibility for the Shiv Sainiks. This is the major reason why the man who led such fearful party was called the ‘Don’, but the fact that he was never reported to have bypassed or promoted anything illegal in a straightforward manner. Thus making him a ‘legal Don’. The one who did whatever he had to openly, and made it a point that the legal authorities never question his acts.
The state of Maharashtra on high alert
When he died in 2012, the entire state was put on high alert and police were appealed to deploy 20,000 Mumbai policeman to handle and manage the entire state funeral that was given to him. Approximately 15 units of the State Reserve Police Force and three contingents of the Rapid Action Force were deployed.
Lastly, the man who shaped the political framework of Maharashtra might not be here today, but people still preach his name.
That’s all people.
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