Well known as a real king of Maharashtra, Balasaheb Thackeray’s real name was Bal Keshav Thackeray. He is known to be the most influential and powerful Hindu right-wing politician in the state of Maharashtra. He founded a party called ‘Shiv Sena’ in 1966. Let’s look at some of the facts related to his life.
Thakre Or Thackeray
Bal Thackeray’s original surname was Thakre. His father always used ‘thakre’ as his surname. Bal Thackeray changed the spelling of his surname as he was a great admirer of William Makepeace Thackeray, the well-known British author.
A Marathi At Heart
Balasaheb had a special place for Marathi’s in his heart. He was the voice of Maharashtra, standing up for his people. He is known to be creating a unified state for Marathi speaking areas. The purpose of creating ‘Shiv Sena’ was also to create a voice for the people living in Maharashtra.
Thackeray- A Cartoonist
Bal Thackeray started his career as a cartoonist. He used to make cartoons for free press journal. His political cartoons were also published in the Sunday edition of ‘The Times of India’. In his cartoons, Thackeray was pretty vocal about his resentment against growing non-marathis in Mumbai. He started his cartoon weekly in 1960 called ‘marmik’.
His Gift To Amitabh Bachchan
After Amitabh Bachchan met with an accident on the set of the coolie, Bal Thackeray visited Bachchan. He gifted him a cartoon of yam raj made by him. It said ‘yamraj defeated’. At that time, Bachchan was on a recovery stage in the hospital.
Views On Migration
Thackeray was pretty against the growing number of people settling in Maharashtra from other states. He had a violent stand against non-Marathi. In fact, any person who spoke against Marathi’s had to face his wrath. In fact, the cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, a Maharashtrian himself, faced his wrath for saying “Mumbai belongs to all Indians”.
He believed that by settling up their businesses in Maharashtra, non-Marathi’s are taking away the opportunities of Marathi’s.
An Admirer Of Hitler
Thackeray believed Adolf Hitler to be an artist, as Hitler was also a painter. He admired how Hitler had the magic to carry the whole mob and the whole nation with him. He condemned the ugly parts of his life like the Holocaust and the killing of the Jews.
Love For His Wife
Thackeray’s wife Mina Thackeray died in 1995. He often talked about her in his interviews. He also showed his locket which has his wife’s photograph during one of the interviews with IBN lokmat.
Voice Of The Poor
It was Thackeray who spoke against getting a 22 crore throne of sai baba idol at Shirdi. On this Marathi daily Lokmat newspaper when pointed out that Thackeray himself sits on a silver throne, the Shiv Sena sent the wooden chair with a silver coating to the newspaper office and demanded a receipt for the same. He believed that that money could be used to help the poor farmers of Maharashtra. He had also started an ambulance service for the poor. It was started for the people who couldn’t hire ambulance in the expensive city.
Banned From Voting And Contesting
He was banned by the election commission from voting and contesting for six years in 1999. Thackeray was found guilty of seeking votes in the name of religion and for election malpractices.
Views on Muslims
Bal Thackeray’s earlier views on Muslims were not great. In one of his interviews with India today he said, ‘They are spreading like cancer and should be operated on like cancer.’ But later he mentioned that he had changed his stance on Shiv Sena’s issues with Muslims. He said we must look after the Muslims and treat them as part of us, in an interview taken in 1998.
Michael Jackson’s Visit
It is well known that Michael Jackson also visited Thackeray. If sources are to be believed, it is said that Michael Jackson autographed the toilet he used during his visit.
Criticism By Salman Rushdie
In the book, The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie, he has been criticized. To avoid any sort of protest, the book was banned in Maharashtra.
Respect for Indira Gandhi
He always maintained an anti-Congress stand throughout his life. But he always praised our former PM Indira Gandhi. He said she played an important role in supporting Bangladesh to get its freedom. He accepted that she was one of the best PM’s India had.
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