Bal Thackeray
Bal Thackeray
File Photo

Bal Keshav Thackeray was born on 23rd January 1926 in Poona (now Pune) to Keshav Sitaram Thackeray and Ramabai Thackeray. Balasaheb Thackeray was the eldest of the eight siblings.

He started his career as a cartoonist with Free Press Journal before finding his own political weekly magazine 'Marmik'. Bal Thackeray was hugely inspired by his father who also was a journalist and cartoonist. His father was actively involved in the 'Samyukta Maharashtra Movement' during the 1950s which played a major role in forming Bal Thackeray's political opinion.

Marmik played a huge in establishing 'Shiv Sena'. Balasaheb Thackeray focused the magazines on the hardships of the Marathi Common Man. He talked in detail about unemployment and influx of migrants into Maharashtra.

Interestingly, when Shiv Sena was formed, Bal Thackeray claimed that it was not a political party but the army of the great Shivaji Maharaj made to fight for the rights of the Marathi Common Man. He advocated for special treatment to Marathi people in government and private jobs in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena was gaining popularity at a rapid pace. During 1970s, a number of prominent leaders like Babasaheb Purande and Madhav Mehere joined the party. This strengthened the party and the leading man's faith in his ideologies.

Balasaheb Thackeray firmly opposed Caste based reservations as he believed that there are only two castes in India, 'Rich and Poor'. He was of the view that the poor must be helped irrespective of his/her caste.

Photo: Aaditya Thackeray/Instagram
Photo: Aaditya Thackeray/Instagram

Evidently, pop-star Michael Jackson visited Bal Thackeray when he came to Mumbai. Michael Jackson was reportedly gifted a silver tabla and taanpura by Balasaheb Thackeray.

Bal Thackeray breathed his last on 17th November 2012 due a massive cardiac arrest. The whole city was in a state of shock. To prevent any mishap, the state was put under high alert. Balasaheb Thackeray landed himself into numerous controversies throughout his life but the leader always boldly expressed what he believed in.

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