Several leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tributes to Bal Thackeray on his 95th birth anniversary.
Born on January 23, 1926 in Poona (now Pune) to Keshav Sitaram Thackeray and Ramabai Thackeray, Bal Thackeray was the eldest of their eight children. He started his career as a cartoonist with The Free Press Journal before starting his own political weekly Marmik. Thackeray was hugely inspired by his father who also was a journalist and cartoonist.
His father's active involvement in the 'Samyukta Maharashtra Movement' in the 1950s was significant in shaping Thackeray's political opinion.
Marmik played a major role in establishing the Shiv Sena. Thackeray kept the hardship of the "Marathi manoos" as the focus of the magazine.
Taking to Twitter, the PM wrote, "Tributes to Shri Balasaheb Thackeray Ji on his Jayanti. He was unwavering when it came to upholding his ideals. He worked tirelessly for the welfare of people (sic)."
"Balasaheb Thackeray ji is remembered for his courage, fearless leadership and remarkable contribution to India’s public life. My heartfelt tributes to him on his jayanti (sic)," wrote Rajnath Singh.
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Thackeray breathed his last on November 17, 2012 following a massive cardiac arrest, leaving the entire city in a state of shock. To prevent any mishap, the state was then put on high alert. Thackeray landed himself in numerous controversies throughout his life, but the leader always boldly expressed what he believed in.