38 Facts About Bal Thackeray


In 1966, Bal Thackeray formed the Shiv Sena party to advocate for the interests of Maharashtra in Indian political and professional landscape, and against certain segments of Mumbai's Muslim population.


Bal Thackeray had a large political influence in the state, especially in Mumbai.


In 1999, Bal Thackeray was banned from voting and contesting in any election for six years on the recommendations of the Election Commission for indulging in seeking votes in the name of religion.


Bal Thackeray was arrested multiple times and spent a brief stint in prison, but he never faced any major legal repercussions.


Bal Thackeray did not hold any official positions, and he was never formally elected as the leader of his party.


Bal Thackeray's father Keshav was an admirer of India-born British writer William Makepeace Thackeray, and changed his own surname from Panvelkar to "Thackeray" an Anglicised version of their ancestral surname "Thakre".


Bal Thackeray's father was a journalist and cartoonist by profession; he was a social activist and writer who was involved in the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement of the 1950s, which argued for the creation of a unified state called Maharashtra for Marathi-speaking areas with Mumbai as its capital.

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Bal Thackeray began his career as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal in Mumbai.


Bal Thackeray's cartoons were published in the Sunday edition of The Times of India.


Bal Thackeray later stated that it was "not just a cartoon weekly but the prime reason for the birth and growth of the Sena".


In Marmik, Bal Thackeray published a list of corporate officials from a local directory, many being south Indians, citing it as proof that Maharashtrians were being discriminated against.


Bal Thackeray publicly supported Indira Gandhi during the 1975 Emergency to avoid getting arrested; Bal Thackeray supported the Congress party numerous times.


Dr Hemchandra Gupte, Mayor of Mumbai and the former family physician and confidant of Bal Thackeray, left Shiv Sena in 1976 citing the emphasis given to money, violence committed by the Shiv Sena members, and Bal Thackeray's support for Indira Gandhi and the 1975 emergency.


Bal Thackeray declared himself to be the "remote control" chief minister.


On 28 July 1999, Bal Thackeray was banned from voting and contesting in any election for six years from 11 December 1999 till 10 December 2005 on the recommendations of the Election Commission for indulging in corrupt practice by seeking votes in the name of religion.


In 2002, Bal Thackeray issued a call to form Hindu suicide bomber squads to take on the menace of terrorism.


Bal Thackeray said that the Shiv Sena had helped the Marathi people in Mumbai, especially in the public sector.


Bal Thackeray believed that Hindus must be organised to struggle against those who oppose their identity and religion.


On 14 February 2006, Bal Thackeray condemned and apologised for the violent attacks by its Shiv Sainiks on a private celebration in Mumbai.


Bal Thackeray had the power to carry the whole nation, the mob with him.


In 2008, following agitation against Biharis and other north Indians travelling to Maharashtra to take civil service examinations for the Indian Railways due to an overlimit of the quota in their home provinces, Bal Thackeray said of Bihari MPs that they were "spitting in the same plate from which they ate" when they criticised Mumbaikars and Maharashtrians.


Bal Thackeray defended Vinayak Damodar Savarkar against criticism and praised him as a great leader.


Years later, when Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh made a statement that Savarkar was the first to suggest the two-nation theory that led to the partition, Bal Thackeray defended Savarkar and accused Singh of distorting history.


In 1990, Bal Thackeray got seats reserved in engineering colleges for the children of these Kashmiri Pandits in Maharashtra.


Bal Thackeray was one of the first persons to help them after which Punjab followed suit.

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Bal Thackeray was married to Meena Bal Thackeray on 13 June 1948 and had three sons, oldest son Bindumadhav, middle son Jaidev, and youngest son Uddhav.


Bal Thackeray drew cartoons for the Free Press Journal, the Times of India and Marmik besides contributing to Saamna till 2012.


Bal Thackeray cited the New Zealander cartoonist David Low as his inspiration.


Bal Thackeray was accorded a state funeral at Shivaji Park, which generated some controversy and resulted from demands made by Shiv Sena.


Bal Thackeray's cremation took place the next day, where his son Uddhav lit the pyre.


Bal Thackeray was the only non-member to be noted in its traditional list of obituaries.


Bal Thackeray is one of few people to have been recorded thus without being a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.


Bal Thackeray was called Hindu Hriday Samrat by his supporters.


Bal Thackeray was known to convert popular sentiment into votes, getting into controversies and making no apologies for it though his son has tried to tone down the party's stance after his death.


Bal Thackeray was known for his inflammatory writings, was seen as a good orator who used cruel humour to engage his audience.


Bal Thackeray had a large political influence throughout the state, especially in Mumbai.


Bal Thackeray is satirised in Salman Rushdie's 1995 novel The Moor's Last Sigh as 'Raman Fielding'.


Bal Thackeray previewed director Ram Gopal Verma's film Sarkar, which is loosely based on him, released in 2005.