29 Facts About Bal Thackeray


Bal Thackeray was an Indian politician who founded the Shiv Sena, a right-wing pro-Marathi and Hindu nationalist party active mainly in the state of Maharashtra.

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Bal Thackeray began his professional career as a cartoonist with the English-language daily, The Free Press Journal in Bombay, but he left the paper in 1960 to form his own political weekly, Marmik.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Bollywood biopic titled Bal Thackeray, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and written by Shiv Sena politician Sanjay Raut was released on 25 January 2019.

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