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Thread: Bal Thackeray, Shiv Sena supremo, dies at 86, last rites tomorrow 3 pm

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    Exclamation Bal Thackeray, Shiv Sena supremo, dies at 86, last rites tomorrow 3 pm

    Shiv Sena
    patriarch
    Bal Thackeray
    , who was critically ill for the past few days, passed away at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra today.

    He was 86. "He had suffered a cardiac arrest. We could not revive him despite our best efforts. He breathed his last at around 3.30pm," Dr Jalil Parkar, who treated the Sena supremo, told reporters after emerging from Thackeray residence this evening.

    Thackeray had been suffering from respiratory problems and pancreatic disease. He is survived by sons Jaidev and Uddhav, who is the Executive President of the party.

    Senior party leaders and Bal Thackeray's nephew
    Raj Thackeray
    along with family and other political leaders rushed to Matoshree.

    Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in the metropolis in the wake of Thackeray's death. The police also made the mediapersons move to a distance from Matoshree.


    Earlier, senior Shiv Sena leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi had said: "We cannot say that he is recovering fast. It is a slow recovery, but he is slightly better now."

    Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' today said that "Thackeray is recovering and there is no need to worry. Our warrior is fighting.

    Media persons and Sena workers stationed outside 'Matoshree' realized around 4 pm that there was some development as several senior leaders from Sena, BJP and other parties started arriving and police were seen to have become more alert.

    As the speculation rose, Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut, Diwakar Raote accompanied by Dr Jalil Parkar, who had been treating Thackeray for the last three years, came out around 5 pm to announce Thackeray's demise.

    On hearing the news, a frenzied mob of Shiv sainiks tried to enter
    Matoshree
    by raising slogans "Bal Thackeray Amar Rahe' while police tried to prevent them from going inside and enhanced security allover.

    Many of them in the crowd broke down on hearing the news about their leader's death.

    Thackeray's health kept fluctuating since last few days with his son and party executive president
    Uddhav Thackeray
    appealing to Sainiks "to maintain calm and pray for his father" on Thursday night.

    Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony.

    Thackeray was being treated by doctors from Lilavati Hospital — Jaleel Parkar, Prakash Jindani and Samad Ansari - with assistance from Sena MLA Dr Deepak Sawant. No medical bulletin was issued, but Sena leaders briefed the media daily.

    The condition of the 86-year-old Sena patriarch worsened on Wednesday night when he had to be put on life support. He was taken off life support later after showing signs of improvement.



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    Know Bal Thackeray and his family








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    Bal Keshav Thackeray is known as a fiery right wing leader of Maharashtra. A cartoonist by profession, Thackeray formed ‘Shiv Sena’ that espoused the cause of Maratha interest and Marathi language.

    After a long struggle, Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, in alliance with BJP, succeeded in snatching power from Congress in 1995. The Shiv Sena-BJP government ruled Maharashtra from 1995-99.
    Bal Thackeray is one of those controversial politicians of India who is blamed for fanning communal and regional chauvinism in Maharashtra. But he is a force to reckon with in Maharashtra politics.

    In his early days, Bal Thackeray targeted Gujaratis, Marwaris, and southern Indians in Mumbai for grabbing jobs and depriving native Mumbaikars of their livelihood.

    After that he championed the cause of aggressive Hindutva and targeted Muslims for their alleged anti- Hindu mindset. Recently, his party targeted North Indians, especially those belonging to UP and Bihar, for infiltrating Mumbai and snatching jobs from the natives.

    Bal thackeray’s nephew Raj Thackeray used to be his lieutenant not very long ago but he parted ways with Bal Thackeray when the senior Thackeray decided to anoint his son Uddhav as the second-in-command of Shiv Sena. Today, Raj is heading his own party – Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

    Thackeray family has played an important in Maharashtra Politics right from the days of separate statehood movement.

    For last few days, Bal Thackeray’s health has deteriorated and he was on oxygen support till the last report came in.

    It’s time to take a look at the family background of Bal Thackeray who has dominated the politics of Mumbai for more than last two decades now.



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    The story of Thackerays began with the arrival of Keshav Sitaram Thackeray to Bombay. Keshav Sitaram Thackeray was also known as Prabodhankar Thackeray because of his articles in his fortnightly magazine named Prabodhan.





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    Keshav Thackeray was born in a lower-middle class Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu family .Keshav Thackeray had two sons – Bal Thackeray and Shrikant Thackeray.





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    Keshav was a social activist and a prolific writer. The British tolerated him because of his progressive ideas about the empowerment of women and his strident opposition to the caste system.





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    Referred to as the first family of Maharashtra politics, the Thackerays played a vital role in the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. Leading from the front was Keshav Thackeray, one of the five prominent leaders of the movement.





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    His sons Bal and Shrikant participated by contributing articles and cartoons to local publications.A prolific writer, Keshav penned plays, biographies and booklets to create awareness about the Maharashtra movement. He became actively involved with the movement in 1951. Supporting the demand to include Dang district in Maharashtra instead of Gujarat, he appealed for Dang Day to be observed on June 3, 1951.

    Keshav used his diplomatic and persuasive skills in bringing together leaders of all political parties in the best interest of Maharashtra movement. Keshav brought all these leaders under one umbrella - Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti.

    It was launched in 1955 to pursue the demand for the formation of Maharashtra, with Mumbai and Belgaum as parts of it. Keshav led from the front and was even arrested during this movement.

    Bal Thackeray, at the time, worked as a cartoonist in the ‘Free Press Journal’. He also contributed to Marathi publications, including Navyug, under the pseudonym Mavla. Bal Thackeray supported the demands made by the samiti and attacked the Congress through his cartoons.




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    Then chief minister Morarji Desai, Bombay Congress chief SK Patil and senior leader Yashwantrao Chavan were his pet targets. His focus shifted to Desai after 15 people were killed in the police firing on November 21, 1955, during a morcha at the Flora Fountain (now Hutatma Chowk). Balasaheb sketched Desai as a Nar Bhakshak (maneater) in his cartoon. The cartoon showed Desai sitting on a pile of human bodies, saying, “I am a pure vegetarian.” He also mocked Chavan’s statement that Nehru was bigger than Maharashtra.





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    Balasaheb’s younger brother Shrikant, too, drew cartoons for Navyug during the movement. Like his brother, Shrikant also targeted the Congress, especially Nehru and Desai.





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    Bal Thackeray lost his wife Meena to a heart attack in September 1996. His eldest son Bindumadhav died in a road accident on 20 April 1996.





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    His other son,Jaidev, had parted ways with Thackeray in 1995 over ideological differences when the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance was in power. He has kept himself away from politics all these years. Jaidev divorced his wife Smitha Thackeray who is a renowned personality in Maharashtra and owns a TV production house.





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    Uddhav Thackeray, Bal Thackeray’s youngest son, is the executive president of Shiv Sena and is slated to succeed Bal Thackeray as and when he calls it a day.





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