Bal Thackeray Biography

Bal Thackeray was an Indian politician and founder of the Shiv Sena, a right-wing Hindu Nationalist and ethnocentric party, active in Maharashtra. Thackeray was born on January 23rd 1926. His father was Keshav Sitaram Thackeray, who was a social activist and writer and was part of the United Maharashtra Movement in the 1950’s.

Thackeray began his career as a cartoonist with the English Daily, The Free Press Journal, but left it to start his own political weekly named Marmik. Through Marmik he campaigned against the growing influence of Gujaratis, Marwaris, South Indians and other Non Marathis into Mumbai. In 1966, Bal Thackeray founded the Shiv Senapart to champion the place of Maharashtrians in Mumbai. Thackeray also founded two newspapers, Saamana (Marathi) and Dopahar ka Saamana (Hindi).

One of the Shiv Sena’s primary objectives was to provide jobs to Maharashtrians who were losing job opportunities to migrants from other states. Thackeray was also a staunch Hindu and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) due to their shared ideology of Hindu Nationalism. Together both parties won the 1995 Maharashtra state elections. Bal Thackeray was also the recipient of a lot of criticism from opposition parties who believed that he had done nothing to solve the problem of unemployment in Maharashtra.

Thackeray was known for speaking his mind and his clever wit and oratory skills; he passed away on November 17th 2012.