Decks cleared for Thackeray memorial

Last Updated 21 January 2019, 14:22 IST

Decks are cleared for the 'grand' memorial to honour Shiv Sena supremo and party founder the late Bal Thackeray.

On January 23, the Mumbai civic body-owned land at the Mayor's bungalow-compound t Shivaji Park, Dadar, where the memorial would be located, will be handed over to the Balasaheb Thackeray Memorial Public Trust.

The day coincides with the 93rd birth anniversary of the firebrand leader and orator also known as the 'Hinduhridaysamrat.'

A memorial for Thackeray (January 23, 1926 - November 17, 2012) has been the Shiv Sena's long-pending demand.

During the function, a Ganesh pooja will also be performed.

The Sena and the Thackeray family led by Bal Thackeray's son, Uddhav Thackeray, have been awaiting the bhoomi poojan for a long time.

Mayor Prof Vishwanath Mahadeshwar is moving out to the heritage bungalow at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan-Zoo at Byculla.

It may be recalled, a day after Bal Thackeray's death, his mortal remains were consigned to flames at the Shivaji Park, very near to the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

The then Congress-NCP Democratic Front government in Maharashtra didn't allow any construction at the place, but the Sena-controlled Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on the first death anniversary completed a 800-sqm garden at the place where Bal Thackeray was consigned to flames.

The garden has a 3 meter topiary tree at its and houses as many as 15 flowering plants including Poinsettia, Petunia, Golden Cypress and Ixora.

However, a full-fledged memorial was still a dream for the Thackeray family and the many followers of Bal Thackeray.

The Shivaji Park— Where cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar have played— is very important place in the Shiv Sena's history.

The park was built in 1925 and was known for the political rallies held there.

Besides being a venue for the freedom fighters to gather in British India, post independence the park became a focal point of the Samyukta Maharashtra Chalval, which led to the formation of present-day state of Maharashtra in 1960.

Cutting across political parties, several top leaders have addressed rallies and meetings here.

The inner circumference of the park is 1.17 kilometre and its area is 1,12,937 square metre (27.907 acre).

The Mayor's bungalow is just opposite the Shivaji Park— Bal Thackeray launched his movement from this ground.

Since the Mayor's bungalow is a Grade II-B heritage structure much alterations would not be allowed.

(Published 21 January 2019, 13:52 IST)

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