Balasaheb Thackeray, Shiv Sena and the son of the soil

Balasaheb Thackeray, Shiv Sena and the son of the soil

Late Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray Photo/Facebook (@Shivsena)

Bal Thackeray is an important icon in Maharashtra, both politically and socially. A fierce campaigner of the 'sons of the soil' theory, Thackeray started his career as a cartoonist in a daily, went on to start his own Marathi weekly 'Marmik' to express his views, and six years later founded the Shiv Sena in order to benefit the Marathi community in Maharashtra.

Apart from regional politics, Thackeray was also known for his ardent anti-Pakistan stand, especially when it came to cricket, stalling multiple India-Pakistan matches in the state with Shiv Sainiks protesting and digging up pitches in protest of the scheduled matches between the two countries.   

He passed away on November 17, 2012. 

Here is a short account of his lifetime:

23 January, 1926: Bal Thackeray born in Pune, Maharashtra.

1950-60s: Stint as a cartoonist with The Free Press Journal.

13 August 1960: Founded 'Marmik', a Marathi weekly published by the Shiv Sena today


19 June 1966: Thackeray forms the Shiv Sena, a political party which rode on the larger cause of protection of the welfare and interests of Marathi manoos (Marathi man).

30 October 1966: Shiv Sena's first Dassera rally held at Shivaji Park


1967: Shiv Sena enters politics by contesting the Thane Municipal Council polls

1968: Shiv Sena contests the Bombay Municipal Corporation polls, wins 42 of 120 wards

1969: Thackeray arrested for the first time after Shiv Sainiks stop the vehicle of then Deputy Prime Minister Morarji Desai at Mahim over the boundary dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka. 


26 June 1975 – 21 March 1977: Extends support to Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi


1985-86: Shiv Sena embraces Hindutva


1989: Launches 'Saamana', the mouthpiece of the party

1990: Sets eyes on Mantralaya, Vidhan Bhavan


1991: Shiv Sainiks dig up the Wankhede strip protesting against the India-Pakistan Test in Mumbai. The incident led to the cancellation of the entire series. 

1991: Chhagan Bhujbal quits the Shiv Sena, joins the Congress and later joins Sharad Pawar-led NCP. Once an aide, Bhujbal, who became the deputy chief minister following the 1999 Assembly elections, ordered the arrest of Thackeray in a case against Saamana in connection with the 1992-93 riots

6 December 1992: Babri Masjid demolished, Sena chief claims responsibility


December 1992-January 1993: Communal riots in Mumbai


14 March 1995: Shiv Sena-BJP alliance comes to power. Shiv Sena's Manohar Joshi sworn-in as Chief Minister


1998: Srikrishna Commission report tabled in the Vidhan Sabha, indicts Bal Thackeray for the 1992-93 riots, Manohar Joshi government rejects the report


19 January  1999: Shiv Sainiks vandalise BCCI office at Churchgate in Mumbai, damage the Prudential World Cup of 1983. This was allegedly done in protest of the Pakistan cricket team's entry into India. 

1 February 1999: Shiv Sena's Narayan Rane sworn-in as Chief Minister after Manohar Joshi steps down

October 1999: Shiv Sena-BJP saffron alliance loses power in Maharashtra, the Congress-NCP form Democratic Front government 

28 July 1999: Bal Thackeray banned from voting and contesting in any election for six years from December 11, 1999, till December 10, 2005.

1998-2004: Shiv Sena becomes a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee


April 2002:  Manohar Joshi becomes Speaker of the Lok Sabha

February 2003: Son Uddhav Thackeray becomes Shiv Sena Executive President, cousin Raj Thackeray proposes his name at Mahabaleshwar conclave


July 2005: Narayan Rane leaves the Shiv Sena, joins the Congress

9 March 2006: Raj Thackeray launches his own party -- Maharashtra Navnirman Sena

July 2007: Thackeray supports Congress nominee Pratibha Patil, a Maharashtrian, for Presidential elections


2011-12: Bal Thackeray's grandson Aaditya Thackeray takes interest in the party and Yuva Sena

July 2012: Supports UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee for the post of President breaking ranks with the NDA

17 November 2012: Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray dies of prolonged illness, aged 86

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