A Tearful Tribute to Bala Saheb Thackeray


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 22 , 2012           11.20 P.M.

I was trying to write this obituary since Saturday . But I couldn’t . There were many things , many thoughts running in my mind simultaneously . And in such circumstances flood-gates of memory gets opened and submerges our psyche .

On Saturday November 17 , 2012 , I was sitting in the office of my Acting Institute , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , when I heard about the demise of Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray . I closed my Acting Class immediately and returned home . Then I started watching TV . Every channel was full of the sad news . While watching the channels , I was thrown into the year 1967 , the year I passed high school examinations , left my native place Deoria and went to Allahabad for higher studies .

In Allahabad I heard about Shiv Sena , the 1-year-old new emerging force in Maharashtra .

Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The year was 1967 and Shiv Sena was just 1-year-old organization . I took admission in the Government Inter College , Allahabad and like all the youngsters of my age , I was trying to gather more knowledge , was trying to know more things about the world . I , along with my friends , used to read news papers and discuss events and personalities . Because of Shiv Sena’s pro – Marathi policies and staunch parochial attitude , the organization Shiv Sena and its leader Bal Thackeray [ as Bala Saheb was known then ] , was centre of debate and topic of many heated discussions .

I finished my studies , returned to my native place again and started my life afresh . Destiny sometimes plan things differently and plays unique games . So in 1989 I landed up in Bombay . The city , yet to be rechristened Mumbai , became my permanent abode . In 1989 Shiv Sena got registered as a political party . So my life in Mumbai and life of Shiv Sena as a political party began simultaneously in 1989 .

As I started living in Mumbai , I took note of Shiv Sena , started reading about it and started appreciating Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray and his ideology . I was not mature in 1967 , so I was critical of Bala Saheb’s policies and as a north – Indian felt bad when he uttered something against the north Indians . But as my life began in Mumbai , I started feeling that if someone feels that Marathi language , Marathi culture should be paramount in Maharashtra , there is no harm . If a leader says that Marathi should get preference in Maharashtra and it should be the state language , it is absolutely fine . Marathi language should get preference as the state language . If some organization advocates , propounds and is vocal about jobs for the son – of – the – soil , I feel that it is not unjustified at all and is definitely not anti – national .

So re – evaluation of Bala Saheb as a person and as a leader of Shiv Sena began in my mind . I must admit that slowly all the misgivings of previous years evaporated from my mind . 1990 onwards I could appreciate him in a much better way . I came to know about his early days as a cartoonist in ” The Free Press Journal ” . I saw some of the cartoons , which were published in ” Marmik ” , a magazine which he started after leaving ” The Free Press Journal “. He was second to none as a cartoonist , not even to the legendary R. K. Laxman . His cartoon character Kaka Ji , though not as famous as the Common Man of R. K. Laxman , was a poignant work of art . He even designed the famous logo of Raj Kapoor‘s R. K. Films .

As an orator , he had few equals . His connect with the masses was absolute . When I heard him for the first time , I was mesmerized , though my knowledge of Marathi was limited in those days .

It is unfortunate that I could not meet him in person . I am writing a book on acting and it was my secret wish that Bala Saheb should launch the book . Alas , along with so many wishes , my this wish will also remain unfulfilled .

While sitting at home and watching his funeral procession on Sunday , I remembered some other funeral processions of eminent Indians . I have seen Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral procession in photos . He attracted mammoth crowd even after his death . I do remember Jawahar Lal Nehru’s and Indira Gandhi’s last journey . Again the crowd was unprecedented . Last year I visited Anna Durai’s memorial in Puducherri and was stunned to see photos of his last journey . Apart from these above mentioned last journeys of  great Indian leaders , I have never seen such huge crowd for anybody’s last journey . Jawahar Lal Nehru , Indira Gandhi and Anna Durai held high positions in government . Mahatma Gandhi is the sole example of not holding any post and still commanding such respect after his death . Bala Saheb stands second only to Mahatma Gandhi .

I am sad that I could not meet him earlier and now after his demise it is not possible anymore .

English: Photo of Uddhav Thackeray, taken at B...

Photo of Uddhav Thackeray (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On my behalf and on the behalf of my acting institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I offer condolences to Shri Uddhav Thackeray and the whole Thackeray family .

Nation lost a great leader and I lost an opportunity .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

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Maharashtra Municipal Elections 2012 : Congress’ Rout ; Saffron Juggernaut


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 24 , 2012           02.40 A.M.

Municipal and Local Body elections 2012 in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra just got over and now process of installing the mayors and other office bearers are underway .  These elections gave some very startling and surprising results this time .

It was initially thought by left – liberal intellectuals / journalists and slowly it became general perception that this time the saffron front is facing rout . It was widely believed that in the ensuing municipal corporation elections in Mumbai the ruling front ; the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party , is playing on sticky wicket . BMC [ Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ] is the richest corporation of India . Its annual budget is bigger than the budget of some of the state assemblies of India . So these elections are considered prestigious and this time it was keenly watched .

English: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumb...

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation

In Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation , the ruling Front of Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janta Party was in power for unbelievable 3 consecutive terms . Therefore the Congress and NCP [ Nationalist Congress Party ] came to conclusion that incumbency factor will harm the ruling front and invariably brighten the prospect of opposition front . It was also felt that MNS [ Maharashtra Navanirman Sena ] will eat into Saffron Front votes and thus going to deprive them of victory . But unseen hands of destiny had few shocker for the Congress and NCP this time also .

Election Symbol of Bharatiya Janata Party

BJP Symbol

Shiv Sena

Symbol of Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena patriarch Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray and acting president Shri Uddhav Thackeray , along with Mumbai BJP President Shri Raj Purohit and some other state level BJP leaders , devised some new strategies to thwart the freshly hatched game plan of the Congress and NCP of Sharad Pawar . Their ” KARUN DAKHWALE ” campaign was brilliant . They roped in RPI [ Republican Party of India ] headed by Shri Ram Das Athwale , in the front . So the joint strength of Shiv Sena , Bharatiya Janta Party and Republican Party of India [ SS , BJP , RPI ] fought elections unitedly and comfortably trounced the Congress and NCP front .

English: NiTin Gadkari - President of Bhartiya...

Shri Nitin Gadkari President BJP

English: Photo of Uddhav Thackeray, taken at B...

Shri Uddhav Thackeray Working President Shiv Sena

When results were declared , it became apparent that SS , BJP , RPI have got the maximum number of seats in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation . Though they fell short of 7 seats , still they won the BMC fort . Congress , NCP alliance came a distant second with 65 seats and MNS [ Maharashtra Navanirman Sena ] , perceived to be king – maker , was third with 28 seats in its kitty .

Out of 10 Municipal Corporations of Maharashtra , BJP and SS have won 5 . These are ; Mumbai , Thane , Ulhasnagar , Nagpur and Akola . NCP of Sharad Pawar is the clear winner in Pimpri – Chinchwad . NCP can capture Pune , Solapur and Amarawati also with the help of Congress . MNS has won maximum number of seats in Nashik . But here are some more shocker .

BJP has won more number of seats compared to Shiv Sena  in Pune , Solapur , Nagpur and Akola , BJP has outnumbered Congress also in Nagpur and Ulhasnagar and has equal number of seats in Akola . BJP has outnumbered NCP also in Nagpur , Mumbai , Solapur and Akola . In BMC BJP has won 31 seats compared to 28 in 2007 . BJP tally has improved everywhere .

Sharad Pawar , known as Maratha warrior , Maratha strongman in Marathi news papers , have bitten dust . Other so – called NCP stalwarts and strong men like Dy. Chief Minister Ajit Pawar , R. R. Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal , both former Dy. Chief Ministers , have eggs on their faces . Supriya Sule has simply vanished from the scene .

English: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodha...

Sharad Pawar - President NCP

It’s sheer luck that because of assembly elections in 5 states , Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi can not visit Maharashtra . So they have some face – saving excuses . But Congress Chief Minister Prithvi Raj Chavan , ex Shiv Sainik and former Chief Minister Narayan Rane and Mumbai Congress Chief Kripa Shankar Singh have nothing to say . So they have gone into shell . They are incommunicado and blame game has started .

Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Ernakulam, Kerala.

Rahul Gandhi

In 2007 BMC elections Congress and NCP had no alliance and they fought separately . So according to some left – liberal journalists , SS and BJP won because of the division of secular votes . But in 2012 , Congress and NCP fought the elections as alliance partners and still they lost . SS and BJP have won convincingly . Now left – liberal journos have to eat crow . They have nothing to say .

BJP and Shiv Sena flags

BJP and Shiv Sena flags in a Rally

Shri Nitin Gadkari and Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray can take pride that they have snatched victory from the opponents and that too against all odds . It is satisfying fact that MNS [ Maharashtra Navanirman Sena ] instead of eating into saffron votes , ate Congress , NCP votes and dealt severe blow to their nefarious designs .

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections along with 9 other civic body elections of 2012 are eye opener in real sense . It heralds saffron juggernaut and decimation of pseudo – secular forces.

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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www.vidurfilms.com

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