Bal Thackeray’s Poisonous Legacies

The Indian elite’s reaction to Bal Thackeray’s death raises profoundly disturbing question, argues Rohit Chopra.

With news breaking earlier this evening of Bal Thackeray’s death, the movers and shakers of Indian society have been in overdrive as have been their lesser-known followers, minions, and acolytes on Twitter. The event is being milked for all it is worth by news organizations, corporate sponsors, assorted media personalities engaging in “me-too” memories, and political organizations trying either to generate political capital from it or, at the very least, seeking not to alienate some imagined Hindu/ Maharashtrian/ Mumbaikar voter sentiment by appearing too critical of Thackeray.

The world of Indian mediapersons, the political establishment, and the charmed circle of Indian celebrities have been expressing their shock and grief even as they have been marveling at Thackeray’s greatness. In perfect concert with one another, these three incestuously interconnected sectors of Indian society–which feed off and sustain each other–are colluding in a massive act of amnesia. The holy trinity of Indian elites is refusing to address Bal Thackeray’s culpability in the deaths of Hindus and Muslims in the 1992-1993 riots in Bombay, the lengthy record of Shiv Sena violence and threats against Tamilians, Gujaratis, and UPites, the Sena’s collusion with industrialists to break the backs of mill workers and unions in Bombay in the 1970s, the degradation of the political culture of Maharashtra and Mumbai, and the general destruction of the city’s cosmopolitan culture.

When these fundamental, defining aspects of Bal Thackeray’s life and career are acknowledged by commentators, they are immediately balanced–according to some spurious notion of journalistic objectivity, I suspect–by paeans to his personal charisma, political acumen, ability to gauge the pulse of the people, and so on. Or they are subsumed within larger narratives that efface or mitigate the violence. (He was good and bad / He was an enigma / He was sweet to me / He was a bundle of contradictions or a complex figure).

Rajdeep Sardesai’s tweets say it all:

Gave me an interview in 1988 as a cub reporter. Was generous with his time and thoughts. Offered me beer too! RIP #Balasahed [sic]

Tiger, Godfather, Mumbai icon, hero for many, villain for others. Balasaheb Thackeray RIP.

Most bizarrely from Sardesai, the suggestion that Mumbai might be shut today because of “respect” for Thackeray.

When Delhi netas die, a city doesn’t shut down out of either fear/respect. Mumbai does. What does that say? Gnight.

Anyone who has experienced any bandh in any Indian city knows that the cause is usually not some spontaneous expression of independently-felt love for a political leader or party that expresses itself in an act of collective intelligence or emotion like a flash mob performing “Gangam Style.”

The Indian media prides itself on its independence, its critical eye, its ability to speak truth to power. Indian celebrities fancy themselves socially responsible intellectuals. Indian politicians routinely remind the world of the glorious vibrancy and dynamism of the “world’s largest democracy.” But neither the conventions of in-house obituary boilerplate nor the pithy wisdom of the tweets emanating from the finest minds in Indian media, celebrityhood, and politics have spoken today in any honest way about Thackeray’s role in one of most disgraceful episodes in the history of independent India–the pogrom against Bombay’s Muslim communities in 1992 and 1993. When they have pointed to Thackeray’s involvement, they have refused to ask the difficult but obvious questions that follow; questions about justice, rights, accountability, and rule of law, but also about tolerance, coexistence, and our responsibility to our fellow citizens.

The list of those participating in what can only be called a soft-pedaling of Bal Thackeray’s legacy, through this Fox News style “Fair and Balanced” approach, is a veritable who’s who of contemporary Indian political, social, and cultural life. The President and Prime Minister of India; politicians across parties; Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and other cricketers; any number of Bollywood actors, directors, and producers who queued up to meet him as he lay on his deathbed; and reputed journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, and Vir Sanghvi. Dutt, on leave at the time, did not cover Thackeray’s funeral on television.  Yet her brief comments on Twitter (here and here) in response to arguably the biggest Indian news story of the day broadly conformed to the same pattern, in my view. They did not transcend nor were critical enough of the dominant elite discourse about Thackeray, a mixture of equivocation, amnesia, and silence.

This is the real legacy of Bal Thackeray. To make political violence so routine that it ceases to outrage. To make the strategy of scapegoating and targeting particular ethnic, religious, or political groups part of the calculus of everyday politics. To make fear and intimidation a legitimate, accepted part of political leadership. And to constantly remind any potential critic, in media or otherwise, of the threat of violent reprisal for saying something that Thackeray and his thugs might not appreciate.

No less part of Thackeray’s legacy is the fact that the political establishment, world of Bombay celebrities, and mediapersons who fawned over him when he was alive as much as they are doing now appear to have quiescently accepted all of this. The curious insistence on journalists addressing Bal Thackeray as ‘saheb’ — imagine, for instance, an article beginning with the words, “Herr Hitler, responsible for the death of millions of German citizens”–merely reflects this legacy.

In recent years, observers on the political situation in Maharashtra have sometimes described the Shiv Sena as a spent force, one that was condemned to lose its long-term political battles because there was no coherent object that it was fighting for. But in all these other poisonous and alarmingly permanent ways there is no doubt that Bal Thackeray won.

The free pass given to Bal Thackeray today also tells us something about the pathologies of Indian life that produced and made Bal Thackeray possible: pathologies shared across those who identify as secular and those who rant against pseudo-secularists; pathologies that unite the South Bombay whisky-drinking, rugby-playing, Bombay-Gym types with Dadar Hindu colony sons-of-the-soil; pathologies that allow diasporic Hindu nationalists in Silicon Valley and Shiv Sena footsoldiers alike to believe that they are the victims of a secret cabal of Muslims, Marxists, and Macaulayites. Thackeray did not, then, come out of nowhere. He was not the creation simply of disaffected subaltern Maharashtrian communities or of middle-class Maharashtrian communities who felt outsiders had snatched what was their due. He represented something central in Indian political society–not an essentialist, ahistorical tendency but a historically produced capacity for using violence as a form of political reason, the absence of a coherent vision of solidarity that could respect similarity and difference, and the many deep failures of the postcolonial Indian state that our exceptionalist pieties about Indian tolerance, coexistence, and secularism often obscure.

And no, we do not need to be silent on any of this just because Bal Thackeray died earlier today. I doubt any Shiv Sainiks or Thackeray himself spent a minute thinking in silence about any Muslim killed in the 1992-1993 riots in which the Shiv Sena played a key role. As Vir Sanghvi’s article on Thackeray, posthumously anointing him the “uncrowned king of Mumbai” reminds us, Thackeray’s chief objection to Mani Ratnam’s representation of him in the film Bombay was that his cinematic alter-ego expressed regret at the riots.

It is a disgrace that Bombay is shut today. It is a disgrace that Thackeray is being wrapped in the national tricolor. It is a disgrace that he is being given state honors in his death. And it is a disgrace that none of our political leaders, celebrities, or media personalities seem to think any of this is a disgrace. And that if they do they are terrified of saying so.

164 thoughts on “Bal Thackeray’s Poisonous Legacies”

  1. Just another attempt to target ShivSena/BJP for its role in protecting Hindus in the 1993’s riots. This article is indeed written in bad taste, sponsored by Congress, to please Pakis & Muslims.

  2. No sane person can defend Thackeray, let alone eulogize him. That he was not brought to books, and remained scot-free is a blot on our polity and tells a lot about our law treats people differently.

  3. Bal Thackeray went to his end wrapped up in the Indian tricolor flag. Surprising, because he went against what the country and the constitution stands for. He was against the rights of an Indian citizen living and working anywhere in India. He was a narrow provincial rabble rousing character, completely negative in his politics who promoted violence to reach his political goals. He eschewed everything that is reasonable, liberal, cosmopolitan and good. I for one am not mourning, even though out tradition tells us not to bad mouth the dead. Needless to say many have seen their deaths because of this guy. Hope he finds his peace on the other side.

  4. Finally !!! Someone has the guts to really say it like it is. You cannot make a hero out of a man who admires hitler oh no! This man hasn’t earned my respect nor has he earned it by the millions of mumbaikers who sit at home today out of fear or because of the snowballing effect put to play by the media and cops to stay indoors. I just hope these maniacs don’t sit to discuss to have an holiday next year on his death anniversary. It’s a disgrace. Truly is.

  5. Honoring thackeray by giving him a state funeral shows that as democratic society we have bid goodbye to convention and the basic concept of propreity.

    thackeray was no chief minister, nor was he a part of any government. the police bandobast was essential no doubt; but what about the gun salute, the wrapping of the corpse with tricolor? Could these have not been avoided?

    Democracy requires education. Education should evolve the mind and develop profound common sense. In a nation which rewards demagoguery and kowtows to parallel centres of power, what can you expect?

  6. How come no one writes any blog on how Indians feel when India used to loose cricket match against Pakistan, the Muslims of Mumbai used to celebrate and distribute sweets in Bhendi bazaar, Mohammed Ali road. Why no one complained about how this mullahas tried to instigate violence blocking traffic in Mumbai for friday prayer. When congress leader like DIGVIJAY calls OSAMA as OSAMAJI and condemns that OSAMA a terrorist was not given any respect. Pseudo intellects like this one, arundhati roy are nothing but hypocritical cowards, who are too afraid to call spade a spade. And that is what BALASAHEB did he was courageous enough to call out cowards of this nation.

  7. Agree to rohit..jus to add him..a failed attempt..Mr. sanyasi only know what wrong thing BST did..he doesnt know tht he had done better things 1000 times more..

  8. I think some of his views were correct, but his actions may not be. His stance on illegal migrants was correct, that illegal migrants should be sent to their respective countries. But our leaders welcome them with open arms and make them legal citizens of country. As a result, today state of assam is burning.The day would come soon when we would have to be a minority in our country and these illegal migrants will rule our country.

  9. Brig.Grant was in USA on official business on the day John Kennedy was assassinated.He remained in his hotel room assuming that the offices would be closed.The government officials after waiting for him finally reached his hotel room.It was explained to him that unlike India,USA does not shut down when a leader dies.
    A dean of a medical college in Kerala had a similar experience.When he was a student in UK,he was immersed in his work in the laboratory.After continuous and intense work with the microscope examining slides,he went to the window for a brief respite.He found the Union Jack at half mast and was told that the King died that day.

  10. What an intellectual mind!Mr.Gupta,you are too great to attempt tarnishing the image of a man who just passed away.Remember he was neither a coward ,nor hypocritical.He was a man of masses,who made mistakes also & admitted them.He was not hiding in any American university .He knew that finally only son /religion of the soil will prevail. The pseudo intellect that you represent is only good for people,who read history without understanding the same.Your type will never understand Shivaji,for you,he was only a man who fought against Muslims,using Guerrilla warfare .You are ignorant of the public mood,in Mumbai.You should be aware,that the history is created not by warming chairs,but by movements on road.it is not surprising that Japan & partly Australia has banned Muslim religion

  11. Its very obvious that the writes has been paid to publish this article.

    Now Listen u fool.

    Thackeray was a great personality.
    He did not hate anyone but spoke for right of local marathis .

    Most of the S.indians would set up hotel and employ S.indians not marathis , same with others who set up industry but would not employ marathis….so he spoke out against it….that what a true leader does unlike the corrupt DMK, mayabathis etc ..they are only fooling ppl to gain power unlike thackeray. He did not accept CM post even when Shiv sena gained power..

    As for muslims it was the hooligans and criminals among them that he spoke about….at least
    he had the guts …unlike congressi crooks like sharad pawar who used dawood ibrahim and his criminal network to make his money and stay in power.

  12. Excellent and very valid article. It’s a shame that we gave the man, whose main weapon was fear and who divided his own countrymen to rule, a state funeral. As a tax paying citizen I want an explanation as to why should we be funding the man you fanned hatred and had no love for our country.

  13. This is quite possibly the worst article written and should be taken down immediately. This is clearly written by some bigoted communist who has conveniently forgotten the atrocities committed against the Hindus during the riots. This person intends to shed “light” on the Bala Sahebs and Shiv Sainiks actions during the said riots but will someone please shed light on what about the actions. Then you say he inspired hatred against various communities. If you study closely then Bala Saheb has always demanded a fair reservation for maharashtrians. And how is that unfair. Most of the developed countries have that policy in place. Its called giving the locals a fair chance(in case you are too blinded to understand). But again if you were a reasonable person you would have done a research on facts before writing such crap this article would have been a eulogy on the great man.
    All said and done, this has only reinforced my long standing belief that we need many more Bal Thackerey’s in todays times. Long live Bala Saheb !! I hope you come back coz this city and this country needs you.

  14. I am not sure whether any media person should highlight this because fandom has no intellectualism and logic. For a moment, I would consider him to be popular so are things happening that way and nothing more than that. He might have touched hearts of people by doing things he did for Bacchan Sahab and others..
    So not a big deal to spill ink over such matter.
    cheers

  15. Totally agree with what you have written. Was wondering to what extent all channels would take it in eulogising a person like him. Arnab Sinha was the heights

  16. Admirably written! I’m flabbergasted how this man who caused so much grief to so many people is venerated in such fashion. He spent the better part of his life cocking a snook at the law and even after death, has succeeded in inconveniencing millions of ordinary Mumbaikars who had no access to food, transport or basic services on a Sunday. It’s a shame that the Government is paralysed into allowing this state of affairs and of not instilling confidence in shopkeepers to open shop. It’s a shame that so many leading journos, filmstars and other “eminent” personalities indulge in such despicable sycophany by eulogising this man and it’s a disgrace on ourselves that we mutely bear out this drama, that cost all of us a day’s worth of life at the very least, till it blew over.

  17. ganesh gakkard…your a perfect example for an indiot..worshipping shivaji and the other great maharashtrians…you probably believe that you guys have contibuted more to mankind than any other community…but you’ve actually not contributed anything else than hatred,intolerance and selfishness…hopeless you are..humiliated by your own genes….maharashtrian morons

  18. the respect that is being given to him, should be given to the soldiers of the nation who sacrifices their lives for their country. they leave behind everything their family , friends, place hence everything. Why does India doesn’t do the progress because of these kind of people. People in India are even narrow minded regarding these issues. I feel racism is on its peak in India itself, who as per its slogan everybody is same. they don’t make differences regarding cast,color, creed, religion. Who was Bal Thakeray?
    i still wonder, y the hell the media is raising this issue.
    He was a racist, he was the symbol of hatred. It was him who pointed out non-residents of Mumbai should b thrown out from the city. It was him, who wish to throw out the Beharis. Who are integral part of India.
    India is not just named after Mumbai. India is not named after Mumbai. India is not famous for just one state so called Mahrashtra. India has 28 states which consists of different aspects of people.
    India is called Incredible India because of having different cultures, tastes, religion, tradition, customs and placez.
    Plz excuse me..
    but i can’t even regret of his death, and i can’t even say RIP.
    THAT’S IT

  19. Brilliant piece. No intelligent, educated Indian can dispute these fundamental facts. As a literate, political Maharashtrian, I can say that I’m embarrassed of how he represented the state and it’s people. Everyone knows (but were too afraid to say) that Bal was an old crone – from from a “Tiger” of any kind – just a coward, surrounded by thugs, and protected by the lethargy of a weak and corrupt Congress govt, too busy making money to do anything else. very similar to the situation surrounding both Hitler and Mussolini at the beginning of their despotic careers. The great thing about this mans death, though, is that (like Stalin, who fabricated myths around himself), we shall see history devour him, like weeds that occupy a forgotten building. The fake glory that he built around himself will slowly vanish – leaving only the image of him as a brutal and greedy dictator with little else left to his name.

  20. this is a true article written by a person of objective stance. From the past many days, i m aghast to see how our elite news channels become a salesman of his death condolences. Nobody more than these media houses r feeling mourne. Now ‘Bombay’ is shut for a day.., this is simply legitemising there actions.., Whatever good in bombay has been snatched by these political brinkmen., they so called sainiks r nothing but paid hooligans.., who r ready to ambush anybody at beck and call..,!!!
    I still hope, his party’s tentacles will lift of someday by a good govt. there. Shrouding him with tricolor is equilizing him with an Army jawan which is totally uncalled for..!!!! These parties r really hand in gloves..!! Really shame on this act..//

  21. Sympathy and respect has been forced out of people in Bombay ( I still love the name). Forcibly shutting down the city due to death of a politician is stupidity of the highest order. Why should students starve a day before their University exams ? Why should stone sbe pelted at taxis ? I wonder why not much attention has been drawn to his eccentricities. Balasaheb was a megalomaniac . He has left behind a legacy of hatred and delusion. Dailies were replete with pieces and pictures portraying him as a saintly figure. This shouldn’t happen in a democracy. It is sacrilegious. I feel sorry for people who have lost their two days’ daily wages.

  22. I think I could really make this connection. He was indeed a perfect disgrace to Bombay after all!

    All one needs is a perfect army that leaves no trace after they kill someone & a good lawyer when they do in open light!

    Bal Thackeray = Hitler = Darth Vader(Star Wars)

  23. Let’s get the mood in Bombay straight at the moment – everyone has been terrorized into mourning for this man. There is no “popular” emotion or sadness for him except for lumpen sena idiots that have lost their only “leader”, and people are secretly joyous that he is no longer around to destroy what was once a great city. Why do people bring up Kashmiri Pundits every time you mention old Bal? That’s a separate discussion and one should definitely have that, but some other time. Two wrongs don’t make a right, fools.

  24. Hats Off!!! Atleast you are not following others blindly and have chosen to speak up.
    Tricolour is the right of a Soldier and person who laid his life and done good for nation. Its not for a person who made people fight amongst themselves. Democracy has been put to shame! I feel we shouldn’t have been granted freedom by British atleast we wouldn’t have seen these days!!!

  25. Reading these comments I feel that there
    are still some sane people around in Bombay…a place that was practically destroyed by the SS…fight back…reclaim it…form again a tolerant,cosmopolitan society…kick the maharashtrian morons out

  26. “Its a shame a Person who never respected another state who put his religion before his country has been wrapped in the national flag after his death . Its a right for a soldier who dies for his country Not a man who hated his own countrymen. Today is indeed a sad day for our city, we have lost our rationale and the ability to identify right from wrong. We live in a city that gives criminals state funerals.”

  27. Robert, I agree with you. We have to kick the bigoted, moronic and insane people out of MUMBAI. People like you and your ilk. If given half a chance would love to do it myself. Wouldn’t bother the good ole Shiv Sena for scum like you..

  28. Am not supporting the shutting down of city for Thakrey’s dath. But regarding ur mention about 92 riots, what about the Sikhs Killed in riots after Indra Gandhi’s death? Not humans? What about the Pundits in Kashmir? Not Humans? Why don’t u write about these too? Only in India is Being Secular = Bashing Hinduism.

  29. All Pakistani/Congress/Muslim supporters in this forum may not like ShivSena/BJP for their frank opinions… So continue the good work of supporting Pakistan/Congress/Muslims while AfzalGuru & Kasab spend a ROCKIN’time in India under the homely warmth of the Congress Govt. (A tough road ahead for INDIANS, if Congress continues this way. Ultimately it is India that is losing out. You people dont understand, but such articles are only to malign leaders who have done so much more for the people of this nation.) Trust me, if Bal Thackeray was only as dirty as what Congress-sponsored-Media is falsely depicting him today, then Mumbai/Bombay would not have have grown even at the pace it has, over these years! In the absence of Thackerays & Modi, the Western India would have been full of MinorityCommunity vote banks & at the mercy of the Pakistani/Congress/Muslim just like Bangladeshi infiltration in the east & pakis in the north. Therefore, request this forum to give this a thought & not merely repeat the views of Congress-sponsored-Media. And yes, FEAR works wonderfully with people to whom Words make no sense. FEAR also works wonderfully with people to whom HungerStrikes by Gandhians make no sense. Well, how many of u support the Pakistanis/Congress/Muslims? You may disagree with us…
    http://www.jaimaharashtranews.com/en/maharashtra/mumbai-en/hang-kasab-immediately-thackeray/

  30. Pingback: Goonda « <–
  31. He was a symbol of everything that is holding us back. Rascist, hateful, violent, divisive, manipulative, intimidating, short sighted, inflammatory, and entitlist.

    If you want to be successful then study, get a job, work hard, contribute and rise to the top. Don’t ban other people from getting jobs or intimidate them into leaving.

  32. What he was and what he was not will always be a debate. Like a child, who can never see the wrongs of his parents, his followers will never see the hate mongering, violence spreading and fear (read terror) inducing person he was.
    The question is…what is wrong with us?? What did he do to deserve a gun salute? A state funeral? A bandh?
    We are being raped. And all we can do is to go with it silently.
    The truth is Bal Thackeray was not an Indian hero. He will never be.
    To give him a hero’s farewell is insulting that soldier who died at possibly a quarter of Thackeray’s age protecting this country.

    SHAME ON US!

  33. Firstly congratulations to the writer and I myself am a Maharashtrian.

    It’s sheer disgrace of what has happened at funeral of a fanatic. State honors, national flag, now they will ask for a memorial at Shivaji park, are you kidding me? Fear is NOT RESPECT dear supporters of Mr. Hitler. Two million blind followers makes me wonder where the hell they go when their party needs to win elections!! Just pure $#!T.

    Biggest fools is the entire machinery, the other parties, the administration, the well known personalities and those morons who don’t have balls to keep their shops open. Mr. Fanatic has been personified by these fools. What the hell did he do for welfare of Marathi manoos?? Small kids barely able to hold their pants being given guts to yell at a shopkeeper to pull down the shutters? Marathi people living in heart of Bombay i.e. Girgaon and Dadar made to leave due to their disastrous situations and go to far flung suburbs just to come back everyday for work in same heart of Bombay! Was Mr. Fanatic doing anything to help them instead of making their blood boil with speeches spitting venom??? Did he even bother to change people’s mindset and attitude towards taking even the lowest grade of work? To stop union-bazi and rather work hard to grow themselves? And for that matter the third class attitude of some of people in this community who are ahead to pull legs of people who they see progressing?

    Mr. Fanatic and his goons did they have balls to beat the daylights out of well to do bhaiya’s in city? Those sitting in high offices or for that matter those of likes of Kripashankar Singh or Sanjay Nirupam? Did they have balls to take Lalu Prasad Yadav or Nitish Kumar by their collar to curb the so called migrant menace?

    It’s disturbing to see that when very few good Maharashtrian’s who do not support such fanatics and are vocal in protest; the other communities who have got beating in the past still sing to their tunes. This is DISGRACE.

    For that matter all these followers of this fanatic don’t support an Anna Hazaare but dignify a person who amplified communal riots. It’s a big DISGRACE to Indians and this is death of democracy. Jai Hind.

  34. Funny how the writer mentions the ‘minority’ like they bathe in milk, as the popular Hindi saying goes. It’s funny how the ‘minority’ is termed just that by the media, instead of calling a spade a spade. It’s as if uttering the word ‘Muslim’ will invite trouble. I wonder why, since the writer is so convinced that they are an entirely peace loving community.

    If the writer can criticize a dead man, why not raise a finger at the living? I ask the writer this: How come mosques, illegally built in the not so recent past, are allowed to stand in the way of progress and delay crucial projects, while the BMC won’t bat an eyelid pulling down crosses that have stood for centuries? On a similar note, how are ancient Parsi Fire Temples and Churches sent demolition notices in Bandra for road widening work, while the mosque sitting bang in the centre of the road in Marine Lines is left alone. How come the ruling party allows Bangladeshi ‘minorities’ to infiltrate into our borders and then massacre the local Indians? How come video grabs taken of the minorities destroying public property, molesting women in uniform, snatching weapons away from the police and desecrating memorials at the recent riot at Azad Maidan fail to get them convicted? Has the writer ever had the constant flinging of bags of faeces thrown into the window of his ancestral home in Bandra, so that the local thugs, belonging to the ‘minority’, can seize the property for cheap? Has the writer ever protested to the slaughter of goats in public spaces, despite the fact that it might be disturbing to people of other faiths? How come walking your dog in certain areas could invite abuses while those same people won’t think twice about tying their herd of goats outside your door step? How come mosques are allowed to blast their prayers numerous times a day, but for other faiths, even a single evening involving an audio system requires a police permit and what not?

    I’m not against any minority, heck, I belong one myself. All I want is uniformity across the board and when a rule applies to the majority, it better apply to the minority as well.

  35. Excellent article. The events that preceded and followed the death of a regional muscleman (maybe just in and around Bombay) and all that praise, obituary that is being showered on a “glorified” mafia don is disgusting and nauseating at best. While, the Bombay page three celebrities, politicians of all hue, corporate media and film personalties who possess sub-human intellect, praising Thackeray is understandable, what is not understandable is the reaction of the so-called “educated, urban middle class” falling for the man. This guy made a political career by launching hate campaigns against his own “imagined” enemies, be it South Indians, North Indians, Muslims, Christians etc. If one were to trace the timeline of his life, he made convenient friends and foes as the situation demanded and then moved on to other. He represents to India, what Hitler and Mussolini represented to Germany and Italy. He was worst scum to ever float on the cess-pool of Indian political scene.

  36. Thank you for having the courage and simple good sense for writing this perceptive article. Don’t let all those narrow-minded critics shut you up.

  37. The only article by an Indian, at least in the English media, that says it like it is. The last few days reminded me of the time when after the Srikrishna commission’s indictment of Thackeray there were rumours that he might finally be arrested. Within an hour, all of Bombay, including me, had ducked for cover – run away home – in fear of what was to come.
    I also remember the time when we’d helplessly watched ‘live’ on television the demolition of the Babri Masjid – there was never a more powerful feeling of shame.
    By wrapping a murderer in the national tricolour this disgrace seems to have outdone all the past indignities – but then, perhaps its befitting – nationalism is a bloody affair, as we know from our human rights record in kashmir, the north east – all flags are sullied.

  38. Indian people seriously need education. Otherwise whnever these morons(so called Saheb) will die there will be holidays not for one day bt for the entire week… Bull $|-|!T

  39. Ripper!! Absolutely loved it.

    I pity many of my presumably Maharashtrian friends here who are defending BalT. Truth is, BalT made the common Maharashtrian suffer in life and now in death as well. None of his violent tactics actually ever affected the rich of the city. The poor and middle class Marathi manoos still is poor, still succumbs to the Shiv Sena lathis on the road, floats in the monsoon, ques up for MHADA dream…nothing has changed.
    And if BalT was so loved and respected, why the same people never voted for him? Shiv Sena in power only once in its 46 years of political history!! Astounding no? I doubt if there’s any other major regional political outfit with such pathetic political record.

    Thank God!! It’s the twilight! Few have trust in the ability of the litter that “Tiger” left behind. Amen!

  40. Superbly written. I’m sickened by the “outpouring of grief”, “adulation”, “let’s not speak ill of the dead” and worse of all “reminders of the good he did”, and using the numbers that showed up for his funeral as justification of his life and ways.

    Dear Mumbai-ites: Hitler convinced the German population that the Jews were to blame for their economic problems. He convinced the German people of the need for “Aryan pride”. He convinced them that his actions against Jews were really a “response”, and were in fact “necessary”. If he didn’t do what he did, their children would be forever disadvantaged. He used a simple mind manipulation technique – nothing unites a people more than when they believe they are constantly under attack and fighting a common enemy. He was a forceful orator and effective leader. He was the master of the politics of divisiveness. Millions idealized him. He has been credited with several achievements – anti-smoking, led development of an affordable car (volkswagen), revived the German economy, built the Autobahn etc. His supporters forever saw the good, and somehow, inexplicably, were blind to what the rest of the world saw. Had he died of natural causes in non-war time, millions would have turned up for his funeral, wrought with emotion, and waxed eloquently about his greatness. Sounds familiar? Someone who idealized him may have pulled off an encore to his life, half the world across, half a century later. Shame on us for not seeing through it. Those that ignore history, are doomed to repeat it.

  41. Three things to speak about here
    1)Excellent Article and appreciate your valour for penning down your thoughts.Only difference is that the person whom you have described would have openly spoken about it rather than your stealth mode attitude.If I am wrong please check the statistics that describe his attitude as being the same from day one before he was in power.
    2)Appreciate Thackeray Sir only for the sake that he was one of the most excellent orators and crowd pullers of his time and could actually transform his life from being a simple middle class cartoonist to being one of the most influential persons which many entrepreneurs long for.Something which happens very rarely in a decade.
    3)I guess apart from the vandalism and public sentiments that he played with very wisely we youngsters should try to grab the attitude of his through which he could influence a complete society .As far as the facts and figures go we could definately have a debate and criticize or appreciate as per personal opinions.

  42. Lovely article !

    The media’s behaviour reminds me of its behaviour during the Emergency: “They were asked to bend, and they chose to crawl”. It’s disgusting to see the media, politicians, etc. paying obeisance to a common street thug running a city-wide protection racket.

  43. Excellent piece!

    And no, I just because I echo these sentiments doesn’t automatically turn me into an anti-national who supports Pakistan, afzal guru, kasab etc, and is under the illusion that India will have a ‘rockin’ time (as Mr. Rohit says).

    Or, as Mr. Hitesh feels that those asking for a fair, liberal society are bigots and morons! Ha! How delusional!

    And why do people think that ANY riots where ANY community was killed / bullied is any less disgusting? (’84 Sikh riots, Kasmiri pundits exodus). Since when did we start putting ‘weight’ on an Indian’s life? Of course no one is condoni any of these acts of violence or barbarism! But do people realise that more often than not, these acts of violence have targeted one particular community? Why? Ever thought of that? In fact, a lot of these things go unreported. Assam violence was massive, yet was brushed away for the longest time. Why?

    Questions our ‘secular’ citizens cannot answer. Media has done their role, in aiding the politicians’ dirty vote bank agendas. And in the bargain, EVERYone is suffering. I wish people realise this, sooner than later, and unite in this cause, rather than being at the throats of each other, in vain.

  44. Beyond all the shameful encomiums to Thackeray, testifying to the continuing degradation of Indian political discourse, what we also see is the triumph of cliche (and hence the death of thought): the same language, with perhaps occasional adjective changes, is used to describe anybody and everybody, be it Ambedkar or Thackeray, almost as if the convention of marking someone’s death has overtaken the reality of the kind of life lived. I am reminded of sports commentary, where a number of commentators will say things like “beautiful stroke” for a slog sweep, a classic cover drive, or a lofted inside-out shot — they are most interested in the fact that the shot has yielded four runs, and seem to lack the vocabulary or imagination to do anything but recycle words they have heard other commentators use.

  45. I would want to report this article and the ensuing offensive comments to the authorities. Know your responsibilities, netizens.

  46. Wonderful article! So glad to read this after the disgusting “tributes” to this dead murderer. It is indeed a disgrace that he was wrapped in the national colours. He did nothing for India but instigate communal violence. Shameful! So glad he’s dead, hope his damn son and nephew follow him soon!

  47. The very fact that everyone has blogged on this article shows how important the man is :)

    I have seen articles where one person has commented and,……… no one after that … (chuckle)….spare a thought for such a writer and that one blogger who commented on his post…lol

    …….. Bdw I loved his cigar smoking and drinking habit !

    I came here since someone posted this link on my fb post for me to read :P

    My personal suggestion: Be an orator like him and draw crowds first (whether fools or intelligent) and then I feel you have the right to comment on someone since you have those standards

    PLEASE DONT TAKE ME AS AN ARDENT FAN. ITS JUST THAT I AM BEING FAIRLY DIPLOMATIC AND SAYING THIS.

  48. Superb Article. Simple truth. Hatts off to the writer..!
    Good and Bad People are in every religion. So its not fair that Hindus like Bal Thakrey scare people and spread threats are true citizens and other religions when they do the same thing are terrorists.
    They call Thakrey a TIGER… Apne ilaake me to kutta bhi sher hota hai…. LOL.
    He did nothing for the nation. Nation is far away, he didn’t even do much good for MAHARASHTRIANS. And they gave him National Honors. That’s disgusting. Shame on Indian Govt.
    People just blindly followed him and made him a hero. Infact there are lots of hindus I know who faced huge problems due to Thakreys hatered.
    Not surprised but even media made him hero as they were scared of his threats (Gundagardi). What do u think? These people from bollywood who visited him at Matoshree and who were in his funeral do they really love him or respect him…. NAH…. They were present b’cause they are scared of his terror. Otherwise what has he done for bollywood for them to be present there??
    For people who think this article is wrong, xcuse me, but theres no favourism of Muslims or any other religion out here, author has just written about the riots which were related to Hindu – Muslim.
    Talking about history, go and read real history from other countries about ancient India, and you will know what’s the fact. History taught here in Indian schools are all fake. In fact kids of India are being misguided by incorrect history.
    Real KUDOS to the Author.

  49. they say you should not say anything about the dead unless its good. He is dead . GOOD.Thackerey was a petty hypocrite who channelized the frustration of many unemployed youths to feather his own nest

  50. Very well written, Sanyasi, and vehemently agreed with. Misuse of our national flag, at the very least.

    From the Flag Code, 2002: “…the Flag shall not be used as a drapery in any form whatsoever, including private funerals…” and from the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971: “The disrespect to the Indian National flag means and includes…using the Indian National Flag as a drapery in any form whatsoever except in state funerals or armed forces or other para-military forces funerals…”

    Why does someone, who holds no governmental position that entitles him to a state funeral (let alone one who was the anathema to the most sacred of our constitutional principles), get the flag? Is it not disrespect?

  51. The kind of divisive politics Mr Thackeray played for power in India is not at all patriotic. It’s meant to weaken the social structure and is build on convincing and emotionally charging ill-informed, less educated, under-confident masses about extremely short term goals. With time our politics (Mr Thackeray is a extreme example but it also includes congress and other parties) is build on protecting people and making them incomptent so that they always need to look at the goverment for livelyhood. That makes government extremely powerful and corrupt as we are seeing in India now.
    Over time meritocracy has really taken back seat in India and all people want reservations! Congress supports reservation to Minorities, special castes whereas Bal Thackey promoted reservation and protection of Marathis.
    In my opinion the only criteria for any job or work or renumeration should be merit and only merit. It cannot be muscle power or the capability to create chaos or ability to harass. In an meritocratic society everyone will clearly know what it takes to achieve something and works hard to get it. If the only way to get jobs or do good for oneself is to compete in open exam and do better than other candidates or compete with other businesses in quality and services, then people with align to that. The ability to get jobs or do good for oneself cannot be based on “voting out the fair people” or creating rukus.
    I regret to say that most businesses and job opportunities in India are not based on fair competition or fair practices but they are based on relations, community and bribes. That is why you see the Mumbai or India the way it is. Mumbai has the worst roads and infrastructure in world among large cities (I have visited 33 largest cities in the world), while being equally expensive. It is not because govt does not assigned right budget for works but its because allocation of contracts and works is totally non-meritocratic, only based on relations and bribes.
    People in India are not dumb or incompetent but are being continuously misled into wrong goals. The same Indians are the richest ethnic people in USA. We have to understand and work towards a really fair, rich and powerful society. We currently choose to be led by leaders like Mr Thackeray or Ms Mamata, while being contended with living in a worse than medieval lifestyle of slums in Mumbai. It’s not our destiny, it’s not that we cannot do anything better. Its just that we do not have confidence and lack of fairness, protectionism and reservations have let us to where we are.
    Who needs protection or preferential treatment? “It’s the incompetent people”. Do people of India want to be counted in best people of world or among the “incompetent people”?
    On the last note, bravery is not about beating helpless cab drivers, shop owners and creating nuisance. Lord Rama was brave because he was compassionate and while being fiercly competitive with the powerful people, he was extremely forgiving to the poor and helpless. People who beat powerless and helpless people are tyrants and cowards.

  52. Im a truly Indian patriot, served in the army, believe strongly in the ideals of this country. This man was pure evil, a terrorist intend on dividing the Indian state. He is as anti-national as any one consciously trying to destroy the cosmopolitan and grand nature of his country. He did not believe in the Indian constitution.

    It would be anti indian to support this idiot.

  53. It is a disgrace that Bombay is shut today. It is a disgrace that Thackeray is being wrapped in the national tricolor. It is a disgrace that he is being given state honors in his death. And it is a disgrace that none of our political leaders, celebrities, or media personalities seem to think any of this is a disgrace. And that if they do they are terrified of saying so.
    Thackeray has earned so much curse, his soul can never rest in peace.

  54. Most of the people talking about disgrace that Bombay is shut should know that it’s not a forceful bandh it’s a respect give on millions of people. Apart from that he was the only leader and his party Shivsena who talked about many serious issues and stand by the side of hindutva.

  55. I agree with the writer. I was in Mumbai for 20 odd years and have had interactions with Shiv sena followers. My opinion of Balasaheb Thackeray is that he was an absolute despot, a hypocrite and certainly does not deserve the adulation newsreaders like arnab gosami, rajdeep sardesai etc have given on their newscast.

  56. > is not surprising that Japan & partly Australia has banned Muslim religion

    As an Australian living in Japan, never before have I read such nonsense. A real pity to see a great nation like India succumb to false views, particularly from a false prophet who encouraged hatred among men…

  57. Its time for Sharad Pawar to get back to first love Indian Congress. At this moment he is the only Tiger left in the whole Maharastra. No point talikng about a spent force whose idea of India is closer to Idea of Lokpal by Anna Hazare. Bal Thakre was there because of the support of the big bad Bollywood which is itself corrupt to the core and are amnuwadi manhoos from the core of their heart. And another thing Shiv Sena and MNS will ensure their untimely death.So Sharad Pawar is the future of Maharastra provided he comes back to Congress right now.

  58. Nabeela and her bigotry ilk are too insignificant for me to even acknowledge. But it does hurt a lot when I see Hindus discredit Bala Saheb. Its like discrediting your own father for giving birth and protecting you. SHAMEFUL and DESPICABLE.
    But kudos, to Mr. Rahul for being so courageous in speaking up against the pampered, rioting and thieving minority. People like you, Mr. Rahul have made my decision stronger to join the Shiv Sena. The great leader is no more but I hope his great legacy continues and it will be nothing less than an honor to be a part of it in whatever way.
    Bala Saheb Thackerey maybe gone but his legacy will continue to move forward.

  59. Excellent article! Thackeray is instrumental in making our country a target of terrorist attacks. Following Babri Masjid Attacks he ignited violence in Mumbai which is the root cause of all counter attacks on innocent people in Delih, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore etc..

    Sane citizens of our country will never forgive Thackeray, the self serving and sadist maverick for his sins. Giving State honours for such a goon and not taking any action on Kasab so far … all these things can happen only in a country like ours!

  60. Excellent article, Rohit. The normalisation of hooliganism in the political culture of India (& all of South Asia) is a symptom of fascism & must be recognised as such. Our elite castigates Naxalites but shamelessly promotes violence in the name of religion and community. Hindutva is the Maoism of the elite. Am re-posting your commentary.

    The following links are for further reading on political violence in India:
    A Hard Rain Falling (on private armies) EPW, July 2012

    Armies of the Pure: The Question of Indian Fascism

  61. SOMEONE HERE SAYS THAT BSAHEB DIDNT DO ANYTHING FOR MARATHIS? CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME OTHER THAN THACKREY IN MAHARASHTRA WHICH MAATHI LEADER IN MAHARASHTRA DID ANYTHING OR STOOD UP FOR THEIR CAUSE? THE BIGGEST THING THACKREY DID IS GAVE MARATHIS A RECOGNITION IN THEIR OWN PIECE OF LAND OVER THESE YEARS.

    As a Marathi what else did you expected, Maharashtra should have been full of marathis and no other people?

  62. FOR YOUR KIND INFORMATION, ‘MUMBAI BANDH’ HASNT BEEN CALLED BY SHIVSENA,THE RESPECT EARNED BY BALASAHEB FORCED THE UNIONS TO DECIDE AMONGST THEMSELVES AND CALL FOR A BANDH IN THE CITY TODAY.

    ALL NRIs HERE BE IT FROM USA OR ANYWHERE, DONT EVEN KNOW WHO BAL THACKREY WAS? THEY JUST CAME OUT IN THE DAY SIGHTING FOR THE MOON IN THE SKY. THACKREY IS NOT AN NRI MATERIAL, HE WAS A MASS POLITICIAN AND ALL PROVED AND SHUT THE MOUTH OF THE PEOPLE YESTERDAY AFTER A HISTORY CREATED IN MUMBAI YESTERDAY.

  63. Another pseudo secular and intellectual writing for money..how much do they pay you for writing such an article? I think it is better to earn by begging rather than writing article like this…

  64. A very good article indeed. Those who do not seem to like this write-up simply do not want to accept the truth. And those who do, are no ‘bigoted’ Communists. He is a product of History, of our failures. True, that one should not bad-mouth, the dead. But, one should not over-hype either. Indian Media has managed to amuse most of us in recent times. While Bal Thackeray spoke of ‘identity’, one cannot ignore the fact that it was based on the lines of pure ‘hatred’. One should be open to see the other side of the story. Coming to Shivaji, he was the man who first spoke of a ‘Hindu-Rashtra’. And that too was limited to Maharashtra. This is a fact, However, keeping this discussion beyond religion is necessary because some of us feel that ‘All Muslims, Communists and Macaulay-ites are bad, and should therefore, be purged. Our history has seen a lot of bloodshed, and we seem never to realize it. We condemn it, but that too, lasts for a few days. We sit at home, watch TV, believing what we want to believe and what is fed to us. Never do we think that there could be another side to what is being fed. More importantly, just because we see the other side of a story, we are branded as ‘intellectuals’. We are no ‘intellectuals, we are ‘wide-awake’ or at least try to be ‘wide-awake’ and hence, we can see the other side of the story. To put an end to bidotry, dogmatism, regressive politics based on a regressive ideology, we must, first and foremost, read and read good books, accept that we are all one, that a cosmopolitan society is indeed a vibrant one, open our minds to see truth from all sides, and understand those various aspects. Most importantly, we are products of our past. We should learn. Seems like our past, present and future move in circles, in a loop, cryng out loud, calling this whole mess a farce. What began as a tragedy ended up and continues to end up in a series of farce. People like Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt can only shout without giving us an meaningful side of the truth. None of us are angry. We dance to what is fed to us by the Media, the Celebrity, and the Politicians. The three ‘holy trinity’ if I can call them. On one end of the spectrum, here is a Thackeray who is a ‘great’ personality and on the other end, a ‘mass-murdering’ opportunist. You cannot ignore the ‘other’. That only adds to myopia and a lop-sided information of facts. Again, this World is too big to play the ‘blame-game’. Let me sum up by saying this we are all one. And those who think otherwise, may look up at History books and sharpen their analyzing skills.

  65. Please check your facts, before writing such article. The facts are different than what you have portrayed. Its very easy to blame someone on few things that he has done wrong in his long political career, but it takes a lot of guts to appreciate, to recognise, to respect a person for good things he has done. When he was alive he did tremendous social work for people of Maharashtra (including Muslims) and therefore entire Maharashtra, including people of different religion, stood by him when he was taking his last breath.

    From reading the article and few comments its clear that there are a few people who do not recognise this, but the fact remains fact.

  66. A very good, well-thought-out, carefully constructed, logical and rational article. Let us remember that Bal Thaceray is now out of our hands. He faces his Maker before whom there is no chance of obfuscation. Let us hope he can bear to face himself in the mirror that is being held up for him now.

  67. 1. A man does not suddenly become blame free just because he died. If the evil that he sowed prevails after he’s dead, his criticism must also continue much after he’s cremated.
    2. Hate politics has many violent fans and ardent supporters, it is natural to be able to galvanize a mob on the pretext of hate. Thackeray did just that. The only real challenge he must have had to face would have been fighting his own conscience while killing thousands of innocent people and directing hate towards his own countrymen (not just muslims but the south Indians in the 70s and the people from UP/Bihar more recently).
    3. State honors being conferred on a man who threatened the integrity of the nation and made a mockery out of the very principles by which we stand is indeed a shame.
    4. Killing people in the streets of Mumbai for gain of power while thousands of poor farmers died each day in not so far away places of the Vidharba region is in no way something the dead man should be proud of. He and his supporters are, sadly.
    5. Switching his loyalty/support between BJP and Congress shows how much of a believer he was in his own principles and how much was he willing to bend to please his benefactors.

  68. The end of SS is nigh, Hipocrites, a majority of the ppl attending BT’s funeral were the same hipocrites who left the SS & joined MNS :-)

  69. He sure died a painful death-lost the eldest son early,middle one became estranged,nephew(and heir apparent) defected and stung back hard in the next polls,youngest son weak and incompetent to lead the party,and moreover,the inevitable end of his party which won merely ONE Assembly election in its 40-odd years of existence..Hopefully,peace shall be restored in Bombay

  70. very well written and very true!
    Its a disgrace to the Indian society to salute a man whose aim was vandalism in every sense. Maybe what he wanted was right but that doesn’t give anyone the authority to kill and harass people.
    The followers who say he saved our lives during riots is complete shit! The riots weren’t as bad as mumbai elsewhere! The mobs were controlled in december end but due to his nonsense and mahaartis it commenced in january!! He killed many many muslims including others and said in his paper that muslims should be killed where ever you see them! What kind of a leader says that? What did those poor muslims do? Why did he feel the need to send his people and burn a random muslim home? It was him who made it worse for the city! He so so din’t stand up rather worsened the situation! But still people SHOW this respect out of shit FEAR! People are being forced to keep their shops closed. WHY?? Why force? If he was so good people would have done it themselves! Mumbaikars were informed to be home and avoid going outside! WHY? FEAR OF BEING STABBED BY THEM ! the people in cars were showered with stones by the shiv sainiks for travelling without knowing why that’s FAIR and RIGHT? That’s what their party aims for! Vandlism in every sense! A girl commented against them so they go the hospital owned by her relative and destroy it!
    Removing immigrants is fine cause it was getting too crowded but for that you beat them up or even kill them. You take extortion. You don’t bother any big personalities who are non maharashtrians is clearly a signal that he so so din’t do it for good but only to make it ugly and fill his pockets!
    Other riots have also taken place i agree! Congress is corrupt as shit as agree but at least they aren’t given a state honour! And its all been given in mere FEAR cause if denied they would surely break your leg! Utter nonsense!
    Before you follow, know who you’re following! Those claiming to follow him and continue his so called ‘legacy’ i just hope you’ll make a better image of shiv sainiks and don’t harass innocent people. The way to change is not by killing and taking the law in your hands!!
    Great disgrace that we Indians draped him tricolour! And a state honour too!

  71. I really was wondering what happened to the Indian people in general, are they all suffering from collective amnesia? Till i read this piece of course. Finally someone has spoken out of Bal Thackeray’s role in creating sectarian rift and communal discord throughout India. Thackeray is the one who called to form Hindu suicide bomber squad. This man and his senas were the ones responsible for post-Babri Masjid violence in India which spilled over in Bangladesh too and was ignited there by the then autocratic ruler Ershad.

    People like Bal Thackeray’s are in every country and they need to be protested by you and me to maintain communal harmony throughout, not provided with state funeral etc.

  72. Raman Kulkarni says:
    November 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm
    “Let’s get the mood in Bombay straight at the moment – everyone has been terrorized into mourning for this man. There is no “popular” emotion or sadness for him except for lumpen sena idiots that have lost their only “leader”, and people are secretly joyous that he is no longer around to destroy what was once a great city. Why do people bring up Kashmiri Pundits every time you mention old Bal? That’s a separate discussion and one should definitely have that, but some other time. Two wrongs don’t make a right, fools.” I am loving it” WELL SAID

  73. I’ve been hearing so much about the great things this man has achieved. But if that is true why is this city still the way it is? Why is the entire city still complaining about the same old basic issues of the 60s? Where is this progress we all keep talking about? Is the adoption of internet a sign of progress? Or fancier cars and more bridges to drive them on? Or mobile phones and hospitals and international quality hospitals? More parks maybe? And what role exactly did the orange army play in any of it?

    All of this just goes to that the biggest bomb of them all is propaganda. If you have enough hate, you can force just about anybody to go to war with you. You can tell them you’ll fight for them and get them a nice flat instead of a shanty in the slum. You can tell them they’ll be well fed and guaranteed a job somewhere. Whoever said anything about living up to those promises?

    My dear Shiv Sena fans, if his propaganda over the years meant much and actually had enough will to change things for you alone, most of you (hate to say it) wouldn’t be lost in a dirty shanty. Like plastic bags in this city’s drains.

    Calling a spade a spade is just all right. Maybe he should’ve tried to do a bit of shoveling too?

  74. Please notice how the pro-Thackeray crusaders can’t get their spelling, diction, grammar or syntax right.

    When I was in my high school debate team, the first thing I was taught was “slap the argument, not the lips the argument sits on.

    “Pseudo intellectual”? “Religious faggot”? Haha. A lot of high school skippers have taken to keyboards, I see.

  75. Amol,

    Why didn’t you report the man in question to the authorities when he instigated hate against entire communities? Know when you’re being a hypocrite, Shiv Sainik.

  76. As to Bal Thakre being a tiger and protector of hindus and mumbaikars – did anyone see him when Mumbai was attacked by Pakis on 26 November. As for his so called concern for marathi manus, with hatred for others – it was Indian Army comprising all sections of India which fought, not him or SS.

    If he protected hindus in 1992-93 riots, why did he/SS not come out openly and claimed so, or if they were not involved, they why so much hype of his being a hindu tiger?

  77. Brilliant and courageous article. Reading the comments makes me realise that there are many educated indians who know the meaning of secularism which Thackery never propogated and a few educated idiots who do not know what the word secularism means!

  78. Is anyone here above greed, corruption, religion, lust? One may be a lesser offender than others, but offenders we all are. To each his own. And where are all the authors and commentators when life is repeatedly violated across this great country of ours? I guess writing and debating about who is holier than thou!

  79. Hitesh…follow if you think that’s a good idea….but see what happened to the soldiers who followed Hitler with the same empathy…they got their just deserts at Stalingrad……one day even your kin will realise that we all are one organism…and an organism who fights itself is doomed

  80. Barkha Dutt wasn’t among those participating in the softpedalling of Bal Thackeray’s legacy; she’s not in India at the moment. I remember several of her shows drawing attention to the divisive politics of the Thackerays, from this one, asking whether Bal Thackeray’s comments on Tendulkar were an attack on the idea of India, to one on “Marathi pride or Goonda raj” some years ago. Much as I agree with and admire the rest of your article, I don’t think she belongs in this list, and it’s inaccurate to give the impression that she was part of the disgracefully sycophantic reaction from TV’s high priests.

  81. Someone said “No Valentine Day Celebrations” and “No Western Culture” – but invited Michael Jackson to his home.
    Someone said he would not allow an India – Pakistan match in Bombay, and got the cricket pitch in the stadium dug up – but invited the Pakistani cricketer father-in-law of Dawood Ibrahim’s daughter to his home.
    This “peace loving” son of the soil’s followers vandalized and destroyed a hospital in Thane, during which act a patient died – no action was taken on them.
    This is the man who did so much for Maharashtrians!

  82. Robert, if my kin is this then I am sorry but I would rather be alone then have people who don’t accept what someone has done for them. Just by being born doesn’t make you a human. At the end of the day, its how you live your life is what separates us from the others. Bala Saheb lived in a way that would lead as an example for generations on how to live your life. He stood by and worked till his final breath for his people. I know that I will try my best to emulate him and if while doing that I meet my end then I will know I am going trying to serve and protect my people.

    Zilika, you say he didn’t save our lives during riots. Then who did ? Was it the congress govt or was it some other god ? You are right riots weren’t as bad in mumbai but that again is only due to the Tiger and his sena. You say his maha aartis were nonsense. Then what do you call the loud blaring from the various mosques spread through out mumbai. And that continues till date even though the maha aartis have stopped. Then you say he killed many poor muslims. What about the hundreds of Hindus killed by the muslims. What was he supposed to do ? Sit back and watch his people getting slaughtered ! Just so you know, today the bandh wasn’t called by shiv sena. It was the regular people who stood up and declared that they will shut their businesses. If that is not RESPECT then what is it. Certainly not fear in my books. And please give me one instance of stone pelting today. And if anyone deserved to be draped in the Tri-Colour in his final journey it was him. He lived for Maharashtra and Hindustan.

    Sonia, please enlighten me on how exactly did Bala Saheb create a sectarian rift or communal discord. Maybe you have forgotten the role of muslim mobs when an entire mob killed helpless women and children. The violence post the demolition wasn’t started by him or any other Hindu for that matter. What Bala Saheb and his sena did was a reaction to the violence started by those fanatics. I agree that communal harmony needs to be maintained but certainly not at the cost of Hindu lives or their feelings. And no, people like Bala Saheb Thackerey are not in every country. They are not in even born regularly. They come once in a while and that’s why we are blessed and privileged that we live in an era in which God himself walked the earth.

  83. heartily socked 2 see the disgrace of our national flag. National Flag is not any party’s symbol but honor of our nation and citizen of republic India who’s thoughts are for the nation not only the state language, cast & creeds, or any regional territory. Bala Sahab was talking only for maratha maush not for every Indian. He would promote and encourage to marathis to be human being and get good education so that they may also become scientist, doctor, lawyer, ias, ips, pcs and serve the nation like other north indian, up-bihari instead of hateing. He should not be given such national honor. His body should not be wrap in Tiraga. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat. I disagree with this honor.

  84. i find no difference between thackrey and any other thug living in this country for me he was no more than a man who built an empire out of fear and with a policy of divide and rule, to be very frank if u turned back the pages just any one of his admirer or fan can tell me one notable piece of work he did for marathi people leave alone the country, u find none, all he did was that he played a role of that lethal catalyst and trigger violence with his hate speeches and muscle power, he was no different from any other corrupt politician of this country belonging to any state, like all corrupt he used his influence and power to regulate and control innocent people initiate riots and be a beneficiary to those who licked his power sole for there own benefit, i have just one thing to say and if this is implemented in our country we no longer need debates like this – politician and people like bal thackrey are like diapers, they need to be changed and removed regularly and for the very same reason, i hope all of u got my point.

Comments are closed.