Showing posts with the label Balasaheb Thackeray

Maharashtra Political Thriller: A Shiv Sena without the Thackerays?

We’ve been liberally treated with political thrillers like that is happening in Maharashtra at the moment across the country since the last few years, thanks to the aggressive power-politics of the national ruling dispensation (BJP) which fittingly matches its aggressive Hindutva nationalism. However, the present game has been inevitable since the year 2019 when Shiv Sena (SS) parted ways with the BJP after jointly fighting and winning the assembly elections, and after a landslide victory for the alliance in 2014, on the CM post issue, and forming a coalition government Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (Maharashtra Development Front or MVA) with the Congress and the nationalist Congress (NCP). For the last two and half years the state BJP has been a grumpy lot, alleging a great betrayal by the SS and wanting desperately to avenge it; in fact, they’d tried at least three times to derail the coalition so far. This last one, even though the party has continued to be in denial about any involvemen

Shiv Sena Leader Anant Tare: Tributes To A Peoples’ Political Leader And A Personal Friend!

Again, a shocker. Unbelievable news that came at the most unexpected moment. It has happened to us several times in the recent two years—persons quite close to us die and we come to know about them months later. This time the occasion was a nice gathering of a few senior citizens under their Senior Citizens Club in Thane, Mumbai. A member of the Shiv Sena who attended the event not as a senior citizen as he was much younger informed me to my casual inquiry about the famous Shiv Sena leader Anant Tare that he has passed away about a year back. I was taken aback and was too shocked to ask more questions. Instead, I came down to the nearby lane and telephoned Tare’s personal associate Sunil. And to my horror he confirmed the news that Anant Tare had indeed passed away on 22 nd February 2021 at a private hospital in Thane. He was hospitalized for some illness in December and before the day he was to be discharged he had a brain stroke and later a hemorrhage. As the doctors prepared for a

Historic Farewell To Balasaheb Thackeray! Unprecedented And Spontaneous!

Undoubtedly the biggest congregation ever in Mumbai and Maharashtra, and maybe one of the biggest funeral gatherings the world over. For me, an Assamese, it reminds me most emotionally and vibrantly of the unprecedented crowds that came out in the streets of Guwahati to pay last respects to their legendary singer-lyricist-writer-filmmaker Bhupen Hazarika . The reasons for the upsurge seem to be almost similar. Both of these personalities inspired their respective communities to feel pride in being themselves, to try overcoming the darkness of identity or existence and both of them came to their support whenever needed to sail them out of any crisis.  More than two million people came out in the streets of Mumbai today to give a loving respectful farewell to their most beloved leader. Politicians need to make special arrangements or even bribe their ‘supporters’ to come throng their public meetings. But for this spontaneous leader it had been a spontaneous upsurge right from l

Balasaheb Thackeray Passes Away: The Tiger To Roar No More!

The most spontaneous leader of Marathi manoos (people) fought for his people till the last moments of his life. Despite being engaged in a death defying struggle for days and months he never weakened away from the issues that concerned his people and his land. A series of most complicated medical problems that continuously eroded his body could not stop him from carrying on writing in his newspaper Saamna for his beloved Marathi people. His life has been of committed leadership, not of politics or political commitments. He never indulged in caste politics or vote bank politics as he said in an interview that only two castes existed for him—the rich and the poor. In his career of active leadership for over 45 years his party Shiv Sena ruled Maharashtra for only five years, but the Leader ruled the minds of Marathi people—always. The roaring Tiger of Maharashtra fell silent today. Balasaheb Thackeray (1926-2012) passed away at his residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra loca

Maharashtra Prays For Balasaheb Thackeray!

The night bus arrived almost two hours in advance and deposited us at a particular junction of Mumbai at 2.30am today. The moment we alighted with our baggage two auto-rickshaw drivers approached us hoping for long distance passengers. Since we lived at a nearby locality they promptly informed us that there was no chance of getting a taxi for the night or even later. I asked why.   “ Balasaheb off ho gaya ! (Balasaheb has passed away).” We were rudely shocked and dumbfounded, though we knew that he had not been keeping well since the last few days was in very serious condition last week. But it was hard to believe anyway. “When?”   “Just a little while ago. All taxis and autos have gone home fearing problems.” Feeling sad and heavy we trudged along and suddenly a taxi preparing to wind up for the night came up alongside and offered to take us home. As we were proceeding with the ride gratefully the taxi driver informed us that tomorrow was going to be a total closure in