Balasaheb Keshav Thackeray passed away on Saturday at his residence Matoshree. Yes the senapati of the Sena is no more. Bal Thackeray who was 86 was facing severe health ailments and was at his home in his room, which acted as ICU, surrounded by family and friends.
Bal Thackeray was known for his charismatic leadership. He was a great public orator. He was livid and had the capability of shaking the whole Maharashtra by his voice. I wouldn’t say he was great man but I would say he was a great figure in Maratha politics. The whole charade of protecting Marathi culture and restrict migration of North Indians labors could be done by him and him only. I am not a supporter or a great fan of his policies but I do like the way he had a hold over the Marathi Manuj. Many don’t know but he remarkably saved a community of seven lakhs in the early nineties. When told about the hardships being faced by the community who had fled terrorism in Kashmir,Thackeray who was in power in Maharashtra at that time ordered for reservation on special grounds for Kashmiri Pundits seeking seats in higher education. ....
The policy announced by Bal Thackeray was later adopted as a policy by Government of India and issued by the HRD Ministry to several colleges and universities. It was a unique form of reservation which did not impact any other category of students; a reservation over and above the actual limit in strength of the intake of students. He in his confessions claimed to be a political cartoonist but he was a true Indian politician. His name will be etched forever in Maharashtrian politics of being an iron leader throughout and for his witty, sarcastic and humorous remarks which he didn’t mince.
Now that Bal Thackeray is no more the question is not who will lead the party, because that is but obvious his son Uddhav Thackeray, which is clear from his tape in which he publicly acknowledged his ill health and appealed to people to stand by his son Uddhav and grandson Aditya, but what will be the future of party. Will Sena live and be back in its strong form when Bal Thackeray was hale and hearty or will it continue to exist as it is and ultimately cease to exist. There are further many questions viz the attitude toward Raj Thackeray and his MNS, future policies and of course the leadership ability of Uddhav Thackeray. Will he be as charismatic as his beloved daddy or not?
Many speculations are being made by public regarding future of party. The emotions of public shown at Matoshree and thereafter at cremation are the proof. They are waiting for MNS and Shiv Sena to come together. Hope the public sentiments will join the long separated cousins and will try to empower the Sena as it was in Bal Thackeray’s life tenure. It is pretty early to form any kind of judgment but it is for sure the Maharashtra is going to face a change in its political environment. Only time can tell what will be the extent of this change. But for now all we can do is pray for Hindu hriday samrat to rest in peace afterlife.