Bal Thackeray's Fractured Legacy

Balasaheb did bring a sense of pride to the Marathi people, but he also encouraged prejudice towards others. He inculcated pride in the name of glorious Maratha history, but reduced this history to a very narrow band

By Kumar Ketkar
Published: Nov 17, 2012
Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray
Image: Reuters
Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray

{Note: We have received an overwhelming response to this article. A few readers have taken offence to the reference to the CKP community in the article.
Mr Ketkar has sent us a letter, clarifying the context and reason for his reference to the community.
Please read it on next page at the end of this article.}

We have received an overwhelming response to senior journalist Kumar Ketkar's article on Balasaheb Thackeray's legacy. A few readers have taken offence to the reference to the CKP community in the obituary.

Mr Ketkar has sent us this letter, clarifying the context and reason for his reference to the community.



Read more: http://forbesindia.com/article/special/bal-thackerays-fractured-legacy/34151/2#ixzz2D1lv0qfZ

Balasaheb Thackeray was a celebrity par excellence. He loved the limelight. He enjoyed the controversies. He manipulated the media with ease and often took positions to provoke the elite. He attacked the powerful and privileged. He ridiculed the government and ministers. He made fun of the high and mighty. He looked at the world, not as a politician but as a wild, wayward kid. He used a cartoonist’s brush to lambast as well as laugh. He wore unconventional clothing, just as he used unconventional language.

Yet he was adored by the masses as well as the privileged. Dhirubhai Ambani to Rahul Bajaj, Dilip Vengsarkar to Javed Miandad, Amitabh Bachchan to Lata Mangeshkar, Lal Krishna Advani to Sharad Pawar and Pritish Nandy to Mahesh Manjrekar—have all sought his company and relished photo-ops with him.

What was the magic or the charisma that attracted people towards him? And how did the Thackeray phenomenon take shape? Surely he did not plan or chalk out his career. He was never a planner or a strategist. He was not well read in history or politics. He had very little understanding of economics. He was not even a thinker in the classical or non-classical sense of originality. He never addressed seminars, conferences or gave key-keynote speeches. Indeed, he had no ideas or causes to espouse. Yet he had an appeal which is partly inexplicable and partly understandable in the context of Maharashtra's chequered history.

The Shiv Sena was formed in 1966 almost six years after the state of Maharashtra was formed. It was a time of political turmoil in the country. Indira Gandhi had just taken over as prime minster after Shastri’s death. She was finding her feet in uncertain political sands. The Congress was sort of leaderless and even directionless. The Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, which had spearheaded the agitation for creation of the Marathi State, had dissolved after achieving its objective. The Indian economy was reeling under stagflation. Unemployment, particularly in the middle class, was rising as there was little investment. The generation born after independence had come of age and was looking for jobs as well as a socio-political identity. It was in this political vacuum, that young Bal Thackeray began his campaign through his weekly magazine Marmik. His main message was that Marathi youth are unemployed because of the influx of "upras", the migrants. The Marathi people have been betrayed, he thundered.  This struck a chord with the unemployed Marathi youth in Mumbai. They had found the enemy!  

Neither the Shiv Sena, nor its reincarnation the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, grew beyond this cause. The philistine urban middle class and frustration of the unemployed created the right atmosphere for anyone willing to take up cudgels. Bal, as he was known then, with no political experience, no ideology and no organization entered the fray. His appeal for direct action `inspired’ disoriented Marathi Mumbaikars. The Shiv Sena was born on the streets and thrived on mindless action. It was a text book case of anarchy leading to fascism. Even Bal Thackeray had no idea of what was happening, neither was he equipped to comprehend the complexity. In this atmosphere of chaos people found a leader who was as clueless as them.

No wonder then, that he never had any political position. Not that he could have achieved it, but the point is he never aspired for any post. He enjoyed holding the remote control, even when the Shiv Sena-BJP government was in power. He enjoyed the aura and halo that was being created around him. He had disdain for trappings of power. Also he never wanted the responsibility that came with it. He never wanted to be accountable to anyone. He wanted to be maverick, irreverent, unencumbered and also irresponsible. That was the kind of freedom he wanted and enjoyed.

It is indeed strange, that a man who prided himself for being Marathi, fought for the Marathi identity, invoked Marathi culture and embraced Maratha history, never really took any interest in promoting historical research or going beyond simple references to Shivaji Maharaj. He never bothered to promote the Marathi language. For him, only politics mattered, not as a theme but as a rabblerousing technique. That Marathi identity touched a chord with the mass in Mumbai, which was getting marginalized. Even in the city that was India’s commercial capital, there were hardly any large Marathi-led corporations, very few celebrated Marathi industrialists with global ambition and even fewer Marathi stock brokers.

Image: Savita Kirloskar / Reuters

At another level, there were no Marathi writers on par with Amitav Ghosh or Vikram Seth, no Nobel laureates like Amartya Sen, no Marathi film makers in the class of Satyajit Ray. After the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance came to power, Balasaheb could easily have started robust institutions and projects to promote all this and more. He could also have made efforts to make Marathi a global language. But nothing of the sort was attempted. There was no vision, no program and no strategy. All that would require a lot of cerebral activity and real work. Neither Balasaheb, nor his son or nephew thought it was important. They did not, for instance, consider setting up an art academy in his name. (They might now, if only to thrive on his image).

Despite Balashaeb's father being a social reformer and a militant anti-Brahmin activist- the Thackeray clan is a typical CKP (Chandraseniey Kayastha Prabhu) lower middle-class family from Central Mumbai. This class has never shown any entrepreneurial talent or technological heft. The Maharashtrian middle-class has in fact, suffered from a strange inferiority complex. A state of mind that is misplaced, because it is from this class that the much celebrated Marathi theatre evolved. This middle- class has provided backroom technocrats and artists to Bollywood for decades. Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor, or Amitabh and Shahrukh may have dominated the tinsel world, but much of the technical camera work, editing and set designs were done by the Marathi artists and craftsmen. Though the textile mill owners were Marwari or Gujarati, the working class in Mumbai was primarily Marathi. Today, it is not fashionable to appreciate the role of the trade unions, but the workers movement was founded and run by the leading lights like Comrade Dange and S M Joshi. Indeed, today’s middle class, the diaspora or the new consumer class could not have existed but for the formidable trade union movement. This was not the reflection of an inferiority complex, but the militancy of the Marathi middle and working class.

Maharashtra has a fabulous industrial base, skilled workforce, innovative peasantry, cosmopolitan cities, vast educational base, progressive social foundation, spread of women' education and because of the European influence on Mumbai and Pune, an enlightened world view. Shiv Sena and Balasaheb could have done a lot. But instead of building on this foundation, the ethos was narrowed to the idea of Marathi identity and that too without defining or broadening it.

Balasaheb did bring a sense of pride to the Marathi people, but he also encouraged prejudice towards others. He inculcated pride in the name of glorious Maratha history, but reduced this history to a very narrow band. Only the elite could send their children to English medium schools, creating a class divide. . Marathi medium schools lack facilities, give low quality education and have poorly qualified teachers. The Sena leadership sent their children to posh English medium schools, even as they aggressively spoke against the influence of English or Hindi.

Balasaheb Thackeray’s legacy is that that he put Maharashtra on the national agenda, but his failure was that he could not really provide a vision for the state. It is inevitable therefore, that the Shiv Sena will suffer a rather rapid meltdown. Uddhav will not be able to prevent the disintegration. He has neither charisma, nor comprehension of the political matrix. Raj has already formed one strong pole and the other will likely be the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) led by Sharad Pawar, who needs foot soldiers. With no father figure, the Sena will now seek comfort with Pawar.

It is a fractured legacy of his charisma that Maharashtra has to live with now.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We have received an overwhelming response to the above article. A few readers have taken offence to the reference to the CKP community in the article. Mr Ketkar has sent us this letter, clarifying the context and reason for his reference to the community.

To The Editor,
Forbes India,

Sir,

I am hugely surprised by the mail we been receiving for the past four days, saying that I have criticized, underestimated and undervalued the CKP community. And that I have ignored their achievements. Either my article has not been read in the context or not been read at all, by some respondents whose sentiments and pride I fully respect. I must, therefore, put across the context so that your magazine too is not accused of any bias.

Quite a few non-Marathi channels were referring to Balasaheb Thackreay as a "Maratha" leader and some even called him "Maratha Strongman". That is because most people outside  Maharashtra do not understand the semantic and sociological difference between "Marathi" and "Maratha" on the one hand, and the "Maratha" as caste and its significance in Maharashtra.

Since Balasaheb too was referred to as "Maratha", I thought I should merely mention that he was born in a CKP (Chandarseniya Kayastha Prabhu) middle class family. If the readers read further then the they will easily notice, that I have referred to this middle "class", not "caste". Not only the CKP but almost the WHOLE MIDDLE CLASS in Maharashtra had no prominent industrialists, no stock market brokers, no big businessmen and hardly any Nobel or such laureates of INTERNATIONAL repute. This was not a comment on any specific caste but on the entire middle class comprising over 25 castes. I don't think anybody can dispute that fact.

I have also stated further, that though there were no such industrialists or big-business successes, most of the top leadership of various social, cultural and trade union movements came from the same middle class and hence there is no reason to have any inferiority complex or any kind of diffidence. Balasaheb's father too was a social reformer and leader in his own right who also was part of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement.

There is not a word against the CKP community or any other caste or community in the article, but just a mention that the middleclass in Maharashtra were not entrepreneurs in the class of Gujaratis and Marwaris and, like other castes even the CKP community belonged to the middle class. There are hundreds of great people from this community and others in the middle class who contributed to the culture and politics and other fields. But I was referring only to the industry, trade and international recognition in other fields.

I am truly surprised at the reaction from the respondents, either out of misreading the piece or misinterpreting the article or prejudice about me for other extraneous reasons. Be that as it may, I think it is my moral duty to keep the record straight and make it clear to you that I have nothing, never had anything against the CKPs or ANY community, caste, religion or linguistic group.

I hope this will help clear the misunderstanding.

Kumar Ketkar 

mg_67439_kumar_ketkar_sm_280x210.jpg
(Kumar Ketkar, the editor of Dainik Divya Marathi has been a political and economic commentator for close to four decades. He started his career at The Economic Times, and has been editor at The Observer, Maharashtra Times and Loksatta. A Padmashri winner, he has rocked many boats with his editorial views)

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  • Balaji Avji

    Yes Balu T could have done more for Marathi and Marathis but more than whom? Its relatively speaking because he was the ONLY one ever to promote the cause of Marathi and Marathis. Balu T set the benchmark for Maharashtrianism that no one, not even Pawars and Chavans have managed to exceed. Another thing. Whatever clarification Ketkar issues, his writing certainly comes across as demeaning of CKPs.

    on Mar 30, 2015
  • Marathi-konkani

    The article is not bad, but not good either! \"Balasaheb and Shiv Sena could have done a lot\"?? What do you mean by that? Ethos were NOT narrowed to the idea of Marathi identity. In fact we needed such a man and political party in the 1960s. We need them even today! If some other martial races of India can demand a separate nation, can\'t the Marathis just form a right-wing political party to fight for the cause of natives? By the way, today the Marathis/Konkanis need to market themselves by speaking fluent English (which is the official language of India). So no harm in having our kids educated in English language schools.

    on Mar 16, 2014
  • Prashantfrompune

    Sir I am agreed with your view about the Legacy was fractured, but it nothing to do with the some views you have described. I think those views were point of contradiction for all readers. I mean how can you say that there are no middle class persons who dont have charisma in film industry, are you not aware of father of bollywood- Dadasaheb Falke, V. Shantaram, that too this was nothing to do with Balasaheb Thakre. So please dont go on publishing that type of unrelated arguments to prove some group of people unqualified just because they dont have nobel laurettes, and i think that is state biasing you are doing right now.

    on Jun 27, 2013
  • Jaydip

    Don\'t really agree with statements made in this article, Late Mr. Thackery was one of the Best known to deliver speeches in India

    on Dec 10, 2012
  • Dhamnaskar

    At another level, there were no Marathi writers on par with Amitav Ghosh or Vikram Seth, no Nobel laureates like Amartya Sen, no Marathi film makers in the class of Satyajit Ray I dont agree to you facts, just b\'coz some name are not popular in english (ie. in U.S) it doesnt mean those people dont exist, India has a high esteem award called \'Dada Saheb Phalke Awards\" Mr Phalke was a film maker (Maharastrain) you think Satyajit Ray is bigger than him coz Mr Phalke was not known by the Oscar Committe ?

    on Nov 30, 2012
  • Vasanti Damle

    I fully agree with Mr. Ketkars analysis of Mr. Balasaheb Thakre\'s contribution to Maharashtra history. If you read his artical carefully, you should realise that he has not said about cast but about class. In given space he could not have gone about recounting all the great names belonging to ckp community. People want to use any pretext to creat confusion in the society.

    on Nov 29, 2012
  • Deven

    @Kushal Pradhan I completely agree with you. Even on the IBN Lokmat, Ketkar was praising the Balasaheb for his deed. It was his interview @ 12 midnight with Wagle.

    on Nov 29, 2012
  • Arvind Singh

    on Nov 29, 2012
  • Kushal Pradhan

    someone pls get kelkar\'s facts corrected. Balasaheb used to read 19 newspapers of various languages daily, even when He was not well. one of the most commended infra, the Mumbai Pune expressway, is his brain child, n u say he had no vision. There is limited space here to answer ur each allegation. U never dared to say any of this when the Tiger was alive, now that he is resting in peace, u r trying to get cheap publicity.

    on Nov 28, 2012
    • Anup

      I completely agree wid you sir,..and folks remember though balasaheb is not wid us nw don't think theirs nobody after him, his nephew is all geared up now ! so don't get too excited..now here comes Raj era

      on Nov 29, 2012
  • Deven

    @Vignesh Mudaliar . If you have many important issues to ponder upon why are wasting your time here. It shows that you are pretending of being busy. Busy people don\'t give excuses.

    on Nov 28, 2012
  • Vignesh Mudaliar

    I agree with Mr.Ketkar's views here. The legacy that Bal Thackery has left behind can at best be summarised as that of violence and hatred. For all those who have so eloquently stated that "the entire popoulation of maharashtra was mourning over the loss of Thackeray"I would like to ask them who gave them the right to speak on behalf of an entire state. We have many important issues to ponder upon rather than engaging in eulogising corrupt and hate-breeding politicians. The recent Facebook incident is an example of the Thackeray legacy. Also it shows that tall claims by Sena leaders that the bandh was an outcome of respect towards Thackeray have been exposed by the Facebook comment incident.

    on Nov 27, 2012
    • Anup

      oh so u think over 2.5 million came out of their houses for the funeral just out of fear and that they didn't had any respect !hahahahahha!!cant stop laughing @ your comment. There were lakhs crying for their leader..because masses may cum if they are paid but what about tears ,can even tears be bought? the recent facebook comment by that girl was simply immaturish ! I feel pity for people like you who only see one side of a coin and do not think neutrally!

      on Nov 29, 2012
  • Nilima Tamhane

    Some 60 years ago major part of maharashrtians had economically low income group but later many families and individuals with due struggle rose to a higher stata it appears that currently ketkar is hving avery high profile because he always belonged to higher income group Many crusaders who were professions and others in various fields preferred to remain low profile or the society did not take due note. some noteworthy personallities of the CKP community Shankar Abaji Bhise known as Edison of india 40 USA engineering patents Rango Bapuji Gupte Ambassador of Peshwas to British Govt london C D Deshmukh FFirst Indian Governor of RBI First Finance Minister Gen Arunkumar Vaidya Chief of Army Staff Tipnis Air Chief Marshall Govindrao Kulkarni Industrilist Ram aganesh Gadkari Poet and Author of several theatre scrips P G patki world famous Arhitect Dr shashikumar Chitra Padma award REnowned scientist who research in association with Dr Naralikar and many more CKP is a small community by number comparitively the acievers are many

    on Nov 27, 2012
  • Prakash Gupte

    on Nov 25, 2012
    • Vanraj Shinde

      I am totally agree with Kumar, as far as the analysis of Bal Thakare is concerned. But the more important question one should ask is why the legacy of progressive thoughts and actions ( anti-caste, anti- Brahmanical and socialist discourse) has failed in Maharashtra. And I consider Bal Thakare as one of the main contributors in destroying and degenerating that legacy along with pseudo-progressive movements.

      on Nov 28, 2012
  • Suraj

    \"But instead of building on this foundation, the ethos was narrowed to the idea of Marathi identity and that too without defining or broadening it\" coming to my ideology, I was one of those robust Maharashtrian Youth who was immaculated fanaticism through the vision given by the right wing like Shiv Sena or MNS. I was heavily confined to the small cage which these fascist leaders wanted us to be there. But when I went overseas for my higher education, I realised that the pricniples I was encouraged with in my past were dime in a penny, I could not think beyond and was so ashamed when realised that these crooks who want to wonder the Marathi romanticism have ensured their coming generation gets world class higher education, why didn\'t Uddhav and Raj or their children did not go to the Municipal Corporation schools ? Instead started asking us to enroll into these shabby race. I agree with Ketkar about the broadening topic and regarding the caste/class issue, Indian socio-politic-economic ethos will not be address unless caste prejudices.

    on Nov 25, 2012
  • Pandurang Dabholkar

    Mr. Ketkar need not get free publicity by mudslinging at Marathi Middle Class community. We have not seen a single 'original' journalist from marathi middle class either. Owners of news papers do not need these windbags. Mr. Ketkar's attempt to get attention needs to be ignored. Only vultures feast on dead bodies.

    on Nov 25, 2012
  • Reignforrest

    I imagine Hitler, too, had sycophants who claimed "On the one hand, he butcherd 6 million people, but on the other he inculcated pride among his countrymen." If the number of brownnosers who thronged to pay their final respects to this enemy of modern India is any guide, it may well be the pride part that will be recalled as his lasting legacy, while his legacy as a xenophobe will be forgotten.

    on Nov 24, 2012
  • Shekhar

    Mr. Ketkar's observations about and his placement of the Marathi speaking middle-classes in Maharashtra is generally correct and useful for introspection not only for those who had placed their faith in the charisma of late Mr. Thackeray but also for those who opposed him. The Shivsena movement did inculcate a debilitating negativism in the thinking of Marathi manoos even if its intention was to galvanise them into action, push him out of the rut of mediocrity. People like Ketkar do show the courage in speaking out the unpalatable truth. But isn't it time for Marathi speaking multitudes to shed the negativity and focus on hardcore developmental and creative work instead of running after mirages? It is unfortunate that he has had to write a letter to clarify something which he never said in his article. He had merely referred to Thackerays belonging to the CKP community and there was nothing derogatory in that.

    on Nov 24, 2012
  • Aniket Sonpethkar

    Mr. Kumar ketkar, Remember, Balasaheb created history...think a lot before criticising the legend. Entire maharashtra cried over his funeral that was the power of the great balasaheb. Hopeless article....Even after so many years.....you are still in the primary stage....

    on Nov 24, 2012
  • Amit Sharma

    Kumar Ketkar is one of the most forthright political commetators who speaks out of real conviction. I believe that his commentry on Balasaheb is perfectly justified and in the right perspective. I beliieve that Balasaheb's style of politics is an aberration and Kumar Ketkar has given more insights into his personal philosophy. We need the intellect and perspectives of Kumar to understand things better. I salute Kumar Ketkar.

    on Nov 24, 2012
  • Raminder

    Thanks Kumar for this enlightening piece and the courage to call a spade a spade. And thanks Forbes India for publishing this honest and forthright appraisal of Bal Thackeray's toxic legacy.

    on Nov 23, 2012
  • Keshav Sathaye

    Very well studied and well scanned article. The article has profoundly presented an anatomy of socio- political state of Maharashtra and in particular Marathi manoos. However the article has not touched the cult events of India, which had changed the entire socio-political fabric of Indian people, and particularly Mumbai citizens. And they are: 1992 Babri Masjid riots and followed bomb explosions of March,1993. Shivsena had played very pivotal role at that time. Some say they removed the fear psychosis of Hindus, and tried to pacify Mumbai. It was expected that article should have analysed these incidents and come out with its comments on the role of Shivsena and Bal Thackeray at that time. In your writer's introduction you have mentioned Kumar Ketkar, winner of Padmashree award, in fact it is a highest civil honor given by Govt of India, there is no competition as such so word winner is in inappropriate, the right word is recipient.

    on Nov 23, 2012
  • Nikhil Kulkarni

    Mr.Ketkar has thoroughly ignored the contribution of the Kirloskar group to the industrial scene in Maharashtra, and its contributions on the national landscape. Laxmanrao Kirloskar was a visionary of his own accord, rather inadequately recognised though. But making a blanket statement that no Maharashtrian industrialists thrived, is stretching it a bit too far. Terming the Thackerays as hailing from a \"typical lower-middle class CKP family\" portrays blatant casteist innuendos on Mr.Ketkar\'s part. This is despicable.

    on Nov 23, 2012
  • Niranjan Patwardhan

    extraordinary... fabulous... to date i haven\'t come across a single thought or article that has clearly defined Marathi, Maratha or Shiv Sena... even the simplest of minds will be able to grasp the primary thought behind this article... i\'m sure some prejudiced narrow minded people might get offended by this but then its a part of their upbringing. there\'s nothing anybody can do about it... it is direct, bold and from the shoulder, but not demeaning or demoralizing... no mincing of words, hidden remarks or read between the lines... what i like best is the clarity of thought... it is the perfect summation of a personality called \'maharashtrian\'...

    on Nov 23, 2012
    • Amit Sharma

      Even I feel the same Niranjan, This is one of the best articles which reflects the true personality of Balasaheb and we salute Kumar Ketkar for his deep insights.

      on Nov 24, 2012
  • Adv. Sameer Deshpande

    Mr. Ketkar, first of all I am proud to have born in Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu Community. The statements in your so called article are serious , objectionable and shows your habit of targetting a particular community. Being a senior Journalist your such behavior is against democracy in India where there is no discrimination between any caste, religion and communities as per the Consitution of India. We hope that you shall not repeat such statements which hurts the feelings of any community in some way or the other.

    on Nov 22, 2012
    • Shekhar

      Sir, I re-read the article after reading your comment. There is nothing derogatory about the CKP community. Mr. Ketkar has merely and accurately commented on the status of the Marathi speaking middle-classes. His clarification should put any doubts to rest.

      on Nov 24, 2012
  • Akshay S

    A good article reflecting life

    on Nov 22, 2012
  • Samrat Hoshing

    Reading this article is a waste of time.

    on Nov 22, 2012
  • Suhas Ranadive

    If Kumar Ketkar was so true to his thoughts what stopped him from talking when the legend Mr BALASAHEB THACKREY was still alive, why a week after he has passed away. He was all praises for Mr Thackrey on Times Now when he passed away. Kumar Ketkar really needs to make his mind up.

    on Nov 22, 2012
    • Mohan

      Are you serious? In India such a dialog is impossible. Kumar Ketkar was already bodily attacked in the past for his comments and I am afraid even now Shiv sainiks if given an opportunity will do the same.

      on Nov 24, 2012
  • Vinay Chitnis(chitnavis)

    Mr.Kumar.Ketkar. Every One know's you'r Bias stand, a clever mind used for crooked benefits. To Misguide the readers and Blame CKP's for that. You are creating Hate rate among communities. I Protest with your views.

    on Nov 22, 2012
  • Akshay Tembhurnikar

    If Ketkar really thinks what he has written then why he didn\'t expressed his expert views on Balasaheb Thackeray while he was alive, probably he didn\'t had the guts at the time he was alive. So i think people need not pay any attention to such useless, politically biased and paid report.

    on Nov 22, 2012
  • Vaibhav Deshpande

    I really love one of the comments about common sense, facts, logic and north Indians here. If common sense, Facts and logic wasn\'t allowed in Maharashtra then this writer would be writing this comment under British Rule or would be in Mosque or Church. But well.....what can you argue with someone who hasn\'t seen a school?

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Vaibhav Deshpande

    Ketkar has exhibited intellectual bankruptcy through his article here. Not worth reading. What a waste of time. People like Ketkar would rather love a legacy of foreigner Sonia who can't speak a single line on her own. But well....that's "our" India now.....banana republic!!!!!

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Suhas Waman Kulkarni

    Kumar Ketkar only 3 days back on seeing huge huge 2 million strong human sea paying their last respects to Balasaheb, had praised him and now he says Balasaheb was an ordinary man and did not achieve any thing. Also he has castigated the Marathi and CKP Community. Both Balasaheb and CKP people have given their best to the country whereas what Kumar Ketkar has done? He is praising the current Govt. when the entire nation knows the loots made by almost all the ministers by corrupt means. Balasaheb has given the Mumbai Pune Express Way to the state and Mr. C.D.Deshmukh a veteran CKP person was the Finance Minister in Nehru's cabinet. He resigned for the social cause of Mumbai for Samyukta Maharashtra Movement and had set an exceptional model. Kumar himself has been an ordinary journalist as far as Big Newspapers (Financial) are concerned. Why Kumar can not do the introspection rather than maligning the names of Thakreys and Marathis.

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Sandeep

    Bal Thackeray was beyond politicians, he was a robinhood kind of person who has helped a lot of people who really needed help in his state, not like politicians..So, you saw such a crowd. It was not facebook crowd, but real Indian living beyond facebook and high society...who cannot afford Internet to read this artical also. We need such leader whom the rich fear and poor worship..where is another one in India..if you find out, please write at least a small paragraph of that person.

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Siddharth Chitre

    Hi Mr. Ketkar , I am a CKP from Mumbai... I guess you need to get your facts rights before talking about the CKP community..

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Bharat

    I\'m sick and tired of people glorifying this racist. Great politician? He used thugs to achieve his goals. Is that what a truly great politician like Lincoln did? Great politicians united dicided peoples. This fellow used the classic \"divide and rule\" policy of the British. His entire philosophy violates fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. How can someone who violates the Constitution be a great politician? As for celeb admirers, do you really think Bollywood, which pals around with Dawood and the underworld, has a problem with a little racism? The truth is he appeals to uneducated, racist marathis who think that the reason they are complete loosers is because a guy from UP came to Mumbai to drive an auto.

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • J9

    in 2011 Uddhav demanded 80% reservation in BPO jobs for local (Marathi) youth, sounds good, isn\'t it? but when todays marathi youth were toddlers 20 years back (when there parents were considering addmitting them to schools) at that time it was the same ShivSena that disuaded the marathi middle class against English medium education. as an effect: where a marathi graduate may be earning 5~10K by a clerical job in an SSI, a migrant under graduate earns 15~20K in a BPO if companies could find enough local grads they wouldn\'t prefer to hire \"outsiders\" at higher cost

    on Nov 21, 2012
    • Wooo

      Common sense, facts and logic are just like north indians. They are not allowed in Maharashtra.

      on Nov 21, 2012
      • J9

        NOT ALLOWED??? infact in maharshtra they\'ve come, settled, prospered almost at par with thier native state. Maharashtrians in reality have allways been tolerant and welcoming to outsiders, even the shivsainiks are welcoming to outsiders at their personal level, but collectively they\'re against, that POLITICS

        on Nov 22, 2012
  • Dhrao

    author has zero or inadequate knowledge of Martha's. they are Sumerians of India. they fought for India in third paniput war lost 300000 their people while Indian Islam nawabs najeeb and siraj ud doula fought by the side of abbdali while Hindu raj put and jhats nerver joined maratas. But for Maratha's like shivaji, shambaji India would have been Islamic country.

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Nayanesh Gupte

    Also check this: Vivek Ranadive (CKP people) Born Bombay, India Occupation Chairman, CEO and Founder, TIBCO Software http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivek_Ranadive

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Nayanesh Gupte

    ketkar should go through this list of CKP people: A Acharya Moreshwar Wa.Donde (Mayor of Mumbai) Air Chief Marsahal A.Y.Tipnis Ajay Vadhavkar Ajit Parsanis - Latest Mumbai Police Adhikashak Amruta Karkhanis Anand Dighe -Thane Political Leader. Anil Arun-Mohile Anil Shashikant Pradhan- Former Badminton Champion

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Nitin Palkar

    Kumar ketkar\'s views are one sided and based on ignorance. While writing about bollywood how he can forgate Shobhana Samarth, Nutan and Tanuja who were born CKP. Shashikala and many other names are there follow.

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Prashant

    The Balasaheb and Raj Thackeray are not against anyone actually. If you see Mumbai, there is solid pressure on the its infrastructure. Influxes are coming from all over. But, they are opposing only north indians, reason may be they come here for roti, kapada and makkan, which they do not get in their state, because of their incompetent politicians. After coming here, they vote for such politicians again. Do they want to take the Maharashtra to the UP or Bihar\'s level( Now good). It is like cutting the same branch on which you are seated. Think...............

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Dr Suhas Choudhari

    I disagree with Mr Ketkar's views on CKP community.Though small in number to wield any political clout in Maharashtra, it has given ample no of intellectuals and freedom fighters like CD Deshmukh. Datta Tamhane, Mrunal Gore, Ahilya Ranganekar and so many doctors and IT professionals. It has been a middle class but it is in a class of it's own.

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Jignesh

    Tough competition for Diggy. His job is in danger only because of you Mr Ketkar. Completely Biased Article!

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Abhijit

    As far as our term technocrats concerned ckp form the highest percentage of technocrats who are setttled in europe and excelling in the IT and related sector. Ckp are the most intelligent community and loyal community who was appreciated by great shivaji maharaj and hence in his administration major post were held by CKP and not by Kobras. The kobras dominance in administration came into existence during the time of peshwa.

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Sridhar Iyer

    After Shivaji, Sambji took over the Maratha Empire and continued his battle with the East India Company and was killed in the battle, Prince Rajaram took over. However, Rajaram was killed through deceit by the Eest Inda Company with the Conspiracy aided by Nawab Chanda Saheb,The Peshwas instead of consolidating the Maratha force and bail out Rajaram, were mute spectators and passive and as a result Rajaram\'s wife and children were kept as captive in TRICHY Fort and ultimately killed. Peshwa Anandibhai lost no time to take this opportunity to adopt her nephew from Gadge Family of Sangli and installed him as Chattrapati Sahu Sambaji at Kolhapur as a Sccessor of Shivaji with the cosensus of the British. This lead to a precedence and all the Princes.Petty Chiefs,Feudal Lords and Killedars declared themselves as Independent Rulers of their respective Territories accepting British Supremacy, disintegrating the Maratha Empire. Similarly Bala Saheb weilded an unquestionable influence over the Mass irrespective of any diversities although he was a bit volatile in his speaches,but never seemed to nurture any bias against any particular comunity or sect. Only time will say whether Bala Saheb\'s legacy inherited by Udhav Thackeray who is now entrusted with not only the uphill task of maintaining the same hold over the Marathi Manoos is able to hold the string tight. Although he is capable both mentally and physically to shoulder this responsibility,he has additional onus to be on the guard from insider elements what may be ambitious and try to disintegrate the oneness of the party.

    on Nov 21, 2012
    • Milind Kotwal

      Your knowledge of Marathi history post Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is inadequate and erroneous.. Ch. Shivaji Maharaj and Ch. Sambhaji Maharaj were not battling against East India Company but it was against Mughals, East India Company was non-entity in western part of Maharashtra Marathas fought 30 year long battle against Aurangazeb who had come with resolve to put an end to small Maratha Swarajya with full force and Aurangzeb was one of the mightiest King of his times. It was unequal battle in every respect, but Marathas were so much charged with the idea of Swarajya that it was kind of uprising lead by many Maratha Sardars, which resulted in complete defeat of Aurangzeb, and he could not reach his capital alive.. Peshavas rule is post this 30 year war...

      on Nov 21, 2012
      • Vilas More

        And Sambhaji was not killed by the British but was captured and murdered by Aurangzeb when Shivaji maharaj was alive

        on Nov 21, 2012
  • Sid

    Mr Ketkar has touched various issues about the other side of Balasaheb but to be honest this article is very intellectual and academic. It will not stand as neither critical approach nor critical evaluation of great personalities exists in our country.The psychology of our nation has always been and still is of idol worshipers from Ram,Krishna to Amitabh, Sachin, Salman,Shahrukh,Amir Khan etc...

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Amol

    A very biased article. The author, a known leftist has a personal agenda against the demised leader. He never addressed the point of why the Marathis were getting marginalised and the reason for Shivsena\'s birth. Nepotism, at the cost of Marathis was a reality, then. The author should have highlighted that point.

    on Nov 21, 2012
  • Sachi Mohanty

    It\'s not like Bal Thackeray created a country called Maharashtra with a population of 100 million which became a \'developed\' nation under him and indeed became a permanent member of the UN. The same thing is being repeated with Narendra Modi in Gujarat -> unnecessary praise and idolatry and the rest of it again as if Mr. Modi had converted Gujarat into a \'prosperous\' and \"developed\" nation of 60 million people. People of India vote for these guys voluntarily, don\'t they? I don\'t know whether I should therefore condemn the citizens as predominantly dumb or feel pity for us as we have such poor quality politicians to choose from. In Maharashtra, the citizens are presented with the obscene figure of the avaricious Sharad Pawar and who can blame them if they got swayed by the over-simplifications of Bal Thackeray. Elsewhere in India, we are stuck with the non-performance and listlessness and drift of the present government led by Manmohan Singh who doesn\'t speak to the citizens of this country but bows to his \'Queen\' Sonia Gandhi. We are burdened with a bunch of corrupt ministers and many among us therefore feel attracted to the charms of the fascist Narendra Modi -> clearly, a wannabe Bal Thackeray. A pitiful state of affairs. Twitter: @sachi_bbsr

    on Nov 20, 2012
  • Vijay

    Mr. Kumar ketkar. No other cast or religion in India have glorious history like Maratha. They have fought not only for their state, but also for their country. Remember when Mohmmad Shah Abdali invaded India, It was Peshwas who had to go from Pune to fight. It took them 22 days of horse ride to get their. Even after such long journey they fought Panipat battle. What had happened to all the kings of north or northeast. For more detail see Sanjay Khan\'s The Great Maratha.

    on Nov 20, 2012
  • Deven

    Mr. Anand. Do you mean to say 2.5 million people gathered for the funeral out of the fear for their lives? What rubbish.

    on Nov 20, 2012
    • Gadbad

      No..out of the fear of Getting Arrested if they spoke freely...

      on Nov 21, 2012
  • Milind Kotwal

    Indian intellectual class is in total confusion, they are not able to understand kind of respect Balasaheb enjoyed amongst all sections of Marathi population of Maharashtra... Concept of Indian Nationalism is the root cause of this confusion, Indian Nationalism is imaginary if one does not accept Hindu culture as the base of Indian Nationalism... As Hindu culture is the sole base for creation of Indian Nationalism, adoption of secularism is ANTI-INDIAN NATIONALISM... because it eliminates the only common factor across whole of India... With Indian Nationalism gone, what remains regional nationalities which are united based on local language, culture and shared history. Yes as Marathi people see Balasaheb Thakre as an icon of their National Identity ... they love him... While others do not like him... This is the simple and straight forward explanation...

    on Nov 20, 2012
  • Anand

    What Charisma? It was goonda gardi and the threat of murder that made people obey him.

    on Nov 20, 2012
  • Chintamani Gangadhar Karkhanis

    Mr.Kumar ketkar , Now, I am 100% sure that your brain is working for Gandhi -Nehru family.You never wrote against Rahul Gandhi and Sonia.I think, according to you , they have more vision and Rahul has more intelligence .This is why you always praise their every action.You do not have any knowledge about CKP community,and their intellectual input.You must be follower of Balaji pant Natu who helped Britishers to pull down the flag of Maratha Empire,where as Rango Bapuji Gupte (CKP) fought for Chattrapati Pratap singh Maharaj in England for 12 years.You do not know about C D Deshmukh ,Dadasaheb Phalke, Ramganesh Gadkari ,V Shantaram, C Ramchandra , Mangeshkar Family and so many others.You are also ignorant about Sthaniya Lokadhikar Sameeti Shiv Sena Grahak Sanrakshan Kaksha ,various training programmes conducted for Marathi Manus by Shiv Sena. You donot know about the vision and contribution of \"Balasaheb The Great\". Pl dont sit in the Chamber and write some thing which will help you for your own benifit from Gandhi family. Chintamani Karkhanis Thane

    on Nov 20, 2012
  • Darshan Watve

    Dear Mr. Ketkar, some points raised by you might be partially true, but think about it, inspite of no agenda and maybe no research/understanding, he was able to generate this kind of mad, passionate fan following... I suggest you try achiving just 10% of what he achived in sense of love of people, with your intelectual richness

    on Nov 20, 2012
  • Vijay Sj

    Bal Thacheray is considered to be a \'god\' by his followers and hence the police case registered for \'hurting religious sentiments\'. Fair enough, .... in a country with so many gods, godmen, bollywood gods, cricket gods, political gods, etc. it makes sense! Maybe the Government should set up a tribunal to officially bestow the title of GOD on individuals ..... something like the Vatican\'s SAINTHOOD selction process:)

    on Nov 20, 2012
  • Rishi

    hahahaha , where you get this biased info from? You know some people are made only to criticise others. They even critisize Annaji, Modi and also critisized Lal Bahudar Shastri. There is no end to it. Learn to know positive vibration is created for mumbai, this will help you to change your thoughts and also help you to grow.

    on Nov 20, 2012
  • Nitin Rege

    MR Ketkar the sea of humanity that was seen yesterday speaks volume about MR BALASAHEB's CONTRIBUTION to Maharashtra, your article conveys your ignorance and poverty in your thought process.

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Anon Mystery

    Can we switch name back to Bombay?

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Prathamesh

    So from this article it seems that Marathi People were only dependent on Balasaheb Thackery to give them a livelihood which is naive an interpretation. Not to forget that jobs which would have been allotted then must only have been the blue collar jobs. As the mainstream jobs are only dependent on caliber, which Marathi people, so many of them got, because they had that caliber. Also not to forget that getting jobs only doesn't suffice but putting hard work is necessary to maintain a job. I am sure Marathi people themselves did some work there. And as per the third paragraph of your writing, Balasaheb was not well read in history, politics and wasn't a thinker of classical or non-classical originality. Mr. Ketkar, show me any other Indian politician who is well read or understands World history, current trends, economics fully on his own without help of his/her cabinet ministers ( PM being an exception, who's a learned man but mere puppet of high command-I am feeling ashamed to use this language). In fact I would ask is it really required in state politics? Isn't the out-pour of emotions sufficient to connect with state junta? And I think that's precisely what he did. Considering the fact that SS was born for state cause of Maharashtra only, that was enough. The Hinduism and BJP alliance comes much later- and still not of much significance here in Maharashtra. And lastly, do you think that 2 million people who came yesterday for the funeral proceedings knew all these facets or did they really care? I don't think so. Balasaheb connected with Marathi Manus at emotional level. He knew the tact better than most of the Indian politicians will ever know. Even after knowing they won't be able to execute it. Only this man could have. I am not an ardent follower of SS, but I was present there yesterday. He certainly pointed fingers where it was hurting the most. And Mr. Ketkar I know exactly that being a Marathi, you understand that emotional connect which I am talking about. But at Forbes I guess you're trying to balance it out. Balasaheb ain't about regionalism but more about growth of every community, being Maharashtrian and a politician here, he would obviously think about the Maharashtrians first. The regionalism seeds were sown by Congress long ago by not developing county's infrastructure since the independence. Thackery was against the nuisance caused by the migrants by this inefficient development and the burden which is put on the regional infrastructure. Marathi people will happily accept and would have accepted other alternatives which taking their plight into account. The alternative which satisfies both the agendas. A win-win situation. But the question is, is there any?

    on Nov 19, 2012
    • Sudhir Kale

      In Marathi, there is a saying "The shaft of an axe made of wood from a tree helps vanquish its own family" i.e. cuts more trees in turn. It means attacking your own benefactor!) I don't know much about Mr Ketkar, having spent many years in an overseas job. But whatever I have heard or read is not very positive. And after reading this article, my impression about him is further confirmed. If Maharashtra had been lucky to have parochial Chief Ministers like Dr BC Roy or Karunanidhi or Chandrababu Naidu who themselves did what Balasaheb had to attempt to do, there would never have been a Shiv Sena! But Maharashtrians are like the axe I talked about above. They don't have any prick of conscience to criticize a person who is doing some good. I always say "If you can't say anything good about Balasaheb, keep silent or cap your pen! But many Maharashtrians, like Mr Ketkar here, spill anti-Balasaheb stuff just for some 'brownie' points and to flaunt their so-called "independent thinking"! It is never about Maharashtrians of high caliber getting jobs, but about unskilled labor coming from other States! How will the less educated, less skilled Marathi youth get jobs that are physical, menial in their own State, city or village ? Why should a Bihari or a Tamil youngsters arrive here to take these jobs at any cost? Where would our youngsters go for their livelihood? Mr Ketkar with his cushy job can talk what he wants. Or I, from Jakarta, could also talk like him. But I don't! I feel pain and pity for these youngsters who can't get even a menial job also because a non-Maharashtrian boss (also not extra-capable) will "import" people from his family, friends or neighborhood and give these jobs to them. What Mr Ketkar has to say about the outsiders living in Maharashtra for years can't even bother to learn the language of the State? Once, out of pity for a middle-aged couple walking in hot, noon-time sun, gave a lift in Pune. They were working in Pune for 20 years but couldn't speak Marathi. Can we do so in Kolkata or Chennai? No! So, Mr. Ketkar, please don't shoot from hips to please your non-Maharashtrian friends or get some popularity or "brownie points"! I detest your article. I know my response will never get published, but it should at least be shown!

      on Nov 20, 2012
  • Bhagwan

    It was Balasaheb who had taken stand of building hospital instead of Mandir or Masjid at Ayodhya. In his personal life, he has helped his opponents. Even to Mr. Ketkar who has written this article. Ketkar has admitted that.

    on Nov 19, 2012
    • Rahul

      @Bhagwan I want u to think on ur point that he has helped his opponents. its true but have u ever thought why ? dont u think its politics of its own kind to become\" mahisa\". his Shiv sainik goons feared people for sumthng and later he called them for dinner.michael jackson,javed miadad,even Amitabh bachchan once were example of this.Even he invited Mr singh who was Police commisioner in 1999 and was suppose to arrest him next day.there r lot of examples. he write and speak a lot against congress and still indira gandhi and rajiv gandhi were his favorites. you said he wanted to build hospital in ayodhya and it was shiv sainiks who ruined babri masjid in 1992 and he admitted it publicly without any regrets.

      on Nov 25, 2012
  • Gautam

    Quite a different view. Was of the assumption that Dadasaheb Phalke had a great role to play in Indian cinema - the article did not touch on that. Also interestingly, there is no mention of writers such as P.L. Deshpande - a great writer. Quite surprised to see the comment on lack of vision - are you aware that the Sena used to conduct free coaching classes for Maharashtrians to enlist into the IAS services ? Whilst some points against the Sena cannot be ignored - painting a black picture is not true journalism.

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Neha Chouvbey

    highly appreciate the honest and the subtle writing. The entire life history was nicely penned with a brilliant conclusion.

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Sunil Shinde

    It seems ketkar sir wanted to show only negative side of Saheb. He needs to speak with the middle class marathi people before writing to much for or showing sympmthy for them. As far as work inspire by saheb has many got jobs. Ketkar need to spend some time with marathi people before writing for them. Best thing saheb done is he gave chance to many middle class marathi people to enter in the politics when it is enjoyed by higher class or family group (it is same today also). Ketkar sir never understand importance saheb enjoyed in the heart of marathi people because he might listen to his mind only and marathi people listen to saheb by heart.

    on Nov 19, 2012
    • Arun

      Marathi people did not get jobs because of Bal Thackeray's inspiration but because of their own merit. And as far as participation in politics is concerned, there are many politicians from the middle and even lower classes in other parties as well. So you cant attribute that change to him either.

      on Nov 19, 2012
      • Amol

        Arun, do you honestly think that nepotism does not exist in India? If you do, I would say that you have no real work experience. Try working with a team in down south and you will know what I mean.

        on Nov 21, 2012
  • Well Wisher

    Agreed with every single view of the author, Bal thakrey tried to diversify our culture by separating and comparing the marathi people with the others that is just bull... we are human beings although we may belong to different cast, religion but this fact remains that we are human beings, its a god damn secular country then why the regional divide, As the saying goes what ever happens it happens for good.. i am a marathi as well but i don't care if any bong or south indians come to pune for education its there own country its there own will to study in pune then why bal thackery is creating his own community. The marathi people give me a , i am a young student that's what i am gonna learn from the leaders whom i looked upon as role model, this sucks....my words may be strong but i am trying to limelight the truth...bal thackery has done nothing other than imparting bull... in our country's politics, that's just sad indeed...i hate using using such words against him, no offence but these are my own views....i am being liberal over here!

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Geetuag

    ha ha Mr Ketkar had to write something against Thakrey.... ....its a part of his work not recognizing people who oppose congress

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Rustom

    prejudice against others!!!!!!..well when a kashmiri seperatists states that he wants article 370 and no one else should come in...after ethenically cleanisng the hindu kashmiri...the pseudo secularists shake heads as if it is a philosophical talk when it amounts to being a traitor. When Reservations are based on yadav v/s dalit/khurmi v/s meena vs rathod, SC/ST/OBC etc etc..and no one else due to actual fear cannot work in bihar/UP/ Jharkhand/M.P etc etc....and is forced to come to bombay and create slums..and a man says well what about us who have been living here...he is brandished as prejudiced...when in bombay people from a minority( actually 2nd largest majority) would blackmail a BEST bus :eg of Dongri..to reroute the bus route otherwise face consequences...would raise pakistani flags, close roads on fridays....well to pseudo secularists that doesnt amount to fear!!!! but when someone stands up to that....then it is fear.....when people molested, robbed, burnt and even thrasghed the cops as done on aug 11 this year...the pseudo secularist cant see fear but when such are contested then the psedo secularists will wave the foul flag...i can see the yellow journalism...and hey the man is not my hero nor do i agree with him..yet have the magnanimity to acknowledge that his people adored him...

    on Nov 19, 2012
    • Vish

      you said it! i like the energy and the emphasis on the truth. may pseudos learn something from what you have said.

      on Nov 20, 2012
  • Sunil Hemnani

    The author seems to have a view more geared to keep the western media in mind . The fact of the matter is he did have a charisma which lasted well over 40 years . The fact that the English press was not very kind to him, did not really help matters .I feel when a leader of such stature had such a large turn out , the people reading should realize that he brought what was needed. The mass following was testimony that here was a man could be trusted by the mass. The energy he had to lead the people through difficult times was the real testimony to his followers. He had a way and a solution out of the troubled times, the riots of 1992. That set him as even the Sikh community would testify that they were protected as were the lakhs of other Hindus. The point is being in the middle of a battle you feel the heat and the intensity of trouble that was being put upon the people of the city. I guess people have differing opinions, as life is so different for everyone .The perspective each person would is from the standpoint of where you were at such moments . I have seen the ugly face of riots and can say , I truly salute this great Maratha leader.

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Radha Krishna Kumar

    Late Thakrey was very clever to brainwash many Maharashtrians by giving them dose after dose of parochialism in order to build his family empire at the cost of poor farmers of the state who committed suicide. His politics was self oriented which could not do good to the mankind. He cause more harm to national integration.

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Shireen Gandhy

    Kumar Ketkar, the true Maratha tells it like it REALLY is... those who have missed this, please read!

    on Nov 19, 2012
  • Aditya

    Well Said

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Pravin

    In my youth I was strong follower of Balasaheb. But I got terrible disappointment about how courruption flourished under his nose when they Shivsena was voted to power. Take Enron for example!! That made be believe that Shivsena is a party of mindless, missguided gundas who knew nothing what they were doing. For Balthackre I always wondered how this man can influence so man, without a substance.

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Devil Caeser

    Mr. Ketkar Why are you forgetting PL despande ,Narendra karmarkar Dont belittle their accomplishements , Apart from CV Raman and RK Pachuri , INdia doesnt have a Nobel laureate .

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Somnath

    Mr. Kumar ketkar with speaks with forked tounge and certainly has double standards and has personal agenda. This is not good jounalism.

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Meera

    Although I am not a fan of Mr. Ketkar, I find myself agreeing with a lot of his points. Bal Thackeray was a mere demagogue who only appealed to certain sections of Mumbai, exploiting their gullible minds and had nothing rational to say. I find certain similarities with Hitler. Hitler was a painter and Thackeray a cartoonist: both had no clear political agenda and only thrived on creating an \"enemy\"- for Hitler they were the Jews and for Thackeray, even that wasnt consistent, starting from South Indians and Gujratis and now his nephew targets North Indians. It is quite unfortunate that a few Marathis are naive enough to believe him and actually respect such a man.History has told us time and again that such divisive politics brings no good to the people.And the people of Maharashtra should take lessons from the experience of Germany. Bal Thackeray did not hold any political position because it brings with it responsibility. He would actually have to do something good rather than just blabber away. He has caused more harm to the image of Maharashtra than good.Mumbai was known for its tolerant citizens.Now it is known for ruffians called Shiv Sainiks who dont even shy away from beating up a woman. This is the legacy this man has left. Shame!

    on Nov 18, 2012
    • Vish

      @ Meera...Hitler did have a clear agenda. of establishing the aryan race supremacy world over, where others would be vassals to the aryans. bal thakeray iitially targeted the non-maharashtrians, no doubt but later became a protector of hinduism or hindutvaism. his party opened offices and gained supporters in south india. lk advani started his campaign with muslim bash but bjp has now large numbers of muslim office bearers and supporters. they like to make a starting stand which then gets changed and fine tuned, once people come to know them, fear them.

      on Nov 18, 2012
      • Meera

        Mr. Vish let me ask you...who are these Aryans? you call them a race. do you know the definition of race? It is associated with certain common physical traits. so let me ask you Mr. Vish..what common physical features do we have in common with Germans? Where did these Aryans even originate. Please update your understanding of history. Current genetic studies have found out that there is no race called the Aryans. Indo-Aryan is just a linguistic designation referring to the commonality between several European and Indian languages. It is unfortunate to see that as an Indian (I am assuming that based on your name) you still believe the lie called the Aryan Race Theory which the Europeans especially the British and Germans concocted to establish their so called "superior" status over the "inferior" Indians. I am a student of history and if you want to update your racist colonial understanding of Indians to a more nuanced understanding then I would surely send you some links of recent researches in the area. But seeing that you are a Bal Thackeray supporter, I doubt you would be open to any new information.

        on Nov 19, 2012
  • Hozefa

    Its quite strange to see that immediate history of Maharashtrian culture is often only limited to post independence. When the fact is that the Marathi culture has always been celebrated and praised even before independence. One good example is Dadasaheb Phalke. One can argue that before Maharashtra, there was Marathi. Having said that, one begins to wonder whether regionalism did more damage than any good.

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Leena

    This is great loss for Maharashtra. Ketkar your views on IBN Lokmat yesterday were totally different than these. Which are true?

    on Nov 18, 2012
    • Anon

      I guess it changes from channel to channel

      on Nov 20, 2012
  • Anil Thadathil

    My respects to a political leader, Shri Balasaheb Thakarey. As a matter of fact he held the nerves of pro-Marathi here in Maharashtra. But there were equal number of Maharashtrians who are against his policies and ideologies. As mentioned correctly by Shri Ketkar, there are hardly any Marathi led corporations, very few celebrated industrialists. He strived for creating identity of Marathis no doubt about that, without creating an actual base for it. He started this son of soil movement since 1966, which means last 46 years. There should have been a good change in the attitude of Maharashtrians relating to issues in terms of education, business, development etc. I still feel that Maharashtrians are much more talented that too in a very broader sense than just seeking a son of soil identity for which Shiv Sena was only fighting for. It shoul\'ve been like, that you teach a man to fish and he\'ll never be starving.

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Chirag

    Aptly written :)

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Sagar Badri

    Dear Kuma Ketkar, it is indeed amazing that someone like you who has been close to the tiger is trying to polarise opinions about him after his death. If these were your views, did you ever convey it to him when he was alive? I dont have answer to this question nor do i have the explanation for some of the questions that you have raised, but the matter of the fact is which party ever had a vision when it started or when it was in its nascent stage? So saying that he was clueless and had no agenda is plain stupidity. From the Sanyukta Maharashtra Movement, the early days of Balasahed, he had seen the agony of the Maharashtrians and that was his only agenda. You mentioned that he was someone from a lower category of the societal stratum, are you not trying to create a different image of his by talking about his caste? How does caste matter in politics or any socio economic activity. If thats the case then their are thousands of North and South Indians in Indian politics who are from a lower caste, do all of them lack the will for a better state? I dont really want to get in your caste, but being a Kokanastha Brahmin do you think that all otehr castes are \"Kshudras\"? I think on abroader perspective, you have not thoguht of what you wanted to project through this article. This mindless peice first talks about Balasaheb as aimless, then a maverick, then about his caste, then about his knowledge of politics and history? what do you really want to convey? Do you think that poiliticians like Sharad Pawar and others have been friends with the tiger only for his maverick attitude? Get the facts right Mr. Ketkar, before some other Maverick Shivsainik reads this article. Because as you know now their is no Remote COntrol to stop him.

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Ashish Bhosale

    Dear Readers, Know who has written this article? The person who has been always writing against Balasaheb Thakare for his entire career at Times Group. Surely he would like tell all of us, what he has done to promote those things what he has quoted as not done by means of Shivsena. Either he has failed to see all good things what Balasaheb has done or he pretends to be deaf and blind. The Shivsena has proved over a period of time even in times when its opponents were daydreaming about its existence. Remember that you are also one of them. May be you are fortunate that GOD has given you sufficient life to blabber like this.

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Arya

    Bal Thackery was real patriotic Indian unike pseudo secularist people who want Hindus to vanish from India.Grand salute to Real father of Nation-Bala Saheb Thackery

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Vinita

    Very astute article. It shows that the carefully tended aura of the man was what people were in awe, or frightful of. And on this tenuous aura he built a band of hooligans who did nothing to further the cause of the very people they proclaimed to protect and flourish. The Sena is bound to implode, but one hopes that this implosion does not cause more unnecessary problems for the citizenry of Mumbai, nay, the country.

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Bhagwan

    He is only political figure, who is loved by even by his opponents. If you see his tenure, he never compromised for \"Satta\", as other did. I read some of your comments which are purely biased and baseless like of Narayanan N G and P. Venkatraman. He did all this out of fervour for the Marathi. What you are supposed to do when marathi cinema do not get theatre in Maharashtra(Dada Kondake\'s case). Guys look at the leader you follow, how mired they are? he deserve all the glory, which has come his way. I have never imagined Maharashtra without him. He will be remembered for his 20% \'Rajkaran\' and 80% \'Samajkaran\' formula. Long live saheb.

    on Nov 18, 2012
  • Anon

    Another glorified extremist is no more - India is making a hero of him.

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Rajesh Udhani

    Very sad day for me in my life today

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Doc

    Very interesting article about Bal Thackeray!

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Amish Thaker

    I must clarify that I am not a marathi and I do not live in Maharashtra. This article is extremely one sided and is not a critical portrayal of the man. With all the power that he had he never took up any position in the government and he was still able to maintain his charisma. The guy was outspoken and his words were extremely sharp. He never played with words and was very clear of his speech.

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Vinayak Kalmundikar

    1. Key Note speech....heheheheh....Author is out of his mind (as usual!)....One must ask him how many such speeches were given by his his political idol Sonia Gandhi ! 2. \" Also he never wanted the responsibility that came with it. He never wanted to be accountable to anyone. He wanted to be maverick, irreverent, unencumbered and also irresponsible. That was the kind of freedom he wanted and enjoyed. \" Replace \'he\' with \'she\' and it fits to Sonia Gandhi !!

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Vikas Kshemakalyani

    A well written summary on the life sketch of late Mr.Balasaheb Thakare, Mr.Kumar Ketkar, has bravely pinpointed all the merits and demerits of the Shivasena, Maharashtra politics, he has been successful in covering up almost all issues relating to the sad demise of the unparalled great hero like Mr.Balasaheb Thakare, of our times. Mr.Balasaheb Thakares life sketch would open a new chapter for a thorough study for historians of todays as well as for coming centuries. Mr.Balasaheb Thakare has been successful in creating an era in the history of Maharashtra. My salute to this great hero of our times. Long live late Mr.BT and Shivasena too.

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Bhadra

    Kumar, You say one thing here, but a completely different thing on Times Now. Why? Bhadra

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Rvc

    Interesting..although I would rather have read a completely unbiased article by a non Maharashtrian...

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Sas

    It is a matter of great sadness and irony that in a country like India, which gave the world the gift of Gandhian non-violence, a violent thug like Thackeray can be glorified. The man garnered more attention in both life and death than he deserved.

    on Nov 17, 2012
    • Ryan

      Gandhi\'s mindless pacifism has killed way more innocent people than all the Thackerays put together, not to mention the massive inferiority complex Gandhi inculcated in the whole of India, which has taken us decades to shake off, and yet we are subservient to a low IQ white import because we\'re unable to find even a single Indian from a population of more than a billion that we may find worthy of leading us.

      on Nov 19, 2012
  • Mittermaniac

    Brilliant piece by a man who\'s probably the finest Marathi journalist and someone who has observed, studied and understood Maharashtra politics like no other. Though Sena bigots have ransacked his many offices and stoned his home in Thane, he continues to hold an opinion which is not only forthright but also very right. BT is probably best remembered as a political cartoonist who \"took on\" people without really \"affecting\" them!

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Narayanan N G

    We human society feel sorry for the death of anybody ,whether it is accident or natural death and whether he is a common man or great personality. Here in this case of death of Balasaheb Thackeray,we can grieve the loss of a life. India has lost nothing by this death. Indian population during 60s to 80s was such, any one could have become leader by exploiting the sentiments of the people under the na me of language caste and religion. The person who is hungry will certianly react voilently and becomes the mad fan of the person who enjoys voilence. The division of states under linguistic basis gave opportunities to people like Thackre to emerge as leaders in all the states of India. Thackare loved Hitler and acted like him in70~s. The owners of business establishments from other states Ecspesially the Hotel owners of Kannada origin suffered a lot by thes so called cowered tigers. When the regionalism started loosing charisma he immediatly swicthed over to Hinduthva. Hence I feel his death as loss to his family members or some section of people in maharashtra and not to all patriotic Indians who see India as one.

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • P. Venkatraman

    Thackeray is and will be remembered as the first political figure who took violence as the means to estabilishing his presence. By promoting the slogan of \'Utao lungi Bhajao pungi\' as the call against ousting South Indians who he felt had usurped the jobs of the locals, he thrust the fear of going physical on a peace loving middle class educated community. The burning down of Hotel Vishawa at Dadar set the ball rolling for all his subsequent decades. Violence was established as the \'Law of Success\' for all his followers. His tactics bought about a sea change of decay in what was otherwise a cosmopolitan and rule abiding city.

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Sosha

    This is such a well-written article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Way to go, Mr Ketkar! I look forward to reading more of his views.

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Thinker

    Very true said... A insecure man who cheated his own people for his political motivations and left raj like pigs in his legacy...

    on Nov 17, 2012
  • Lm

    Looks like Ketkar is rocking yet another boat! Very good article, and it will be interesting to see what his legacy is

    on Nov 17, 2012
    • Anand Joshi

      A poor attempt of criticizing Bal Thackeray. It is (not new though) a fashion of writing something without having any depth, and trying to grab one's share of limelight. Looks like Ketkar has not left this opportunity. I suspect him a paid pumper of congress. Ask hindus in Mumbai in riots / communal tension when no one helped them, when shiv sena AT LEAST gave some moral support maybe in not a way some so called modest people wanted. Also poor Ketkar has lost his ingenuity when he compares the no. of marathi stock brokers. It is no way related to the topic he has chosen to write. Average marathi person is not as rich as other people is not Bal Thackeray's problem and what Ketkar expect out of him for this ? Looks like Forbes India's quality has gone down for publishing such immature writing for limelight hogging.

      on Nov 23, 2012
      • Kushal Pradhan

        I agree with you Anand. Congress is frightned now after seeing the mass mobilisation during the funeral procession. They are trying to garner some support, first by hanging Kasab (out of the blue) and now by such paid reports. Those who read this article, consider this fact that what Mr. Kelkar was saying on Times Now during the full day coverage of the funeral procession, is exactly oppposite to what he has written. Check all the clipings. You have lost your inguinity Mr. Kelkar. Now, who will believe what you have written?

        on Nov 28, 2012
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