MUMBAI: Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray died here after protracted illnesson Saturday.
He was 86. Bal Keshav Thackeray, popularly known as Balasaheb Thackeray, was the founder and chief of the Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist, Marathi ethnocentric and populist party active mainly in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.
He started his career as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal in Mumbai in the 1950s. His cartoons were also published in the Sunday edition of The Times of India. In 1960, he launched a cartoon weekly – ‘Marmik’ – with his brother. He used it to campaign against the growing influence of non-Marathi people in Mumbai, specifically targeting South Indian labourers.
He formed the Shiv Sena on June 19th, 1966, with the intent of fighting for the rights of the natives of Maharashtra (called Maharashtrians). The early objective of the Shiv Sena was to ensure job security for Maharashtrians against immigrants from other parts of India.
The Shiv Sena chief was admitted to Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital on 25 July, 2012, after he complained of breathlessness. He was discharged once he recovered after treatment. However, his illness came back to haunt him in late OCtober. SAMAA