Wagahchi Dahaad, Waghacha Rajya!
Shri Balasaheb Thackeray – the leader
By : Niyati Agrawal
When one thinks Mumbai, they think the sea, the rains, the traffic, the trains, the people, the food, the shopping and the Bollywood. However no description of Mumbai is complete without the mention of the Shiv Sena and never ever without the man behind the sena, Shri Balasaheb Thackeray.
Shri Balasaheb Thackeray may have started his career as a cartoonist for the Free Press Journal; however he always was a leader and an initiator. He started his own cartoon weekly called Marmik. Growing up with a politically and socially active father Keshav Sitaram Thackeray, Shri Balasaheb Thackeray had an inclination for politics. In 1966 he started a political party Shiv Sena to fight for the rights of the maharashtrians as he had felt that these rights were being violated by the migrants i.e. the south Indians, Gujaratis and Marwaris.
Shiv Sena works to protect Indian culture and the progressive infrastructural development of the city under the leadership of Shri Balasaheb Thackeray. In 1995 when Shiv Sena formed an alliance with BJP and won the state assembly elections, Mr. Thackeray was said to control the politics from behind the scene also calling it via a remote control. He is a great orator. It is phenomenal on how his one command the city can burst into riots and protests like during the Babri Masjid incident or the My Name is Khan controversy.
For a party leader to be able to state that the final decision of whether Pakistan will play ICC World Cup Finals if they reach that are to be held in Mumbai lies with Mr. Thackeray, despite his party not being in power says a lot about the power and the control he has over the city.
Shri. Balasaheb Thackeray is often compared with a tiger which is also the symbol for Shiv Sena. The tiger’s roar holds the ability to paralyse its prey. Shri Balasaheb has the similar ability to scare of his prey or even have people bow down to him out of respect whether they agree with the things he does or not.
When you go toKalanagar in Bandra where Mr. Thackeray’s personal residence is, there is a strange eerie feeling that envelopes you. You are scared as if you’ve entered the Tiger’s cave however it also gives you this strange sense of security. Despite the aversion of Mr. Thackeray to non – Maharashtrians you being from even north India feel secure and confident that, that is one place where you will not be harmed.
The leadership of Mr. Thackeray cannot be questioned. I had read somewhere, “Don’t ask me who’s influenced me. A lion is made up of the lambs he’s digested, and I’ve been reading all my life.” Mr. Thackeray has said in several interviews that he has an admiration for Hitler. There is a notable similarity between the leadership skills of them. The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it is a sign of a good leader. Their ability to be able to influence someone in such a way is commendable.
I would like to sign off by dedicating two quotes to Shri. Balasaheb Thackeray. These quotes sum up his personality so well that it feels like they were written for him specially.
“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.”
“The lion is, however, rarely heard – much more seldom seen.”