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UpFront/Special | Nov 17, 2012 | 1009 views

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
Bal Thackeray's Fractured Legacy
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.

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Comments (160)
Marathi-konkani Mar 16, 2014
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.
Prashantfrompune Jun 27, 2013
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.
Jaydip Dec 10, 2012
Don't really agree with statements made in this article, Late Mr. Thackery was one of the Best known to deliver speeches in India
Dhamnaskar Nov 30, 2012
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 ?
Vasanti Damle Nov 29, 2012
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.
Deven Nov 29, 2012
@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.
Arvind Singh Nov 29, 2012
A flair for writing and frequent appearances on news channels do not necessarily mean you have discerning eyes. Read appraisals and commentaries printed in the English newspapers on Bal Thackeray'€™s demise which show that these writers have scarcely felt the pulse of the masses. Editor Kumar Ketkar for instance. On the day Thackeray'€™s cortege was taken to Shivaji Park, Mr. Ketkar sat in the Times Now studio informing us about the bad influences the dead man had on politics and how unapologetically he had set asunder the cultural legacy of Maharashtra. During the incessant coverage the correspondents of the channel kept reminding us that the city was witnessing the largest ever turn out, emphasizing the fact that not all of them belonged to Thackeray'€™s party. But consistent and committed journalist as Mr. Ketkar is, he did not mitigate his admonition of the dead man despite the evidence of his popularity at hand.

Writers of the English press, in general, have antipathy to Thackeray. Those who were filtered out of English education abhorred his street politics and unrefined views. On the other hand, Thackeray is anathema to journalists and writers who had anchored their ideological ship to the Left, such as Mr. Ketkar; not so much for his political views, but for the fact that he made the Left grandstanding irrelevant in the state. The students of S.A. Dange and S.M. Joshi have never forgiven Thackeray for finishing the communist movements in Mumbai. Their obsolete phrases and specious internationalism were no match for his ordinary politics. The Left leaders in the state were taking forty winks when Thackeray, emulating their craft, trounced them in duel and sent them to purgation from which they have never returned. Mr. Ketkar had sipped his ideological tonic at the elbow of Mr. Dange and Mr. Joshi. When these leaders died, Thackeray did not mince words ridiculing them to show their failings in leadership. So when Thackeray died it was the students'€™ turn to avenge.

To sample Mr. Ketkar'€™s expertise on the Shiv Sena, we could read the article he wrote "Bal Thackeray's Fractured Legacy", in Forbes India, November 17. In the article Mr. Ketkar has blamed Thackeray for all that ails Maharashtra today, from political degeneration to de-intellectualization of people; for lawlessness on the street to the inability of Marathi writers to win the Nobel in literature. He wants his readers to believe that had Thackeray not risen in prominence and led the anarchical programme Marathi men would have won a Nobel or an Oscar. Thackeray'€™s eccentric politics, Mr. Ketkar accuses, made Marathi men'€™s mind diminutive, sapped their cerebral energy and set them lose after turning them fanatical. In Mr. Ketkar'€™s view he had no political programme or ideas, had not read history and literature and had no idea what disservice he was doing with his partisan demagoging.

The obvious message of Mr. Ketkar'€™s presentation is that except the Shiv Sena and its founder, other leaders of the state are well versed in history, are sensitive to literature and inspired Marathi men to win an Oscar or a Nobel. Since four and half years, Maharashtra has been ruled by forces inimical to Thackeray and the Shiv Sena. If Marathi men failed to win a Nobel or an Oscar, it is too much to blame Thackeray. He did not want his followers to read high-sounding theories or avante garde literature; he wanted them to read issues immediate to them, concerning their lives. Thus he started a magazine and newspapers which spoke to them in their language. Thackeray never wanted his followers to become cerebral giants like Mr. Ketkar.

Mr. Ketkar does not deny that Thackeray created an aura around which gravitated the high and mighty of business and cinema. How does one explain a rabble rouser becoming dear to the affluent that he was so often accused of lampooning? Sadly, Mr. Ketkar fails to explain the contradiction in this despite his esteemed cerebral potentialities. Mr. Ketkar accuses Thackeray of unleashing divisive forces whose complexities he was unequipped to comprehend. Mr. Ketkar here underestimates Thackeray'€™s ability. He was quite in command of his forces which he '€˜remote controlled'€™. True it was that he enjoyed power minus its frills and unabashedly admitted it. One doubt how many others leaders in India, for instance Sonia Gandhi, would accept accusations of remote controlling their forces; and how many journalists, such as Mr. Ketkar, would have the cerebral chutzpah to indict them.

Just as journalists write sententiously to show their cerebral arsenal, politicians talk sanctimoniously to smudge issues. Thackeray talked straight in a country where political gobbledygook is fashionable. In a moribund state where political discourse is ruefully stenciled to the '€˜Phule-Ambedkar-Shahu'€™ framework, Thackeray had the gumption to chart a new way and to start with, he used the tools of language to push his agenda. His antics and mimicry amused his followers but underneath his capricious performance he subtly planted his messages. For example while assailing the left leaders in the state Thackeray used to say that they would dutifully unfasten their umbrellas in Mumbai if it rains in Moscow. For seminar-bound thinkers and glossy journal readers Thackeray'€™s allegory was flippant. But he was not addressing them; he was talking to the man in the street.

He avoided blurring his messages, said what he believed was right, notwithstanding the danger of losing his political base. It was his brevity and political bravery which made him popular apart from the causes he upheld. Mr. Ketkar might have forgotten but some years back he had praised Thackeray'€™s political bravery. In a report he had welcomed Shiv Sena'€™s disregard for caste arithmetic in the distribution of election tickets while he lamented that the other parties were not as courageous as Thackeray. He had written, "the Shiv Sena is‚€¶ far less casteist than even the so-called progressive parties. It is paradoxical indeed that an official militant communal party can rise over casteism while the official self-styled progressive parties get totally bogged down by caste considerations.‚€Ě (Sena‚€™s list bares non-casteist nature, despite image, the Economic Times, 4 April 1996)

It is indeed ironical that Mr. Ketkar has almost forgotten his discreet tribute to Thackeray‚€™s audacity. He always played brave and straight and did not play misty for anyone. He never sought political redemption, destroyed rules to set his own, treaded the turfs where politicians dreaded to toddle, and he made it big despite enumerable odds. If he had acquired the image of an enfant terrible it was given by those cerebral enthusiasts such as Mr. Ketkar who misread him altogether.
Kushal Pradhan Nov 28, 2012
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.
Response to Kushal Pradhan:
Anup Nov 29, 2012
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
Deven Nov 28, 2012
@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.
Vignesh Mudaliar Nov 27, 2012
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.
Response to Vignesh Mudaliar:
Anup Nov 29, 2012
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!
Nilima Tamhane Nov 27, 2012
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
Prakash Gupte Nov 25, 2012
I am not an expert or knowledgeable with Marathi literature, but I am very much sure that there are very good Marathi writers who are certainly much better than mentioned by Mr Ketkar. In field of economy science and film making, many Marathi Laureates have got national / international recognition. Yes, today Marathi is not a '€˜Global Language'€™ but the world knows that it is the language in which Shri Balasaheb Thackeray used to roar from Mumbai and its reverberation still lingers in every field of society. Being recognised as '€˜Marathi'€™ and have '€™sense of pride'€™ for same is not prejudiced towards others. It is mentioned that ‚€˜Thackeray clan is a typical CKP (Chandraseniey Kayastha Prabhu) lower middle-class family€™.

Shri Balasaheb did not confine himself to CKP but became leader of all the Maharashtrian and like minded true nationalist leader. Every proud Marathi knows it and the whole nation and the world witness this on 18 Nov 2012. Many biased comments are made on '€˜Marathi middle class'€™, like education in English medium school and status of Marathi schools etc., which are not true. The Marathi middle class may have some limitation, but certainly they have high vision and aspiration and certainly do not have '€˜middle class'€™ mentality, as expressed by Mr Ketkar.
Response to Prakash Gupte:
Vanraj Shinde Nov 28, 2012
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.
Suraj Nov 25, 2012
"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.
Pandurang Dabholkar Nov 25, 2012
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.
Reignforrest Nov 24, 2012
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.
Shekhar Nov 24, 2012
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.
Aniket Sonpethkar Nov 24, 2012
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....
Amit Sharma Nov 24, 2012
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.
Raminder Nov 23, 2012
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.
Keshav Sathaye Nov 23, 2012
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.
Nikhil Kulkarni Nov 23, 2012
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.
Niranjan Patwardhan Nov 23, 2012
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'...
Response to Niranjan Patwardhan:
Amit Sharma Nov 24, 2012
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.
Adv. Sameer Deshpande Nov 22, 2012
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.
Response to Adv. Sameer Deshpande:
Shekhar Nov 24, 2012
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.
Akshay S Nov 22, 2012
A good article reflecting life
Samrat Hoshing Nov 22, 2012
Reading this article is a waste of time.
Suhas Ranadive Nov 22, 2012
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.
Response to Suhas Ranadive:
Mohan Nov 24, 2012
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.
Vinay Chitnis(chitnavis) Nov 22, 2012
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.
Akshay Tembhurnikar Nov 22, 2012
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.
Vaibhav Deshpande Nov 21, 2012
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?
Vaibhav Deshpande Nov 21, 2012
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!!!!!
Suhas Waman Kulkarni Nov 21, 2012
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.
Sandeep Nov 21, 2012
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.
Siddharth Chitre Nov 21, 2012
Hi Mr. Ketkar ,
I am a CKP from Mumbai... I guess you need to get your facts rights before talking about the CKP community..
Bharat Nov 21, 2012
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.
Response to Bharat:
Rajiv Nov 22, 2012
Hahah! Well said!
Response to Bharat:
Yodarocks Nov 23, 2012
I am a Marathi and I agree with you. Bal Thackeray appealed to the basest sentiment of jobless Marathi youths. He told them that the reason they are jobless is because someone from outside came and took their job. First those were South Indians, Gujaratis, Muslims and recently, North Indians.
He had a few good qualities and I am sure he was great as a person, but his politics was completely wrong.

People see him as Congress' enemy but conveniently forget that it was the Congress which propped him up when they wanted to drive Communist out of Mumbai. And he, willingly agreed to be their tool. He was accused and widely suspected to be the mastermind behind the killing of a prominent Communist leader back in the 1980s.

I was appalled to see so many people came out to mourn him and now those same misguided ones are vouching for his greatness.

Arun Shourie once wrote a book on B. R. Ambedkar, 'Worshiping False Gods', IMO, that book should have been written on Bal Thackeray.
J9 Nov 21, 2012
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
Response to J9:
Wooo Nov 21, 2012
Common sense, facts and logic are just like north indians. They are not allowed in Maharashtra.
Response to Wooo:
J9 Nov 22, 2012
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
Dhrao Nov 21, 2012
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.
Nayanesh Gupte Nov 21, 2012
Also check this:

Vivek Ranadive (CKP people)
Born Bombay, India
Occupation Chairman, CEO and Founder,
TIBCO Software
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivek_Ranadive
Nayanesh Gupte Nov 21, 2012
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
Nitin Palkar Nov 21, 2012
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.
Prashant Nov 21, 2012
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...............
Dr Suhas Choudhari Nov 21, 2012
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.
Jignesh Nov 21, 2012
Tough competition for Diggy. His job is in danger only because of you Mr Ketkar.
Completely Biased Article!
Abhijit Nov 21, 2012
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.
Sridhar Iyer Nov 21, 2012
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.
Response to Sridhar Iyer:
Milind Kotwal Nov 21, 2012
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...
Response to Milind Kotwal:
Vilas More Nov 21, 2012
And Sambhaji was not killed by the British but was captured and murdered by Aurangzeb when Shivaji maharaj was alive
Sid Nov 21, 2012
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...
Amol Nov 21, 2012
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.
Sachi Mohanty Nov 20, 2012
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
Vijay Nov 20, 2012
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.
Response to Vijay:
Gadbad Icecream Nov 21, 2012
Vijay bhai..you have Read Great maratha..thats a Good thing..
But saying " No other cast or religion in India have glorious history like Maratha" means you are ignorant about everthing else in India..
Deven Nov 20, 2012
Mr. Anand. Do you mean to say 2.5 million people gathered for the funeral out of the fear for their lives? What rubbish.
Response to Deven:
Gadbad Nov 21, 2012
No..out of the fear of Getting Arrested if they spoke freely...
Milind Kotwal Nov 20, 2012
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...
Response to Milind Kotwal:
Arun Nov 20, 2012
I understand and share your annoyance with the pseudo secularists for whom the definition of secularism seems to be anti-Hinduism. But saying that Hinduism is the basis of Indian Nationalism does not make you sound very enlightened either.
You say that Hinduism is the common factor across India.But I thought the common factor was being Indian!By your logic, Bhagat Singh(a Sikh), Ashfaqullah Khan(a Muslim), Dadabhai Naoroji(a Parsi) were not nationalists.
You talk of Hindu culture as the basis of nationalism.What part of Hindu culture is smoking a Cuban cigar and drinking wine everyday?[The daily activity of Thackeray]If it is then please enlighten me.
And Marathas are not a nation.That is stretching it too far.And even if certain Marathi jingoists think so then it is quite sad that they have nobody better than Bal Thackeray to look upto as their icon.
Response to Milind Kotwal:
Vish Nov 21, 2012
@ milind kotwal...hinduism is a relatively new concept discovered by the britishers. i think the word you wanted may be was 'sanatana dharma'.
Response to Milind Kotwal:
Hmmm Nov 21, 2012
"if one does not accept Hindu culture as the base of Indian Nationalism..."....My marathi friend, no one has to accept anything. India is a democracy. I am an Atheist. I reject Hinduism and all other religions. This is my Constitutionally protected right. If you don't like it, you can either amend the Constitution or move to a country where imposing your views on others is acceptable.
Response to Arun:
Niranjan Nov 22, 2012
Religion! The epitome of all evil.
Anand Nov 20, 2012
What Charisma? It was goonda gardi and the threat of murder that made people obey him.
Chintamani Gangadhar Karkhanis Nov 20, 2012
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
Response to Chintamani Gangadhar Karkhanis:
Vilas More Nov 21, 2012
But Shiv Sena never completed any initiative they took. They abondoned the marathi manoos after getting political milage. what are the contributions to the common man except opening wada pav stalls for some of the jobless?
Darshan Watve Nov 20, 2012
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
Vijay Sj Nov 20, 2012
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:)
Rishi Nov 20, 2012
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.
Nitin Rege Nov 19, 2012
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.
Anon Mystery Nov 19, 2012
Can we switch name back to Bombay?
Response to Anon Mystery:
Gaurav Nov 19, 2012
Switching name back to Bombay? Next what do you want? Switching back to British rule. It is because of such shallow folks like you, such characters get to survive.
Response to Anon Mystery:
Anup Nov 29, 2012
Why don't you switch this state instead! and don't get excited Raj is still their
Prathamesh Nov 19, 2012
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?
Response to Prathamesh:
Sudhir Kale Nov 20, 2012
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!
Bhagwan Nov 19, 2012
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.
Response to Bhagwan:
Rahul Nov 25, 2012
@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.
Gautam Nov 19, 2012
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.
Neha Chouvbey Nov 19, 2012
highly appreciate the honest and the subtle writing. The entire life history was nicely penned with a brilliant conclusion.
Sunil Shinde Nov 19, 2012
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.
Response to Sunil Shinde:
Arun Nov 19, 2012
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.
Response to Arun:
Amol Nov 21, 2012
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.
Response to Amol:
Arun Nov 21, 2012
@Amol: I was not talking about nepotism.I very well know that nepotism exists all over India.Indian politics is a glaring example of that including Bal Thackeray.
If you read carefully you will understand that I was simply responding to Sunil's statement in which he stated "As far as work inspire by saheb has many got jobs". I am guessing that he meant that Thackeray's inspiration provided work to many Marathis. To that I simply replied that it was the merit of the people that got them their jobs not Bal Thackeray's "inspiration".
Well Wisher Nov 19, 2012
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!
Geetuag Nov 19, 2012
ha ha Mr Ketkar had to write something against Thakrey....

....its a part of his work not recognizing people who oppose congress
Rustom Nov 19, 2012
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...
Response to Rustom:
Vish Nov 20, 2012
you said it! i like the energy and the emphasis on the truth. may pseudos learn something from what you have said.
Sunil Hemnani Nov 19, 2012
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.
Response to Sunil Hemnani:
Meera Nov 19, 2012
But Sunil, a mass following isnt always a great thing. Osama had a mass following too. There are people who were willing to die for him. So does that make him a great leader too?!
Response to Meera:
Sunil Hemnani Nov 19, 2012
Well Osama is quite the comparison ,not a person I particularly would appreciate your mentioning .Lets just say the mass following could be considered because he did inspire hope to people who needed it . Lets also consider the 1992 the number people of innocent people saved by his counter .
Response to Sunil Hemnani:
Meera Nov 19, 2012
I understand that you are trying to highlight his achievement of attracting a large number of people. But you should know that this does not make him a leader. He just had the gift of gab, which he milked to exploit people's insecurities and turn them against their own countrymen. How can you condone that! One day some "leader" will spread hateful propaganda against you and your community, and generate a lot of following...would you still call that person a leader??
Response to Sunil Hemnani:
Arjun Nov 19, 2012
You need to check the Srikrishna commission report. He incited violence in Mumbai. 4 times as many people died because of this violence than in the blasts that followed. What if he had appealed for peace and calm? Maybe so many people would not have died and maybe there would not have been any Mumbai blasts.

Also, the comparison with Osama is not that off. Both encouraged violence to further their agendas. Bal Thackeray even called on Hindus to form 'suicide bombers' groups. No respect for someone who was a true opportunist and preached violence and hate.
Response to Sunil Hemnani:
Vish Nov 20, 2012
very well put. yes! he was a great leader and did not dilute his agenda. he was a strength and support to the hindus. it is a pity he died so young as there are none that could take up his mantle.
Response to Vish:
Arun Nov 21, 2012
And what was this agenda may I ask?That all people except Marathis are bad?
Response to Arun:
Vish Nov 21, 2012
quite simple in fact! protection of the downtrodden...the downtrodden hindus who have been relegated to second class citizen level in their own hindustan. it is such strong leaders like bal thackeray and his shiv sena that are providing a barrier to total destruction of hinduism by the incursionists. may such parties grow from strength to strength. i would liken him to a local adi sankaracharya.
Response to Vish:
Arun Nov 22, 2012
@Vish: u talk of "Protection of downtrodden Hindus".Kindly tell me how were they protecting these downtrodden Hindus when Shiv sainiks beat up poor migrant laborers from North India.
And please dont insult Adi Shankaracharya by comparing him to Bal Thackeray. It borders on blasphemy.
Response to Arun:
Vish Nov 23, 2012
@ arun...bal thakeray and his shiv sainiks were the ones who protected the hindus in mumbai during the 93 riots.
i see the sentiment in the north indian bashing. i am myself a south indian. the issue is different here. it was to do with outsiders trying to divide my roti while my own were going hungry. it is happening world over. does not mean these same forces won't unite to form a wall in the face of adversity which hits their common faith.
as regards adi sankaracharya, he took up the unifying job when hinduism was fragmented in entire india due to budhism getting the upper hand. some say he killed or arranged the mayhem of many budhists, in the process, or converted many budhist religious places to hindu temples. so violence to achieve the end was part of his strategy.
Response to Vish:
Arun Nov 23, 2012
@ Vish: As far as your argument about the 1993 riots are concerned you should read the above comment by Arjun: "You need to check the Srikrishna commission report. He incited violence in Mumbai. 4 times as many people died because of this violence than in the blasts that followed. What if he had appealed for peace and calm? Maybe so many people would not have died and maybe there would not have been any Mumbai blasts."

You say that North Indians are taking away the roti of Marathis. Isnt Ambani eating that roti too?You obviously wont try to throw him out cause he is a billionaire. You will instead target a poor man who has come away from his wife, his little children with the hopes of earning that roti on which his very survival depends on!And here you are Mr. Vish talking about the protection of the downtrodden!Just because you got on a bus first doesnt mean the rest who board the bus after you are intruding. By arguing that North Indians dont have the right to work anywhere other than their respective places of origin, you are denying them the Fundamental Right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India(Article 19e) and violating Article 15, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. If you dont have any respect or sympathy for your countrymen then atleast have some respect for your Constitution.

With regards to Adi Shankaracharya you say "some say he killed or arranged the mayhem of many budhists, in the process, or converted many budhist religious places to hindu temples. so violence to achieve the end was part of his strategy."Really? Who are these "some people" who say he killed many Budhhists? Nowhere have I found any such references regarding Adi Shankaracharya. In my earlier response I had told you that by comparing him to Thackeray, you are bordering on blasphemy. But by making such irresponsible, uninformed statements you have now crossed it.
Response to Arun:
Vish Nov 23, 2012
On adi sankaracharya...being a keralite i wouldn't like to believe it myself but there are many sites, googlable, including wikipedia which would tell you otherwise.

As regards shiv sena's adventurism against north indians even navnirman sena is guilty of that. i said 'guilty' because you are quite correct in expressing the thoughts that must be in the minds of many indians. however, my initial argument was not regarding the north indian episode. i will not continue that argument as you have amply explained the feelings of the hurt citizens.

Sri krishna committee report is bull. Now they say the entire episode of godhra train burning never took place. i do not believe in all these concocted reports of such 'appointed' committees. Not just myself but most of us who were in mumbai during the riots in the thick of things do not agree with such reports. Shiv sena played an important balance to protect the Hindus. In the thick of the battlefield no commander can call for peace. The blood thirsty enemy would either ridicule him, stamp his soldiers as cowards, loot his wealth, rape his women and then ultimately behead him as well. Balasaheb was right in that.
Response to Vish:
Arun Nov 24, 2012
@Vish: Wikipedia does not say anything regarding Shankaracharya, directly or indirectly which suggests that he used violence. Before suggesting sources of your information, kindly first read them yourself.

You say that even MNS is guilty of adventurism against North Indians. Does that make it right?Raj Thackeray is just trying to copy his uncle's strategy.Only the enemies have changed.For his uncle they were the South Indians and for his nephew it is the North Indians. It seems they hate everyone else except themselves. It pains me to see that people, including you admire a man who incites people against his own countrymen!

Sri Krishna commission was not appointed for the Godhra incident. The main commission for that was the Nanavati Commission, which infact does say that the Godhra train burning was not accidental but pre-planned.

You compare Thackeray to a commander.But shouldn't a good commander be in the battlefield himself rather than incite his people from the comfort of his home, smoking a cigar.Personally, I wont have any respect for such a commander and neither should you.
Radha Krishna Kumar Nov 19, 2012
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.
Shireen Gandhy Nov 19, 2012
Kumar Ketkar, the true Maratha tells it like it REALLY is... those who have missed this, please read!
Aditya Nov 18, 2012
Well Said
Pravin Nov 18, 2012
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.
Response to Pravin:
Meera Nov 19, 2012
Thank god you came to your senses. better late than never :)
Response to Pravin:
Bushan Nov 21, 2012
Mr. Pravin when u says that shivsena party is mindless and dont know about economy then can you elaboratre why there is so much corruption in Maharashra even though it is rulled by intellectual people for rest of 50 years
Devil Caeser Nov 18, 2012
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 .
Somnath Nov 18, 2012
Mr. Kumar ketkar with speaks with forked tounge and certainly has double standards and has personal agenda. This is not good jounalism.
Meera Nov 18, 2012
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!
Response to Meera:
Vish Nov 18, 2012
@ 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.
Response to Vish:
Meera Nov 19, 2012
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.
Response to Meera:
Vish Nov 19, 2012
you mentioned two things in your original post. 1. that hitler did not have a 'clear political agenda'. i was merely alluding that statement of yours. hitler's agenda was to spread his belief of aryanism. he considered aryans as the most supreme of people.
peace!
Response to Vish:
Meera Nov 20, 2012
Yes and I was telling you that Hitler's so called agenda was complete Bull (Pardon the language) And if you were even a little bit updated with history then you would know that. He alluded to this image of tall blue eyed blondes "Aryans"...have you ever seen a picture of Hitler?H e was short with black hair and brown eyes. Even he did not meet his own qualifications of being the so called Aryan!
Response to Meera:
Vish Nov 21, 2012
@ meera...what you think of hitler cannot reverse history, can it? the truth is that that man had this great vision and he almost succeeded in achieving it. during the second world war, it took all the combined strength of the allied forces (britain, russia, usa and their vassals and slaves like india/burma/nepal etc.etc.) to overcome his victory march. if he had won you would have learned a different history!
Response to Vish:
Meera Nov 21, 2012
Hitler had a great vision?!!Are you delusional!
Response to Meera:
Vish Nov 21, 2012
no i am not. but i am also likely to report facts as facts that happened without allowing my personal judgement to cloud what i say. it is a fact that hitler had this vision (right or wrong, it was his vision). i have read many accounts of the second world war with great interest.
Response to Vish:
Meera Nov 22, 2012
Oh now you talk of facts!!Mr. Vish...I have said this before and will repeat it again...Kindly update your knowledge of history.You say you have read books on WWII with great interest.I have graduated with History Honours from one of top colleges of the country with First Division...so it wouldn't be wise of you to compete with me on the number of books you have read on the aforesaid topic.
You say you report the facts.But your "facts" are incorrect Mr. Vish.

FIRST you start off saying that "Hitler did have a clear agenda. of establishing the aryan race supremacy world over"-When I ask you who these Aryans are you dont have an answer.That is because there isnt an Aryan race.It was concocted by Hitler's propaganda ministry to project their "supremacy". The source of the term Aryan is "arya" from the Rigveda, which means an honorable person or noble.It does not have any racial connotation whatsoever. Indologists like Max Mueller saw similarities between Sanskrit, Old Iranian and European languages and used the term Indo-Aryan for this language group.Hence it only has linguistic connotations.The Nazis appropriated this and twisted it to their own needs.They generated widespread propaganda about their Aryan Race Theory and unfortunately this became incorporated into the historical writings of European colonists because it provided an "intellectual" backing to their claims of being superior to Asians and Africans. What is even more unfortunate is that this "history" which British imperialists concocted is still believed by many including yourself.Many Indians sympathize with Hitler thinking that his idea of Aryan race incorporates Indians too.It probably makes some Indians suffering from inferiority complex feel good about themselves.But let me tell you that Hitlers image of "Aryan" was that of a blonde blue eyed person.It did not include Indians.They ranked low in his hierarchy of "pure races".

Second:When you couldnt explain what aryan meant you said it took britain russia usa to defeat Hitler.If you are so well versed in WWII history then why didnt you mention that Germany had the support of Italy and Japan.So it wasnt like it was Hitler versus the rest of the world. These countries used up all their resourses to defeat the Allied forces and still lost!

Third: In your last response you make a desperate attempt to salvage your argument saying that Hitler had a vision right or wrong. His "vision" led to the death of 11 million people and destroyed the economy of one the most industrialised nations and brought shame to its people.What a crappy "vision" it was.Mr. Vish you have already shown your ignorance in your previous comments.Now please dont show your utter lack of discernment by such statements.
Response to Meera:
Vish Nov 22, 2012
@ meera...:) :) :)...i am wondering whether i should 'react' to you, call you things that might be despicable to you and tom-tom about my iit/iim status...miss meera. i think i will simply ignore you. buhbye.
Response to Vish:
Meera Nov 22, 2012
You start off very confidently showering me with your "facts" and when I thrash them one by one you conveniently keep on retracting them.When you are left with no "facts" you contemplate abusing me. Why am I not surprised :)
And as far as you showing off your iit/iim background is concerned, which btw sounds soooo... legitimate, reflects only one thing: how desperate you are to hide your ignorance behind a bunch of institutional tags.
Response to Meera:
Vish Nov 23, 2012
lady...for the last time let me explain where you see things differently from me.
hitler had an agenda...right or wrong, let's not justify. but his agenda was to make the world led by what he thought as the purest of pure race: aryanism. now again let us not go into the invasion theory and whether aryans existed or not. but hitler did believe in what he thought was correct and he went forth. that is history.

To achieve his means he went across with a master plan of invasion. you are right: italy and japan joined in later. but except for japan, italy was not a major show of power. and the foray of hitler into the neighboring countries were almost a single handed effort of the charismatic leadership of hitler. mussolini was a no-name guy. we have heard of all the might of the german army and how they piled v2 bomb upon bomb on england reducing it to a wreck. Hitler even used balloons and all sorts of modern technology available at that time. His tank might/sea might are all legendary. i am not interested in digressing from the topic too much but to my mind the mistake you made in the debate was to go for the morals of the person instead of accepting that at that time he was in that belief and to achieve his aim he went through that process. As regards taunts and barbs, let us keep those to the minimum and just trade points. i hope we do so from here on wards.
Response to Vish:
Meera Dec 12, 2012
Oh so I guess it is alright to have a "vision" no matter how twisted it is and how much loss and suffering it causes to people.
Hozefa Nov 18, 2012
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.
Leena Nov 18, 2012
This is great loss for Maharashtra. Ketkar your views on IBN Lokmat yesterday were totally different than these. Which are true?
Response to Leena:
Anon Nov 20, 2012
I guess it changes from channel to channel
Anil Thadathil Nov 18, 2012
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.
Chirag Nov 18, 2012
Aptly written :)
Sagar Badri Nov 18, 2012
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.
Response to Sagar Badri:
Common People Nov 18, 2012
That's the problem Mr. Badri.... it lies in blood of all shivsainiks...which u wrote in the last part of ur comment...... threat and violence..... come out of this now... plz... behave like an educated person
Response to Sagar Badri:
Vish Nov 18, 2012
quite often i have seen those cronies who were surrounding the chairman of a corporation till 5pm on day of his retirement, turn around and speak out their suppressed feelings against him when he hasn't even reached his home. some people are like that. :)
Response to Sagar Badri:
Raj Nov 18, 2012
Wow Sagar, you showed your true colours, in the direct physical threat to the author. Yes this is why apart from a shiv sainiks and MNS, most citizens hate this person Bal Thackeray, due to this exact politics of hate, violence, threats, political murders and religious/regional murders.
Response to Common People:
Sagar Badri Nov 19, 2012
Common people ... firstly i am not a Shiv Sainik, neither do i follow any political party. From your comment though it feels that yo are a staunch supporter of one party. Threat and violence ??? Has non-violence done any good for this country or state? The most recent example being our poor Anna. Jan Lokpal is still pending despite of so many Non-violent agitations..... Finally Arvind had to form a party. What Balasaheb did in the 60s was apt and its still applicable to a state which is run by blind, deaf and insensitive morons. You may or may not agree with his methods but one thing you can never deny, they were extremely effective. Go educate yourself on Maharashtra and the struggle, you wont need anything else.
Ashish Bhosale Nov 18, 2012
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.
Arya Nov 18, 2012
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
Response to Arya:
Meera Nov 19, 2012
"Real Father of the Nation"!!!U Kidding me!
Response to Arya:
Vish Nov 20, 2012
i would rather equate him with subhash chandra bose as both were people who lived with strong convictions all throughout the thick and thin. great sons of india!
Vinita Nov 18, 2012
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.
Bhagwan Nov 18, 2012
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.
Anon Nov 17, 2012
Another glorified extremist is no more - India is making a hero of him.
Rajesh Udhani Nov 17, 2012
Very sad day for me in my life today
Doc Nov 17, 2012
Very interesting article about Bal Thackeray!
Amish Thaker Nov 17, 2012
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.
Vinayak Kalmundikar Nov 17, 2012
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 !!
Vikas Kshemakalyani Nov 17, 2012
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.
Bhadra Nov 17, 2012
Kumar,
You say one thing here, but a completely different thing on Times Now.
Why?
Bhadra
Rvc Nov 17, 2012
Interesting..although I would rather have read a completely unbiased article by a non Maharashtrian...
Sas Nov 17, 2012
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.
Response to Sas:
Ryan Nov 19, 2012
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.
Mittermaniac Nov 17, 2012
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!
Narayanan N G Nov 17, 2012
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.
P. Venkatraman Nov 17, 2012
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.
Sosha Nov 17, 2012
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.
Thinker Nov 17, 2012
Very true said... A insecure man who cheated his own people for his political motivations and left raj like pigs in his legacy...
Lm Nov 17, 2012
Looks like Ketkar is rocking yet another boat! Very good article, and it will be interesting to see what his legacy is
Response to Lm:
Anand Joshi Nov 23, 2012
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.
Response to Anand Joshi:
Kushal Pradhan Nov 28, 2012
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?
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