Bal Thackeray, or Bala Saheb Thackeray, born in 23 January 1926, was one of the most influential politicians in India, and particularly in Maharashtra. He founded the weekly, political newspaper Marmik, which was integral to his growing influence in the state. He was skeptical about Non-Maharashtrians and their clout in the state, and wrote about it in his dailies. To maintain the power of Marathi people in the state, he formed the Shiv Sena political party. Shiv Sena is one the most popular and also controversial political parties that originated from Maharashtra, as Bal Thackeray made his dislike for Muslims quite clear, and even went on to praise Adolf Hitler, who was responsible for mass genocide of Jews in Europe and is the most notorious leader on the 20th century.
Thackeray was a diligent promoter of Hindutva, in his state and in his speeches. He was considered a very good orator, using phrases and words to get his message across masses, and he was the primary reason of Shiv Sena’s rising popularity in the nation. But, even as he was praised for his political stances, his party has been in the center of many violent uprisings, and he was also blamed for violence against the Muslim community during the 1993 Bombay riots.
But even as he was criticized in media for his comments on the minorities, Thackeray always maintained popularity in his home state, and people looked up to him. His death was mourned by many, and there was a state funeral procession for him. After his death, he has become a prominent part of the political atmosphere of Maharashtra, and his policies and speeches are recounted on many occasions. He is succedded by three children, Bindumadhav Thackeray, Jaidev Thackeray and Udhav Thackeray.