Milestones in the life of Sena chief Bal Thackeray

Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray died at his home in Mumbai on Saturday after months of illness. He was 86.
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Updated on Nov 17, 2012 05:19 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray died at his home in Mumbai on Saturday after months of illness. He was 86.

1. His birth and early life:
Bal Thackeray was born on January 23, 1926 to Ramabai and Keshav Thackeray, a social reformer and journalist also known as Prabodhankar because of his magazine Prabodhan. He lost his mother early, the eldest of nine siblings, he had to abandon studies when the family faced financial difficulty

2. Thackeray quits job as cartoonist, starts magazine:
Thackeray, who started off as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal newspaper quit in the late 1950s, ostensibly because he wanted freedom to write or draw the cartoons the way he wished. He soon launched his own Marathi magazine, Marmik in 1960 on the lines of British magazine, Punch. Marmik advocated sons-of-the-soil agenda in the newly-created state of Maharashtra

3. Thackeray forms the Shiv Sena:
To fight for the cause of the Marathi manoos, Thackeray formed the Shiv Sena on June 19, 1966. His father christened the party, which stands for Shivaji's (Shiv) army (Sena) and told the people assembled at Shivaji Park, for the first Dassehra rally, "I am offering my Bal for the cause of Maharashtra"

4. Sena wins first election:
The Shiv Sena saw its first victory in an election in 1967, barely a year after it was founded, in the Thane municipal council elections. The party won 15 of the 40 seats, which established its base in Thane. Since then Sena has been ruling Thane civic body barring a few years.

5. Sena wins Mumbai civic body:
Two years after it was formed, the Sena entered Briahnmumbai Municipal Corporation in 1968 civic polls. Its candidate Hemchandra Gupte became first Sena mayor of Mumbai in 1971. Two years later in 1973 civic polls, Sena won power in the BMC and Sudhir Joshi was elected mayor.

6. Thackeray arrested first time:
Shiv Sena's first agitation was on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute. It brought Shiv Sainiks into direct confrontations with chief ministers, some were injured in police firing and died. Thackeray called them 'martyrs'. He was arrested in February 1969 and sent to Yerwada prison. The Sena forced a 'bandh' on the city, commercial activities and transport services were paralysed for three days.

7. Sena enters Legislature:
In a by-election in 1970, Sena leader Wamanrao Mahadik was elected to the Assembly and became first Sena leader to become a legislator. In 1972, Pramod Nawalkar was elected to Assembly and Manohar Joshi to Legislative Council.

8. Sena wins assembly elections on the issue of Hindutva:
In 1987, Sena contested Vile Parle assembly constituency by-election in which Thackeray sought votes on the issue of Hindutva. His candidate Ramesh Prabhoo won the election which was later set aside by the Supreme Court. Thackeray was indicted by the SC and disenfranchised for six years

9. Sena-BJP alliance formed:
In 1989, Shiv Sena and BJP came together and forged a formal alliance following talks between Thackeray and Pramod Mahajan. The alliance has remained intact since then and Sena has become BJP's oldest ally which also shares its Hindtuva ideology.

10. Sena gets recognition as political party:
The election commission in the year 1989 accepted Shiv Sena's constitution and rules and officially accepted it as a recognized political party. Sena got 'bow and arrow' as its official election symbol. In the parliamentary elections this year, four Sena candidates were elected to Lok Sabha.

11. Mouthpiece Saamna is born:
On January 23, 1989, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna was launched. All the views expressed in the newspaper is known to be the opinion of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. "The Saamna will be the voice of Hindutva. It will be a weapon," Thackeray said while launching his Marathi daily. Since then, Saamna became communicator between Thackeray and his followers.

12. Sena wins state elections:
In 1995 assembly elections, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance emerged as largest political party in the assembly and formed the government with support of Independents. Manohar Joshi was Sena's first chief minister. The party won 73 seats in the assembly and 31 out of 32 constituencies in Mumbai. In 1999, Narayan Rane replaced Joshi as chief minister.

13. Son Uddhav becomes working president:
Thackeray handed over the reins of his party, in 2004, to son Uddhav when he was appointed the party's working president. This came as a reward following the BMC victory in 2002. A wildlife photographer, he was pushed to the centre-stage after his mother Meenatai and brother Bindumadhav died, when his father began depending on him. The decision shocked many as Raj was seen as Thackeray's political heir.

14. Sena splits, Raj forms MNS:
Sena split twice, first in 2005 and again in 2006. First Narayan Rane walked out with his supporters. Then Raj who was hurt for being sidelined by working president Uddhav chose to break away and form the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). The MNS dealt a blow to Sena in 2009 when the latter failed to win the assembly elections.

15. Yuva Sena is formed, grandson Aditya enters politics:
At the Dussera rally in 2010, Sena chief Bal Thackeray introduced grandson Aditya as the chief of the new Sena youth outfit Yuva Sena. Thackeray, who had always criticised dynasty politics, insisted that his Sainiks had chosen Aditya, and not he. Two years later, this Dussera, a frail Thackeray fervently appealed to his Sainiks to support and cooperate with Uddhav and Aditya the way they had with him.

16. Sena wins Mumbai civic body in 2011 after Thackeray's appeal:
Beating anti-incumbency, the Shiv Sena won the BMC elections in 2011 by winning 75 of the 227 seats. Sena chief Bal Thackeray personally addressed two rallies - one in Thane and the other in Mumbai and made emotional appeal to the people to vote for the Sena. It had the desired effect.

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