No one cares about Bal Thackeray

Published: February 24, 2011

The Shiv Sena was lying pretty low for a while but that was too good to be true. This publicity hungry party decided to tell the people they exist during the cricket season.

One comment from Shahid Afridi, saying an India-Pakistan final would be a good watch, was enough to trigger anti-Pakistan sentiment. Bal Thackeray will apparently decide whether or not to allow the Pakistani team to play at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai if they reach the finals.

Thackeray through time

Till Bal Thackeray headed the Shiv Sena, the party had a moderately strong hold in Maharashtra. However, after his son Uddhav Thackeray took over the party the formation of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (which unfortunately works on similar lines), the party soon became a toothless tiger.

Starting off as a cartoonist for a newspaper, Bal Thackeray’s political career begain in the 1960s, thanks to the Congress who gave him a free hand to do whatever he wanted to in order to tighten their grip on Mumbai’s industrial unions. At that time, Thackeray was leading an anti-migrant campaign as well – though at that time it was against South Indians and Gujaratis and now it’s against Biharis and UPites.

Thackeray became the uncrowned king of Mumbai. He was soon feared across Maharashtra as many were forced to bend to his flawed policies.

Despite this power Thakeray has one major flaw:  his policies on issues were never consistent. From anti-migrant issues it shifted to anti-Muslim. Then, when that lost steam, he went back to the anti-migrant policy, moving soon to his anti-Pakistan rants and not to forget, the in-between campaigns against Western culture (especially Valentine’s Day.) The only thing consistent about him was the way he communicated his messages – through violence, hate speeches, fiery articles and vandalism.

The weakening Sena

Things have changed. The party which was supposedly based on safeguarding the rights of Maharashtrians, never really managed to do anything to uplift the Maharashtrians, besides changing names of cities, flyovers etcetera. All it has managed to gain is the people’s hatred and honestly, enough is enough with his hate and divisive politics. In Maharashtra, there may still be a few Maharashtrians who look up to him, but anywhere else in India, I don’t think his views even matter.

So what does he do? Resort to attention grabbing tactics, all of which have backfired on him.

Thackeray first shot his mouth off by slamming Sachin Tendulkar for saying that Mumbai belonged to all. The end result of that was that he was forced to eat his words.

Next he condemned Shahrukh Khan for his comments on Pakistani cricketers playing for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and called for a ban on his movie. The end result – the movie went on to become a blockbuster.

Then he opposed Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Mumbai and called it a publicity gimmick. Rahul Gandhi managed to win the Mumbaikars’ hearts by bonding with them which the Shiv Sena has never managed to do in all these years.

Credibility of Thackeray’s claims

Now coming back to the present. Bal Thackeray has shot himself in the foot yet again by saying he will not allow the Pakistani team to play if they reach the finals.

Firstly, he should have thought about this when Wankhede Stadium was decided as the finals venue, not that his opinion makes a difference.

Secondly, who is asking for his permission? He isn’t exactly in power and no one really cares about his hooliganism anymore, so what makes him think the people will support him? And if this is supposed to be his idea to prove his nationalist sentiments, then he should realise that by disrupting the final, he will only cause worldwide shame.

Lastly, do not mix politics in sports, especially not cricket. In this cricket crazy country, where cricketers are held at a higher pedestal than any politician, talking about causing problems during the World Cup is akin to playing with fire. This time Maharashtrian or non-Maharashtrian, no one will tolerate it.

So in conclusion, I think we have all had enough of your hate politics and your parties deteriorating political standing is proof enough for that.


Zoha Tapia

A freelance journalist who lives in Bombay

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://na deep

    As a mumbaikar – I have to agree with you Zoha. However hooliganism can cause enough headaches for the administration. And some of the things I cannot forgive Balasaheb for is : the bust of his wife in Shivaji park, renaming everything after Shivaji (like Maharashtra has no other heroes), removing Rohinton Mistry’s classic book “such a long journey” from the university syllabus and oh yes…the riots that saw Bombay go up in flames (for the latter I have to thank Advani and Dawood Ibrahim and a certain ruling against Shah Bano as well).Recommend

  • Chris

    You are joking about RG Jr. People from Mumbai are smarter than you think. They saw through RG Jr.’s gimmicks. Thackeray did not oppose his coming to Mumbai. He merely spoke against the publicity laden gimmickry that it was.RGJ traveled in a local and denied several regular commuters a seat, as the coach was cordoned off to the regulars to take care of the security that our ‘bonding’ leader needs to isolate him from the unwashed Janta.

    If Thackeray is so irrelevant, why write about him? I got news for you Lady. You just made him important!Recommend

  • Satish

    Agree completely .. These clowns are not to be taken seriouslyRecommend

  • Sundeep

    Wel there was no need to write this article, i mean u ppl just wait for sane and silly issues to pop up so that u can writ about it………….Every on the land of subcontinent knows what is Bal Thakrey and what hi reputation is…. i mean his bogus claims are nothing and no one takes it seroiusly Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani

    such ppl hav no place in societyRecommend

  • Tanzeel

    Appreciated. : )Recommend

  • http://India vasan

    Many people in the blogs compared him with Taliban/TTP etc. Actually that is an insult to Taliban and TTP. All said and done, they have a huge following in Pakistan and they are lot more violent. Thackaray is a toothless tiger whose “use by date” was in the eightiesRecommend

  • Sushil Kumar

    He wouldn’t be able to lift the bat if he were to play cricket.

    I am a Mumbaikar and a staunch Shivaji follower, but never ever have I really seen such a person. He keeps blabbering when he wants to and his people keep supporting him, because that is how they run their illegal businesses, hawking shops, and many more things. Lions go alone, jackals hunt in a group by deceit. That’s exactly how they work.

    Yes, someone said you made him important, I agree, because such dumb people do exist who think being written about in such a bad way is making him important. Haha. My balls to thackeray and his supporters, cricket balls that is.

    No one really cares about him. It is only the slums that have their flags, because they can occupy places in his name and get away for some time, temporarily.

    Not too far when Mumbai will be a Union Territory or Military should rule this city. Congress doesn’t have the balls to throw at the Thakre often himself englishly spelt as Thackeray. Recommend

  • AHR

    Zoha what makes u write this for a Pakistani paper? Wouldn’t it have been more relevant to be published in a Bombay (sorry Mumbai) paper? Recommend

  • http://India G. Din

    Now that we are all in agreement and resolved that Balasaheb has become irrelevant and does nothing but rant and so has no place in India, much less in Pakistan, that ought to do it. But, guess what, the man who reached his zenith in the seventies and eighties of the last century is still inviting passionate comments from those of his great-grandchildren’s age. Do you think there is a wee bit of a chance that his voice might still be finding resonance with enough people? (I am not a Mumbaikar) We have all but buried Laloo Yaadav, the erstwhile Chief Minister of Bihar, husband of the erstwhile Chief Minister of Bihar, the erstwhile Union Railway Minister, an adversary of Balasaheb!Recommend

  • Sushil Kumar

    Pakistan is a great country with virtuous people I am aware.

    All the sensible and true humans of Pakistan know that the real, educated and smart Indians also want peace and love.

    I met a few Pakistanis in India for the first time in my life, where they had come for a historical educational tour and was amused to know them personally, very happy to also know that they were wonderful and beautiful people.

    It is the few people like Bal Thackeray and Jamat Uddawa (correct me if wrong) and Jehadis of extremist nature who spoil the names of Hindus Muslims or any other community across the world.

    These are cheap people who have no education to get them a job even. They operate on public money.Recommend

  • Ronit

    Who the hell is Miss/Mrs Zoha to write about Bal Thackrey? You people take care of Aasia Bibi and Sherry Rehman, leave Mumbai and India to us Indians.Recommend

  • Nikhil

    well said dude.Jai Hind, Vande Mataram Recommend

  • parvez

    Good sensible write up.Recommend

  • http://India G. Din

    @Sushil Kumar:
    “All the sensible and true humans of Pakistan know that the real, educated and smart Indians also want peace and love.”
    What do we do with the not-so-sensible and false humans of Pakistan and fake, uneducated and stupid Indians who don’t want peace and love? Exterminate them? For surely, there are those kinds of people in the two countries probably many more than the good angelic ones. Horror of horrors! Each one of those undesirables has a vote, exactly one, same as do the sensible and true humans of Pakistan and real, educated and smart Indians. Let us disenfranchise them before exterminating them. Fair enough! The those angelic ones can have a love fest for ever!
    “I met a few Pakistanis in India for the first time in my life, ….and was amused to know them personally, very happy to also know that they were wonderful and beautiful people.”
    May be it was because they did not send Hafiz Sahib along with them!!!!! In return, we made sure that they would not meet Balasaheb, both of them “cheap people who have no education to get them a job even.” Don’t know if they are even in the job market!Recommend

  • Usman Ahmad

    Please leave comments section of Pakistani newspapers for good and we will not be bothered by India or mumbai or whateve…Recommend

  • Anoop


    Just because she has a Muslim sounding name doesn’t mean she is not an Indian and is a Pakistani. So do not jump to conclusions.


  • Pakistani

    @Ronit: Stereotype much? Just because Zoha is a Muslim, that does not make her a Pakistani. Didn’t expect this from someone belonging to the multi-religious secular India. But then again I would also be generalising If I expected every Indian to think before they speak.

    As for the problems you pointed out, we know very well what our country is facing right now. To be honest we don’t have time to care about what is going on in India (something I can’t say about the numerous Indian commenters posting on this website).

    On a side note: Good post.Recommend

  • Kulsoom

    Somebody tell Ronit and Nikhil that Express Tribune is an international newspaper and covers all the relevant news. If that is the case then NYT should stop featuring Pakistan, and Hindustan Times stop featuring China and Russia.

    Media is one medium that keeps us connected relevantly. And if it is so wrong, then why you bother to click on a Pakistani site?

  • Neeraj, India

    I strongly object to your comment. Dude, the writer is an Indian, you must have mistaken her for a Pakistani writer. All us Indians have just one identity, Indians. Every other identity is secondary. You owe her an apology.Recommend

  • shaheed

    JOHA…..u better join shiv sena and live happlily in mumbai and plan to erase pakistan from world map…ok johaaaaaaRecommend

  • nitin

    If not bal thackeray,Raj Thackeray will rule Maharashtra….Jai Raj,.Jai Maharashtra,Jai HindRecommend

  • Meerza


    And who the hell are you to visit and write for a Pakistani site. Recommend

  • human

    Zoha, wht bout the drone attacks by the US tht r killing 100s of our innocent people .. let leave India alone .. they are far more better and advanced than us, lets concentrate on our dirt .. and stop comparing ourselves with India .. its a prosperous country and does not need to rely on other countries for their economy .. we have far more problems thn them ..Recommend

  • human

    @Kulsoom: The NYT and Hindustan Times does not falsely accuse any country without having a proper proof or base .. like the pakistani media did when wikileaks were out .. how come u r soooooooo brainwashed ?? Arent u educated enough to see the truth ?????????????Recommend

  • black rose

    who are you to comment in a pakistani newspaper. why are you commenting on it anway? go comment in your indian newspapers.Recommend

  • tahir

    I like the FIGHT……… ;)Recommend

  • Abhishek


    Raj thakre and his kind should be sent to an asylum, along with all their supporters.. Maharashtra sucks … Recommend

  • Rsingh