In what seems to be a clear takeover of political ideology over personal life, Bal Thackeray, the firebrand Hindu nationalist, does not seem to have been paid tributes by the Thackeray family – the same family he nourished.
Country mourns for Bal Thackeray:
However, there were no photos, videos, or any news of his successors paying any tribute to him, from any corner of the television, print, or independent internet media portals.
Uddhav Thackeray did not pay his tribute:
Hunting for Balasaheb’s son’s tribute to the former, we went to search Uddhav Thackeray‘s Twitter account. His latest tweet as of this writing, was regarding Babasaheb Purandare, which was posted on November 15.
शिवशाहीर बाबासाहेब पुरंदरे यांच्या पार्थिवावर शासकीय इतमामात अंत्यसंस्कार करण्याच्या सूचना मुख्यमंत्री उद्धव बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांनी दिल्या आहेत.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) November 15, 2021
Aditya Thackeray offered a token tweet to Bal Thackeray:
When it comes to Aditya Thackeray, Bal Thackeray’s grandson and son of the current Maharashtra CM, there is no photo on his social media of any member of the Thackeray family members offering their tribute to Balasaheb. Aditya Thackeray did share one photo of Balasaheb, albeit a one where the latter’s face is not shown.
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) November 17, 2021
Similarly, Raj Thackeray seems to have abstained from pouring his tributes to Balasaheb too – on Twitter, at least.
Various news portals have covered the people who offered their tribute to the departed soul, but nowhere can you find Thackeray’s successors offering their tributes to the legend.
Rahul Gandhi, the MVA coalition partner also skipped the tributes:
Moreover, with increasing political tension in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, Rahul Gandhi, the key heavyweight member of the Congress party in the MVA coalition, also restrained from uttering even a word for Balasaheb.
Recently, there have been rumours of the rift between Shiv Sena and the Congress party. Even though these two traditionally ideological opposite parties are running the show in Maharashtra, the coalition has been rammed by various scams, scandals and political slugfests.
Bala Saheb-A non-compromising politician:
Balasaheb Thackeray was a no-nonsense politician, who never supported compromising with his ideals just to gain political power. Throughout his life, he remained an open supporter of Hindu nationalism. Starting his career as a cartoonist, he later went on to publish his own newspaper. When the newspaper business could not gather momentum, Balasaheb then announced the launch of his own political party called Shiv Sena.
Though throughout his life, he remained a staunch supporter of Marathi identity, he never compromised with his nationalistic principles. He openly supported the demolition of Babri Masjid when it was considered taboo. He was also one of the few politicians to denounce Sonia Gandhi because she was born in Italy. Later on, he had some ideological differences with his nephew Raj Thackeray, which led to Raj opening a new party called MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena). Until Balasaheb’s death, Uddhav Thackeray was nowhere on the scene.
After Bala Saheb’s death in 2012, his son Uddhav started to show an inclination towards his political ambition. For 8 long years, his efforts did not bear fruit. In 2020, Udhav decided to form a coalition government with an ideologically opposite Congress party and Sharad Pawar. The coalition is widely believed to be the start of the end for Balasaheb’s legacy in Maharashtra politics. This year’s Thackeray family’s zero tribute to Balasaheb seemingly confirms it.