Bal Thackeray – Shiv Sena legend is dead

The Shiv Sena supremo passed away due to cardio-respiratory arrest in Mumbai on November 17, 2012

A giant in Maharashtra politics, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray passed away on November 17, 2012 at 3.30 pm at his residence Matoshree in Mumbai. Bal Keshav Thackeray, popularly known as Balasaheb Thackeray, was 86 years old when he breathed his last.

A short while ago at a Shiv Sena rally in Mumbai, the ailing chief made an appeal to supporters through a pre-recorded video to support his son Uddhav and grandson Aditya after him. He also hinted that he was pulling out of public life. He was suffering from ill health and was admitted twice to the hospital this year, first in May and later in October.

The Sena supremo was closely connected with Bollywood and had many friends in the industry, including Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth.  Bachchan even visited the ailing leader at his residence on Independence Day and spent time with him. His estranged daughter-in-law Smita Thackeray is also connected to the movie world, being a producer herself. Balasaheb’s late son Bindumadhav Thackeray produced a film in the 90s titled Agnisakshi, starring Nana Patekar and Manisha Koirala.

Bollywood drew inspiration from his life time and again, owing to his controversial views and his meteoric rise to power in the local politics of Mumbai. The Sarkar film series directed by Ram Gopal Varma was reportedly based on his life, and he was also depicted in Mani Ratnam’s superhit film Bombay.

His son Uddhav had also held an urgent meeting of the Sena MPs and MLAs on Friday, where he denied any claims of the senior Thackeray’s critical state of health. Estranged nephew Raj Thackeray of the rival political faction Maharashtra Navnirman Sena also visited him in October, owing to his ill health.