Back in Time is ED’s newspaper-like column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.
June 19th 1966: Bal Thackeray, a political cartoonist has left his job at The Free Press Journal to form his own political weekly newspaper named Marmik. He brought in several Mumbaikars to demand biased treatment of Maharashtrian natives over migrants of other states.
He is beginning to gain fame for his campaigns against non-Maharashtrians with his cartoons.
Mumbai is a hub of migrants who wish to build a career in acting or just to find work but suddenly, it is seeing an uproar of a Right-wing party called the Shiv Sena, whose members are calling themselves Shiv Sainiks.
This political organization is drastically changing the politics of Maharashtra and spreading a wave of Hindu communalism along with reflecting Maratha culture in their saffron flag.
Shiv Sena has set up headquarters in Dadar, Mumbai, introducing a brand-new newspaper – Saamana. They choose the bow and arrow of the great warrior and emperor Shivaji as their party symbol.
The party has just been formed and things are settling down, but Thackeray does not seem to be satisfied. He declares contesting in Municipal Elections.
Also Read: Can The Left Ever Be Proven Right Again?
Post Scriptum: It has been 53 years today, from the time that this revolutionary party was formed. Revolution for good or not, is not for us to comment on. Everyone has their own stand on it.
But Shiv Sena changed the entire political scene in Maharashtra back then. Although it was very strong as a state political party, it came to national recognition after coalition with BJP in the 1980’s.
It is still under the NDA coalition and is headed by Uddhav Thackeray, son of the very famous founder of the party.
It also has a student wing called Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena and a youth wing called Yuva Sena. It even has a women’s wing called Shiv Sena Mahila Aghadi.
Shiv Sena continues to be a party of Hindutva ideology, economic nationalism mindset and ultra-nationalism. Two of its leaders went on to become Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and this shows that the Marathi people like to follow Shiv Sena’s ideologies.
There isn’t a single soul in India who knows Indian politics but does not know about Shiv Sena and the Thackeray regime. That is how powerful they began and they are still as powerful as ever.
The most recent time when Shiv Sena was in the news is because its leaders ordered shops to remove lingerie mannequins calling them “illegal”.
Doesn’t make much sense calling mannequins illegal, but that’s exactly what they are in the news for, as of today.
How did Mumbaikars react to it? They asked Shiv Sena leaders to fix the potholes first and work on providing better facilities to the public. They have a point.
What Bal Thackeray started Shiv Sena for, and what it has become today, are two different scenes even though the ideologies remain the same.
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