Balmohan Vidyamandir, Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art
2 sons Aditya Thackeray & Tejas Thackeray.
About Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray is the current Chief of Shiv Sena, the popular regional political party in Maharashtra. He is the son of former party leader and Shiv Sena founder, late Balasaheb Thackeray. Since 2004, he has had complete control over the party. Uddhav Thackeray has worked at a state level and has secured several political victories for his party. But on a national level, he has refrained from active participation, just like his father, and chooses to work for the people of Maharashtra instead.
Personal Life of Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray was born on 27 July 1960 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. His father, late Balasaheb Thackeray, is a well-known figure in India, who even in death commands huge respect in Maharashtra. Balasaheb Thackeray was a firebrand politician who founded the Shiv Sena party, and in 2004, Uddhav Thackeray gained control of it. He was always reluctant to join the party, and for the most part of his life preferred to stay out of it. He is a published author and a professional photographer whose work has appeared in numerous magazines. There are also over half a dozen books and photo magazines which Uddhav Thackeray has published over the span of his career as a photographer and writer.
Before Uddhav Thackeray was declared as the heir apparent for the Shiv Sena, hardly anyone outside the party knew of him. Even within the party it was well known that Uddhav Thackeray did not have any interest in active politics and preferred wildlife photography. For the first 40 years of his life, Uddhav Thackeray shied away from his father’s party and chose to make his name in a completely unrelated field. He is an avid photographer and annual exhibitions showcasing his work are quite common. He was handed the responsibility of managing the party during the 2002 Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation election, also known as BMC elections, and Shiv Sena performed really well. It was the first time that anyone saw Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership qualities and flair for politics. He started working with the party more closely, and in 2004, Balasaheb Thackeray announced him as the next party Chief, choosing him over Raj Thackeray, who everyone expected to succeed Balasaheb Thackeray.
Life as a Mainstream Politician for Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav suddenly gained the spotlight when he was announced the next Chief of Shiv Sena by his father. After he secured the win of his party in the 2002 BMC elections, his father pushed for his increased involvement with Shiv Sena. In 2003, he was declared as the working president of the party, and he has been in control of Shiv Sena ever since.
Saamana, the Marathi newspaper which was the mouthpiece for Balasaheb Thackeray, is also now managed by Uddhav Thackeray. Since June, 2006 he has been the Editor-in-Chief of this popular, and often controversial, Marathi local newspaper.
Though Uddhav Thackeray was the “Pramukh” or Chief of Shiv Sena party since early 2004, the actual command of the party was still in the hands of Balasaheb Thackeray. Balasaheb’s health, however, continued to fail him and he finally succumbed to old age in 2013. Since the passing away of his father, Uddhav Thackeray is now the sole leader of the Shiv Sena party. Raj Thackeray, who was said to be the most likely successor of Balasaheb, left the party in 2006 following the appointment of Uddhav Thackeray as party Chief and started his own party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. After initial clashes with Shiv Sena, the two parties have reached a mutually agreed upon truce.
Achievements of Uddhav Thackeray
Having entered politics at a very late age, he has had only a few short years to prove his mettle to his party and the state of Maharashtra in general. Under his capable guidance, his party swept the 2002 BMC elections. Uddhav has also managed to rein in the Shiv Sena workers, who were erstwhile known for their violent activities, and has mobilized them in a much more organized manner. Major achievements of Uddhav Thackeray are:
Securing a win for Shiv Sena in the 2002 BMC election while working as the Shiv Sena chief campaigner.
Organizing a successful debt relief campaign for the farmers of the Vidarbha district of Maharashtra. Farmers in the region were under heavy debt following a long dry spell in the region in the year 2007 and the suicide rates among the farmers went through the roof. Uddhav Thackeray stepped in and worked towards improving their conditions when the state and central governments failed to make a difference.
Led Shiv Sena to a win in the BMC elections once again in the year 2012. BJP and Shiv Sena emerged as the leading parties in these elections. He shifted the focus of his campaign from regionalism to development. It was an unprecedented move on his part, since the slogan of “Marathi Manoos” has been at the heart of Shiv Sena’s ideology for the longest time.
Uddhav Thackeray has succeeded in transforming the image of Shiv Sena from a violent and often militant outfit, to that of a well-organized unit that is run by someone who cares about the state and its welfare.
Unlike Balasaheb, his father, and Raj Thackeray, his cousin, Uddhav Thackeray has shied away from firebrand politics. Choosing to spend his efforts on creating a better organized and well-grounded political party, Uddhav Thackeray has created a calmer Maharashtra. A writer, poet, and intellectual, Uddhav Thackeray has started a change in the political system of his party. He continues to hold true to the core beliefs of Shiv Sena, but at the same time he has toned down the violent tendencies which were often an issue taken up by opposing parties.