Shiv Sena: The Story Of One Of India’s Most Unique Political Parties


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Shiv Sena is a political party out of Maharashtra. Over its history, it has chiefly been a regional party and doesn’t really have an extensive presence in other Indian states. However, because it is such an important political party of India’s highest GDP state, it is extremely powerful. Over the years, the party has changed a lot as well. From the hardcore Hindu Nationalism of Bal Thackeray to the blatant minority appeasement of Uddhav Thackeray, the party has changed over time. In this post, we will find out more about Shiv Sena. Let’s get started.

Shiv Sena: From Saffron To Green

What is the Shiv Sena?

The journey of Shiv Sena, a political party standing in the name of Marathi identity, has lasted more than five decades. Shiv Sena means the party of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Party created for Marathi identity. Whose election symbol is an arrow and bow, then the symbol is Tiger. At present, Shiv Sena is in power in Maharashtra. Uddhav Thackeray, son of Balasaheb Thackeray, is the head of the Maharashtra state government. However, since its inception, Shiv Sena is facing the biggest challenge from its own people. The credibility, strength, and credibility of the party are all at stake. Will Shiv Sena survive from here, will be scattered, what will happen, where will it go – nothing is known.

How was Shiv Sena formed?

On June 19, 1966, Bal Thackeray called a meeting at Shivaji Park. In the public life of Mumbai, people started knowing and recognizing him. He was afraid that many people might not come to this meeting. Even after this, he made a big arrangement for 50,000 people. Over two lakh people reached the meeting. He celebrated the formation of the Shiv Sena by cracking a coconut open and giving his first speech in public.

Where is Shiv Sena based?

The main base of the party is in Maharashtra only. Although the party tried to spread at the All India level. It can be said that it is half-hearted, so it never got a national base, but its roots are very strong in every village of Maharashtra.

How did Shiv Sena grow in power and relevance?

Shiv Sena’s strength has continuously increased in Maharashtra since the 70s. From Vidhan Sabha to Lok Sabha, it has established itself as a major force in state politics. Once upon a time, Shiv Sena was in the form of a social party and a movement, but now it has become purely a political party. Its roots in the politics of Maharashtra have been getting deeper and deeper. By the way, even now, from the cities to the villages, its branch head works to solve all the problems of the public, this solution ranges from local disputes to getting the work done in any way and problems.

How did Bal Thackeray help grow Shiv Sena?

Bal Thackeray still believed in the hearts that the Marathas and Kunbis, who earlier stood firmly with the Congress in Maharashtra politics, have now shifted towards the Shiv Sena. Hindutva has widely connected him with other classes as well. If Balasaheb Thackeray, the founder of the Shiv Sena and who has a stronghold in Maharashtra, is still deeply entrenched in the hearts of the people in the state, then the current face of the party is Uddhav Thackeray. He has tried to cultivate an image that couldn’t be further away from Bal Thackeray’s.

When did Shiv Sena win its first Lok Sabha seat?

If we talk about the political journey, Shiv Sena contested the first election in 1971. These were the Lok Sabha elections. Fielded candidates on five seats. No one got the victory. For the first time in the 1980 Lok Sabha elections, Shiv Sena won a seat.

In the 1996 assembly elections, Shiv Sena fielded candidates on 132 seats and won 15. This was a big success. However, after this, the number of seats contested by Shiv Sena in the Lok Sabha elections decreased and the seats won were more, as happened in the years 2014 and 2019. In both, the Sena fielded candidates on 20 and 23 seats and won 18-18 seats.

What happened between Shiv Sena and BJP?

Surprisingly, Shiv Sena contested the Lok Sabha elections before the Vidhan Sabha elections. It made its first attempt in the assembly elections in 1990. Contested elections on 183 seats and won 52. After this, Shiv Sena’s seats kept increasing. For the first time in 2009, the Shiv Sena suffered a setback. The seats won were reduced to 45. As a result, after five years, in the next elections, it decided to break the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and contest alone on all 286 seats. This time it got 63 seats. After the elections, there was a coalition in the government after the BJP.

In 2019, its differences with the BJP emerged regarding seats, but even then the elections were fought together. This time it got 56 seats, but the differences regarding the formation of the government emerged so much that it broke away from the BJP and formed the government with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, which were considered staunch opponents. This government is now in trouble. A large section of the party has turned rebellious and it seems that its downfall is certain. Only a miracle can save it.

Bal Thackeray first raised the voice of pure Marathi identity and then increased the strength of this organization by becoming a champion of Hindutva. Of course, Shiv Sena’s base remained limited in Maharashtra, but it increased its political power by compromising with the Bharatiya Janata Party standing on similar views. By the way, this alliance broke in October 2019 after the results of the state assembly elections. However, the sourness and rift in it have only increased since then. 

Shiv Sena then wanted the post of Chief Minister and supremacy in the government, due to which relations with the BJP were broken. Then the party formed the government in Maharashtra in collaboration with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, which were considered to be bitter rivals.

Who is Bal Thackeray?

He was born on 23 January 1927 in Pune. Father’s Name Keshav Sitaram Thackeray. Father had named himself Prabodhankar.

The title Thackeray was also taken from the name of a British writer. Mother’s name was Ramabai. Later the whole family came to Bhiwandi near Mumbai. Prabodhankar was very talented. Editor, stage artist, screenplay-dialogue writer, historian, and social reformer. Baal was born ‘after the birth of four daughters’.. In his youth, he also used to attend the RSS branch for some time.

Bal Thackeray was a cartoonist. His father introduced him to good cartoonists. Around 1950, his identity began to emerge as a revolutionary cartoonist. He used to make cartoons from Churchill to Eisenhower. Cartoons were printed in the Sunday edition of the Times of India. Although there were controversies over his cartoons, which eventually cost him his job. Bal Thackeray left the job at least three times. He felt that the newspaper for which he made cartoons had many restrictions regarding cartoons. In such a situation, later along with his brother Shrikant, he started bringing out his own Marathi magazine ‘Marmik’. It meant straight from the heart. There is also a story of his irritation with the communists.

What happened between Bal Thackeray and the communists?

Once there was a dispute with communist leaders in connection with making cartoons. The leaders sent their goons to Thackeray’s house. Dad somehow resolved the matter. But after this perhaps the communists got stuck in the mind of Bal Thackeray like France. At that time the communist leaders had no idea what was going to happen next.

How did the Shiv Sena control Mumbai?

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay was established by the British. There were 07 small islands here. They were bridged and settled in Bombay. At that time South Bombay was the real Bombay. The real power of the city and all the sports used to happen here. This means the area from Dadar to Churchgate. All the money transactions in the country used to happen from there. Big businessmen and people used to live in Malabar Hill.

Initially, the Nehru government had also considered the option of making Bombay a union territory. Maybe because Bombay didn’t belong to anyone. Then traders from all over the country reached here and settled. People from South India came here in the very beginning and got jobs. At that time there were three types of people in Bombay. In the business, there were the Gujaratis and Parsis. South Indians in jobs and the ordinary working class of laborers who came from North India as partners in the service sector with businesses.

What was Shiv Sena’s role in state reorganization?

If you remember, in the 50s, when there was talk of the reorganization of states, then the reorganization movement based on language was gaining momentum. It was a very intense movement, which did a lot of work to promote regional identity. Then in Maharashtra too, the Marathas demanded a state for themselves based on language. Which was to be made by cutting the surrounding states. Mainly parts of Gujarat, Karnataka, and Madras states. There was a big movement. Maharashtra was formed in 1960. The biggest thing that happened was that a diamond-like Bombay started shining on the forehead of Maharashtra. It became the capital of Maharashtra.


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