Leaders! Seldom in the history, born are certain people, who have the capability and attitude to lead a group, society or a religion. After the demise of the Indira Gandhi era, there was no such person who had the caliber of influencing whole of the nation. Many leaders came up front, from Atal Bihari Vajpaiee to Nadrendra Modi, but none had that viscosity to influence the national decision making and politics. Of course, others did make some important contribution. But this one man, even till his last breath, manipulated the pulse rate of the nation.
It is rightly said, the true sign of a leader comes in from his ability to judge the current scenario, situation and understand the need of the time. Who else, but a cartoonist would be the best one, who can depict the truth by being the first one to assess the situation. Bal Keshav Thackeray, the cartoonist for The Free Press Journal was one such examplenary leader.
How good a leader he is, can be well premeditated from the fact that in spite of being banned from voting and contesting in any election for six years from 11 December 1999 till 10 December 2005, not even an inch of his influence in the Maharashtran politics have decreased. In fact with each passing year he was successful in grounding his value even to a higher position; to a position as such that his successor now controls whole of Maharashtra without even sitting on the chair.
His works, movements have always remained a controversy. Though the nation has no doubt of him being an excelled leader, however a school of thought exists which believes that Thackeray has flaws in his policies and what he does is not perfectly correct. But it depends on perception. What he did, being a Marathi for the Marathas and the residents of Maharashtra was good for their people. One of his very impressive acts was making the foreign food chains like Mc Donald’s and KFC write their brand name in Marathi. Why wouldn’t he get a popular public support when he made these foreign leaches, who lives of Indian Economy abide by local traditions and culture.
His patriotism for his state and people is surely commendable, though concerns were being raised of it crossing the limit. Yet till his death, nobody could even dare to challenge or change his ideology. For a person, whose sickness can make a busy, rowdy city like Mumbai halt, why wouldn’t he be called the Demigod of Maharashtra.