His sons Bal and Shrikant participated by contributing articles and cartoons to local publications.
Social reform was Prabodhankar ’s sole aim and he made no compromises. A prolific writer, he penned plays, biographies and booklets to create awareness about the ‘cause’. He became actively involved with the movement in 1951. Supporting the demand to include Dang district in Maharashtra instead of Gujarat, he appealed for Dang Day to be observed on June 3, 1951.
Prabodhankar also went on to play an important role in uniting the leaders of all the parties in the state — his diplomacy and leadership skills were significant in bringing together diverse parties. They came under the banner of the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, launched in 1955 to pursue the demand for the formation of Maharashtra, with Mumbai and Belgaum as parts of it. Prabodhankar led the movement, and was even incarcerated.
Balasaheb, at the time, worked as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal but also contributed to Marathi publications, including Navyug, under the pseudonym Mavla.
He supported the demands made by the samiti and attacked the Congress through his cartoons.
Then chief minister Morarji Desai, Mumbai Congress chief SK Patil and senior leader Yashwantrao Chavan were his pet targets. His focus shifted to Desai after 15 people were killed in the police firing on November 21, 1955, during a morcha at the Flora Fountain (now Hutatma Chowk). Balasaheb sketched Desai as a Nar Bhakshak (maneater) in his cartoon. The cartoon showed Desai sitting on a pile of human bodies, saying, “I am a pure vegetarian.” He also mocked Chavan’s statement that Nehru was bigger than Maharashtra.
The combined force of PK Atre’s editorials and Balasaheb’s caricatures were key to Navyug’s success; the magazine became the default mouthpiece of the movement.
Balasaheb’s younger brother Shrikant, too, drew cartoons for Navyug during the movement. Like his brother, Shrikant also targeted the Congress, especially Nehru and Desai.
Keshav Sitaram alias Prabodhankar Thackeray made a mark in modern Maharashtra by virtue of his leadership in the social, political and intellectual spheres. He became a stringent critic of religious conformism and launched an attack on malpractices like tonsuring widows, untouchability and practice of dowry. With a remarkable insight into the contemporary social processes, he concluded that professional priesthood was at the root of many of the injustices meted out to women and the under-privileged classes. He was quick to realise the potential of journalism for spreading social messages and used the press effectively to fight social evils. He was a prolific writer, having penned many plays, biographies and booklets. His writing was focused on social causes and not just literary excellence. He was also accomplished as a historian and an artist. The Samyukta Maharashtra movement, in which he played an important role in the autumn of his life, was perhaps the most important struggle in his life. Its successful culmination, unifying several diverse parties, stands testimony to Prabodhankar’s diplomacy and leadership qualities.
Bal Keshav Thackeray & Shrikant Thackeray was born to Keshav Sitaram Thackeray.
Bal Thackeray started his career as a cartoonist with the Free Press Journal, Bombay in the 50s. In 1960, he launched a cartoon weekly Marmik with his brother, Shrikant Thackeray (Raj Thackeray’s father). Srikant Thackeray was an apolitical artiste, musician, cartoonist and was also well versed in the language of Urdu, who as a film music director famously directed Mohammed Rafi in his first Marathi song. He died following a kidney ailment and was cremated at the Shivaji Park crematorium.
Meena Thackeray and Bal Thackeray gave birth to Bindumadhav Thackeray, Jaidev Thackeray & Uddhav Thackeray. Eldest – Bindumadhav Thackeray and youngest – Uddhav Thackeray.
Bindumadhav Thackeray was killed on April 20, 1996, when his Tata Sumo dashed against a tempo near Waksai Phata, on the Mumbai-Pune Highway. He was on his way to attend an election rally presided over by his father, Bal Thackeray. Bindumadhav was on his way while the tempo was going in the opposite direction. The tempo hit the car at the rear left portion, when Bindumadhav’s car swerved to the right to get on the road. Bindumadhav Thackeray, who was on the rear seat, suffered serious head injuries and succumbed on the way. The driver of the tempo, Chandrakant Bhalerao, of Lohgad village, Pune, after police inquiry was charged under Indian Penal Code. The magistrate had held that Bhalerao is not guilty of rash driving after appreciating the evidence of two prosecution witnesses — Santosh Rasal, a police bodyguard who was sitting next to Bindumadhav when the accident took place.
Smita Thackeray – Daughter-in-law of Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray is a film producer. She had produced movies like Kaisay Kahein (2007), Sandwich (2006) and Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999).
Mukti Foundation – A Smita Thackeray foundation founded in 1997 is a charitable institution registered in Mumbai having 80G certification.
Jaidev Thackeray is estranged son of Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Jaidev had parted ways with Thackeray in 1995 over ideological differences when the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party was in power. He had kept himself away from politics all these years.
Uddhav Thackeray is the youngest son of Bal Thackeray and executive president of the Shiv Sena. He is a wildlife enthusiast and photographer. He holds regular exhibitions of his photographs from forests, nature parks and sites of historic interest around the world. Uddhave Thackeray and Rashmi Thackeray gave birth to son Aditya Thackeray who is a budding poet with his first book of poems ‘White and Black‘ published in May 2007.
Shrikant Thackeray, younger brother of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and father of Raj Thackeray died of old age and medical complications due to diabetes, at around 11.40 am today, at Dadar. He was 71. Shrikant Thackeray had helped Bal Thackeray in setting up the journal Marmik in 1960. He contributed to the journal and was also a cartoonist. He was also a renowned music director and had worked at the All India Radio (AIR). According to sources, Raj Thackeray was on an election campaign at Nashik and was informed about the sad news.
Raj Thackeray was born in a Marathi Kayastha (CKP) family to Shrikant Prabhodankar Thackeray and Kunda Thackeray, Shrikant Thackeray was the younger brother of Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and Raj’s mother Kunda Thackeray is the younger sister of Balasaheb Thackeray’s wife Meena Thackeray.
Raj Thackeray is married to Sharmila Thackeray, daughter of famous Marathi theater/films actor, producer-director Mohan Wagh. They have a son named Amit Thackeray.