WITH slogans reaching the sky as ‘Balasaheb Amar Rahe’, nation paid tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray. Top Sangh and its associated organisations’ leaders attended the funeral in Mumbai. Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni, VHP working president Dr Pravin Togadia, senior BJP leader Shri LK Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Smt Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Shri Arun Jaitley, BJP chief Shri Nitin Gadkari, and more than three lakh well wishers attended the funeral performed at Shivaji Park of Mumbai on November 18.
Indelible and deep imprint on nation’s politics: LK Advani
In his tribute Shri LK Advani said Bal Thackeray was a great individual whose ‘imprint on the country’s and state’s (Maharashtra) politics has been indelible and deep”. “Uncompromising in his patriotism, he possessed remarkable qualities of leadership and abundance of attributes of head and heart which made him command great respect among all those who came in his contact,” Shri Advani said adding that Thackerayji never compromised with the things he believed in. “I can only say that his demise today has left a gaping void in the country’s politics which will not be easy to fill,” Shri Advani added.
Personal loss to me: Nitin Gadkari
Shri Nitin Gadkari described Bal Thackeray as a source of inspiration for him and an architect of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. “He was a staunch nationalist and a courageous politician who played a vital role in shaping the national politics as well as the politics of Maharashtra. His departure has left a void in public life. His demise is a personal loss to me,” he said.
Irreparable loss to the nation: Sushma Swaraj
Smt Sushma Swaraj said: “I am terribly pained to hear that the Lion is dead.” “His persona was as high and firm as the Himalayas. His death is an irreparable loss to the country. His departure has left a void which will never be filled,” she said.
One of the most charismatic leaders: Arun Jaitley
Shri Arun Jaitley said Bal Thackeray was one of the most charismatic leaders of his generation and uncompromising in his principles.
Never compromised on patriotism: Narendra Modi
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said Bal Thackeray was a lively person who used to put in his best in a struggle and also showered affections in abundance. “He kept himself away from the corridors of politics and built an entire political party. He never tolerated or compromised on patriotism,” Shri Modi said.
Staunch follower of Shivaji: Ashok Singhal
Veteran VHP leader Shri Ashok Singhal said in Balasaheb’s death the nation suffered an unbearable loss. At the time when Muslim appeasement is touching new heights, Balasaheb raised the voice against this pseudo secularism and demolished the hold of the Islamic mafia in Mumbai. He was a staunch follower of Shivaji. He always had good feeling about the VHP and its activities. I got new energy every time after meeting him.
The true Hindu Hriday Samrat: Dr Togadia
VHP working president Dr Pravin Togadia said Thackerayji had been an inspiration and strength while taking up various Hindu causes. “When the disputed structure in Ayodhya fell in 1992, there was a competition of shrugging of the responsibility and condemning the demolition. Thackerayji came down heavily on all those who condemned the demolition of the structure and stood up strongly at a great height as a real Hindu leader saying, ‘Yes! I did it! Yes, Shiv Sainiks did it and I am proud of them,” Dr Togadia said describing him ‘the real Hindu Hriday Samrat, who never compromised on any Hindu issue for the power or any allurement’. His vision for Hindus, Bharat and Hindu Rashtra was clear. Now it is the responsibility of all Hindus to fulfill his dream of Hindu Rashtra,” he added.
Champion of the cause of Hindutva: ABVP
In its tribute the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad said instead of paying merely lip-service to the ideals of social justice and emancipation, Balasaheb, through his actions, turned the status quo politics of Maharashtra upside down and demonstrated that caste, creed and colour played no role in his political culture. Hindutva ideology has been the driving force of the political philosophy of Shiv Sena and Balasaheb emerged as a champion of the cause of Hindutva