rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Bal Thackeray defies age and critics

Bal Thackeray defies age and critics

Last updated on: June 22, 2011 18:58 IST

Thackeray flags off caravan to Pandharpur with Uddhav's photo book

     Next

Next
Prasanna Zore in Mumbai
Defying age and critics Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray made an appearance on Wednesday to flag off a caravan that will carry son Uddhav's recently published photo book Pahava Vitthal from Mumbai to Pandharpur.

The caravan is reminiscent of Dindi, a pilgrimage that Warkaris, a sect in Maharashtra, go on. The pilgrimage to Pandharpur -- Lord Vittha's abode -- is taken out to espouse the century old tradition of the state's Bhakti movement.  

The 85-year-old Shiv Sena patriarch waved at photographers in his trademark style as he walked erect, without much help from his attendants, out of Matoshri, his bungalow, in Bandra. 

Click NEXT to read further...

 


Image: Bal Thackeray at a function to flag off a caravan to Pandharpur
Photographs: Prasanna Zore
     Next

Thackeray posed for the cameras in his inimitable style

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

His walk, in small steps, though feeble, signals that the elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (Mumbai's civic body) are around the corner and if push comes to shove, he is all prepared to enter the arena that he had for a long time, been a master of. 

Dressed in saffron robes Thackeray senior greeted his supporters with folded hands. Though he did not address the press during his 15-minute appearance, he seemed full of energy as he interacted briefly with the Warkaris

Showcasing his agility to a constituency he loves the most media photographers and his critics who taunt him as a tiger who has grown old, he turns swiftly when some reporter, who has missed out on a photo opportunity, an calls saheb

He looks at the bevy of photographers, smiles, waves his hands, knowing fully well what photographers like. Before the photographers understand what struck them, in a flash, he changes his posture, folds his hands, bows his head a bit and looks straight into the lenses peeping at him, trying to capture a moment that their bosses will be impressed with. 

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Bal Thackeray surrounded by cameramen
Photographs: Prasanna Zore
Prev     Next

Thackeray keeps to himself, interacts only with attendants and Warkaris

Prev     More
Prev

More

Wednesday's public appearance comes just over a month after Thackeray gave a nine-minute speech on May 1 at Worli's Jamboree maidan to release Uddhav's Pahava Vitthal

"Please preserve your slippers for the ministers (corrupt). The country is moving in uncertain direction. I aspire to see a changed country," he had exhorted his supporters then. 

But on Wednesday Thackeray kept to himself and interacted only with his attendants and Warkaris. He was seen gesturing to his attendants and speaking softly to them asking them to adjust a garland that he had just bestowed on a photograph of Lord Vithoba. He was later seen speaking animatedly with one of his attendants looking at the crowd of media men, perhaps telling him how the media still loves him so much. 

He lifts his old hands, defying gravity, in sync as Warkaris chant Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji, a war cry that the Sena chief had thundered during numerous political rallies during a political career that began in 1966 with the inception of the Shiv Sena. 

Thackeray's son Uddhav and grandson consciously took a back seat as the senior Thackeray walked into a huddle with the Warkaris. He stood there for a brief while as he chatted up with them. 

"He greeted us with 'Hari Vitthal' said one of the Warkaris in that huddle. What was your response? "We too greeted him with 'Hari Vitthal' said the young Warkari.


Image: Bal Thackeray waves out to his supporters
Photographs: Prasanna Zore
Prev     More