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PHOTOS: Bal Thackeray's wisdom and wit

Last updated on: November 17, 2012 19:59 IST

Bal Thackeray on casteism

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Photographer Gopal Shetty sent us these exclusive vintage photographs of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, which we reproduce along with quotes from the leader who passed into the ages on Saturday.

I believe in one thing that there are only two things in the world, the rich and the poor. There are only two castes in the world, the rich are rich and the poor is poor, make the poor rich but don't make the rich poor. But maintain it, besides these two castes I don't believe in any other casteism."

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty

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On being controversy's child

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Anything I say, there is always a controversy created by media and newspapers, what can I do. That doesn't mean I should stop saying. No. I will go on to say, continue to say.

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty
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On Uddhav and Raj coming together

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Why don't you ask this question to Uddhav and Raj? Rather difficult because for this separation, neither me nor Uddhav is responsible, it's Raj who left himself. Dimaag mein wohi hai leadership toh woh kahan se nikaalenge. Kaise nikaal sakte hain, aajkal is desh mein leader jyaada ho gaye hain, followers kam ho rahe hain....aise hain

If they agree, if they patch up why should I object to that, it's a good thing, but will they, that's the question. 

It is for them to respect my everything but that stage has gone, from Raj's point of view, Raj has gone, us dimaag mein ek leadership gayi hain, woh sab maine bataya tumhare casette mein ab you will get the answers to that.

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty
Tags: Uddhav

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On dynastic politics

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If you meet a doctor and ask what is your son doing, he is a doc, ok fine, nice, then if you meet an artist, what is your son doing, oh he is an artist, doing wonderful portraits and all, that is not dynasty. You are proud of them but what we do in politics is dynasty, it is to be criticised. Though I don't accept that viewpoint, in politics you should not be, it is not a question of pride.

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Photographs: Gopal Shety
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On Sachin's 'Mumbai for all' remark

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I admire Sachin, he is a tough man today, has a world record that nobody can break. But to say something about Mumbai, that Mumbai belongs to the country, no. We fought for Mumbai, 105 people laid down their lives. There is Hutatma Chowk, so I said don't talk about Mumbai. I said if you say we cricketers belong to the country, yes I will accept that, play for the country but they play for money!

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty

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On threats to his life

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If anything happens to me this whole country will go up in flames. You can put it down in writing and I will sign it. There will be anarchy. It is not that easy to finish me. And if they do it, Dawood or anybody, we have a human bomb which will blast the country. And the civil war will start as I have predicted immediately. I have told my boys to be ready.

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty
Tags: , Dawood

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On giving up on God

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My wife was so pious, so devoted, so religious. But it came to nothing. After she went to a Ganesh Chaturthi function in Bombay, we forgot the emergency bottle of her medicine and went to Karjat. Here was a test for gods and goddesses. It was the duty of God to remind her of the emergency bottle. If not, then you and your faith are led astray. When she needed it, the medicine was not there and we lost her.

If the gods do not come to your help when you need them, then what's the use. I have removed all pictures of Ganesh from my house. But her picture will be there.

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty
Tags: , Karjat , Bombay

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On Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson is a great artist, and we must accept him as an artist. His movements are terrific. Not many people can dance that way. You will end up breaking your bones... And, well, what is culture? He represents certain values in America, which India should not have any qualms in accepting. We would like to accept that part of America that is represented by Jackson.

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty

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On respecting women

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I have always instructed Shiv Sainiks that in any situation women should not be humiliated and harassed. Have they forgotten our history wherein Shivaji Maharaj sent back the daughter-in-law of the Subhedar of Kalyan, with honour?

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty

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On Valentine's Day

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Anyway, you youngsters do this thing throughout the year you don't need a special day, Valentine's Day, for it. If you want to select the day, then select it in the name of 'Laila-Majnu', 'Heer-Ranjha' and 'Bajirao Peshwe-Mastani'.

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty

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On retirement

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I am the kind of a person who would like to retire and be asked why I retired rather than stick on and be asked why I'm not retiring. I may do it at anytime. When your airways and trains don't run on schedule, why should I announce a schedule?

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Photographs: Gopal Shetty
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On Salman Khan

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There is no reason for us to harbour anger against Salman Khan. His family is nationalist and patriotic in the true sense. Salman's family is patriotic and it is with this responsibility that he should speak and avoid talking on anything but movies.

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On Sania Mirza

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Henceforth, Sania Mirza will not remain an Indian. Had her heart been Indian, it wouldn't have beaten for a Pakistani. If she wished to play for India, she should have chosen an Indian life partner. More than victories on tennis court, Sania became famous for her tight clothes, fashion and love affairs. More than her play, people's attention was on her mannerisms.




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