"Hitler did very cruel and ugly things. But he was an artist, I love him (for that). He had the power to carry the whole nation, the mob with him. You have to think what magic he had. He was a miracle.... The killing of Jews was wrong. But the good part about Hitler was that he was an artist. He was a daredevil. He had good qualities and bad. I may also have good qualities and bad ones," Bal Thackeray told the Indian Express in a 2007 interview.
This from a former cartoonist, who played his part in fanning the flames of hatred that claimed 900 lives in Mumbai between late 1992 and early 1993.
The Justice Srikrishna committee that probed the riots even went on to blame Shiv Sainiks for the violence perpetrated by Hindu mobs.
In Picture: Bal Thackeray (R) speaks to actor Amitabh Bachchan (L) while Chairman of Reliance Industry Mukesh Ambani (C) looks on at the inauguration of Thakeray's son Udhav's aerial photographic exibition on the 'Forts of Maharashtra' at the Jahangir Art gallery in Mumbai on 19 January 2004.
Image copyright: AFP. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited