'Thackeray turned to Hindutva in 1985 to win elections'

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 07, 2014 23:19 hrs

Former Shiv Sena MP and journalist Bharat Kumar Raut today said the late supremo of the party, Bal Thackeray, embraced Hindutva as a strategy because the politics on the issues of Marathi-speakers was not paying off.

"In 1985, Bal Thackeray realised that Marathi is a good cause for popularity, but it does not have elective merit. On the plank of Marathi you cannot win elections. Then he realised that the bigger plank would be Hindutva. So it was a well-calculated move and he embraced Hindutva...and won the subsequent elections," said Raut, a former Rajya Sabha member.

He was speaking at a panel discussion at the release of 'Samrat-How the Shiv Sena Changed Mumbai Forever', a book written by veteran journalist Sujata Anandan.

Speaking on this occasion, Anandan said Sena did not encourage its young foot-soldiers to study and fobbed them off with low-kill jobs in return for lending muscle to its activities.

"One generation of Maharashtrians did turn out to be very mediocre and very un-learned because of this policy of Thackeray," she said.

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