balasaheb-cartoons-3Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray’s cartoon pictures have been depicting a live history of political, social and economic issues for the last 50 years. An exhibition of his cartoon sketches was held at Ravindra Natya Mandir at Dadar. Dhiraj Mishra joins us with this special report from the exhibition. Bal Keshav Thackeray dipped his sable brush in acid while drawing caricatures for Marmik. The Marathi cartoon, which turned 50 last week, is considered by many as a milestone in Marathi journalism. “Marmik crystallised the angst and aspirations of Marathis and functioned as a preamble to the Shiv Sena,” Uddhav Thackeray, Balasaheb’s son and political heir says. A retrospective of Balasaheb’s cartoons was inaugurated at the Ravindra Natya Mandir at Prabhadevi to commemorate the golden jubilee of Marmik. For over three decades, Balasaheb’s cartoons spiced up the political theatre in Maharashtra with satirical swipes that spared no one. Starting out a cartoonist at the Free Press Journal, he loved to pour ridicule on netas-especially Messrs Morarji Desai, S K Patil and the non-Marathi Congress barons from Mumbai whose politics were popularly seen as anti-Marathi. Sharp lines and crisp comment were the hallmark of Balasaheb’s cartoons. Within weeks of its August 1960 launch, Marmik was a hit, and stories abounded of how Marathis would queue up in front of Thackeray’s Shivaji Park residence to snap up a copy before continuing their rounds of shakhas across Mumbai. And fans of the work shared their appreciation. With cameraperson Ranjeet Gupta, Dhiraj Mishra for NMTV News.

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