File photo of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray
After a gap of 11 years, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is turning photographer again. From January 7 to 12, around 70 photographs clicked by the 54-year-old will be on display at Mumbai's Jehangir Art Gallery.
The exhibition will include wildlife photography and pictures of Maharashtra captured on lens by the politician. The highlight of the exhibition will be the infrared photographs of structures from Mumbai, which are difficult to capture, given the skill and technique involved in clicking them. The portraits in the exhibition will not be available for sale.
The last photo exhibition of Mr Thackeray was a collection of aerial pictures of Maharashtra's grand forts. The photographs were really popular and brought the focus back on Maharashtra's neglected historical monuments.
Mr Thackeray's father, Bal Thackeray, who set up the Shiv Sena in the 1960s was a cartoonist before taking to full-time politics. Speaking to reporters, Uddhav Thackeray said, "I have inherited the artistic talent from the Sena Supremo."
The proceeds from the exhibition will go towards providing relief to distressed farmers in Maharashtra.
"Farmers have faced one challenge after another and this is my attempt to help them. I am hoping more people follow this example come out and help our state's farmers," said Mr Thackeray.
Uddhav Thackeray is not the first politician with an artistic side. Former Cabinet Minister from the Congress' Kapil Sibal is known for writing poems while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a painter.
Mr Thackeray also pointed out to reporters that none of the photographs have been edited digitally. Talking about modern day photography, he said, "I started photography in the age of films. In my college days, I used to spend nights in the dark room. I still miss photography on film."
But when asked, if now that the Sena was in government, Mr Thackeray had more time to divert to passions like photography, he said, "It has only been a few days that we have been in power. And we have a duty to the people. Just because we are in government it does not mean everything is alright. We will do our duty and if there is something wrong, we will not hesitate to point it out."