The late Bal Thackeray had millions of devoted followers and his share of critics as well.
After a six-year wait, a life-size statue of Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray, finally was unveiled at the "Sunil's Celebrity Wax Museum" in Lonavala. The statue was opened for viewing after the Aditya Thackeray, the late leader's grandson, visited the museum while on way to Lonavala on Sunday.
Though completed, the statue had not been put up for display due to complications over permission, news agency IANS quoted Managing Director Sunil Kandalloor as saying. "I apprised him (Aditya Thackeray) about the Balasaheb wax statue kept 'secret' and away from the public for so many years. He was very keen to view it, so I showed it. He was very impressed and decided to throw it open for public display immediately," IANS quoted him as saying.
The wax image of Mr Thackeray is seated on a large elaborately carved, silver throne, with two lions for the hand-rest. He is wearing his trademark dark glasses and a saffron kurta. The party' logo, a tiger, looks down from the top of the backrest.
On Mr Thackeray's fifth death anniversary this year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis dedicated a proposed site for the memorial
of the Shiv Sena founder. The location for the memorial would be the existing Mumbai Mayor's Bungalow at Shivaji Park near the Dadar Chowpatty, on the banks of the Arabian Sea.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has also embarked on an ambitious journey to make a biopic on party founder. After a rigorous selection procedure, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
, known for his powerful performances, has been roped in to play the lead role.
The film's teaser was recently launched by Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan
in presence of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family. The film will release in 2019 ahead of the general elections.
Mr Thackeray had millions of devoted followers and his share of critics as well.
Balasaheb, who formed the Shiv Sena 1966 to advocate for the interests of Maharashtrians, had died in 2013 at the age of 87.
The news of his death brought Mumbai came to a standstill. Shops and commercial establishments had shut down and thousands of police and paramilitary personnel had to be deployed across the city to keep the peace. Lakh of people thronged the streets as the procession with his body was taken from Matoshree in Bandra to Shivaji Park where he was cremated and temporary memorial also exists at the location. Shivaji Park is also the location of the Sena's annual Dusshera rally, a practice started by Bal Thackeray himself.