By Narain Kataria
New York: We are deeply saddened at the passing away of Shiv Sena chief Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray in Mumbai and we express our condolences to his family and millions of Hindus all over the world.
Bala Saheb Thackeray was an embodiment of courage and valor. He was a powerful orator and a consummate communicator. He was forthright in his thinking. He was a legendary name, particularly in Maharashtra, who was loved by nationalists and feared by separatists.
Bala Saheb Thackeray was a de facto ruler of Mumbai and Maharashtra. He was endowed with such mental strength, which enabled him to venture and confront any danger.
He was a fearless fighter, a legend, who knew how to capture the collective imagination of the people he wanted to lead.
He derived inspiration from the great Hindu warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He created a sense of pride and respectability among Hindus for their history, civilization, country and dharma.
He was darling of millions of people. It is reported that approximately two million people participated in his funeral procession.
He was known as Hindu Hirdaya Samrat (ruler of Hindus’ heart). His death has created a void, which is very difficult to fill.
(Narain Kataria is president of Indian American Intellectuals Forum.)