New Delhi, Apr 28 (PTI) Uddhav Thackeray's personal and political journey from a professional advertising photographer to chief minister of Maharashtra is the subject of a new book.
In 'Trail of the Tiger', journalist Radheshyam Jadhav also looks at the Shiv Sena's 'saffron to secular trajectory' under Uddhav's leadership.
He says Uddhav's long journey to politics was made possible only by Balasaheb's fervent followers.
'These Shiv Sainiks were willing to fight on the streets against the 'enemies' of Hindutva and Marathis. Balasaheb Thackeray had created a cult and handed it over to Uddhav,' he writes in the book, published by Bloomsbury.
Uddhav had once said that using religion to stoke fire and win power is not his Hindutva and people killing each other is not Hindutva either.
The author says Uddhav appears to be tapping the potential for an alternate Hindutva narrative, like the Sena's, against the BJP's version in states other than Maharashtra.
'Uddhav's experiment with an alternative Hindutva may seem new but he is actually taking the path of his grandfather, Keshav Sitaram Thackeray. In 1921, Keshav Thackeray, a passionate social reformer and writer, started a fortnightly magazine 'Prabodhan' (enlightenment), which earned him the title Prabodhankar,' he writes.
'He was an ardent believer in Hinduism and in 1918, he joined activist Gajanan Vaidya in establishing the Hindu Missionary Society to reconvert Hindus who had converted into Christianity and Islam. This reconversion campaign came at a time when most Hindus were against the idea,' Jadhav writes.
The book begins with Uddhav's days in school and his youth.
It also talks about Uddhav's days at JJ School, where his 1981-82 batchmates recall him as a 'down-to-earth, earnest youngster - lean, his shirt sleeves rolled up and a camera hanging down his shoulder - who took the local train like thousands of Mumbaikars'.
It tells in detail his relations with the BJP, his party's break-up with it and the alliance with the Congress and the NCP.
Jadhav says the Sena-BJP alliance survived 30 years despite ups and downs only because of ideological bonding but nothing holds the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena together.
So, what does the future hold for Uddhav? Jadhav terms Uddhav a Buccaneer politician, a leader who tries every formula, learns from it and moves forward.
'He is a tiger cub who can change his stripes and still be a tiger,' he writes. PTI ZMN BK BK