Bal Thackeray: The tiger of the jungle raj

Bal Thackeray

* 1997: Rebels feel the heat

Thackeray's former protégé Chaggan Bhujbal, who split the Sena in 1991, taking away 18 legislators, had to face the party's wrath for years till in 1997, there was an attack on his official residence during his term as the state's leader of opposition. Bhujbal claims he managed to survive only because he had locked himself in the bathroom.

With the passing of the baton from Thackeray to son Uddhav, the once ruthless organisation seems to have lost some of its fangs. Even leaders have left in droves and managed to rehabilitate themselves. The past few years have not seen any large-scale incidents of violence perpetrated by the Sena cadre either. However, with Thackeray's nephew Raj seen to be cast in his mould -- in more than one way -- the question is: Has the Tiger really changed its stripes, or just donned a new skin?

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