Flashback: Bal Thackeray’s exclusive cartoons for FPJ — Witty, Classy, Timeless

Ronak Mastakar
With the biopic on Bal Thackeray, titled Thackeray and starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the Shiv Sena founder, hitting theatres today, we look back at some brilliant cartoons created by the man for Free Press Journal.

Bal Keshav Thackeray was born January 23, 1927, and the founder of Shiv Sena. Lack of school education could not dent his grasping ability, command over languages and an extraordinary ability to analyse the situation. He was a great cartoonist, journalist, and politician and above of all a leader who had a very special place in his followers heart. He virtually ruled Mumbai for almost four decades.

Also Read: Remembering Bal Thackeray, Five best thoughts by the Shiv Sena supermo

Bal Thackeray began his career as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal, one of the Mumbai’s oldest English Daily newspapers, since 1928. He used the cartoons as a political weapon. After Free Press Journal, Thackeray went and founded Marmik in 1960.

Here are some of his cartoons, few of them may even relate to the current turmoil in our nation today, that were published in the Free Press Journal during the period 1940-1960.

1

In this cartoon Bal Thackeray is showing how ministers contradict themselves when it comes to tax evasion. This cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, on 19th July 1957.

2

Published in Free Press Journal on 28th December 1956, here Thackeray is showing that to catch tax evaders the government needs a target plan in place.

3

Thackeray’s way of describing Kashmir problem. This cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, on 2nd June 1955.

4

In this cartoon Bal Thackeray is showing how political parties work during elections. This cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, 16th April 1955.

5

Thackeray shows a typical assembly debate which the politicians engage during every session. This cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, 17th September 1954.

6

Here Thackeray tries to capture the essence of Indo-China relations (which seem the same even in 2016). This cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, 6th October 1959.

7

In this cartoon Bal Thackeray’s way of portraying Indo-China border conflict. This cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, 11th September 1959.

8

Thackeray interpreting India’s biggest problem: Inflation. His cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, 29th November 1948.

9

In this cartoon Bal Thackeray describes Kashmir’s cease fire agreement. This cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, 6th September 1949.

10

Bal Thackeray takes on the Times of India which had side lined other news paper in 1953. This cartoon was published in Free Press Journal, 4th April 1953.