Narayan Rane's supporters attacked the office of Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna in Pune recently and this also came as a shock to Sena that was always notorious for such acts. It never expected such attacks from any other group.
With the tables turned now: His estranged nephew, Raj, setting the agenda and his former supporters like Rane showing an eye to him, beleagured Bal is back to his old ways.
In Marathi newspaper Samna, Thackeray has stressed on the need for suicide squads of Hindus to counter Islamic terrorism. But the 'paper tiger' knows well that issuing such statements is easy to gain cheap popularity among his constituency.
Of course, he is smart enough not to announce that he will send his son Uddhav to volunteer and lead such squads that might enter Pakistan and Bangladesh to catch the terrorists. It is not just an irresponsible statement but also provocative and criminal.
Clearly, Thackeray is feeling the heat. After all, those arrested recently for bomb blasts in Mumbai, belonged to Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, rather than Shiv Sena. It can be tough for anybody to see his empire usurped and his authority getting diminished with every passing day.
At the age of 82, Bal Keshava Thackeray alias "Bala Saheb" still retains his old ways, especially the rabble-rousing rhetoric. But, rather than issuing such 'fiery' statements, the ageing Thackeray could have learnt from his mistakes, tone down his rhetoric and act gracefully.
All his life, the maverick cartoonist turned politician has sparked animonisty between groups, divided this nation and mastered the art of hatespeak. In a country where politicians get away with anything, Thackeray has also flirted with fascism for decades. And he will continue to do so for the rest of his life.