People harbour many misconceptions about Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, senior party leader Sanjay Raut, who has penned the biopic “Thackeray”, said on Tuesday.
The divide between Maharashtra locals and people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is a matter of perceived “misinformation”, he said.
“People are misinformed about Balasaheb’s life and Shiv Sena’s journey. The issue on people from Bihar and UP was neither raised nor did it come up.
“You ask all these questions here, but in reality in all his 50 years of politics people from Bihar and UP were the ones who were most emotionally attached to him,” the “Thackeray” writer-producer told reporters at a press conference ahead of the release of the film this week.
Known for his provocative statements, Thackeray targeted south Indians, accusing them of snatching jobs from local Marathi youths, in the late 1960s. He also dominated the headlines for his anti-Muslim comments.
In an apparent reference to various state governments encouraging recruitment of local people, Raut said the bone of contention then and now is jobs.
“In 1969, a movement did start for the ‘bhoomiputras’ (sons of the soil) there (in Maharashtra) and that is something which is gathering pace in every other state today…,” he said citing Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal as examples.
“Unemployment was an issue then and a law that the locals should have the right to employment first was passed. It was limited to this.”
Asked if the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-fronted film will change Thackeray and the party’s image with north Indians, Raut reiterated that people have limited knowledge.