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Shiv Sena


Shiv Sena

For political parties in Nepal, see Shivsena Nepal and Nepal Shivsena.
Shiv Sena
Chairperson Uddhav Thackeray
Founder Bal Thackeray
Lok Sabha leader Anant Geete
Rajya Sabha leader Sanjay Raut
Founded 19 June 1966
Headquarters Shivsena Bhavan,
Ram Ganesh Gadkari Chowk,
400 028
Student wing Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS)
Youth wing Yuva Sena
Women's wing Shiv Sena Mahila Aghadi
Ideology Marathi nationalism
Hindu nationalism
Political position Far-right
Colours Orange
ECI Status State Party
Alliance National Democratic Alliance
Seats in Lok Sabha
18 / 545
Seats in Rajya Sabha
4 / 245
Seats in Legislative Assembly
63 / 288
Election symbol

Bow and Arrow
Politics of India
Political parties

Shiv Sena (translation; Shivaji's Army), is a Marathi regional and Hindu nationalist political organisation in India founded on 19 June 1966 by political cartoonist Bal Thackeray.[1] The party originally emerged from a movement in Mumbai demanding preferential treatment for Maharashtrians over migrants to the city. It is currently headed by Thackeray's son, Uddhav Thackeray. Members of Shiv Sena are referred to as Shiv Sainiks.

Although the party's primary base is still in Maharashtra, it has tried to expand to a pan-Indian base. In the 1970s, it gradually moved from advocating a pro-Marathi ideology to one supporting a broader Hindu nationalist agenda,[2] as it aligned itself with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The party started taking part in Mumbai (BMC) Municipal elections since its inception. In 1989, it entered an alliance with BJP for Lok Sabha as well as Maharashtra assembly elections, the latter of which has since been broken since October 2014 Assembly elections.[3] It has been a coalition partner in the National Democratic Alliance since 1998, including the Vajpayee Government during 1998–2004 and the present Narendra Modi Government.

The party has a powerful hold over the Bollywood film industry.[4] It has been referred to as an extremist,[5][6] chauvinist,[7][8] as well as a fascist party.[9][10] It has been seen by some as a terror group,[11] and has been blamed for the 1970 communal violence in Bhiwandi, 1984 Bhiwandi riots, and violence in the 1992-1993 Bombay riots.[12][13]


A poster from Shiv Sena campaign against Valentine's Day in Kolkata


After the Independence of India in 1947, regional administrative divisions from the colonial era were gradually changed and states following linguistic borders were created. Within the Bombay Presidency, a massive popular struggle was launched for the creation of a state for the Marathi-speaking people. In 1960, the presidency was divided into two linguistic states - Gujarat and Maharashtra. Moreover, Marathi-speaking areas of the erstwhile Hyderabad state were joined with Maharashtra. Mumbai, in many ways the economic capital of India, became the state capital of Maharashtra. On one hand, people belonging to the Gujarati community owned the majority of the industry and trade enterprises in the city.[14] On the other hand, there was a steady flow of South Indian migrants to the city who came to take many white-collar jobs.

In 1960 Bal Thackeray, a Mumbai-based cartoonist, began publishing the satirical cartoon weekly Marmik. Through this publication, he started disseminating anti-migrant sentiments. On 19 June 1966, Thackeray founded the Shiv Sena as a political organisation.

The Shiv Sena especially attracted a large number of unemployed Marathi youth, who were attracted by Thackeray's charged anti-migrant oratory. Shiv Sena cadres became involved in various attacks against the South Indian communities, vandalizing South Indian restaurants and pressuring employers to hire Marathis.[2]

Alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party

The Sena started placing more weight on the Hindutva ideology in the 1970s as the 'sons of the soil' cause was weakening.[15]

The party has been in coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Lok Sabha as well as Maharashtra Assembly since 1989. The two formed a government in Maharashtra between 1995-1999.[3] The Sena was the opposition party in the state along with the BJP from 1999 to 2014. After the BJP won a plurality in the 2014 Assembly elections, the Sena declared that it would play the role of opposition but, after further negotiations, agreed to join the government in Maharashtra.[16] The Shiv Sena-BJP combine governs the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Traditionally the main strongholds of Shiv Sena have been Mumbai and the Konkan coastal areas. However, in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections the result was reversed. The Shiv Sena made inroads in the interior parts of the state, while suffering losses in Mumbai.

Formation of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena

In July 2005, Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Sena leader Narayan Rane was expelled from the party, which sparked internal conflict in the party. In December the same year Raj Thackeray, Bal Thackeray's nephew, left the party.[17] Raj Thackeray later founded a new party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). After the split, clashes have occurred between followers of the two Senas.

Although the MNS is a break-away group from the Shiv Sena, the party is still based in Bhumiputra ideology. When unveiling the party in an assembly at Shivaji Park he said, everyone is anxious to see what will happen to Hindutva and, "I shall elaborate on the party's stance on issues like Hindutva, its agenda for development of Maharashtra and the significance of the party flag colours at the 19 March public meeting."[18]

Leadership change

Bal Thackeray's son Uddhav Thackeray became the party's leader in 2004, although Bal Thackeray continued to be an important figurehead. After the death of Bal Thackeray on 17 November 2012, Uddhav became the Pramukh (party leader). However, Uddhav has refused to take the "Pramukh" title.[19]

Party structure

As the Pramukh (Chief) of the party, Bal Thackeray took all major decisions while the activists and members of the Shiv Sena Shiv Sainiks carried out most of the party's grassroots work. During his last days, the day-to-day activities of the party were handled by his youngest son Uddhav Thackeray. Aditya Thackeray, son of Uddhav Thackeray, became the leader of the Yuva Sena, the Youth Wing of the party. After Bal thackerey's death in 2012, the party was de-facto led by Uddhav Thackeray.

The Sena Bhavan located in the Dadar locality in Mumbai has served as the Headquarters of the Sena since 1976.[20] The Sena's shakhas (Branches) spread throughout the state of Maharashtra as well as in selected locations in other states, which decide on most of the local issues in their localities.[15]

The Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samiti is affiliated with the Shiv Sena. It advocates the preservation of rights of employment for Maharashtrians in Maharashtra.[21]

Chief Ministers

Shiv Sena Ministers in Central Government

NDA Council of Ministers in 1999

  • Manohar Joshi - Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Speaker of Lower House (Lok Sabha)
  • Suresh Prabhu - Minister of Power, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers

NDA Council of Ministers in 2014

Anant Geete - Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Electoral performance

Election Candidates Elected Votes Source
1971 Lok Sabha 5 227,468 [22]
1980 Lok Sabha 2 129,351 [23]
1989 Lok Sabha 3 1 339,426 [24]
1989 Goa Assembly 6   4,960 [25]
1991 Uttar Pradesh Assembly 14 1 45,426 [26]
1991 Lok Sabha 22 4 2,208,712 [27]
1993 Madhya Pradesh Assembly 88 75,783 [28]
1996 Lok Sabha 132 15 4,989,994 [29]
1996 Haryana Assembly 17 6,700 [30]
1997 Punjab Assembly 3 719 [31]
1998 Lok Sabha 79 6 6,528,566 [32]
1998 Delhi Assembly 32 9,395 [33]
1998 Himachal Pradesh Assembly 6 2,827 [34]
1999 Lok Sabha 63 15 5,672,412 [35]
1999 Goa Assembly 14   5,987 [36]
2000 Orissa Assembly 16   18,794 [37]
2001 Kerala Assembly 1   279 [38]
2002 Goa Assembly 15   [39]
2004 Lok Sabha 56 12 7,056,255 [40]
2009 Lok Sabha 22 11 6,828,382 [41]
2014 Lok Sabha 20 18 10,262,981 [40]
1990 Maharashtra Assembly 183 52 47,33,834(16.39%)
1995 Maharashtra Assembly 169 73 6315493(16.39%)
1999 Maharashtra Assembly 169 69 (17.33%)
2004 Maharashtra Assembly 163 62 8351654 (19,97%)
2009 Maharashtra Assembly 160 45
2014 Maharashtra Assembly 63 10,235,972


Rehabilitation work

The Sena says it has played a central role in the emancipation of 500,000 slum dwellers in the Dharavi area of Mumbai, the largest slum in Asia. However, the policy of giving free houses to slum dwellers has been controversial since it was introduced by the then Shiv Sena-BJP government.[42][43][44]

Disruption of 2003 India-Pakistan cricket match

In December 2003, Shiv Sena activists damaged the cricket pitch of the Agra Sport Stadium which was supposed to host the cricket match between Pakistan and India.[45] In April 2005, Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena, the student wing of Shiv Sena, attempted to prevent the India-Pakistan One-day international match being held in New Delhi. The protester's spokesman demanded:

Vandalism of IBN office

On 20 November 2009, Shiv Sena activists attacked and vandalised the offices of Hindi and Marathi TV news channels IBN7 and IBN-Lokmat, located in Mumbai and Pune respectively. The Shivsainik slapped IBN7's senior editor Ravindra Ambekar and then attacked IBN-Lokmat's editor Nikhil Wagle. Shiv Sena attributed the attacks to the criticisms of Bal Thackeray by the news channel over his remarks on Sachin Tendulkar. Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut described the attacks as "spontaneous". Shiv Sena spokespersons tried to justify the attacks and refused to apologize for their acts of violence.[47][48][49]

See also


  1. ^ Berger, Peter; Heidemann, Frank (3 June 2013). The Modern Anthropology of India: Ethnography, Themes and Theory. Routledge. p. 179.  
  2. ^ a b "Know Your Party: Shiv Sena". Retrieved 2006-07-22. 
  3. ^ a b "Maharashtra elections: BJP ends 25-year-old alliance with Shiv Sena as seat sharing talks fail". Retrieved 2014-10-26. 
  4. ^ Dean, Nelson. "Author Rohinton Mistry slams Mumbai University after book ban". Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Ahmed, Z.S.; Balasubramanian, R. (2010). Extremism in Pakistan and India: The Case of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Shiv Sena. Colombo: Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS). 
  6. ^ Mehta, Ved. Rajiv Gandhi and Rama's Kingdom.  
  7. ^ Bagchi, Amiya (2002). Capital and Labour Redefined:India and the Third World.  
  8. ^ Kaminsky, Arnold (2011). India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic.  
  9. ^ Chandavarkar, Rajnayaran (3 September 2009). History, Culture and the Indian City (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 29.  
  10. ^ Jeff Haynes (7 April 2011). Religion, Politics and International Relations. Taylor & Francis. p. 150.  
  11. ^ Banerjee, Sikata (1996). Masculine Hinduism, Violence and the Shiv Sena: The Bombay Riots of 1993. 
  12. ^ Human Rights Watch World Report 1999. Human Rights Watch. 1998. p. 186.  
  13. ^ Brown, Cynthia (1995). Playing the "communal Card": Communal Violence and Human Rights. Human Rights Watch. p. 27.  
  14. ^ "Sena fate: From roar to meow".  
  15. ^ a b "Know Your Party: Shiv Sena". Retrieved 2006-07-22. 
  16. ^ Shiv Sena to join Fadnavis govt; gives up claim to home minister, deputy CM post, Indian Express, 4 December 2014
  17. ^ "Senior Shiv Sena leader quits". BBC. 18 December 2005. Retrieved 2014-10-25. 
  18. ^ "Raj Thackeray launches new party". Press Trust of India. 9 March 2006. Retrieved 2014-10-25. 
  19. ^ "Uddhav takes father's powers, but not Shiv Sena 'pramukh' title". Times of India. 2 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "Thackeray inaugurates new Sena bhavan".  
  21. ^ Business India. A.H. Advani. 1996. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ TitlePage-VolI_LS99.PDF
  24. ^ TitlePage-VolI_LS99.PDF
  25. ^ List Of Political Parties
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ [3]
  28. ^ rptDetailedResults
  29. ^ [4]
  30. ^ TitlePage_HR-96.PDF
  31. ^ TitlePage_PU-96.PDF
  32. ^ [5]
  33. ^ rptProgrammeOFElections
  34. ^ rptProgrammeOFElections
  35. ^ [6]
  36. ^ TitlePageGA99.PDF
  37. ^ TitlePage_OR_LA_2000.PDF
  38. ^
  39. ^ []
  40. ^ a b [7]
  41. ^ [8]
  42. ^ "Rediff News". 
  43. ^ "'Highrises don't suit Dharavi slum dwellers'". The Times of India. 
  44. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, - Elections 2004". 
  45. ^ "Shiv Sena activists damage cricket pitch". 2003-12-18. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  46. ^ "Sena squad for Kotla". ( 
  47. ^ "In the name of their Boss, Sena goons attack IBN TV channels". 
  48. ^ "Sena leader admits attack on media". IBNLive. 
  49. ^ Shiv Sena workers' attack ibn offices in Mum"'". IBNLive. 

Further reading

  • Ethnicity and Equality: The Shiv Sena Party and Preferential Policies in Bombay, MF Katzenstein – 1979 – Cornell University Press
  • Warriors in Politics: Hindu Nationalism, Violence, and the Shiv Sena in India, S Banerjee – 2000 – Westview Press
  • The Charisma of Direct Action: Power, Politics, and the Shiv Sena, JM Eckert – 2003 – Oxford University Press
  • Shiv Sena: An Assessment, Palshikar, Suhas, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Pune, Pune (1999)
  • Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, 'Power', chapter 3, Mumbai, Mehta, Suketu, Penguin Books(2005)

External links

  • Shiv Sena newspaper
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