Meenatai Thackeray or Meena Thackeray (1932–1995) was the wife of Bal Thackeray, an Indian politician, best known for founding the Shiv Sena, a right-wing pro-Marathi and Hindu nationalist political party, primarily active in the state. Maharashtra.
Meenatai Thackeray was born as Sarla Vaidya on Wednesday, 6 January 1932.age 63 years; at the time of death) She was a housewife. Though Meena never entered active politics, she played a key role behind the scenes in the formation of Shiv Sena.
parents and siblings
Not much is known about his parents. His younger sister, Kunda Thackeray (aka Madhuvanti), was married to Shrikant Thackeray, the brother of Bal Thackeray.
husband and children
She married Balasaheb Thackeray on 13 June 1948.
Together, they had three sons, the eldest son Bindumadhav Thackeray, the middle son Jaydev Thackeray and the youngest son Uddhav Thackeray. Bindumadhav was a film producer, best known for producing the Bollywood film ‘Agni Sakshi’ starring Jackie Shroff, Nana Patekar and Manisha Koirala. Bindumadhav died in a car accident on 20 April 1996. Following in the footsteps of his father, Uddhav Thackeray ventured into politics and became the leader of Shiv Sena.
In an interview, Balasaheb Thackeray while talking about his wife Meena revealed that she was a deeply pious woman. he said,
My wife was so holy, so devoted, so religious. But nothing worked out. After going to a Ganesh Chaturthi function in Bombay, we forgot his emergency bottle of medicine and went to Karjat. Here the deities were tested. It was God’s duty to remind him of the emergency bottle. If not, you and your faith have gone astray.”
Matoshree, Bandra-East, Mumbai
On 6 September 1995, he died of a heart attack in Karjat, Maharashtra. After attending a Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in Mumbai, she forgot to carry an emergency bottle of medicines with her when she went to Karjat.
- Masaheb Meenatai Thackeray Memorial outside Shivaji Park, Mumbai
- Minatai Thackeray Stadium in Nashik, Maharashtra
- Masaheb Meenatai Thackeray Hospital, Nerul, Navi Mumbai
- Meenatai Thackeray Blood Bank – Siddhartha Hospital, Siddharth Nagar, Prabodhan Krida Bhavan Marg, Goregaon (West) Mumbai
- Meenatai Balasaheb Thackeray Banquet Hall, Mira-Bhayandar, Maharashtra
- Masaheb Minatai Thackeray Maternity Home, Sion Chunabhatti, Mumbai
Facts / Trivia
- He was also called Maa-saheb by Shiv Sainiks (devout followers of Shiv Sena).
- Indian actress Amrita Rao played the role of Meena Thackeray in the 2019 Indian biographical film ‘Thackeray’.
- In the 1980s, Balasaheb and Meenatai watched a black and white film based on the life of Gadge Maharaj, an Indian sage-saint and social reformer. The film depicts how Gadge Maharaj developed residential centers for people to take shelter and spent the rest of his life there. Inspired by the film, Meena Tai decided to start a similar initiative. Balasaheb agreed to the idea and laid the foundation stone of Ramdham Old Age Home near Khopoli, Maharashtra in 1990.
- She played a major role in the founding of The Mahila Aghadi, the women’s wing of Shiv Sena formed by Bal Thackeray in 1985.
- After the death of his wife, Balasaheb became an agnostic and discarded the Rudraksha beads given to him by Swami Gagangiri Maharaj. Remembering his wife, Balasaheb said in an interview,
There was no medicine when he needed it and we lost him. What’s the use if the gods don’t come to your aid when needed. I have removed all the pictures of Ganesh from my house. But there will be a picture of him.”