Mumbai bids tearful adieu to Thackeray,city shuts down
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Mumbai, Nov 18: The mortal remains of Hinduvta mascot Bal Thackeray were consigned to flames as hundreds of thousands of mourners bid him a tearful farewell at the Shivaji Park, from where he had launched the Shiv Sena 46 years back.
An emotional Uddhav Thackeray, the youngest son of the 86-year-old Shiv Sena patriarch, lit the funeral pyre a little after 6 pm, to loud roars of "Balasaheb amar rahe" (long live Balasaheb).
Raj Thackeray, the estranged nephew of Bal Thackeray and MNS chief, stood next to Uddhav with folded hands near the pyre as they accepted the condolences from political leaders, captains of industry, film personalities, relatives, friends and well wishers.
The firebrand Sena supremo, who was critically ill for the past few days, breathed his last yesterday following a cardiac arrest.
A contingent of Mumbai police gave a 21-gun salute and buglers sounded the last post in the state funeral, a rare honour for someone who had never held any official position.
In a spontaneous outpouring of grief, a sea of humanity, unprecedented in recent memory, descended on the streets leading from "Matoshree", Thackeray's Bandra home, along the 10 km stretch to Shivaji Park, to catch the last glimpse of the uncrowned king of Mumbai.
The pyre was erected on a platform at the very place from where Thackeray delivered his first speech to his rabble- rousing supporters after the launch of Shiv Sena on June 19, 1966.
As several times in life, the Thackeray phenomenon was in evidence once again in death as he brought Mumbai to a halt with all marketplace, from the swanky malls to the tiny tea stalls and 'paan-beedi' kiosks, closed and all roads leading to "Matoshree", Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar and Shivaji Park, where his last rites were performed.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 18 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 18 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST
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