Balasaheb Thackeray was born to Keshav Sitaram Thackeray in a lower-middle class, marathi family. Keshav Thackeray was a progressive social activist and writer who was against caste biases and played a key role in the Samyukta Maharashtra Chalwal in the 1950s to form the Marathi-speaking state of Maharashtra with Mumbai as its capital.
Balasaheb Thackeray started his career as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal in Mumbai in the 1950s. His cartoons were also published in the Sunday edition of The Times of India. In 1960, he launched a cartoon weekly Marmik with his brother. He used it to campaign against the growing influence of non-Marathi people in Mumbai targeting Gujaratis and South Indian labor workers.
He formed the Shiv Sena on 19 June 1966 with the intent of fighting for the rights of the natives of the state of Maharashtra. The early objective of the Shiv Sena was to ensure job security for Maharashtrians against immigrants from southern India, Gujaratis and Marwaris.
Politically, the Sena was anti-communist, and wrested control of major trade unions in Mumbai from the Communist Party of India and demanded protection money(extortion) from mainly Gujarati and marwari business leaders. It later allied itself with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the common issue of Hindu Nationalism which both parties believed in. The BJP-Shiv Sena combine won the 1995 Maharashtra State Assembly elections and came to power. During the tenure of the government from 1995 to 1999, Thackeray was nicknamed ‘remote control’ since he played a major role in government policies and decisions from behind the scenes.
On July 28, 1999 Bal Thackeray was banned from voting and contesting in any election for six years from December 11, 1995 on the recommendations of the Election Commission. After the six-year voting ban on Bal Thackeray was lifted in 2005, he voted for the first time in the 2006 BMC elections.
Thackeray has claimed that the Shiv Sena has helped the Marathi manoos (the Marathi commoner) in Mumbai and also fought for the rights of Hindu people,Thackeray is a staunch Hindu and believes that Hindus must be organised to struggle against those who oppose our identity and religion. especially in the public sector. Opposition leftist parties allege that the Shiv Sena has done little to solve the problem of unemployment facing a large proportion of Maharashtrian youth during its tenure, in contradiction to its ideological foundation of ‘sons of the soil.’
Thackeray is very vocal in his controversial opposition to people who migrate to Mumbai, to non-Hindus (especially Muslims), and to illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh. In the late 1960s to mid-1970s, as part of his ‘Maharashtra is for Maharashtrians’ campaign, Thackeray threatened migrants from South India with harm unless they left Mumbai.