It was a seriously ill man's last wish. The last recorded video of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had him speaking in length about what was to become his last wish: that his Sainiks stand by his son Uddhav and grandson Aditya. In his nearly 40-minutes address, the Sena supremo urged his followers and party workers to stand by Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and grandson Aditya Thackeray and remain loyal to them.
“I urge all the Shiv Sainiks to stand by executive president Uddhav and Aditya the way you stood by me all my life. Uddhav and Aditya are not forced on you as part of dynasty and in the way the Congress party does. Marathi manoos should remain loyal to the Sena,” he had said.
Thackeray had said that his real strength was the support he received from his Shiv Sainiks throughout his life.
The video was aired at the Sena's annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji park on October 24. This year's rally was one of just three Dussehra rallies that were not addressed by Bal Thackeray due to the ill health. The decision of playing the recorded clip was taken in the afternoon on that day.
Thackeray also wanted his estranged nephew and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, Raj and his son Uddhav to come together. In an interview given to a Marathi news channel early this year, Thackeray had said that he wishes two brothers to come together, but it was too late for him to put efforts in that direction. “My wishes in that directions will not work alone. I can take a horse to water but cannot make him drink it. They themselves should feel like coming together,” he had said.
It was post that interview that equations between the MNS and Sena started changing. Thackeray himself rang up Raj Thackeray when Uddhav had to be hospitalised in July for a heart ailment. Raj visited Uddhav at Lilavati hospital and played key role in decisions related to his treatment. In the last three months, Raj was a frequent visitor to Matoshree after Bal Thackeray's health started deteriorating.
1996: He faced his first major health problem when he complained of chest pain and was taken to Mahim’s PD Hinduja Hospital. The late cardiovascular surgeon Dr Nitu Mandke was rushed from Ahmedabad and conducted a bypass surgery on him, after an angiography detected a block.
2000s: A few years after his bypass, he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition in which the airways in the lungs become so narrow that the flow of air is limited and the patient feels shortness of breath.
Feb 2009: He was admitted to Lilavati Hospital for 14 days after he complained of fever and exhaustion.
June 2009: He was admitted to the ICU with breathlessness and palpitations, his oxygen level dropping and BP shooting up.
July 2009 He underwent an angioplasty in Lilavati Hospital, performed by cardiologist Dr Samuel Matthew Kalarickel. He skipped Dussehra rally.
2010: He addressed a function to mark the 50th year of Maharashtra’s formation. He had gained nearly 17 kg in 10 months, and resumed his walks next to his home.
March 18, 2010: He underwent a minor laser eye surgery to clear his vision at JJ Hospital, Byculla. JJ Group of Hospitals dean Dr Lahane performed the seven-minute-long procedure.
May 13, 2012: Bal Thackeray was admitted to Lilavati Hospital after he complained of discomfort and was discharged two days later. Tests showed an ailment in the pancreas. Hyderabad-based specialist Nageshwar Reddy and his team were supposed to perform an endoscopy but the decision was deferred because of the poor condition of his lungs.
July 24, 2012: A day after Shiv Sena Executive president Uddhav Thackeray was discharged from Lilavati Hospital after a successful angioplasty for multiple blockage of arteries, Thackeray was admitted. According to Matoshree and hospital sources he had acute constipation accompanied with breathlessness and inflammation on the body