Blue plaque set to mark Thackeray's birthplace

Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s passing has stirred up strong urges in party workers and others to hold onto all that he has ever been associated with - be it the site in Shivaji Park, Mumbai, where his mortal remains were cremated on Sunday or the site in the city where he was born on January 23, 1926.

A long time ago: The area in Sadashiv Peth where Bal Thackeray spent the first two years of his life. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

The spot where the departed leader’s home once stood in Datar wada is now set to become a historical site, and the Pune Historic Structure Committee (PHSC) - a private committee of history lovers — plans to install a plaque in his memory.

Though a majority of Punekars do not know the exact site of Thackeray’s birthplace and his home in the area, after MiD DAY published “Birthplace of the ‘Tiger’” recently, more people have become more aware.

Thackeray was born at 326 Sadashiv Peth, which housed ‘Khade hospital’, a tiny clinic some 90 years ago. The Thackeray family address was at 345 Sadashiv Peth, which was a rented accommodation close to the clinic.

The old wada was demolished and a three-storeyed building now stands on the site. The address has also changed to ‘Sarthak’ Building, 896 Sadashiv Peth on Gadgil Street.

The PHSC is awaiting approval from the building owner and will shortly be erecting a blue plaque to mark the spot where late Balasaheb Thackeray had lived during the first few years of his life.

Over the past two days, Shiv Sena leaders and activists and residents of Sadashiv peth have come forward with the demand that the spot be recognised as a historical location.

The PHSC was established by late Jaywantrao Tilak a former MLC and speaker of the State Legislative Council and the committee has put up blue plaques on 300 houses of distinguished personalities, including late litterateurs, political leaders, singers, musicians and revolutionaries in the last decade.

Tilak’s son Dr Deepak Tilak is continuing his father’s work. He said, “We generally put up a plaque with special mention of the person and stay in the
place. We would like to install the same where Prabodhnkar and Balasaheb Thackeray stayed. We are awaiting written consent from the owner of the building.”

Ramesh Kuwar, who owns Sarthak building, said, “A similar query was posed before me by the PHSC a few years ago. I have no problem with a plaque being installed to mark the spot where Thackeray had lived. In fact, I am privileged to know that legends lived on the site the site, which I now own.”

Historian Dr Brahmanand Deshpande said, “It is mentioned in Balasaheb’s father Prabodhnkar Thackeray’s biography that the family lived at 345 Sadashiv Peth.”

Dr M P Mangudkar, another History scholar, said, “Sadashiv Peth is a place where many legends had spent their early days, including Balasaheb and Prabodhankar Thackeray, social worker Bapuji Aane, note writer N C Kelkar and Lokmanya Tilak himself.”  

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