Shiv Sena

From Academic Kids

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SS election symbol
Shiv Sena or शिव सेना (meaning Army of Shiva, referring to Shivaji) is a political party in India founded on June 19, 1966 by Bal Thackeray who is the president of the party. It is a Hindu nationalist party, though it is strongly associated with Maratha identity. In the 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004), it had 15 (out of 545) members. During that period, the party was part of the government coalition at the national level. Manohar Joshi, a Shivsainik, was the Speaker of Lok Sabha 2002-2004.

The party was formed to fight for the rights of native Maharashtrians. It targeted South Indians living in Bombay and later Gujaratis and Muslims as it tried to propagate Bal Thackeray's idea that Bombay belonged to Maharashtrians only.

Shiv Sena has its employment cell Shiv Udyog Sena. Bharatiya Kamgar Sena ("Indian Worker's Army"), a labour union, is affiliated to the Shiv Sena. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena ("All India Students' Army") is the student wing of SS.

Although the party is mainly based in Maharashtra, it has in recent years started to form branches all over India. That work has however, had rather limited success. A sister party in Nepal, Nepal Shiv Sena, has also been founded.
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Shiv Sena poster in Kolkata

In 1998, Shiv Sainiks attacked movie theatres in Bombay over a controversial film with a lesbian theme, forcing it to be withdrawn. In 1999, they vandalised a cricket pitch in Delhi to stop the Pakistani cricket team from playing there.


Shiv Sena in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has always been the main stronghold of the party. The party has ruled the state in coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party. The SS-BJP did however lose the 2004 state assembly election. SS is now the main opposition party in the state. The BJP-SS combine governs the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Traditionally the main strongholds of SS have been Mumbai and the Konkan coastal areas. However, in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections the result was reversed. SS made inroads in the interior parts of the state, while suffering losses in Mumbai.

Shiv Sena in Goa

SS is actively trying to gain presence in Goa. Although its an ally of BJP in Maharashtra and on the national level, the party is opposing the BJP government in the state.

Accusations of criminal activities

Prominent members of Shiv Sena have been accused of criminal activities such as extortion and murder. According to Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights, "they (Shiv Sena) have become little more than organised gangsters" and "Shiv Sena is itself the biggest criminal organisation in the city". According to an article in Le Monde Diplomatique (see below), Shiv Sena leaders always accept the official police version of police killings (self-defense), even if others claim otherwise. In June 1998 it was said "No police officer has been challenged over his story". Bal Thackeray, was, according to an article, "held responsible for the murder of at least one legislator and some Shiv Sena leaders". Shiv Sena denies these accusations.

See also: List of political parties in India, Politics of India

External links

sv:Shiv Sena


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