(This explainer was first published on 19 June 2017 and has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark the foundation anniversary of the Shiv Sena.)
Over the years, Shiv Sena has made news for digging up cricket pitches ahead of matches against Pakistan, throwing ink on people, vandalising theatres, threatening young couples who celebrate Valentine’s Day, and burning effigies of whoever they pick to “send back to Pakistan” that month.
Hard to believe, but that’s Shiv Sena at its best behaviour.
Yet, the Sena has broad support in Mumbai. It emerged the single largest party in the Mumbai civic elections in February 2017 and also gained ground in rural Maharashtra. If you’ve ever wondered why the party continues to rule over India’s financial capital, here’s the bloody and noisy history of the Shiv Sena.