Raj Thackeray, the leader of Mumbai's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) turned 48 on Tuesday. Most people celebrate such days surrounded by family and friends.

Not Thackeray. The politician likes to use his birthday to cut political rivals to size. How does he do it? By getting followers to inscribe a picture of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi on a cake, and then massacring it with a knife.

Party worker Shishir Shinde defended the act, "Rajsaheb has done the right thing. Owaisi is an anti-national person. He wants to break up Maharashtra and disturb the people here."

Apparently Thackeray did this to protest against Owaisi saying that he will not chant Bharat Mata ki Jai even if a knife was held to his throat. Thackeray was reported to have responded, "Come to Maharashtra, I will put a knife to your throat."

Owaisi's statement came in March and the Thackeray camp decided to respond three months later, after everyone had forgotten about the incident.

Thackeray's political career has been in the doldrums since 2014, when the MNS managed to win just a solitary seat in the assembly elections. The MNS leader has time and again resorted to the tactics used by the Shiv Sena and has found it difficult to break out of their mould.

Also in March 2016, to protest against the Maharashtra Government's decision to hand out auto-rickshaw licences, which he believed were mostly going to migrants, he had instructed followers: "When you see any new rickshaws with new number plates, stop them, take the passenger and driver out of the vehicle, and burn the rickshaws." Thankfully, no one complied.

On Twitter, though, they had things to say.

In 2008, Thackeray, to loud cheers, cut a cake that was in the shape of "Bhaiya" in the Devanagari script.


And to further add to fringe parties' love affair with the cakes, here's a video from Hindu Sena's celebration of Donald Trump's birthday in Delhi yesterday.