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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 5, January 21 & January 28, 2023

A remembrance meet on Madhu Dandavate | Jeevesh Gupta

Saturday 21 January 2023

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by Jeevesh Gupta

Remembering Madhu Dandavate on his birth centenary was all the more important keeping in mind the dying voice of the opposition in India.

Volunteers of Madhu Dandavate janm shatabdi Samaroh samiti today organised the first commemoration meeting in his memory which shall be followed by a country wide series of events through 2023. Speaking on this ocassion, convenor of the samiti, Sh. Arun Srivastava said that "those great politicians whose children are not in politics are not remembered and their ideology is dying a slow death. We are trying to ensure that we take Dandvate to the youth of this country and to share his work and sacrifice for the nation with one and all".

A full hall at New Maharashtra Sadan was a testimony to the fact that Dandvate was a people’s man.

The program was attended by politicians & trade union leaders including Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Sh. Sitaram Yechury, Sh. Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, Sh. Suresh Khairnar, Shiv Gopal Mishra, Sh. Hussain Dalwai, Sh. KC Tyagi, Sh. Shyam Rajak, Sh. Danish Ali along with great socialist thinkers and journalists including Padam Bhushan Prof. TK Oommen, Prof. Anand Kumar, Smita Gupta, and Prof. DK Giri.

On this occasion, Sh. Sitaram Yechury remarked that the opposition unity was very important and if required the communist and socialist should come under one umbrella to fight against killing of institutions and save our democracy from dying. Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that we need to follow the religion of humanity and we need to find our god within us like Dandvate did.

Delivering his Keynote Address Prof. TK Oommen remarked that while we all remember the great sons of the soil, Dandvate’s books were not even issued 2-3 times from the parliament library which showed that how many of our politicians and academicians were actually reading his works!

Trade union leaders remembered him as a leader always ready to stand for the cause of the workers especially those working with railways where he also was the minister for 2 years.

A well-compiled souvenir comprising of excerpts from his speeches and his biography was also released in the memory of Prof. Madhu Dandvate which will be used as a medium to disseminate his work to the people at large through PAN India meetings. “The souvenir will be translated in Hindi and regional languages to ensure that it reaches every single individual who wants to read Dandvate”, A Samiti spokesperson said.

The event was well attended by Madhu Dandavate’s followers from across India and a photo exhibition was displayed by his nephew Mr. Girish Kulkarni which reflected on Dandavate’s simplicity and the passion with which he delivered his speeches and carried out his work. A postcard with a stamp of Pakistan sent by Dandavate from Bangladesh to his sister during 1971 war, when she lost her husband, gave the message that "she should stop grieving her husband’s death as 1000s had died in front of his eyes back in Bangladesh". Such was Dandavate’s life which he laid for his countrymen and fellow workers for whose lives he never stepped back in resigning from a political post to stand in solidarity with them.

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