Down the Memory Lane

(Memorable night of 9 September 1975 in Kolkata)

Thengadiji came into politics for a short spell as a member of the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament. It was much after he left politics that I met Thendiji around 1994 and he was kind enough to entertain a new recruit of Swadeshi Jagran Manch. It was a God given opportunity to have sittings with a great soul for hours each times, with long spells of talks, along with tea, dosa and idli every time, which he always used to relish with ordinary activists like me.

In the month of January 1990 ALL INDIA CONFERENCE of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat was held in Patna Sahib Patna. Takht Shri Harimandir Sahib Ji is situated in this city. Revered Dattopant Thengadi was in the city to participate in this conference. After Conference concluded Thengadi ji had to board the Train at Patna railway station for his return journey. Since there was sufficient time in between, his lunch and rest was planned accordingly. Dattopant ji had lunch at the residence of the then President of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh unit of Bihar state, Sh. Ramdev Prasad ji.

The purpose of republishing this edifying article by Sh. S. Gurumurthy, after almost a decade is to underline the enormityof the personality of Rastra Rishi Dattopant Thengdi, who contributed immensely to post Independence India in more than one way and yet remained away from superfluous publicity. The enormity of his personality was felt by the people who came into his close contact.

It was in the year 1990 that I got opportunity to see Rev. Dattopant ji in Jodhpur for the first time. In 1992, I listened to his effortless, but stimulating Boudhik in the third year of Sangshiksha Varg at Nagpur for two consecutive days. He also delivered an Informal talk there on another day. And concluding speech of third year Sangshiksha Varga which is normally delivered by Poojniya Sarsanghchalak ji was also delivered by Rev. Thendgi ji due to indifferent health of P.P. Balasahab Deoras.

This is an effort to recollect and document life of Rashtra Rishi Dattopant Thengadi, as experienced by his colleagues, friends, followers and associates. Saroj Mitra has had a long and cherished association with Rev. Thengadi ji. Saroj Da, as he is known , has begun by recollecting his memorable incidents that he can remember. There are many more people of all age groups who will fondly remind their interaction with this one of the greatest personality of Independent India.

Thengadiji came into politics for a short spell as a member of the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament. It was much after he left politics that I met Thendiji around 1994 and he was kind enough to entertain a new recruit of Swadeshi Jagran Manch. It was a God given opportunity to have sittings with a great soul for hours each times, with long spells of talks, along with tea, dosa and idli every time, which he always used to relish with ordinary activists like me.

Dattopant Thengadi is the Guide-philosopher-friend who lead me to the path of swadeshi: KV Biju