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.

When I look back about the experiences, he used to share, I remember some very interesting narrations, I am trying to share. It was a time when general elections were due in 1994. People were talking about BJP’s chances of coming to power in the general elections. As a curious person, wanting to know what Thengadiji thinks about the same, I asked him innocently, Thengadiji what do you think about BJP coming to power right now. He paused a little and said, you know if a young gets married in his childhood, what will happen to him? Then he said, he would catch TB (Tuberculosis). I got the answer to my question!

I do not remember the context, but he humorously narrated me an incident. He said a political worker was sitting with him and explaining him about his (political worker’s) skills of lecturing. You know Thengadiji, today I went to address a public gathering, people applauded 17 times. Thengadiji smilingly said (what he obviously would not have told that politician), I was wondering whether he was concentrating on his lecture or he was busy counting the rounds of applauds.

Then on some other day he narrated me a wonderful story, about naming of a flower. He said that there is a flower (I forget the name), found in water and ultimately submersed in water itself. He said you know what this flower is named after. I innocently said, no Thengadiji. Then he explained that there was a very beautiful boy, who had never seen his face earlier, as there was no looking glass in those days. Once he had to cross a river when he was in the middle of the river he looked into water and he saw his image in the water. He thought that, there is a beautiful boy going along with him in the water. He fell in love with his own image. After some time he saw the riverbank is nearing. He feared that once he reaches the riverbank he would lose the company of this beautiful boy, not knowing that this was his own image. He decided to fall into the river and submersed into water. Then Thengadiji said that today’s politicians are so much overwhelmed by their own self that they do not want come out of their self. qq

Dr. Ashwani Mahajan (National Co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch)