0 OUR MADHAVKAKA(A brief life-sketch)

By Dilip Kane (Nephew) Madhavkaka was born in Kalyan, then a small town on 17th December 1927 in a middle-class family which hailed from Rilkesapuri of Konkan region. His parents namely father Shri Ramchandra Moreshwar Kane and mother Smt Sitabai Ramchandra Kane had in all five children: three sons, Gajanan, Vasant, and Bindumadhav and two daughters Sudha and Durga. Bindumadhav was the third child and was affectionately called Madhav. 'Bindu' means a drop and the almighty in his wisdom had destined this drop to grow and assume the form of a vast sea of achievements.During early childhood , which is the time for fun & frolic and seeking favours with obstinacy from elders, these children lost their parents. They were further orphaned by the demise of their uncle. Thus these youngsters had to suffer the loss of their supporting elder; and that too, within the short span of one year. It was a most cruel blow to them. Under such circumstances, one can lose mental balance and go astray, but not these children! They decided to understand each other and face the future unitedly. The void of parental love and care was thus filled in by themselves with mutual support and it guided them throughout their lives.During this period Madhavkaka and his brother Vasant (Baba) came into contact with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). May be, it was an act of providence itself. There they got the much needed solace, and cordial and affectionate support. It was during this time that they met their life-long friends and precious companions who were to share their joys and sorrows at all times. They were fortunate to have them, especially Shri Gopalrao Tokekar, Bhagwanrao Joshi, Bhaurao Sabnis, Wamanrao Sathe, Abakaka Barve, Chintukaka Kanhere, Ramkaka Kapse, Madhukaka Gadre, Madhukaka Paranjpe, Annukaka Mehandale, Balikaka Kelkar, Abhakaka Abhyankar, Ramakaka Choghule, Balukaka Divekar, Kisankaka Shinde, Sant Sir (teacher) and Bandukaka Purohit. Every one of these friends is recognised as an authority in his respective field. Their love and friendship has remained fast and firm till today and all of them treat us like their own nephews.While Madhavkaka and the two sisters were attending school, the two elder brothers went off to work. For sometime, arrangements were made for meals to be brought from a lodge. Once, the young sisters came from school quite hungry and there was nothing to eat in the house. Madhavkaka kept them humoured with stories and talk for some time, but the food did not come and the sisters started crying. At last Madhavkaka himself went to the lodge and brought the food. He had to, because he could not prepare even a cup of tea. The sight of the weeping faces of his sisters made him angry with himself. Their pathetic expressions must have been engraved on his memory for ever, because he often narrated this incidence. Perhaps, in later years when he saw the tribals with hardly any clothes, insufficient food and a few particles of boiled rice left in the blackened aluminum bowl, and the children fighting among themselves for them, he remembered it vididly and it must have greatly influenced his attitude.However, time rolled on, and soon after Mahatmaji's assassination, the Government of India imposed a ban on the RSS. Subsequently, the RSS launched a Satyagraha and the Satyagrahis were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment one after the other. Madhavkaka & Vasant resolved to join the Satyakgriha. They were convicted and sent to Visapur jail. This was their first view of life inside a prison. However, soon the satyagrahis obtained permission to conduct classes for the prison students, and, within the walls of the jail, studies for the students started systematically.Out of the 2 post cards allowed per month to each inmate, Madhavkaka used to invariably write one to his sister-in-law (Vahini) who had showered all motherly affection on him from his young days. The other card he wrote to his own home, in which he asked news from home and made requests for holy books like the Bhagwat Geeta, and, for school text books.The Geeta which, in times of doubt, preaches what is good and what is bad for every human being, proved a moral guide to Madhavkaka in the years to come and gave him solace till his end. After returning from jail, he passed his matriculation examination and joined the university for higher studies. His colleagues turned out in fashionable attire but Madhavkaka was complacent with his clean, simple, white shirt & Dhoti. He never changed this dress throughout his life. He had an average physique, wheatish complexion and bluish gray eyes with a piercing quality.By this time, Madhavkaka and his young colleagues launched a branch of Bharatiya Janasangh in Kalyan. The movement of the party started gaining momentum. At the same time, the Goa Liberation Movement had commenced and Satyagraha was being offered on the Goa border. A batch of Jansangh Satyagrahis was to proceed to Goa under the leadership of Shri Jagannathrao Joshi and at the end of an inspiring speech full of fire and eloquence by him, our Madhavkaka went up the stage, declared that he was joining the Satyagraha along with Jagannathraoji and his decision was final and firm. It created a great stir in the audience. Nobody ever knew when he had decided and spoken to Jagannathraoji. At home, we were shocked and sorry and yet felt very proud.That was a time when everyday some news of causalities in Portuguese firing was pouring in. People glued their ears to the radios eagerly listening to the news. One after the other, Satyagrahis, old and young alike, were either being shot dead or were shot down, arrested and put to rigourous and harsh imprisonment. As the whole atmosphere was tense and highly unconducive to the life and safety of Satyagrahis his decision was indeed an audacious and daring one.We were young but understood the situation well. At last, the day of departure for Madhavkaka dawned. Tears were bristling in the eyes of our mother and aunt but they did not weep. We arrived at Kalyan station only to find it full of people who had come to see Madhavkaka off. The station was resounding with slogans - Bharat Mata Ki Jay -Viva la Mother India and Madhavrao Kane ki Jay. The shaking of hands over, Madhavkaka boarded the train and we saw him standing in the doorway and raising his hands in farewell and acknowledgment.The days rolled on but the charm and gaiety in the whole locality was missing. People eagerly scanned the papers and listened to the news, till one day the fatal news came that Madhav Kane was killed in the firing speading deep sorrow all around us. Fortunately, the next day, news followed that Madhavkaka was seriously injured but not dead. This proved to be correct because, a few months later Madhavkaka was released from the jail and came home. He had undergone terrible hardships and ill-treatment in the jail, but never uttered a single word about it. Neither did he ever boast of being a freedom fighter.In due course, both the brothers Madhavkaka and Baba were asked about getting married. But Madhavkaka was firm in his resolve to remain a bachelor and dedicate his life for the cause of the nation. The result was that Baba also declared that he would remain a bachelor to give him support and inspiration. What a spirit of sacrifice and brotherly affection! Subsequently, Madhavkaka joined the Samyukta Maharashtra movement .`ALL HINDUS ARE ONE' is a song sung at the Sangh Shakhas (branches). To practice what you preach is the motto of all volunteers of the Sangh, and following incident amply proves it. During the "Goa Liberation Movement", the rifle bullet which had pierced through the arm of Madhavkaka had lodged in the stomach of another freedom fighter, Uttamrao Dani, close to him. He recovered and came specially to meet Madhavkaka at Kalyan. Madhavkaka's joy knew no bounds. Both of them had spent some days in Goa jail together. Old nostalgic memories of those hard days were revived and talked over. When it was time for lunch, Madhavkaka asked his sister-in-law to serve meals for both. Now Shri Dani was from a scheduled caste but they both entered the Kitchen and sat for meals side by side. All orthodox Brahmin family norms,so far followed in the household were forgotten. He was a bit deterred at the thought of adverse reactions in the society. The brotherly treatment received by Shri Dani from a caste Brahmin were reflected in his tearful eyes. It was a unique experience for him and we ourselves thought that our usual rules and norms for such things were elevated to a new height.The people of the locality decided that he should contest the election as a Jansangh candidate of the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti. A panel comprising Dr. B. K. Modak, Shri Bhave and Madhavkaka was formed. We still remember the acclaimed recognition as a Hero of the Goan struggle, his acceptance by people as an excellent Corporator and his infinite toils to make use of both to propagate the Sangh thoughts to all the strata of society. He secured the ticket for the election and came out triumphant. He then became the District Co-ordinator of the Jansangh which involved touring different places to spread the ideology of the Jansangh. This opened new avenues for Madhavkaka to accomplish his desire for the upliftment of the tribals which comprised of the tribal residents of the areas like Jawhar, Mokhada, Wada Vikramgadh, Dahanu Talasari, etc. He got the opportunity to observe their condition and atrocious exploitation by the landlords and usurers. The trinity of Madhavkaka, Damuanna and Bhagwanrao felt the compassion deep in their hearts. The Late Godarani Parulekar had awakened the tribals to their rights but they remained uneducated and ignorant. This trio realised the necessity of educating them as a way to their emancipation. They conducted a deep study of the problem by pesonally visiting the areas. Their frequent tours of those areas must have given rise to the idea in his mind of moving to Talasari later.During the year 1964-65 the responsibility of shouldering the Presidentship of the Kalyan Municipality befell on Madhavkaka. During this period the "Kalyan Development Plan" was formulated. The annual session of the Maharashtra unit of the Bharatiya Janasangh was also held at Kalyan during this period. Madhavkaka was the Chairman of the Reception Committee and he was eminently successful in this mission too. These things brought his urge towork for Adivasis did not dissipate. He became aware of the limitations of politics to improve their lot. Once his term as the President of the town was over, Madhavkaka moved to Talasari on 16th February 1967, to launch his novel scheme to uplift the Adivasis. The calm and upright Madhavkaka, with his love for society and his transparent personality, the hero of the Goa Liberation Movement and the leader firmly entrenched in politics, was not now to belong to us alone. He stepped in Talasari with a firm resolve and decision to launch a Service Project.In the Talasari area there were quite a few groups allegedly fighting for the cause of the tribals. "Bread first or education first" was the slogan raised by many to confuse the locals and exploit them. There was a great necessity of a genuine benefactor and the Adivasis found him in Madhavkaka. They were soon convinced that he was a real guide and well-wisher who would strive for their upliftment. They realised that their children could be transformed into respectable citizens if they followed the advice of Madhavkaka. They liked this soft-spoken friend and decided to leave the future of their little ones in his hands.Children started to come in large numbers to the Hostel started by Madhavkaka. The strength of students gradually rose. The Government also gave grants. Eventually, a Girl's Hostel also came into being. With this development a new building was raised.Such was our Madhavkaka. He was the ultimate and true source of inspiration for all Adivasis. The brilliant aura of his life and the soothing message of his sacrifices will always be present among them. His soul lingers among them in the forms of his various projects of hostel, schools and institutes to guide us all.Our humble tributes to his sacred memory.

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