|HOME | NEWS | COLUMNISTS | TRIBUTE|
February 6, 2001
N K P Salve
'Bare fangs and bunched up knuckles were not for Vithal'
Vithal N Gadgil's demise in the wee hours of this morning has come as a shock to me. I knew him for the last 35 years. We were close comrades.
He was a great intellectual leader from Maharashtra and the son of freedom fighter N V Gadgil. His intellectual prowess, his inquisitive mind and his dignified persona always attracted a close circle of admirers who valued politicians from the old school.
Vithal was not enamoured with brash things. He always shot from the hip when it came to using plain and unambiguous words against those who irritated him. At the same time, it was done with quiet rebuke which left the recepient withering.
He served the people of Maharashtra and the country with selfless devotion, a quality which appears in short supply these days.
I remember that as reported in the media, Gadgil told our party chief Madam Sonia Gandhi that although he would like to continue as the senior party spokesman, his health did not permit him and it was better to pass the baton to a younger person. And that is what happened.
Even when he left the post of Congress spokesman, he interacted not only with party members but members of the Fourth Estate. I am told that even veteran newshounds always consulted Vithal when it came to analysing the latest developments in the Congress.
I think the welfare of the party always remained his first priority. There were times when he differed with the prevalent opinion in the party but he conveyed his point of view honestly, without wrath and rancour. That was yet another great asset of the man.
Bare fangs and bunched up knuckles were not for Vithal. For him, dignity held more weight than bluff and bluster.
He was steadfast in the views that there was no alternative to the Congress and that non-Congress coalitions were a temporary phenomena. That is why Vithal emerged victorious in his Pune parliamentary constituency, where the electorate believed and respected his views.
The setbacks to the Congress party -- every party has its quota -- affected him deeply and in his own quiet way he tried to constructively contribute to our organisation.
I don't think he nurtured any grievance against any party member. Those who on rare occasions incurred Vithal's displeasure knew it was not done with any malice.
I have no hesitation in saying that we will greatly miss him in Maharashtra and the people will miss him in the rest of the country.
He belonged to an increasingly rare breed. I offer my condolences to the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.
Former Union minister N K P Salve spoke to Tara Shankar Sahay
|Tell us what you think of this column|
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS | SEARCH
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK