Remembering Dr.MG Bokare( first All India convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch)- Kashmirilal
Last week I was in Nagpur to sit in a get-together of close associates of Dr. MG Bokre, the author of epoch-making book Hindu Economics and also the first All India Convenor of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch. They were sharing their rare insights about their association with that giant economist, grass-root activists of agrarian issues, and red-changed- saffron mass leader, all summed up in one – Dr.MG Bokre. I found that though there were so many books and research papers written by Bokre, but there was whole-sale shortage of material on Bokre’s life and activities from which a common activist can get inspiration. Hence this group meeting was organized with arduous efforts of Dr. Yoganand Kale and Prof. Ajay Patki.
Philosopher Bokre: First to divulge his mind was Prof. N B Vaidya and accepted that he adored him like his spiritual Guru. Dr Vaiya, an octogenarian, discussed his journey from Gandhism to leftism, and ultimately to Swadeshi. According to him Bokre had an unusual knack of going to the roots of a problem and he used to present a clear picture of the issue under discussion without any bias. Though he wrote extensively about the inadequacies and contradictions in the ideology of Marx, but not the integrity of Marx and admired his profound knowledge, tenacity of purpose and hard systematic pursuit of knowledge. He added that he had a profound knowledge of Hindu
religious scriptures also and ancient thinkers like Shukracharya and Chanakya were extensively quoted in his writings. Even in his busy days of holding the post of Vice Chancellor of Nagpur University he was busy reading and writing. Moreover few people know that besides Hindu Economics, Prof. Bokre had written Islamic Economics also when he noted injunction against usury in Islam and Christianity.
Guide Bokare: Retd. Principal Ajay Shrivastava, in brief, was stating his role as a guide and leader of masses. Starting from organizing Nagpur University Teachers’ Association (NUTA) to organizing farmers of Vidarbha and particularly establishing Cotton Growers’ Association, he was always busy in practical problems of the masses. He was particularly instrumental in initiating Monopoly Cotton Procurement Scheme of State Government. He pushed forward the movement of making available to the people the cost audit reports of industries despite strong opposition from traders and mill owners. Perhaps we know the
Dr. Bokare was twice jailed for leading farmers’ agitations. It is difficult to match these two qualities of erudition and agitation in one man. But Principal Panda had strong belief that had Dr. Bokare living at this time this vicious circle of farmers’ suicides in
Vidarbha would never had happened, and this he repeated many times in his exposition.
Friend Bokare: Third quality of Dr. Bokare that he was a friend of all
those in need. Prof. Narender Laghve, who is living a retired but untired life, has several stories of emotional and friendly aspect of Dr. Bokare. “Can you imagine”, he was putting a question to me, “that a professor of his stature can go to slums to knock at dilapidated doors of a jhuggi to inform him for an interview of lecturer post, and this happened with me also!” He used to help the poor but intelligent students to any extent, even distributing everything in his pocket and
then finding all of sudden that no money is left for retuning home by bus, and then borrowed it from others. The way he encouraged and developed young students was marvelous, he was explaining in emotional tone.
Father Bokare: Last person in this series was the younger son of Dr. Bokare himself that is Nitin Bokare, a leading and promising chartered accountant of Nagpur. His son had very few experiences to share and smilingly added that he was always busy reading, writing and talking with men of Shetkari organization. The only man in the family to whom he talked most, was his uncle Diwakar, but the talk was never about family affairs and always on economic and social issues exclusively, he added. We always held him in respectful awe and learned from his
studious and sturdy life style and the whole family imbibed it. So there were good instances collected if a Bokare as a Guide, Friend, Philosopher and also a few instances about a Father.
All the time with me there was two persons Dr. Kale and Ajay Pataki. All these personalities affirmed that Dr. Kale knows better than us that great man as he was closely associated with his, pen and penchant and personality. All the time Dr.Kale remained silent on the topic and promised to write an article on this topic and Ajay patki ji will look into the task of getting all these experiences jotted down in the form of a book. Let us wait for that inspiring book on Dr. Bokare.
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