A.B. Shah

  S. Ramanathan

  Basava Premanand

  G.D. Parekh

  J.B.H. Wadia

  Samaren Roy

  Mani Ben Kara

  Sib Narayan Ray

  V.B. Karnik

  Susheel Mukherjee

  Malladi Ramamurthy






Humanists I Met



Ever since 1940 Tarkunde is well known to the Radicals of Andhra. Tarkunde used to say that his ancestors migrated from Andhra that the surname is Tadikonda and it transformed to Tarkunde in Marathi.His full name was Vithal Mahadev Tarkunde (03.07.1909 - 22.03.2004).

He was a close friend, follower and companion to M.N.Roy , both in  the Movement and party . Coming from an ordinary family, he studied and practiced as an Advocate and became the High Court Judge. He had created a commotion when he awarded a historical judgment on right to passport. He said all citizens have a right to procure passport. He was sentimentally attached to M.N.Roy. During memorial meetings and when in Roy’s Dehradun home he was tearful remembering old memories. He resigned as judge and started practicing in the Supreme Court, as he felt restricted by the position of Judge and was not able to participate in the activities of the Movement and started practicing in the Supreme Court and was fully involved in the Movement. Along with Radical Humanist, Rationalist, Secularist, Renaissance Movements he conducted civil Rights Movement also.

During Emergency opposed Indira Gandhi to support Jaya Prakash Narayan. He suggested that the Muslim extremists must be distanced and moderates must be included. He assisted Roy a great deal in running the magazine ‘Radical Humanist ‘and in publishing.

They traveled countrywide and taught to a lot of people through conferences, meetings and study classes’ met him in Bombay, Dehradun, Andhra, Delhi a number of times. We worked for the movement corresponded.  Tarkunde, who had written many articles and had published many Publications, was helped by his wife Gowri.

He hosted us many times at his home in Delhi. He used to drive M.V.Rama Murthy and me to his home himself and there we used to talk about the Movement. In Bombay they were meeting for small gatherings in Indumathi Parekh. I introduced him to Narla .Venkateswara Rao and Alapati.RavindraNath .Narla dedicated one of his works to Tarkunde.

In 1982 Tarkunde’s daughter Manik‘s marriage took place in India International Center in Delhi. I was the sole guest from Andhra participating in that marriage function.  He was very happy. Later Manik and I used to meet some times. She was not active in the Movement. Gowri passed away after being taken to wheel chair for some days. Manik was looking after Tarkunde.

Sib Narayan Ray used to remark that Radical Humanist Movement got recognized because of Tarkunde. M.A.Rane, as his favorite disciple, released one very nice commemorative Edition. Annually, the ‘Renaissance’ is arranging lectures in memory of Tarkunde. Azad Pancholi and B.D.Sarma are taking care of this. Justice Bhargava commission took up the inquiry of the killing of Naxalites in fake encounters.  In that V.M.Tarkunde argued for the rights of Maoists.  This happened around 1976.During that period he was visiting Hyderabad frequently.

He believed that M.N Roy’s 22 rule policy is valid to date. A.B.Sha and I disagreed in that .Our argument was that some changes and additions are essential in those rules keeping the modern scientific developments in view.  Similarly, Tarkunde used to say that Homeopathy could not be dismissed totally as he went for that therapy on some occasions.   We were fervently disagreeing with him saying Homeopathy should not be accepted until and otherwise proved scientifically.   Tarkunde was as better hearted as he was emphatic in expressing his opinions.

As the president of Indian Humanist Association and as the leader of Renaissance Movement he toured the whole country and conducted number of training classes with other associations as a team. He made many prepared and ready for the Movement. He was a good orator, longed for personal friendship. He had written living a very simple life and high thinking.  He rendered much assistance to popularize M.N.Roy’s writings and his views amongst people. Knowing him and being close to him was very fulfilling.

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