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
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
They traveled countrywide and taught to a lot of people
through conferences, meetings and study classes’ met him in
He hosted us many times at his home in
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
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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