Punjab Pulse Bureau
“The active, meaningful and inspiring life of Madhav Govind Vaidya Ji serves as a role model worth emulating by the younger growing generations of the nation.”
Madhav Govind Vaidya
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue Madhav Govind (M.G.) Vaidya Ji passed away after a brief illness in Nagpur on 19 December, 2020. He was 97. “Shri M. G. Vaidya, my father breathed his last today at 3.35pm at Nagpur after completing 97 years of active, meaningful and inspiring life. He was a veteran journalist, a Hindutva “Bhashyakar” and active Sangh (RSS) Swayamsevak for 9 decades,” tweeted his Son, Dr. Manmohan Vaidya Ji, Sahsarkaryavah of RSS.
M.G. Vaidya Ji was born on 11 March 1923 at Taroda village in Wardha district of Maharashtra. His father’s name was Govind Tukaram Vaidya. He was a Swayamsevak since his childhood. He had his primary education in the village itself and then he went to Dadasaheb Dhanwate Nagar Vidyalaya for his secondary education. For further studies, he joined Morris College (at present known as Vasantrao Naik Government Institute of Arts and Social Sciences) in Nagpur. He cleared his Matric in 1939 in first class and intermediate in 1941, again in first class. In 1944, he passed his BA exam not only in first class, but was also awarded the gold medal for his performance in Sanskrit. In 1946, he was awarded the Daji Hari Wadegaonkar gold medal when he cleared his MA exam
Also known as Baburao Vaid Ji in later life, he evolved to become an intellectual and a Sanskrit scholar. He is remembered as an as an ideologue who witnessed the entire trajectory of the RSS evolution — from its nascent stage as a cultural national movement, its vilification after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, formation of its first political wing, the Jana Sangh, its active political participation during the Emergency, the Ram temple movement, and the BJP coming to power with its own majority.
Vaidya Ji had initially served as a school and later as college, teacher. He quit his job as professor of Sanskrit in Christian missionary-run Hislop College of Nagpur in 1966 to join the Marathi newspaper ‘Tarun Bharat’ as its editorial team member. He subsequently became the newspaper’s editor, before taking over as its managing director in 1985. During his tenure as the editor of ‘Tarun Bharat’, the newspaper was keenly watched and read by intellectuals. His column – titled “Bhashya” – in ‘Tarun Bharat’ ran for 25 years at a stretch and is considered one of the longest-serving newspaper columns. Later, he served as director of Narkesari Prakashan, which publishes the newspaper. Between 1978 and 1984, Vaidya Ji was also a member of Maharashtra’s Legislative Council as the Governor’s nominee. From 1977 to 1999, he was the president of Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, an RSS-backed organisation that works in the field of education.
Vaidya ji wrote 20 books, mostly explaining the Hindutva ideology, most of these books have been translated into many Indian languages and are considered to be the primer on the Sangh’s thought process on a wide variety of issues.
He had the rare distinction of working closely with all six Sarsanghchalaks as he had become an RSS Swayamsevak in the 1930s when RSS founder Dr K.B. Hedgewar was alive. Hedgewar passed away in 1940. After him, the mantle of Sarsanghchalak was handed over to M.S. Golwalkar, who was popularly known as ‘Guruji’. Vaidya Ji worked very closely with him.
Balasaheb became the third RSS Sarsanghchalak in 1973 after the demise of M.S. Golwalka and Vaidya Ji actively worked with him to sharpen the intellectual discourse within the Sangh. Balasaheb Deoras, played an instrumental role in acquiring and rejuvenating ‘Tarun Bharat,’ which was a fledgling newspaper in the 1950s.
In the RSS, Vaidya Ji was given important responsibilities like ‘Akhil Bharatiya Baudhik Pramukh’ (all India head for intellectual activities), ‘Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh’ (all India head for media and publicity) and national spokesperson of the RSS. Till 2008, he was an invitee to one of the highest decision making bodies of the RSS — Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal. Vaidya Ji played an instrumental role during the tenure of fifth RSS Sarsanghchalak K.S. Sudarshan in setting up meetings between him and Christian religious leaders.
Vaidya Ji’s importance can be gauged from the fact that he was chosen by the organisation to write an introduction to the maiden collection of speeches of current RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat. Vaidya Ji wrote a detailed introduction for this volume at the age of 97. Ironically, he passed away an hour before this volume was formally released in Delhi.
One of the most popular books written by him is his autobiographical account of being in RSS — titled ‘Main Sangh Mein, Mujh mein Sangh (I am in Sangh, Sangh is in me).’
“Through his writings, he used to present the Sangh’s views on various matters. His life teaches us to remain true to our cause and follow the duties in our life. We pray that his soul rests in peace,” said RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and General Secretary Suresh (Bhaiyaji) Joshi in a joint statement.
With inputs from: