अभिनंदन ग्रंथ - (इंग्रजी लेख)-१४

Shri Yeshwantrao Chavan, his rise to national Stature

Rector, Bombay University
THE EMERGENCE of Yeshwantrao on our political horizon and his almost meteoric rise to the stature of a national leader is widely felt to be a pleasant surprise and the feeling is by no means confined to the critics, the opponents or even those who did not know much of him earlier. True, the temptation for those who knew him earlier to say that they knew him all along is great; but even they have to acknowledge the achievements to have far surpassed their expecta­tions. In an otherwise depressing background, there is now a positive reassurance, a definite ray of hope for all those concerned about the future of freedom and democracy in the country. Where­in lies this reassurance? What exactly is the basis of this hope? The questions are more easily raised than answered. The attempts to find the answers must nevertheless continue; for the possibilities of fulfilment will largely depend on a proper understanding and appreciation of the role of Chavan in the existing background of the country.

An obvious answer given by many is in terms of the success of Chavan as Chief Minister. Living as we do in a situation in which being in power appears to many as a great achievement by itself, to be in power and to succeed, to rule and to be popular must naturally appear as the very height of personal greatness and glory. And Yeshwant­rao has achieved it in ample measure. He is perhaps the youngest Chief Minister we have had in the country and, on universal admission, the most successful one. In a custom-ridden society with its peculiar accent on age, seniority and their prestige and influence, this is undoubtedly a tribute to merit and wisdom which in itself might furnish to a lesser individual all the necessary personal satisfaction. And this, let me add, is not the only achievement acknowledged by the popu­lar mind. Chavan has been equally successful in stabilising a difficult political situation and in leading his party from the verge of demoralisation and collapse to a condition of growing stability and strength. And the series of dynamic adjust­ments needed for tackling numerous and complex organisational problems involved in the process of doing so have in no way qualified his capacity to keep it together. To any one even remotely aware of the political climate and the background of the functioning of parties in the country, this must also appear as an achievement of no less significance than the success as Chief Minister. And the two together have naturally made a deep and indelible imprint on the minds of the people.