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Speeches in the State Legislatures : 1946-62-2

Shri Chavan was Minister in charge of several portfolios. He spared no efforts in taking measures that would benefit the common man. He piloted the ship of the bilingual Bombay State although he was the youngest Chief Minister of it without being fazed by the fissiparous Forces that were at work at the time. The result was that he won the acclaim and respect of both the Gujaratis and Maharashtrians. He successfully persuaded Shri Nehru to give up his adamantine attitude on the issue of a Maharashtra State with Bombay as its capital. Shri Chavan lid this cleverly. He was convinced that linguistic chauvinism was not practical; yet he ensured that Maharashtrians did not give up their asmita (self-identity); but was careful enough not to alienate the feelings of non-Maharashtrians. After bringing the mangal kalash of unilingual Maharashtra State he had to weather many a storm like the Panshet Dam disaster. Thereafter his popularity and prestige went up. But suddenly he was called by Pandit Nehru to shoulder the responsibility of he Defence Ministry.

Shri Chavan belonged altogether to a new class of politicians. As they say 'of earth’s earthy' without any fanfare of western type environment or education. He was of course influenced by western thinkers. He would be at home in his dhoti and kurta. Yet he was sophisticated enough to disentangle political intricacies and tantrums of the worst kind.

This volume 2 in the series has been very meticulously edited by Dr. V. G. Khobrekar, Director, YASHWANTRAO Chavan Jeevan Karya Sanshodhan Kendra of YASHWANTRAO Chavan Pratishthan. I am glad to say that the editor and his staff deserve compliments for their devoted and valuable work in bringing out this volume in record time.

I feel confident that this volume will prove useful to the research scholars and others as it deals with the most important period of history of modern Maharashtra.

January 15, 1990          SHARADCHANDRA PAWAR
Bombay                      Chief Minister, Maharashtra.