Speeches in the State Legislatures : 1946-62-3

Publisher’s note

This volume is the second in the series of volumes of speeches and correspondence of the late Shri YASHWANTRAO Chavan. The speeches included in this volume were delivered by Shri Chavan in Bombay/Maharashtra State Legislatures from the year 1946 to 1962.

The name Shri Y. B. Chavan, conjures up in ones mind a benign face concealing an interior of a farsighted and astute statesman adept at engaging his opponents without hurting them. His was a very cultured and enlightened personality. His suave manners, cogent thinking and a lucid, rustic style of presentation born out of his constant contact with intellectual giants like M. N. Roy, scholars like Laxmanshastri Joshi and several others and the mellow environment of Krishna river on the banks of which he spent his boyhood days. His near perfect balanced language, his equipoise, in the face of provocation were the outstanding qualities which quite enhanced his personality from other politicians. What he abhorred was dogmatism and holier-than-thou-attitude trying to push down the throats of his listeners. Narrow sectarianism never even touched his mind, not even when he was a schoolboy and movements such as Satyashodhak Mandal were taking roots in Maharashtra. The reason is obvious, the universal appeal of Gandhian philosophy which shunned hatred had ingrained itself even in the budding youth that Chavan was. It is indeed a divine dispensation that a farmer’s son should through tenacity, grit and grace, rise to be the first Chief Minister of united Maharashtra and the Defence Minister of the country at a critical juncture in the history of modern India.

The political career of Shri Y. B. Chavan unfolds itself from the days of his youth through a successful span of about a quarter of a century and reaches its zenith at the time of the formation of the united State of Maharashtra. It was not an easy task for Shri Chavan, because he had to pilot the ship of the bilingual State of Bombay with all the statesmanship and manoeuvres that he could muster. It was a litmus test for him. It was no joke to steer the ship of the bilingual State of Bombay clear of the muck, maliciousness and hatred and split it into two without any trace of rancour or ill-feeling left behind.