Two Pune stalwarts no more

Pune is well-known for personalities, organizations in various fields-may it be politics, social reforms, research. Two such personalities, who had made their mark in their respective fields, recently passed away. The common quality of both of them was that they were very good orators. This blog post is about them and my direct and indirect personal memories associated with them.

First one is Maratha/Shivaji history researcher and fort expert. Name Ninad Bedekar. My personal memory associated with him is before my big leap into history and trekking in Sahyadris. This was when I was part of a unique one day tour to Panshet dam and its vicinity way back in winter of 1996. He accompanied us for the whole day, and in his very peculiar style, he narrated events from Shivaji’s life. His narration was very impressive displaying his command over Marathi, and Urdu language. The memory associated with him is related to a book called Durgkatha. This book is compilation of stories associated with different forts. He delivered more than 3500 speeches regarding Maratha history all over the world. For helping his research in history, he studied Modi script, Persian and Arabic script and languages. Ninad Bedekar belonged to Sardar Raste’s family who were formidable generals during Peshva era. He was engineer by profession and perused his passion towards history after his retirement. He celebrated his 61st birthday in style-by trekking 61 forts.

The other one being champion for the cause of customer rights in India. Name is Bindumadhav Joshi. He came from the family who supported nationalist movement and swadeshi. Many of us, including me, in Pune associate him to departmental store called Grahak Peth and his yearly magazine published as special Diwali issue, called Grahakheet. Both these initiatives, of course, were by-products of his mission of life-customer rights’ awareness movement. He along with others such Suryakant Pathak established Grahak Panchayat though which worked relentlessly on putting customer in the center of capitalistic economy since last 40 odd years. The high point of the mission was coming with Consumer Protection Law. The organization was instrumental in spreading awareness among the consumer about fair price, adultery in the goods, uniting the consumers against malpractices by sellers and even producers of the goods.

I remember listening both of them so many times over radio, passionately talking about causes they supported. Though their legacy stays with us and continues.


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