Friday, 3 March 2017

Eknathji ....

Eknathji As I Knew Him

Original Writer: Shri Ajitkumar Vishwas

Ref:Swastika: Bengali Weekly

Eknathji had resumed his work as Pracharak in Bengal after the ban on the Sangha was lifted in 1949. He was in Madhya Pradesh for some time. Shri Guruji told him to go to Kolkata.

Towards the end of 1949, a branch of the Sangha was opened in Kalyanigarh. Pracharak Ramprasad Das called the first meeting at the residence of Shri Khokhandar. One of my friends was present at that meeting. That was my first acquaintance with the Sangha. The Sangha Pracharak of Kalyangarh Shri Keshav Chakravarti was also present. The 'Shakha' used to assemble at the ground of Kalyangarh. One day, Eknathji visited this branch. The demonstrations of physical exercises presented by the Shakha were excellent on that day. A large number of the Sangha volunteers, 110 of them, were present at the site of the Shakha on that day.

The weekly magazine Swastika was getting published from Kolkata in those days. The editor of that magazine in those days had no knowledge about the Sangha. One day, after the morning shakha was over, Eknathji reached the office of Swastika only to find that the magazine had published an anti-Sangha article in the issue. When Eknathji saw this, he asked the security-guard for the key to the office and after putting a lock to the office went home with the key in his pocket. He ordered the withdrawal of the publication of that issue, because the said magazine was the mouthpiece of the Sangha. The editor was removed from office on this account. After the ban on the Sangha was lifted in 1949, Eknathji camped in Kolkata as the Kshetra Pracharak. He went to Pune in 1950 for OTC. When he told them of the Sangha's requirement of Pracharaks to spread the work of the Sangha in Purvanchal, 15 volunteers came with him to Kolkata. Amalkumar Basu, Keshav Dikshit, Prabhakar Lakhe, Dinkar Dange, Shridhar Acharya, Haribhau Dev, Kashinath Pawar, Vasudev Deskar, Prabhakar Tamaskar, Ratilal Desai, Narayanrao Tarte, Bhaurao Gugade, Prabhakar Godbole, Shridhar Godse , were among them.

Dr. Hedgewarji had earlier sent Shri Guruji and Shri Balasaheb Deoras to expand the work of the Sangha in Kolkata. Bengal had been through many calamities from 1940 to 1950. The calamities were both political as well as natural. When Doctorji sent Eknathji to Jabalpur in 1936 to expand the work of the Sangha, he was just 24 years of age. He completed M.A. in first class from Sagar University while working for the Sangha. After that he was given the responsibility of the Sangha in Mahakoshal and Madhya Pradesh. Eknathji reached every village of Mahakoshal in his effort to expand the Sangha while he was there.