Bal Gangadhar Kher who became the first Chief Minister (then designated as Prime Minister or Premier) of the composite state of Bombay in 1937 has often been described as sajjan - good and gentle - from which the secondary title of this book is taken.
Lawyer, solicitor and social worker by choice and politician by necessity, he was chosen to lead the Congress Legislative Party in the late thirties and still later in the late forties, a singularly difficult task which he fulfilled with flair and distinction. His long innings - he had two of them - were notable for the all round progress of the state.
Bombay Province under him was reputed to have one of the finest administrations in the country. Kher was on the best of terms with the Opposition on the one hand and the British Governors on the other.
A scholar, an accomplished orator and a man with singularly no pretensions, he counted, among his friends, the great and the good, the humble and the mighty, with all of whom he was perfectly at home.
This book is his story.
M. V. Kamath who relinquished the editorship of the Illustrated Weekly of India in 1981 is one of the most prolific columnists in India today. He has been in a working span of over four decades, editor of Free Press Bulletin and Bharat Jyoti, Contributing Editor, United Asia and Sunday Editor of The Times of India. He has also been the Press Trust of India's correspondent at the United Nations and The Times of India's correspondent in Bonn, Paris and Washington DC.
In 1953 Kamath was President of the Bombay Union of Journalists. He is also a founder member of the Foreign Correspondents' Association, Washington DC.
Kamath is a trustee of the Dr. T. M. A. Pai Foundation, Manipal, besides being a member of the Consumer Complaints' Council, the Dadabhai Naoroji Trust and the Hampi Reconstruction Authority, Bangalore. Currently he is also president of the All India Konkani Bhasha Parishad.
A recipient of the Karnataka Rajya Prashasthi for Journalism, Kamath has also been awarded the Samaj Bhushan title by the Udupi Matadhipathis. Kamath who is currently writing for over a dozen newspapers and magazines is the author of over twenty books on a variety of subjects.
Shrf Bal gangadhar Kher belongs to the generation that won freedom for India- High Moral and ethical standards, patriotism, simplicity and courtesy characterised Shri Kher's personality and guided the course ,of his life in the service of the Nation. Shri. Kher's contributions during the movement for Independence and towards the building of Parliamentary Democracy in modern India, are of enduring significance.
It is appropriate and timely that a biography of Shri. B.G. Kher in being published. The author, Shri M. V. Kamath, deserves high appreciation far his painstaking research and sensitive and elegant narration.
In many respects, this book provides a model in the art of biographical writing - whereby, through objective description of the fife and time of an illustrious individual, an authentic glimpse is provided of the atmosphere, issues and events that dominated. the overall tenor of life over several decades, and of the responses and experiences of people in different walks of life daring the relevant period.
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's initiative in publishing this biography is commendable The book is a valuable addition to the existing body oh literature regarding stalwarts of our freedom struggle and national reconstruction in the post-Independence period, and a fine gesture of respect and gratitude towards a noble son of India Shri Bal Gangadhar Kher.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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