Shrikant Joshi is no more
Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi pays glowing tributes at a condolence meeting in Delhi
SENIOR Sangh Pracharak and the man who is credited with reviving the Hindusthan Samachar multilingual news agency, Shrikant Joshi passed away in Mumbai on January 8 following a cardiac arrest. He was 76. He was cremated in Mumbai the same day at Dadar crematorium. His nephew, Narendra Joshi, performed the last rites.
RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni, veteran Pracharak Shri Madan Das, Shri Mlind Oak, Shri Mahavir, senior Pracharak Shri Madhubhai Kulkarni, Shri Laxminarayan Bhala of the Hindusthan Samachar, Dr Ravindra Sanghvi, Shri Haribhau Mirasdar of Rashtriya Patrakarita Kalyan Nyas, BJP national treasure Shri Piyush Goel, former MP Shri Ram Naik, BJP national organising secretary Shri Ramlal, former Minister Smt Jayawantiben Mehta, Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha, film actors Shri Vinay Apte and Shri Eknath Satpurkar, Shriram Dandekar of Camlin, veteran journalist Shri Muzaffar Husain, Mumbai BJP president Shri Rajpurohit, Shri Raghunath Kulkari of sate BJP, Akhil Bharatiya Mahila Samanvya Pramukh Sushri Geetatai Gunde, national organising secretary of ABVP Shri Sunil Ambekar, Shri Madhav Bhandari of state BJP, and many other distinguished people of Mumbai attended the funeral.
Born on December 21, 1969 at Devrukh village under Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra Shrikantji did BA from Mumbai University. He also worked in Life Insurance Corporation for some time, while doing graduation. Later, he became a Sangh Pracharak in 1960 and was first posted in Nanded. After working in Maharashtra for some time, he, in 1963, was sent to Assam, where he worked continuously for 25 years, till 1987. From 1971 to 87, he was Prant Pracharak of Assam. Earlier, he held the responsibility of Vibhag Pracharak of Shillong and Tejpur for some years. When the VHP decided to organise a Janjati Sammelan in Guwahati in 1967, Shrikantji was given the responsibility of organising secretary of that Sammelan. The success of the Sammelan again proved his organisational skills.
When the work of installing stone memorial of Swami Vivekananda in Kanyakumari began in 1969, Shrikantji contributed while staying in Assam. He mobilised people from the entire North-Eastern region for that national yajna. He also played a key role in starting the educational activities among Vanvasis of north-east through Vidya Bharati. Joshiji was strong supporters of starting the Sangh work among different Janjati communities of the region for strengthening social harmony. He started establishing contacts with the Seng Khasi leaders and with that help he helped expanding the Sangh work in Meghalaya. He also believed that if the Sangh has to strengthen its activities in the region, the RSS should have permanent offices in the region. That is why the Sangh Karyalayas in Guwahati, Manipur, Agartala, etc, were established. His role during the Assam agitation was also very crucial, as he worked to strengthen the national spirit in the region.
In 1987, he was entrusted the task of assisting the then RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Balasaheb Deoras. In 1994, Balasahebji relinquished the responsibility of Sarsanghachalak following health grounds, but Shrikantji continued to assist him till he breathed his last in 1996. Later, from 1997 to 2004, he was Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh and since 2004 he was a member of the RSS National Executive.
In 2002, he started the work of reviving the Hindusthan Samachar multilingual news agency, which had been closed down in 1975 following the government pressure. Today, the agency has offices in almost all regions of the country and its work in different Indian languages is highly admired.
Shrikantji was suffering from cough and cold for some time. He was also in Kerala for treatment. Diagnosis was also conducted in Nagpur, but no major complication was found. He was in Delhi on January 5. He suffered chest pain in the morning of January 8 and he breathed his last even before he could reach the hospital.
A condolence meeting was organised at Keshav Kunj in New Delhi on January 9 to pay tribute to Shrikantji. In his tribute RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi recalled Shrikantji’s tireless work in Assam and in reviving the Hindusthan Samachar news agency. “Wherever Shrikantji worked, he worked with full dedication. His conclusions on infiltration in Assam are still relevant. As first Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh he created a good chain of Vishwa Samvad Kendras across the country. Continuing his work will be the best tribute to such a soul,” Shri Joshi added. Senior Pracharaks Shri Suresh Soni, Shri Sohan Singh, Shri Suryakrishna, Shri Ashok Prabhakar, Shri Madhubhai Kulkarni and others were also present. (FOC)