For Thengadiji, Nationalism was a Melting Pot

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Shri S. Gurumurthy speaking at the function in Bengaluru

 As part of the birth centenary celebration of BMS founder Shri Dattopant Thengadi, various activities are being organised across the country. Within one week three major functions were organised in Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi

Inaugural function of the year-long celebrations for birth centenary of the BMS founder the late Dattopant Thengadi was held in Bengaluru on November 23 under the aegis of Shri Datthopant Thengadi Janmashathabdi Samaroh Samithi, Karnataka.The keynote address was delivered by renowned columnist and economist Shri S. Gurumurthy.
Shri Gurumurthy, in his speech, said Dattopant Thengadi was a tapasvi and he lived like one. He highlighted that he owned nothing, not a house or a car, no cell phone or anything else. He lived in a small room in Delhi provided by the BMS and in other’s houses elsewhere. He built the largest trade union in India, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh. Formed in 1955 it overtook INTUC, the largest trade union, in just three decades. In 1989, strength of BMS was 31 lakh plus. That was more than the combined strength of CITU and AITUC, the monopolists of trade union movement. Today, its membership is over 83 lakh, more than the collective of most other trade unions, said Shri Gurumurthy.
Speaking on the way Thengadi ji took on the Communists, Gurumurthy said he built the most powerful trade union and yet he was not a communist. He actually opposed the communists and stormed their citadel and captured it. He was never a Socialist but he defeated them in their own territory. He waged an open ideological war and defeated them. Dattopant Thengadi ji never used strength to make a point and never called for a bandh which is the normal weapon of trade unions. His unions never indulged in violence and never brought any city to a standstill. For him nationalism was the melting pot of all sectional views and interests, said Shri Gurumurthy.
Earlier, the inaugural address was delivered by Shri V. Nagaraj, Kshetra Sanghachalak of the RSS. He spoke on the relevance and contributions of Thangadi ji. He said that Thengadiji formed the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) which worked for an indigenous economic model. The work of SJM inspired by the thoughts of Thengadi ji stood as a wall against mindless globalisation. His creations, the BMS, the Kisan Sangh, and the SJM, continue to render great service even today and safeguard the interests of the country and its people, he said.
The birth centenary’s inaugural function was attended by Sri Sri Sri Nirrnalanandanatha Mahaswamiji of Sri Adichunchanaglri Mahasamstana Matha, Shri Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys and others. Sri Sri Sri Nirrnalanandanatha Swamiji gave his Aashirvachana on the occasion. The event was held at Town Hall in the city.
In Chennai, Shri Dattopant Thengadi birth centenary celebration function was held on November 23 at Madras Management Association. The welcome speech was delivered by Shri H. Adhiseshan from Swadeshi Jagran Manch and it was presided over by national joint convener of the SJM Shri R. Sundaram. On the occasion, a book ‘Desame Deivam’ was released by Sri Ganesan. Special address was delivered by the national president of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh Shri Saji Narayanan CK. Senior RSS functionary Shri Kumaraswamy, national secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh Shri T Perumal, Kshetra organising secretary of BMS Shri Durairaj were also present on the occasion.
In Kochi, RSS Sahasarkaryavah Shri C.R. Mukunda inaugurated the birth centenary celebrations on November 27. Former Akhil Bharatiya Bouddhik Pramukh of the RSS Shri Ranga Hariji delivered the keynote address. BMS state president Shri K.K. Vijayakumar presided over the event. BMS national organising secretary Shri B. Surendran, RSS Kshethra Sanghachalak Shri R. Vanniyarajan, Kerala Prant Sanghachalak Shri P.E.B. Menon and Sahprant Karyavah Shri P.N. Eashwaran were also present on the occasion.
(With infputs from T. Satisan in Kochi)