Our Inspiration - Late Rambhau Mhalgi

Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP), the training and research institute that focuses on developing the human capital and management capabilities, with the backdrop of age-old Indian values, takes its inspiration from Late Rambhau Mhalgi, former Member of Indian Parliament and an outstanding representative of people. As we all know, the success of democracy depends upon the dedication and efficiency of elected representatives.

Ramchandra Mhalgi (later called Rambhau) was born on 9 July 1921 in a well-do-do agricultural family in Pune district in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. The 4th child of Kashinathpant and Sarasvatibai, Ramchandra lost his mother at the age of 11. After passing the vernacular final exam in school, he joined the Sarasvati Mandir School in Pune and passing 3 standards in one academic year, cleared the matriculation exam in first class in 1939. Ramchandra's contact with RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) dates back to his school days. After matriculation, instead of staying back for further studies, he went to Kerala, as 'Rambhau' an RSS pracharak (full time social worker). Later, he returned to Pune for graduation. But responding to the wish of the second RSS Chief (Sarsanghchalak) - Golwalkar Guruji.

When RSS was banned in 1948, Rambhau went underground and continued the movement against injustice. After the ban was lifted, he went back to Pune, where he bagged both the degrees of LLB and MA and cleared the bar council exam. He was entrusted the responsibility of ABVP (Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad: the student wing of RSS) and later that of Jan Sangh (the then political wing of RSS) and took up the responsibility as executive officer of the party in Maharashtra. With his leadership, creativity and practicality, he set up various fronts, trying to reach out to people from different walks of life. He helped create awareness about the merger of Jammu and Kashmir with India. While, the party kept growing, he got married to a teacher - Manu Ghanekar. He beautifully balanced his personal, professional and political lives.

In the 1957 state elections, in the wake of the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement (for formation of the Marathi-speaking state), the party decided that Rambhau should contest from Maval near Pune. Given his nature to stay away from political limelight, he was unwilling. But when finalised, he created ripples in the constituency with his promotional campaigns and won by a margin of 7000 votes. In the Vidhan Sabha (State Assembly) he utilised all the constitutional tools and questioned the ruling party, yielding good results. Others started recognising him as an alert MLA (member of legislative assembly). The ruling party could not tolerate him and in the next elections, Congress pitted the popular Commissioner of Pune - SG Barve, against Rambhau. Although he was defeated, he utilised the next 5 years to create a strong rapport with the people. In the next elections he won by a margin of 17,000 votes. In the 1971 national elections, he lost to the veteran - Mohan Dharia, but again won the subsequent state elections. He was jailed during national emergency, but he remained active from behind bars. After the emergency, he won with a landslide margin of 82,000 votes from Thane near Mumbai in the national elections! He won again in the 1980 mid-term polls, even as elsewhere in the country, the Congress won due to the public sympathy for Indira Gandhi. Rambhau's rapport with everybody, from rich industrialists to poor slum dwellers, aided his victory. But while he was establishing and maintaining these relations, he seldom got time to devote attention to his family and personal health. In 1981 he was diagnosed of cancer. His work ethic did not falter and he remained busy, while in hospital. However, on 6th March 1982, he succumbed to the disease and passed away in Mumbai.

Rambhau had a vision to set up an institution to train activists and elected representatives, in order to increase their effectiveness. RMP is the living memorial of Rambhau and his visionary thoughts. Every person who believes in parliamentary democracy would find his works a real source of inspiration and hope.