Gulabrao Patil

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GULABRAO PATIL
Gulabrao Patil original.jpg
Late G.R.Patil (1921-1989)
MP-Rajya Sabha  India, President Congress (I) Party Maharashtra,member parliamentary board inc
In office
1966-1972 & 1972-1978, 1980-81
Preceded by Premlatai Anandrao Chavan
Succeeded by Prof. S. M. I. Asir
Constituency Western Maharashtra- Sangli.
Personal details
Born 16 September 1921
Benadi, Bombay State, India.
Died 21 January 1989(1989-01-21) (aged 67)
Pune, Maharashtra India.
Political party Indian National Congress(I)-INC
Spouse(s) Smt. Pramiladevi G. Patil
Children Shivraj ,Prithviraj,Ujjawala & Nilima alias Pooja
Residence Sangli, Mumbai, Delhi.
Religion Hindu-Maratha
As of 16 December, 2007
Source: [2]

Gulabrao Raghunathrao Patil (Marathi: गुलाबराव रघुनाथराव पाटील- बेनाडीकर) was a Co-operative Leader, Member of Parliament (MP)-Rajya Sabha India from 1966–1978,[1] an Member of the Legislative Council of Maharashtra 1983-87 and President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress(I) Committee 1981-82. Gulabrao Patil was regarded as a Strongman in Maharashtra politics in the 1970s and 1980s.

Introduction[edit]

Gulabrao Patil was a social worker and a leader of Cooperative movement from Sangli in state of Maharashtra,India. For his work in the Cooperative movement in Maharashtra, he was informally granted the title of Sahkar Prabodhankar by his supporters. He served a Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha (upper house of Indian Parliament) for two terms from 1966–1972 and 1972–1978.[2] He was the President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress(I)-MPCC from 1981-1982.[3] Later in his life, he served in the Maharashtra State Member of the Legislative Council for four years during the peroid from 1983 to 1987.

Patil also served as Chairman of Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank in Mumbai from 1980 to 1982 [4] and Secretary of National Co-operative Union of India (NCUI) from 1973–75, located in New Delhi. He traveled worldwide on behalf of Indian Government to study Co-operative Movements and Agriculture in different countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Korea, and Germany.[5]

Early life[edit]

Gulabrao Patil was born on 16 September 1921 in a Maratha family in Benadi, a small village on the Maharashtra-Karnataka state border near Kolhapur. He obtained his BA(English) and LLB(Special) from Kolhapur Law college. After graduation, he started practicing law in the city of Satara. At the urging of the veteran political leader, Yashwantrao Chavan, Gulabrao moved to Sangli city. He first practiced law there but then took interest in regional politics and joined the Indian National Congress during Indian Independence. Under the influence of people like Yashwantrao Chavan- 1st Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Balasaheb Desai - former Home minister of Maharashtra and other such leaders, Gulabrao Patil engaged himself in social context.

Social Work & Co-operative Movement[edit]

After Indian independence, Gulabrao Patil worked on solving agriculture problems in Western Maharashtra. He established a number of Co-operative societies in nearby palace of Sangli. In 1951,he was first elected as a member of local council, followed by Mayor of Sangli city in 1954-55. As a mayor, he undertook many development initiatives for the city, including the installment of the Hirabagh water pipeline for the entire Sangli city.

In the 1950s, Gulabrao got inspired by the work of Vaikunthbhai Mehta & Dhananjayrao Gadgil, both great leaders of Indian Cooperative movement. Gulabrao Patil believed that 'Sahakar' i.e. Cooperative Movement is main source of upliftment for the society & economic growth. Later he dedicated his entire life for strengthening Cooperative Movement in Post Independence era of India.[6] He worked along with leaders such as Barrister G.D.Patil, Vasantdada Patil, Anandrao Chavan, Rajarambapu Patil, Aabasaheb Shinde-Maisalkar, Yashwantrao Mohite, Tataysaheb Kore, V. T. Patil and many more.

Gulabrao Patil in discussion with Yashwantrao Chavan at Sangli 1982

Special Contribution in Co-operative Banks and Education[edit]

Gulabrao Patil was instrumental in establishing & developing Sangli District Central Cooperative Bank (SDCC) where he served as a Chairman & Director for over two decades.[7] During his tenure he took many brave decisions for economical development of farmers. As the SDCC Chairman, he financially supported many Cooperative Sugar Factories in the region. He was first Chairman of SDCC Bank to promote and give Agricultural loan to farmers for growing Sugarcane & Seedless Grapes in Sangli district.[8] Today, Sangli District is one of the Leading Sugarcane & Grapes Producing region in India.[9] In 1960, he started Sangli District Cooperative Board for basic education & training. Now named Gulabrao Patil Cooperative Training Center,it is located at Sahkar Bhavan, Market Yard, in Sangli city. He made valuable efforts to increase irrigation scheme for agriculture via Co-operative societies in Sangli district. In 1980, Gulabrao Patil was elected as Chairman of Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, Mumbai-an apex organisation of Co-operative banks in Maharashtra. During his tenure as Chairmanship, MSC Bank was leading Cooperative Bank in the country. Patil also served as Chairman of Maharashtra State Cooperative Union in Pune. He was also General Secretary of National Cooperative Union of India- an apex body of Indian Cooperatives.

Also, Patil had set up Cooperative Housing Societies in Pune and Sangli cities known as Gulabnagar Coop Housing Society, Dhanakawadi and Gulab Colony, Near Chandni Chowk Sangli respectively.[10]

Politics[edit]

Gulabrao Patil was mainly active in Cooperative sector but like most other rural leaders of Maharashtra during that era, he became active in State and National politics. He served as Member of Indian Parliament for 12 years and was President of Maharashtra Congress. In 1978, he joined Indira Gandhi led Congress(I), where he was one of the first from Maharashtra to join Congress(I) ( or the Congress faction led by Indira Gandhi) at that time. Soon in 1981, Indira Gandhi appointed Gulabrao Patil as a President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress(I) Committee. In next general election Congress(I) won by big margin in Maharashtra under his leadership. [11]

Patil contested Maharashtra Assembly Election in 1980 from Walva Constituency, Sangli District.[12] Although he lost the election by small margin, he was acclaimed & rewarded as strong Congress leader from Sangli-Western Maharashtra. He was elected as President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) in 1981. Later he was elected as Member of the Legislative Council- MLC in 1983-1987 Maharashtra Government for four years.

As a Member of Parliament Gulabrao Patil made a special efforts to establish Marathi Film City-Chitranagari in Kolhapur together with his cousin leading Marathi Film Director- Dinkar D. Patil. Also, he put forward the issue of Belgaum border dispute during his term as MP in Rajya Sabha.

Gulabrao Patil in discussion with Indira Gandhi at MPCC office, Mumbai

Split in Congress[edit]

In end of 1978 at Bangalore Annual Congress Session, Congress split into two namely; Congress (Indira) and Congress (Urs). Leader who joined Urs Congress were Devaraj Urs, Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, A.K. Antony, Sharad Pawar, and Yashwantrao Chavan. On other side, Indira Gandhi established her own party named as Congress (I), where leaders like Shankar Dayal Sharma, Umashankar Dixit, Kamruddin Ali Ahmad, Shri. C. Subramanian, Barrister A.R.Antule, Gulabrao Patil were pioneer leaders who joined Congress(I).[13] Congress (Urs) disintegrated and Devaraj Urs joined Janata Party. The Congress(Urs) was renamed as Congress (Socialist).In next general election in 1980, Congress (I) won majority in Central Government and came into power,also in Maharashtra, Congress(I) formed its government appointing A.R.Antule as Chief Minister and Gulabrao Patil as Congress chief.

Candidate for post of Chief Minister of Maharashtra & Decline of Ministership[edit]

After resignation of Chief Minister A R Antulay in 1982, Gulabrao Patil was the leading candidate of next Chief Minister of Maharashtra at that time as he was President of Maharashtra State Congress and close associate of Indira Gandhi.[citation needed] But at last moment his name was dropped due to internal politics. In next government of Babasaheb Bhosale, Gulabrao Patil was offered a position which was at the lower rank of being a State Minister rather than a full cabinet post. Gulabrao rejected the offer and famously said, Power without Prestige, is a Gun without Bullets.[citation needed]. After assassination of Indira Gandhi Gulabrao Patil supported Rajiv Gandhi at Central Politics. He served as a Cooperative Leader & loyal Congressman until his death on 21 January 1989 at age of 67.

Legacy[edit]

In memory of Gulabrao Patil two social trusts are established in Sangli and Miraj cities. Gulabrao Patil Memorial Trust(GPMT),Sangli-Miraj was established in 1991 and Gulabrao Patil Lokseva Vishvastha Nidhi, Sangli was established in 1981. The main objective of setting up these trusts are to, perpetuate memory of Mr. Patil by acknowledging his rich, outstanding and valuable contribution in cooperative movement and social development of Maharashtra and to undertake social activities and education programmes particularly for the elevation of common man. On behalf of these charitable trusts number of social & cultural activities are undertaken in Sangli & Miraj regions. Also, every year on his birthday, the Gulabrao Patil Sahakar Gaurav Puraskar (Award) is given for outstanding work in Cooperative field. This award was 1st awarded to the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh in 2001.

Gulabrao Patil Statues and Memorials[edit]

Statue of Gulabrao Patil at Sangli DCC Bank

On 21 January 2013,Sangli District Central Co-operative Banks craftsman Late. Shri Gulabrao Patil's full size Bronze statue was unveiled by Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister, Maharashtra.[14]

Another statues of Gulabarao Patil are in Maharashtra State Cooperative Union, Pune & Sangli District Cooperative Board, Sangli. A memorial & park is planned to open at Sangli & Miraj cities for promoting Cooperatives values at regional levels.

Heirs[edit]

At present, one of his sons, Prithviraj Patil is socially and politically active and expanding the social and educational work of his father. Another son Shivraj Patil, now deceased, was a Director of Sangli District Cooperative Board & Press. His Grandson, Ruturaj Patil is a Certified Management Consultant and a social worker. He was elected as University Representative-UR of Willingdon College, Sangli (2003–04).

Educational Institutes[edit]

Different educational institutes and social project are undertaken through Gulabrao Patil Memorial Trust(GPMT).[15] Colleges such as Homeopathy, Pharmacy, Nursing, B.Ed, D.Ed, IT Training center and Cambridge English School are run in Miraj and Sangli Cities.

References and Further Readings[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Premlata kaki Chavan
Gulabrao Patil-President Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Prof. S. M. I. Asir