Narhar Vishnu Gadgil

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Gadgil (centre) at a Conference of Building Engineers convened by him in October 1947.

Narhar Vishnu Gadgil (Devanagari: नरहर विष्णु गाडगीळ) (January 10, 1896 - January 12, 1966) was an Indian freedom fighter and politician from Maharashtra, India. He was also a writer. He wrote in both Marathi and English.

Gadgil graduated from Fergusson College in Pune in 1918, and obtained a degree in Law two years later.

Activities before India's independence[edit]

In India's pre-independence days, freedom fighters Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Vallabhbhai Patel influenced Gadgil. Spiritual leaders Swami Ramkrishna Paramhans and Swami Vivekanand also made a deep impression on him. He joined the Indian National Congress immediately after obtaining his law degree and started his active participation in the national freedom movement. He suffered imprisonment from the ruling British government eight times for the participation.

In India's pre-independence days, Gadgil served as the secretary of Poona District Congress Committee (1921–25), the president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (1937–45), and the whip and secretary of the Congress Legislative Party (1945–47). He was elected to the central Legislative Assembly in 1934.

Gadgil was a pioneer in social reform movements in Maharashtra in the 1930s.

Service after India's independence[edit]

During 1947-52 period, Gadgil served as a minister in the first central cabinet of independent India. He held the portfolios of Public Works, Commerce, and Mines and Power. In his first year in the central Cabinet, he initiated the project of building a military-caliber road from Pathankot to Srinagar via Jammu in Kashmir as a part of India's activities in the 1947 Indo-Pakistan War. As a cabinet minister, he also initiated the important development projects pertaining to Bhakra, Koyna, and Hirakund dams. He was a member of the Congress Working Committee during 1952-55 period.

Gadgil served as the governor of Punjab from 1958 to 1962 and as the vice-chancellor of Poona University 1964 onwards until his death less than two years later.

He was associated with several public associations and institutions, including Sarvajanik Sabha, Pune; Yong Men's Association, Pune; Maharashtra Youth League, Bombay; Pune Central Cooperative Bank; and Pune Municipality. His next generations, son Vitthalrao Gadgil was veteran congressman and MP from Poona loksabha constituency and Anant Gadgil is currently spokesman for Maharshtra Padesh Congress Committee.

Honor[edit]

The Indian Post & Telegraph Department issued a commemorative postage stamp in Gadgil's honor in 1985.

Authorship[edit]

Gadgil wrote several books and articles on politics, economics, law, and history. He was elected president of Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in 1962 held at Satara.

The following are the titles of some of Gadgil's books:

  • Pathik (Autobiography)
  • Rajya Shastra Wichar
  • Shubha Shastra
  • Waktrutwa Shastra
  • Gyanbache Arthashastra
  • Government from Inside