Eleventh Dr Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar award was presented to noted academician, thinker, historian, writer and political analyst Prof. Balraj Madhok at a function held at Hindi Bhavan in New Delhi on September 20. The award, which consists of a cheque of Rs 51,000, a citation and a memento, was presented by Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti, Delhi. Immediately after receiving the award, Prof. Madhok donated the full amount of the award to Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti for the noble work the Samiti is doing in restoring the history of the nation and also propagation of Samskrit. Last year, the award was given to Dr S.R. Rao.
Former Governor of Goa and Sikkim Shri Kidarnath Sahni, VHP president Shri Ashok Singhal, RSS National Executive Member Shri Indresh Kumar, veteran RSS Pracharak Thakur Ram Singh and Delhi Prant Sanghachalak Shri Ramesh Prakash Sharma were also present on the occasion.
Presenting the award, Shri Kidarnath Sahni said there should be no hesitation in honouring the distinguished people as has been done with Prof. Madhok. He described the life of Prof. Madhok as vilakshan (extraordinary) and said the country does not have many politicians with higher standard like him. He said Prof. Madhok was honoured very late for his outstanding contribution to the nation. He also said the Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti has been successful in changing the thinking of the people in the field of history.
Shri Ashok Singhal said Prof. Madhok dedicated his whole life for propagation of Indian values and ideals. He supported the views expressed by Shri Sahni that there should be no hesitation in honouring the great personalities and special efforts should be made to make the deserving people more popular in the society, because there are many people in the society who do not deserve honour at all but live a honourable life causing repeated damage to the society. Referring to the confusion prevailing among intellectuals of the country on various issues, Shri Indresh Kumar appealed to the activists of the Samiti to give a proper direction to the intellectuals so that they can help the nation identify its pristine glorious legacy.
Receiving the award Prof. Madhok said the politics of the country must be rooted in Hinduism. ?The thinking of double standard will not work at all. Only a Hindu polity can truly be secular and can also provide equal rights to the minorities,? he said.
Founded in 1973 under the guidance of the then veteran Sangh Pracharak Moropant Pingle, the Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti works on two fronts?popularising Samskrit and restoring the true history of India subverted by foreign invaders during the last 1,000 years.
Dr Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar, after whom the award has been instituted, was an eminent historian, archeologist and geographer. He discovered rock shelter paintings of the pre-historic people.
Born on February 25, 1920 at Askardu in Jammu & Kashmir Prof. Madhok is a product of Lahore University of undivided Punjab. He joined RSS at the age of 18 while still a student. He rejected the offer of a commission in the Indian Army in 1942 and decided to serve the nation as a RSS Pracharak. As a professor of History in DAV College, Srinagar and chief of the RSS he prepared the ground for accession of J&K to India and played a notable role in the defence of Srinagar at the time of Pakistan invasion in October 1947. He also founded Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad during this period. He actively collaborated with Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee in 1950-51 for the formation of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, which reached the highest watermark under his presidentship in 1967. Prof. Madhok also made his mark as a distinguished parliamentarian in the second and fourth Lok Sabha. He raised the issues of Ramjanmabhoomi (Ayodhya), Krishnajanmabhoomi (Mathura) and Shri Kashi Vishwanath temple (Varanasi) in the Lok Sabha in 1967. He emerged as an ardent spokesperson for Hindu-centric nationalism through his magnum opus Rationale of Hindu State. He wrote over 30 books beginning with India on the Crossroads, written in 1947 and countless articles throwing light on India'snational and international problems. Even in this ripe age of 89, he continues to take keen interest in national issues.