Bal Apte: Organisation man, ideal politician
Senior Sangh ideologue, veteran BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Balwant Parushuram Apte who was popularly known as Bal Apte, passed away in Mumbai on July 18 following a chronic lung disease. He was 73. He had been admitted to Hinduja Hospital on July 6 for a respiratory disorder. He is survived by his wife and daughter. The funeral took place at Dadar crematorium on July 18.
The prominent personalities who paid tribute to the departed soul included RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabole, senior pracharak Shri Madan Das, BJP president Shri Nitin Gadkari, senior leaders including Shri LK Advani, Shri Rajnath Singh, Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri Shahnawaz Hussain, Shri Ravishankar Prasad, Shri Sushil Modi, etc. Shiv Sena leader Shri Manohar Joshi and MNS leader Shri Bala Nandgaonkar were also present at the crematorium. Earlier, a mammoth funeral procession wound its way from Apte’s home in Matunga to the Dadar crematorium at Shivaji Park north-central Mumbai.
A lawyer by profession, Bal Apte played a key role in the expansion of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and BJP work in many parts of the country. Born in Rajgurunagar of Pune district on January 18, 1939, Apteji did MA LLM from Bombay University and worked as a lecturer in Law for 12 years. He entered in student politics through Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad. Apart from being its national president for some years, he was also guiding force of the ABVP for as many as 38 years. He was under detention from December 1975 to February 1977 under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act during the Emergency.
An RSS ideologue for years on end, he was elected to Rajya Sabha as a BJP member from Maharashtra twice in 2000 and 2006. He was also BJP’s vice president between 2002 and 2010. He was a member of the party’s Central Parliamentary Board. He was also the Additional Advocate General of Maharashtra. He was also a senior Advocate in the Supreme Court.
An educationist in his own right, Apteji was on the Governing Council of Shikshan Prasarak Mandali, an educational institution running 20 colleges and schools, for nearly two decades. Balasaheb Apte had been actively involved in the legal process of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
A philosopher and guide: Nitin Gadkari
In his tribute BJP president Nitin Gadkari expressed his heartfelt condolences on the demise of senior BJP leader. Shri Gadkari described him as a friend, philosopher and guide and also a personal loss to him.
Great loss for the party: Gopinath Munde
Describing Apte’s death as a “great loss” for the party, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde said: “Apteji devoted his entire life to inspiring younger generation of the party workers with nationalist thought. Many of us had the opportunity of seeking and getting his valuable advice. I was in jail with him during Emergency. I could comprehend him well at that time. He was an intellectual with clarity of thought. I wanted to become a practising lawyer after the Emergency. But, it was he who advised me to join active politics in 1978,” Shri Munde recalled adding that Apteji played a key role in developing younger generation of leaders in the BJP.
Party lost a brilliant organiser: Sudhir Mungantiwar
Maharashtra BJP president Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar said in Apteji’s death, the party has lost an effective organiser. “He was the real Swayamsevak of RSS. He devoted his entire life to propagating the RSS ideology. He also contributed a great deal into making the BJP strong as an organisation. As an RSS member, Apteji raised several issues of public interest and those involving the common people in the House. He was an excellent orator both within Rajya Sabha and outside. What made him a man without enemies was his enormous patience in dealing with all kinds of people. His death is a huge setback to the party,” Shri Mungantiwar added.
BJP MP Shri Tarun Vijay described Apteji as an ideal RSS swayamsevak and legendary organiser for ABVP.
Contribution to students' movement will be remembered for long: ABVP
In their tribute ABVP national president Prof Milind Marathe, national general secretary Shri Umesh Datt and national organising secretary Shri Sunil Ambekar said Aptehi gave a new direction to the students’ movement of Independent India. In a statement released in Mumbai they said Apteji dedicated four decades of his life to the nation and his contribution in the national life will be remembered for long. “The greatest achievement of his life is that thousands of workers are engaged in national life following his ideals today,’ they said in the statement. (FOC)
RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat expressed deep condolences on the demise of former ABVP president Balasaheb Apte. In his condolence message released from Nagpur Shri Bhagwat said, “The passing away of Balasaheb Apteji, though anticipated due to his seriously endangered health condition during last few days, leaves us with a condition of deep shock and painful deprivation. His life was an example of lifelong dedication to the cause of organisation and upliftment of the Hindu society. He observed and made others observe the discipline so necessary in the work of nation building. But first and foremost quality that comes to one’s mind about him is his candid, at times stern but always friendly advice which had played often a stabilising role in many a minds and matters. We have lost that support forever. The pain of that loss we have to bear along with members of his family. While offering my condolences and respects in his revered memory, we also pray for the necessary courage to us all and peace and enlightenment on the path of the departed soul.”