Thane, Apr 7 UNI | 4 months ago

Eminent freedom fighter Datta Tamhane, died of old age shortly before last night his family members said. He was 102 years old.

Sources said his funeral will be held at about 1100 hrs today in Mulund Mumbai.

Tamhane was a bachelor, and spent most of his time in service to society and reading. He was revered by many as a role model for any legislature or parliamentarian.

Born on April 13, 1913 in Ratnagiri in a poor family, Tamhane belongs to the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu community.

When he was in his second year of mechanical engineering at VJTI in Mumbai's central Dadar, he was inspired by the Indian freedom struggle. He quit his studies to become a full-time Congress worker in 1934. Tamhane participated in the Salt Satyagraha in Thane, where he suffered a blow on his head from the police and had to spend several days in the lock-up.

In 1983, he took retirement from active politics. A voracious reader, writer and thinker, he is an encyclopaedia of Marathi and English literature.

He travelled on foot around Kharegoan, an Adivasi area in Thane district, when he was an MLC. He lived with the locals, fought for their rights and worked towards their progress.

Having the distinction of being the first 100 year-old to go to Vidhan Bhavan in person for his felicitation ceremony conducted by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for his contribution to society, Tamhane is also the recipient of various awards like the Adivasi Seva Puraskar and the Maharashtra Government's literature award for his book Kathasangraha Kalicha Gowda.

Apart from being honoured by former President A P J Abdul Kalam, he has also been felicitated on turning 100 by senior leaders like Sharad Pawar and Manohar Joshi.

(Posted on 07-04-2014)