Respected Baba Saheb Purandare ji, who is blessing this program, Sumitratai, President of Baba Saheb SatkarSamaroh Samiti, and all the followers of Baba Saheb who have faith in Shivshahi!
I bow before Shiv- Shahir Baba Saheb Purandare and pray to God that He continue to give me the strength to practice the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
I extend my heartfelt greetings to respected Baba Saheb Purandare ji on his 100thyear of life. I hope we continue to be guided and blessed by him for a long time. I also congratulate the respected Sumitratai for this special event. I am glad that I have got the opportunity to be amongst you, who have deep respect for him, to seek Baba Saheb’s blessings at this graceful ceremony. I also congratulate many followers of Baba Saheb across the country on this auspicious occasion.
Wishing for a long life has been one of the most refined and positive thoughts of humanity. Our sages in the Vedas have gone far beyond a century's life.Our sages have said:
जीवेम शरदः शतम्॥
बुध्येम शरदः शतम्॥
रोहेम शरदः शतम्॥
That is, may we live for 100 years, be thoughtful for 100 years, and forge ahead for 100 years. The life of Baba Saheb Purandare reflects this noble spirit of our sages. When somebody realizes ‘yoga’ in his life through penance, many coincidences get accomplished instinctively. It is a happy coincidence that Baba Saheb is embarking into the 100thyear of his life on the 75th year of independence of the country. I think Baba Saheb himself must be realizing that this coincidence is a direct blessing of Mother Bharati, who is pleased with his penance.
Brothers and sisters,
There is another coincidence that inspires us for the 75th year of independence. All of you are aware that the country has started a campaign to write the history of immortal souls of freedom fighters during the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom. Baba Saheb Purandare has been doing this virtuous work for decades. He has spent his entire life for this mission. We will always remain indebted to him for his contribution of taking the life and history of Shivaji Maharaj to people. I am glad that we have the privilege of expressing our gratitude to the nation for his contribution. In 2019, the country honored him with 'Padma Vibhushan', while the then Maharashtra government also decorated him with the 'Maharashtra Bhushan Award' in 2015. In Madhya Pradesh also, the government of Shivraj ji saluted this supreme devotee of 'Chhatrapati Shivaji' by conferring Kalidas Award on him.
Baba Saheb Purandareji’sdevotion towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is not without reason! Shivaji Maharaj is not only a colossus of India history, the present geography of India is also influenced by his immortal saga. This is a very big question of our past, of our present, and of our future.What would have happened had Shivaji Maharaj not been there? It is difficult to imagine the form and glory of India without Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The role that Chhatrapati Shivaji played in that period has been subsequently emulated by his inspirations and sagas. Shivaji Maharaj's 'Hindavi Swaraj' is a unique example of good governance, justice to the backward and downtrodden, and a rallying call against tyranny.Veer Shivaji’s management, the use of maritime power, the utility of the navy, water management and many other subjects are still worth emulating.And it is Baba Saheb who is credited for introducing this perspective of Shivaji Maharaj to the new generation of independent India.
His unwavering devotion for Shivaji Maharaj reflects in his writings and books. Baba Saheb Purandare's style of narrating stories related to Shivaji Maharaj and his words bring Shivaji Maharaj alive in our mind. I vividly remember that I used to attend your programs regularly when they were organized in Ahmedabad about four decades ago. I had specially gone to Pune to see him when his play ‘Jaanta Raja’ was being staged.
Baba Saheb has always tried to ensure that history reaches the youth in its true form and inspires them. This balance is needed for the country’s history. He never let his devotion and litterateur in him to affect his sense of history. I will also tell the young historians of the country to maintain the same standards of inspiration and authenticity when they write the history of India’s freedom struggle on the occasion of the Amrit Mahotsav of independence.
Baba Saheb Purandare's efforts have not been limited only to communicate history in its true form. He has tried to lead his life according to the ideals of Shiva Maharaj with equal devotion. He is equally concerned about the present as well as the history.
He has been a role model for us for his contributions to the Goa liberation struggle and to the freedom struggle of Dadra-Nagar Haveli. His family is also constantly devoted to social work and musical arts. You continue to be involved in realizing the unprecedented resolve on the project of 'Shiv-Srushti'. The ideals of Shivaraji Maharaj that you have endeavored to put before the country would continue to inspire us for centuries.
With this belief, I offer my humble prayers at the feet of Maa Bhavani and pray for your good health. May we continue to receive your blessings! With these best wishes, I give a pause to my speech.