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Biography: G.V. Mavalankar

Ganesh Vasudeo Mavalankar is a great democrat but least demonstrative of men. He has a cool nerve and clear head. He never flashes out in any sudden fit of enthusiasm. This trait in his character is responsible for his implacable purpose.

His aims are high, honor stainless and decision is a habit of his mind. He belongs to that rare type of politicians, confident in their aim and secure in their opinion. He never coquets with an illusion nor he is a seer of visions. His success in politics is the success of his russet coated virtues.

K.L. Kamat/Kamat's Potpourri
G. V. Mavalankar
G. V. Mavalankar

Mr. Mavalankar was born at Baroda, November 26th 1888.from an early age he possessed remarkable mental powers. His father was a Subordinate Judge in the Provincial Judicial Service and he exercised great influence on the child-mind.

In 1904 he matriculated form Ahemdabad High School. He graduated in 1908 form the Gujarat College, Ahmedabad. He was a scholar in the college for three years and was Fellow for one year. In 1911,he passed his first L.L.B, in first class standing first in the University.

As a student he mingled with those for whom books were treasured companions and politics the chief staple of daily talk. Everything to such a perceptive mind was a gain. All experiences filtered down to the layers of perception and reflection enriching and nourishing his mind.

He wanted to join the Servants of India but was dissuaded from doing so by elders. In 1913 he started practice at Ahmedabad. Very soon he enjoyed an exceptional measure of popularity. With a rare and illuminating sincerity he worked for righteous causes.

In 1918 he took part in the Influenza Relief Operations .In 1918 he did Famine Relief Work. Thereafter he participated in Kheda No-Rent Campaign. The moving spirit of this Campaign was Mahatmaji and he exercised a lasting spell over Mr. Mavalankar.

In 1921 he suspended his practice in pursuit of the Nagpur Congress Resolution. He was the first General Secretary of Gujarat Provincial Congress Committee. He was also a general Secretary of the 36th Session of the Indian National Congress held at Ahmedabad. He can claim equality with the greatest political workers of the age, which has produced many.

His wide humanity has varied knowledge, his fervent zeal and his lofty patriotism have ensured him a reputation that cannot be questioned.

In 1919 he was elected to the Ahemdabad Municipality. He continued to be its member till it suspended in 1922.He was a gain returned in 1925 and continued till 1928,when he was resigned on the account of some differences. He acted as the Chairman of the Sanitary and Legal Committee.

He is a very warm-hearted and a sincere man. his joys and sorrows can never lose their hold on the peoples affection. His appeal reaches right into the heart because it is built on deep emotion. As a Municipal Councilor he worked with profound interest.

Mr. Mavalankar traveled in Europe in 1928.On returning he was appointed the Chairman of Ranpur Enquiry Committee to investigate into the conduct of the police. The Committee was banned by the Magistrate and he was arrested and sentenced to two months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.500.He was in jail for one and a half month and was released when the conviction was set aside by the High Court on a technical point.

In 1930 he was elected the President of the Ahmedabad Municipality and remained in that office or three years. In 1933 he was arrested under the Emergency Power Act and was interned in Rathnagiri gaol for a period of 15 months. In 1934 he was again elected Vice-President of the Municipality.

He is connected with the working of myriad institutions at Ahmedabad. He is a Trustee of the Harijan Ashram of Mahatmaji, the Ahemdabad Education Society, The Gujarat Vernacular society and the Gujarat law Society.

In 1937 he was returned to the legislative Assembly from the city of Ahmedabad and is elected the speaker of the House.

He is intrinsically the weightiest Speaker of his time. Neither frenzy of debates nor the passion of the House affects him. It is this detached outlook that gives his words the stamp of authority .It imposes a muzzle on the House. So, he is born to the Wig and Robes. 

Source: Haripura Congress Souvenir, 1938


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