The stories of great Indians (Freedom Fighter, Social reformer, Scientist, Industrialists etc)
FOREWORD It was nearly thirty years ago that my father, the late Shri R. P. Kanitkar hit upon an idea of writing profiles in Marathi of over hundred most eminent sons and daughters of the soil who through their invaluable contributions in different fields have helped make India what it is today. To write brief sketches of so many contemporaneous and famous men and women and compile them into a single volume was a novel idea then; and so my father was skeptical about its ever being materialised. However, he could see faint rays of hope, when in a casual chat with the publisher Shri Sudhakar Joshi, he broached the idea to him. A seasoned publisher that he is, Joshi was so enamoured of the idea that he asked my father to go ahead with the project and assured him that the compilation would be published without delay. This assurance was enough for my father to start working on the project in right earnest. As was his wont, he left no stone unturned to see that his writings bore marks of authenticity and accuracy. He made several trips to the prestigious libraries, far and near to collect minutest particulars pertaining to the subject. Pursuit of perfection was the lodestar of that generation of freedom-fighters to which my father belonged. The final list of hundred and one great men was made by him using his own judgement coupled with suggestions from his learned friends. When the final list was sent to the publisher for his approval, Shri Joshi, without perusing the list, straightway sent it to the press, a gesture indicative of the deep faith he had in my father’s fastidious taste. The book was received with overwhelming response from the reading public all over the state. The book has gone into several editions since then, and this fact, I think is a good pointer to the popularity it still continues to enjoy. It is a matter of deep gratification for me that the English rendering of the original Marathi book, superbly done by Shri Vilas Gite will now reach out to a much larger area of reading public spread all over the country. An English version was a long-felt need and this book has fulfilled it. Kudos to Shri Sudhakar Joshi for his receptivity to new ideas in the publication field and for his eagerness to translate them into action. I fervently hope that the English version will be equally entliusiastically received by the reading public. - Madhav R. Kanitkar Pune.