Cricket legend Vijay Manjrekar's signboard in Dadar mysteriously disappears, BMC clueless

Nov 23, 2016, 07:00 IST | Subodh Mayure and Laxman Singh

Cricketing community disappointed after signboard in Dadar lane named after cricketing legend Vijay Manjrekar 33 years ago is changed to a godman's, even BMC officials, don't know who did it

Vijay Manjrekar
Vijay Manjrekar

A tribute to former Mumbai and India batsman, Vijay Manjrekar, who first put Shivaji Park on the world cricketing map, has mysteriously disappeared from Dadar. Vijay Manjrekar Lane near his family home at Portuguese Church was named in his honour after his death in 1983. It now bears the name of a godman. 

Manjrekar Sr played 55 Tests for India and scored 3,208 runs with seven centuries. Interestingly, nobody seems to know who changed the street name. Both, the local corporator and ward officer, the first to be informed of any name change for roads, are clueless. When contacted, local MNS corporator Sandip Deshpande, said, "If there is need to change the name of a road or street, I have to move a proposal with the ward committee. I have not done it for this particular street."

Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G-north ward (Dadar, Shivaji Park), Ramakant Biradar said, "I will inquire with my officials. As far as I know, there was no such decision taken." According to a civic official, more than a hundred years ago, Ramkrishna Jambhekar Maharaj, who was a disciple of Marathi saint, Swami Samarth, had played a role in setting up the famous Siddhivinayak temple, which is 300-odd metres from the lane. Surprisingly, a street near Chaityabhumi, next to Shivaji Park, already bears the name Prampujya Jambhekar Maharaj Path.

dadar
The signboard at Dadar that earlier read Vijay Manjrekar Lane, now has the name Parampujya Jambhekar Maharaj Path on it. PIC/SHADAB KHAN

Manjrekar’s friends and family are miffed by the name change. Manjrekar’s nephew, Sandesh, was says he was shocked when he walked down to check the board after mid-day alerted him. A former club and inter-office cricketer, Sandesh said, "I was stunned. I remember Manohar Joshi (former Mumbai Cricket Association president) inaugurating the lane many years ago. How can someone change the name of a road like this? I will ask our BMC corporator about it."

When Manjrekar’s son and former cricketer, Sanjay, was told of the name change, he wasn’t hassled. "I don’t care. After all, it’s the BMC that decides these things. The people who matter will respect and remember him [Vijay] anyway," said Sanjay, a few hours after he had finished his Day 5 commentary duty on the India vs England Test at Visakhapatnam.

The cricketer’s former colleagues weren’t as accommodating. Ajit Wadekar, who benefited from Manjrekar’s mentoring at the Shivaji Park Gymkhana, said, "This is the height of stupidity. How can the name of a road in honour of a renowned cricketer, my guru, be changed? This is not done," said an upset Wadekar.

The signboard at Dadar that earlier read Vijay Manjrekar Lane, now has the name Parampujya Jambhekar Maharaj Path on it. PIC/SHADAB KHAN
The signboard at Dadar that earlier read Vijay Manjrekar Lane, now has the name Parampujya Jambhekar Maharaj Path on it. PIC/SHADAB KHAN

GK Menon, a former cricket writer, who was Manjrekar’s friend and confidant, said, "I’m very upset to hear this, especially because it concerns a man who contributed such a lot to Mumbai and Indian cricket. Manjrekar deserved the honour, and now, it has been taken away. I hope some damage control is done soon." Dr Makarand Waingankar who, a few years ago, did a thesis on Mumbai cricket, said, "If true, the BMC must rename the street after Manjrekar immediately."


How are roads renamed?

  •  The local corporator or other elected representatives have to move a proposal and submit it before local ward committee. 
  • Generally, A change of name is proposed for roads or chowks with British names. If a road name has been changed after Independence, as per BMC rules, there will be no further change.
  • As per norms, two roads cannot be given the same name in a particular region.


(With inputs from Clayton Murzello)

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