Ruckus over naming of library stalls PCB meet

What’s in a name? When it comes to the naming of a library in the cantonment area, it seems it could be a very great deal. A proposal put forth by Anju Mathurawala to name a library after her father-in-law — late Motilal Gopaldas Mathurawala — witnessed an unprecedented reaction by a member of the house at the general body meeting of the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) yesterday.

Prasad Kedari

The meeting came to a stand still after Prasad Kedari (in pic), a board member, got down on his haunches and touched the feet of PCB president Brigadier Lalit Joshi’s feet and pleaded that the library be named after Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe, the name that Kedari is recommending for the Mahadaji Shinde High School’s library in Wanowrie.

Kedari contends that not a single asset in the Cantonment area has been named after Sathe and to honour his contribution to the society, the library should be named after him.

Mathurawala, who recently donated some furniture to the aforesaid school has stated that she was the first to make the request and that four board members had signed the letter of proposal to name the library in her father-in-law’s name.

According to Kedari, the late Motilal Gopaldas Mathurawala, who was the former vice-president of the PCB, already has a football ground, vegetable market and a primary school named after him in the area. Incidentally, the school comes under the same ward, which Anju represents in the Cantonment.

House chaos
Some corporators decided to walk out from the meeting since they thought there would be no outcome. Brigadier Lalit Joshi requested the members not to leave the meeting and ensured them that there will be a discussion over the issue. The temperature in the house then began to rise with arguments and counter-arguments. Members began raising their voices and officials were mere spectators as they were helpless.

Kedari said that no member or ex-member is above the forefathers of the country whose contribution is undoubtedly great and we all should respect them. In reply to this Anju said, “There is no question over the contribution, but the name should be given to the library according to my preference, as I applied first to name the library.”

The fracas showed no sign of abatement and other important matters were put on the back burner. With the discussion going nowhere, Kedari said that he would go on a hunger strike till Sathe’s name was given to the library. Speaking to this correspondent, Kedari said, “It is a matter of ‘asmita’ and we expected that the PCB should have taken the decision at this meeting only.”

Karan Makwani, another member, said, “Annabhau Sathe’s contribution to the society is unquestionable and he is respected for his writings and social reformation.”

Brigadier Joshi also said that there is no problem of avoiding giving names to the assets in the Cantonment. But the honour and respect for national heroes should be maintained when the Cantonment names structures. He also said that a status quo would be maintained over the issue till the next board meeting.  

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