Veteran leader and former Governor of Bihar and Kerala Ramkrishna Suryabhan Gavai, breathed his last on Saturday, July 25 at 1.50 pm after a prolonged illness. Popularly known as Dadasaheb by his countless admirers, Gavai was a leading light of Republican Party of India and was closely associated with Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar himself. He was admitted in a private hospital on June 17 after he suffered a brain hemorrhage and was put on ventilation support. Despite best possible medical support, he could not be revived, though two weeks ago, his parameters including pulse, blood pressure, respiration were stable. His elder son Justice Bhushan Gavai was besides him, when Dadasaheb forever closed his eyes with a smiling face. His family members and close friends were in tears when doctors finally led by Dr Mahesh Fulwani declared him dead.
Born on October 30, 1929, Dadasaheb Gavai was one of the pillars of RPI and Ambedkarite movement and was Chairman of Deekshambhoomi Smarak Samiti and countless social organisations dedicated to empowerment of downtrodden. He is survived by his wife Kamaltai, sons-Justice Bhushan Gavai and RPI (Gavai) head Dr Rajendra Gavai and daughter Kirti, and host of relatives, thousands of supporters and well-wishers. The funeral will take place at his native place Darapur on Sunday afternoon.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while expressing his deep condolences described late R S Gavai as one of the tallest leaders of Republican movement, a fine parliamentarian, an able institution builder and a pillar of strength for social life whose demise is an irreparable personal loss.
The mortal remains of Dadasaheb will be kept at Deekshabhoomi from 5 to 6 pm on Saturday and thereafter it will be taken to his Congress Nagar, Amravati residence. The funeral procession will start from his Congress Nagar, Amravati residence and will pass through all major squares like Rajkamal Square, Jaistambh Square, Dr Ambedkar Statue, Gagde Nagar, Gadge Baba Samadhi and finally to his native place Darapur, where his mortal remains will be consigned to flames.
During past one month hundreds of well-wishers including Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, MPCC Chief Ashok Chavan, many state leaders and distinguished personalities from all walks of life visited the octogenarian leader and expressed him speedy recovery.
Coming from an humble background, Dadasaheb was inspired by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar right from his childhood and after completing his schooling and graduation, he devoted his entire life for upliftment of downtrodden. He was one of the key persons chosen by Dr Ambedkar to accomplish the Dhammachakra Pravartan at Deekshabhoomi.
Infact, it was R S Gavai and Sadanand Fulzele, who dedicated their life to make Deekshabhoomi, what it is today and developed this place of inspiration as an architectural marvel. From 1964 to 1994, he was a member of the Maharashtra Legislature and was Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council from 1968 to 1978, Chairman from 1978 to 1984, and Leader of the Opposition of the Legislative Council from 1986 to 1988.
In 1998, Gavai was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha from Amravati Lok Sabha constituency, and in June 2006 he became Governor of Bihar. He was the acting Governor of Sikkim from 13 July 2006 to 12 August 2006. On June 26, 2008, Gavai was appointed as Governor of Kerala and completed his term on August 25, 2011.