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R. Srinivasan


Edited by H.M. Patel
Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1976, 40.00

VOLUME II NUMBER 5 September-October 1977

If nothing satisfies a man so much as the esteem of one's friends and collea­gues, then Gorwala must indeed be a very happy person; the articles brought together in this volume felicitating him on his 75th birthday eloquently express the deep affection they have for him and the high honour in which they hold him. They also express the hope that the ideals that he cherishes will be realiz­ed in course of time. Very well-produced and meticulously edited, the volume is a model of book publishing in our country. To a new generation that has not had the privilege of knowing him in person, the articles by Patel and Gauri Deshpande will be valuable. During his tenure as Collector, Gorwala was dreaded by the high and .mighty in the rural areas who found in him an obstacle to their calculated misdeeds. The humble implicity trusted him. The educated may know of the greatness of Munro, perhaps one of the greatest of Madras civilians. But in many places in Andhra the peasants even today recall the grove of Munro and remember him as Madhava Rishi. Since Gorwala shares a similar honour among the people of Sind, any state award to him is but a mere bauble. The abiding work of Gorwala after his retirement was in running his weekly, Opinion, which almost at no cost (Rs. 2/- per annum) gave to its readers a course in liberal education. First, it did well to reiterate to the ill-educated of today liberal values and the principles of good government. It further encouraged the habit of dissent and thirdly, it enthused the young into becoming writers. Some of these achievements of Opinion are memorably recapitulated by Gauri Deshpande. However, an assessment of Opinion and its contents over the years needs to be done—for here was a publication that reached parliamentarians and the MLAs of Maharashtra week after week. It was hard-hitting and spared none. It encouraged verse and did not identify culture with politics. It is a pity that the editors did not think of asking anyone to do this assessment. The book has a couple of dozen articles and about half of them are indeed well worth reading and pondering over. Since Gorwala himself was for a number of years a civil servant, it is only proper that a few studies on adminis­tration should find a prominent place here. ...


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