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Remembering Jhamatmal Wadhwani

Born in Sukkur Sindh, he was a simple, silent, selfless and impressive leader of repute.

Jhamatmal Tolaram Wadhwani was an accomplished writer and also an unmatched orator in Hindi, Sindhi and English.

By Vijaykumar Tejwani

Our dear respected Jhamatmalji was neither born great, nor even an iota of greatness was thrust upon him, yet his greatness had gone sky-high, on account of his unparalleled acumen, unflinching faith, relentless efficient efforts, utmost honesty and integrity of highest order, devotion to limitless degree and strict adherence to pristine principles. He was a simple, silent, selfless and impressive leader of repute, who had stamped his indelible mark even on top echelons in every field, he touched.

He joined RSS in Hyderabad Sindh, way back in the year 1941. (A website mentions that he joined the RSS way back in 1939 in Karachi, when the great scholar Shri Chandrashekhar Bhishikar was in charge of Karachi RSS. Shri Bhishikar was personally deputed by Dr. Hedgewarji, the founder and first Sarsanghachalak of RSS)

Jhamatmal had been steadfast in his adherence to the ideals and principles of this great organization, working for achieving the pinnacle of glory for the Nation. He was perhaps the only person in the whole of our country, who had taken part in practically every Satyagraha launched by RSS, JanSangh and BJP. He, therefore willingly suffered imprisonment, umpteen times.

He was an old double graduate holding degrees in Arts and Law. He was also an old RA (now known as CA). This man of letters was an acknowledged expert in Law and Finance. He was an accomplished writer and also an unmatched orator in Hindi, Sindhi and English. He always spoke in measured tones and put forth his considered views lucidly. He, generally touched practical aspects mainly. His views and advice were highly valued in all his fields by all concerned.

In Sindh, he could gain complete confidence of Shri Rajpal Puri, the provincial organizer of RSS. Very early, he was given the task of personal Secretary to the provincial organizer. He also held charge of finance department of Sind RSS from 1942 to 1946, when headquarters of RSS was in Hyderabad Sind. He however continued as chief advisor to Rajpalji (Shreeji). Rajpalji, to a very large extent, depended on the advice tendered by Jhamatmalji. It was wellnigh impossible for Rajpalji to ignore his advice.

Jhamatmal-1He joined Income-Tax Department in Sindh and was an ITO, when ITO’s in Sindh were very few and could be counted on fingers. It was a very highly coveted post in those far off days. But soon he threw away this lucrative job with a view to carry on the work of RSS with full freedom. He took over the ‘taxation’ department of the well-known firm of Shri Hotchand Gopaldas Advani, a highly successful, influential and expert advocate. Hotchand, in due course, became ‘sanghchalak’ of RSS and Jhamatmalji remained the most important link between him and RSS.

Rajpalji (Shreeji) also assigned a number of special tasks to Jhamatmalji in Sindh, before and for sometimes after partition of the country. He discharged all his duties to utmost satisfaction of all concerned. He carried out all his duties with deep thought, proper and meticulous planning, and also clear and perfect strategy. After partition, he, with the assistance of Hari Samtani and Hashu Advani helped hundreds of Hindus on whom untold atrocities were being heaped by Pakistanis and their Government. All the three persons had to go underground many a time. Ultimately they had to come to this side of border.

In 1948, Jhamatmalji started his tax practice in Mumbai. Soon, he transferred the work to his younger brother, late Tikam Wadhwani and he himself joined Indus Engineering Co., as a partner. The Company had been founded by our dear Mr. Ram G. Keswani, a simple, sincere and eminently efficient person of repute. Ram Keswani is the General Secretary of Vivekanand Education Society of which Jhamatmalji has been the president for the last 40 years. Both have closed their business and are fully devoted to the service of Society.

Some people think he was haughty, mainly because he looks royal, aristocrat, and impressive,

At one time, Jhamatmalji was very active in politics and was president of Jansangh. Even this day, his advice and help is eagerly sought by a number of leaders at State and Central Level. He is definitely fit for the post of Finance Minister of the State, nay Central Government. The Party and the Country appointing him as the Finance Minister of the Country will only be doing an honour to themselves. He is personally known to a large number of leaders including Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, other ministers and Governors. A good number of Sangh Parivar leaders have lived in his house at one time or the other.

In the field of education, under his guidance, the school of about 200 students in a dilapidated building, had grown into a reputed institution of 18,000 students. It may be mentioned that Hashu Advani who expired in 1995 while holding the high post of Finance Minister of Maharashtra, was the founder of this educational institution and remained its soul all along. Hashu has been considered as IDEAL by all, including proud politicians.

Jhamatmalji was also All India President of Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha which has hundreds of branches all over the country. Besides, he was head of a number of trusts, associations and institutions rendering valuable services to the society.

jhamatmal_wadhwani
Late Jhamatmal Wadhwani with his grandchildren.

He had been very helpful to everyone in all respects. He did not keep anyone in suspense and gave quick, clear, concise and unambiguous decisions. However this nice trait had been misunderstood by many. It is not possible for anyone to satisfy all. Though some people think he was haughty, mainly because he looked royal, aristocrat, and impressive, even in his simple dress of Kurta and pyjama.

Of late, he had been hell-bent on reviving our fast vanishing heritage including Sindhi language, Sindhi ethos and Sindhi sub-culture. It is remarkable that even at the ripe old age of 82 years, he had been relentlessly touring all over the country even in the remotest corners for this purpose. He has been reasonably successful in this quite up-hill task of launching this most difficult movement.

The greatest wonder is, that this unselfish person was not aware of the depth, height, extent and expanse of his greatness and his lifelong enviable achievements. He was not even aware of the high reverence in which he was held by hundreds, nay thousands, nay lakhs of men, women, young and old alike. Verily he has proved a Gem of exquisite quality.

Shri Jhamatmal, who was born on 10th March 1921 in Sukkur, remained practically active till his demise on April 17, 2007, at the age of 86 years.

___________________

Courtesy: Sindhi Shaan (Jan-March 2003 issue) and Sindhis By Surname

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