Sunday, June 29, 2014


This is a very interesting book to read, if and when you have some free spare time. The web-link for the book, "The Course of My Life," is at the end. I thought I would summarize some interesting tid-bits from the book.

Did you know that "C.D." Deshmukh was a Sanskrit & Marathi Scholar, having won the FIRST Jagganath Shankar Shet Scholarship in Sanskrit, and the FIRST candidate to be given 100% marks in Sanskrit in the SSC Exam state-wide? Reminds me of the Rumanian gymnast Nadia Kominich with a perfect score of 10!!

Since two professors who graded him unanimously gave him 100%, which was so unconventional and so unusual (it never happened before) that they arbitrarily agreed to deduct 2 points to keep the tradition and awarded him 98%. 

He also lived in a small chawl in Girgaum at his uncle's place, attending a nearby Elphinstone High School, and also my alma-mater, Elphinstone College, before getting the full scholarship to study at Cambridge University. He was knighted by the British King in 1944. He also was a prolific reader of Marathi literature, able to read even the books written in Modi script. 

(I did not know he resigned as the Finance Minister from the Nehru cabinet in 1956 in protest over the Maharashtra issue, because he was vehemently opposed to Nehru making Bombay the bilingual capital of Gujarat and Maharashtra...he wanted Bombay to be the capital of undivided Maharashtra only.) 

He later on excelled in Economics and International Finance. He represented India in 1944 at the Brenttenwood International Conference that created the International Monetary Fund, well before Nehru became the Prime Minister. The British Government appointed him as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He had achieved his fame well before India gained independence and without any help from the Congress Party or its leaders. He was married to a white British woman in England, and had a daughter but left her because his British wife wanted to stay in England, and he did not. He finally married a childless widow, Durgabai Deshmukh, a Telugu woman from Andhra Pradesh. Both CD and his wife, Durgabai, died in the same year 1982.

There is another interesting tid-bit about Durgabai Deshmukh, She was a 22 year old girl in 1944 or so, who offered her services as a volunteer at the All India Congress annual meeting, held in her town in Andhra Pradesh. Her job was to work at the hall entrance to check and make sure that everybody attending the conference had purchased a ticket. Jawaharlal Nehru came there without a ticket. She would not allow him to enter the hall. Her bosses, who  knew Nehru and were close to Nehru chided her and wanted her to let Nehru enter without a ticket. She refused and forced the organizers to buy a ticket for him before she would let him enter. They did. and Nehru belatedly applauded her for doing her job!! 

This is a fascinating book to read if you are interested in reading about his life. In particular, please read pages 24 to 30. 

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P Amladi and Achintyachintaka

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