2000: Justice V.M. Tarkunde

2000:  Justice V.M. Tarkunde

Vittal Mahadev Tarkunde was born on July 1909 at Saswad in Pune district,  Maharashtra, in an orthodox Brahmin family.  His father Mahadev Rajaram Tarkunde, a lawyer, led a Movement against the vice of untouchability and in consequence, the family was ostracized by the orthodox Brahmins.

Starting with a brilliant academic career (a first class first in matriculation), Tarkunde obtained the degree of Bar-At-Law and started his legal practice at Pune but devoted 15 days in a month for working among the poor peasants in rural areas.  Later on, Tarkunde came under the influence of the legendary figure, M.N.Roy and associated himself with the Indian Radical Humanist Association and the International Humanist Organization.  He is one of the founder trustees of Indian Renaissance Movement.

Mr.Tarakunde was elevated to the Bench of Bombay High Court in 1957 and after an illustrious and distinguished career of 12 years as a Judge, retired in 1969.  The termination of his source as a Judge was the beginning of a fresh span of life devoted relentlessly to win for mankind, the right to be free as true human beings.

The emergency imposed on the country by Indira Gandhi on the night of June 25 and 26,1975 had fully galvanized the capacities of Justice.Tarakunde in organizing and educating the people to fight for their freedom. He bravely took up the challenge and was arrested along with Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan under MISA.  He is the founder of the two premier organizations, viz., People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Citizens for Democracy, along with Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan. He is the recipient of several national and international awards including “Padma Bhushana” from the President of India in 1998.
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