History is narrated mainly in two forms, in poetic style and the other in prosaic. While, poetry is replete with figments of imagination and hence, many a times fall short of expectations of historians due to unsubstantiated claims. Where as prosaic text is tricky as references give the most authentic account of history but are deemed boring and uninteresting even for a history buff; let alone the layman.
Shri Ninad Bedekar was an evangelist of history. He deftly balanced poetic verses with authentic prosaic references of history. His style appeased both the layman, as well as, aficionado of history. A mechanical engineer by qualification, Shri. Bedekar was a fort enthusiast and hence can be called as ‘ fortified historian’. He used to visit forts and research papers in ‘Mody’ script as well as Persian script which he had mastered very well. Though his linguistic expertise he brought to light interesting facets of medieval Indian history in general and Maratha history in particular. He could also read and converse in Sanskrit as well as Ain rabic languages with Elan.
His particular forte and passion was in the Deccan history, formation of Hindavi Swaraj under Chhatrapati Shivaji and Maratha conquests in the North. His seminars on Kaviraj Bhushans poetry on the Maratha King Shivaji met with loud and raucous responses and rave reviews. His critical analysis of the debacle of Panipat was instrumental in erasing the belief that Panipat battle was a curse and shameful misadventure; raising the Panipat martyrs to the stature of national heroes.
A thoughtful guide and guru to several fort conservation workers he helped them to understand authentic history, distinct architecture and epigraphs on the stones and walls forts, about which he spoke so authoritatively. He acted as an advisor to several fort conservation organizations. His fate of visiting 101 forts on the occasion of his 61st birthday in one calendar year, showed his appetite and craving for the history that is hidden under the dilapidated and abandoned forts. He through his authentic explanations brought the forts, idols and other epigraphs to the life.
Shri Bedekar was also an authority on Maratha Navy, naval ships and naval fort architecture, having helped several authors and researchers in drafting the Maratha naval history.
He encouraged the young generation to study history methodically and guide enthusiasts as to how to identify historical papers, their genuineness as well as cross-verify sources and how to come to reliable conclusion on historical facts.
Shri Bedekar was a chief advisor of the recently appointed Maharashtra State Government's committee on forts. His untimely demise has highly affected the cause of conservation of historical papers and forts of Maharashtra in a huge way and has left a void which is most difficult to fill.
TERRE Policy Center was looking forward to having him as advisor for their project to bring major forts of Maharashtra on UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is a major setback as we have lost an able guide who could have helped scientific and clinical documentation of forts and educated the villagers and communities around forts on the viability of the project.
TERRE salutes Shri Bedekar’s contribution and offers condolences to his family members.
International Environment Film Festival
You are cordially invited for the first ever Environmental Film Festival is being organized in the UK in London on 12th and 13th September 2014. It is a free event aimed to improve awareness on issues connected to environment and climate change.
The two-day event is jointly hosted by London-based Sanskruti Centre and multi-location TERRE Policy Centre who is partner with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-Climate and Clean Air Coalition and United Nations Safe Planet Campaign. The Venue is Digital Theatre, MML 306 Dollis Hill Lane, and NW2 6HH.
Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary will render the inaugural address on 12th September for State and junior Minister for Energy and Climate Change. Eminent speakers Sally Case, Chief Executive of David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and Rajendra Shende, former Director of United Nations
Environmental Program (UNEP) will also be speaking on the occasion. A short film on climate change will be shown thereafter.
On 13th, more films ranging about 5-14 minutes each in duration and connected to the Environment and impact of Climate Change on communities, biodiversity and culture will be screened. Films include Melting of Himalayas, Leopards in the Lurch, the Silenced Witness, The Last Dance etc. by acclaimed directors like Kalpana Subrahmanian, Ashima Narain, Gurmeet Sapal and Sonya Kapoor.
Guests (on both days) must be present by 5.30 pm. Drinks/light snacks are available.