Monday, March 29, 2010

DDK's associate, thinker R P Nene no more

RP Nene, close associate of DD Kosambi, among others, is no more.

PUNE: Noted progressive thinker and an active member of the Maharashtra Rationalist Forum, R P Nene, passed away at a private hospital in the city on Tuesday following illness. He was 81.

His body was donated as per his wishes. The body was kept at his brother's residence off ILS Law College road from 12 to 3 pm to enable people to pay tributes.

Nene was a senior freedom fighter, philosopher and left- progressive ideologue. He was associated with several political and social movements and with social organisations, including Goa Liberation Movement, Samyukta Maharashtra movement, Ek Gaon Ek Panavtha (one village one water source), Lokayat, movement for renaming of Marathwada university, discussion group, and the latest Narmada Bachao Andolan, to name a few.

Nene undertook over 22 social research projects with scholars in India and abroad. Some the topics include Power politics in Pune zilla parishad' and Impact of Panshet flood on people's lives.' He also contributed extensively for journals like Tatparya', Milun Saryajani' and Vatsaru'.

Though Nene was influenced by communist philosophy later in his life, in the initial stages he was also in contact with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and was impressed by the philosophy of late Swatantryaveer V D Savarkar. Later, he became associated with the All India Students' Federation and Marxism. When he was studying in the final year of MA, he was active in the students' movement and became a card holder of the communist party for a brief while during 1948-52. Though he never remained an active party worker, he retained his association with the leftist movement.

During 1948-1950, when there was a ban on communist literature, Nene operated the People's Book House and extended its reach by keeping books on other subjects as well.

Nene was a close associate of renowned thinkers D D Kosambi, D K Bedekar, A R Kamat and social activists like Baba Adhav, Medha Patkar, Vilas Wagh and Dada Sonawane. Though a soft spoken person, Nene never hesitated to express his views and opinions even when they differed from those of his associates.
Arvind Gupta's long interview with RP on DD Kosambi has previously appeared at this blog.