Social activist Subhash Ware said, “Although we were expecting this news since the last four days, it still is very difficult for us to accept the fact that he is no more. Bhai Vaidya’s death has created a major vacuum in the state.”
His contribution to the field of education is unparalleled, added Ware.
Over a political career spanning 60 years, Bhai Vaidya was elected multiple times as a corporator for the Pune Municipal Corporation. He became the mayor of Pune and was the first president of the All India Mayors Association. He was also minister of state for home and is remembered for many reforms in the police department, especially for changing the police uniform to full pants. He was Pune’s mayor in 1974-75 and state home minister in 1978.
He also made a significant contribution to the freedom struggle. He led the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement for a unified Maharashtra in 1957 and was arrested during Emergency in 1977. He has authored books on socialism, the Mandal commission and educational reforms among others.
Vaidya also formed unions of unorganised workers in the state. He is the recipient of several awards such as Goa Krantidin, Moulana Sadbhavna, Samata Bhushan and Mahatma Phule. He always remained a staunch socialist and progressive ideologue. Even during the infamous Emergency, he remained defiant as the mayor and organised a 20,000-strong rally at Shaniwarwada and was arrested. He has been in jail 28 times.