The great sentinel of India’s freedom movement, national organizer, architect, thinker, visionary, writer, austere, sacrificer, national seer, honorable Shri Dattopant Bapurao Thengdi was born on 10th Nov 1920 in village Arvi of Wardha distt. in the Maharastra State of India. His father was honorable Shri Bapurao Dajiba Thengdi.
From childhood he was intelligent and hard working student who became committed for the national cause from very early age. In 1935 at a young age of 15 he was elected President of Arvi Taluka municipal high school. In this position he initiated the formation of a fund to help needy students. In 1935 itself he presided the “Vanar Sena” of the Indian National Congress at Arvi. To motivate the hut dwellers to join the national movement he worked amongst them and became governor of “Arvi Goani Jhuggi Jhopadi Mandal” in 1936. From 1936 to 1938 he worked as an active member of Hindustan Socialist Republican Army, Nagpur.
From early life he took to social service and the national cause. He took admission in Morris College and Law College of Nagpur and was awarded the degrees of MA and LLB respectively. From his student life since 1942 he became a Swayam Sevak of the RSS which had been the main source of inspiration for him. From 1942 to 1944 Thengdiji worked to develop organizations like Shri Vagmala Nanda. Society Kalicut, Arya Samaj Kalicut, Hindu Mahasabha, British Malabar Poor Home Kalicut. In 1955 established the Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh or BMS which developed literally from a tiny acorn in beginning to now a mighty oak. For more than 50 years he remained active for social and national awakening. To strengthen the creative fields of RSS he initiated the establishment of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, Samajik Samrasta Manch, Sarva Panth Samadar Manch and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch and few more similar organizations. A lot credit goes to him for the effective functioning of majority of such bodies in India. Thengdiji also founded the Samskar Bharti and inaugrated Akhil Bhartiya Adhivakta Parisad, Bhartiya Vichar Kendra, Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat etc.
There may hardly be any national labour organization, Dalit Sangh, Railwaymens organization, farmers association, educational or literary association to which he had not given his earnest contribution. His whole life was embodiment of simplicity, steadfast commitment, studies, clarity of aim and vision. He has contributed 26 books in Hindi, 12 in English and 2 in Marathi. These books are testimony in print of his mission for the nationalist cause. His two books “Rashtra” and “Dhyepath par Kisan” are guiding light like Gita.
Shri Thengadi was a member of Rajya Sabha for a term. In 1969, He visited Soviet Russia and Hungary as member of a parliamentary delegation; in 1977 he went to Switzerland as a delegate to an ILO conference and also to the Second International Anti-apartheid Conference at Geneva. In 1979, he was invited to Yugoslavia by the Trade Union there to study that country’s labourization, and also by the USA to study the American trade union movement. The same year he also visited Canada and Britain on invitation. In 1985, Shri Thengadi led a Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh delegation to china on the invitation of the All- China Federation of Trade Unions. He subsequently attended the Tenth Regional Conference of ILO at Jakarta, Indonesia, the same year, and also visited Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. More recently he participated in the Fifth European Hindu conference held at Frankfurt, Germany, in August 1992, and World Vision 2000 in USA.
Res. Shri Dattopant ji actively remained connected with many organizations as follows :
1950-51 – Organizational Secretary INTUC, MP Sangthan Mantri
1951-53 – Organizational Secretary Bhartiya Jan Sangh (M.P.)
1955 – Founded Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh
1956-57 – Organizational Secretary, Bhartiya Jan Sangh Dakshinmandal.
1964-70 – Member Rajya Sabha
1965-1966 – Member House Committee
1966-70 – Member Rajya Sabha Board of Vice President
Member people Industries Committee
1968-69 – Organiser, National Coordination Committee for Central Labour Organizations.
1970-76 – Member Rajya Sabha
1974 – Presides National Conference of Labour Organizations
1975 – Coordinatior National Labour Struggle Committee.
1976 – Coordinator national labour public struggle committee. (during emergency)
1979 – 4th March, establishes Bhartiya Kisan Sangh
1991 – Establishes Swadeshi Jagaran Manch