R. N. Mudholkar

Born in 1857, Rao Bahadur Ranganath Narsingh Mudholkar excelled academically in school and went on to practise law in Berar. Besides taking an active interest in politics, he was also interested in issues of industrial development and social reform. In 1881, he led the founding of the first Joint-Stock Company in Berar. He then worked with Rao Bahadur Deorao Vinayak and Mr. Jaikrishna Begaji of Akola and established the first factory in Berar organised and managed by educated Hindus. He was further concerned with the fostering of a robust public opinion on political among other questions and felt it necessary for a lively and well run paper that would be conducive to the discussion of questions of public concern. To achieve this, he was involved in the creation of the Vaidarbha newspaper, which was in circulation for over sixteen years. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Berar Sarwajanik Sabha in 1886 and served as Secretary until 1898, drawing up most of the representations on key public questions to the Government. He also believed that it was vital to develop local institutions and obtain the redress of local grievances to guide the public in administrative matters and politics. To that end, he served for eighteen years on the Amoraoti City Municipality. He joined the Indian National Congress in 1888. As a politician, he received accolades for his handling of the distress in Berar brought about by the severe famine in 1896 and again in 1899-1900, when another serious famine struck India for his role as secretary of the Famine Fund. Upon the demise of the Majesty Queen Empress Victoria, a movement began Berar to erect a memorial of her. A proposal was submitted for the building of an school for scientific and technical instruction and Mudholkar played a key role in seeing its fruition against opposition. He died in 1921. Source: The Indian Nation Builders: Part II, 5th ed (Madras: Ganesh & Co.), 387-402    

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