Today is the 50th death anniversary of Goa’s first Chief Minister Dayanand Bandodkar who assumed office on 20th December 1963 and continued as Chief Minister till his sudden death on 12th August 1973. Affectionately referred to by all as ‘Bhausaheb’ he was undoubtedly a friend to all.
At the age of 10, it was my privilege to interact with Dayanand Bandodkar with a grievance faced by my grandmother who lived very close to his bungalow at Althinho. A few months later I managed to sneak into the Goa Legislative Assembly and witness those debates with the Chief Minister’s pointed but witty replies. That same year Dayananad Bandodkar visited our Ribandar as the Chief Guest for the football finals.
Though Dayanand Bandodkar may have initially been for merging Goa with Maharashtra, he respected the people’s verdict and later toiled with a vision and passion towards Goa’s development. He relentlessly raised and pursued issues concerning the backward, down-trodden, and neglected communities. He was a leader of integrity, honesty and commitment.
Dayanand Bandodkar dared to speak from his heart and always walked the talk. It is imperative that students today should be made aware of the very rich and invaluable contribution to Goa by Dayanand Bandodkar who cannot be consigned as our forgotten hero.