Tuesday, August 15, 2017
F. Sheheryar, DG, AIR condoles the demise of Madhukar Gaikwad, former DG, AIR
I share the sad news with my family of broadcasters the sudden demise of Shri. Madhukar Gaikwad, retired Deputy Director General of All India Radio last evening in Mumbai. He was 76.
Words fall short when describing people like Mr. Gaikwad as they do not completely define the personality that can justify the character of eminence like him.
Only a pathbreaker like Mr. Gaikwad could defy the set mould and define new standards of excellence whichever role he took on. It was no mean achievement that a rank outsider who did not rise from the ranks (coming from PIB) could breach the hallowed programme cadre by becoming Station Director at a direct level. But he braved many a storm to make his mark as a stalwart in the Organisation. He is remembered for his administrative prowess as well creative ideas. Having joined in Jalgaon on his first posting as the Station Director, he left his distinction in various places he worked such as Nagpur, Bhopal, Mumbai and lastly, Delhi.
He was known as a stern task master but at the same time showed exceptional humanity towards all. He was often seen sitting in the Duty Officer's chair in Mumbai at nights (as he was the resident director) only to allow Duty Officers the much needed reprieve to have dinner.
Among the various stories that did the rounds of our 'family conversations' that deserve a special mention was his war of words with the serving DG at that time, Mr. A. R. Shinde. A serious faux pas by a certain programme officer during the stewardship of Mr. Gaekwad at the Mumbai station of AIR upset Mr. Shinde to the extent of wanting the head of the errant official. Mr. Gaikwad was asked to name the official so that strict action could be taken against him. Mr. Gaikwad refused to divulge his name by arguing that when he gets credit for the good work of his officers he would also take the blame for their slip-ups. At Mr. Shinde's unrelenting persistence, Mr. Gaikwad proved his true tenacity and moral rectitude by not only refusing to share the programme Officer's name but 'obeying' him in giving his own name for penal action. He always stood behind his staff, going out of the way in supporting them in many ways.
People like Mr. Gaikwad are a rare breed of exemplary leaders, exhibiting a keen mind and a kind heart. It is a hallmark of this brilliant broadcaster that he not only had the right words for every occasion but proved himself a man of his word for every individual, irrespective of his standing. In fact, soft spoken as he was, he made the most incisive observations that remained etched in people's heart for a lifetime. They became lessons for people to live, learn and pass on to others. He was a true inspiration to all, from mavens to novices.
Few things that stayed at the core of his heart even after his retirement were his undying love for radio and his insatiable interest in philosophy besides farming. He was equally at ease holding the pen or the plough. While he discovered pleasures in the sublime and the simple aspects of life, he chartered new path to holistic living. Philosophy for him was not found in books alone but in the life that he led in simplicity and sagacity. He was philosopher's guide, a writer's mentor, a farmer's friend and radio's family. AIR was his first family as shared by his family, which was seen in the many tiring trips on the trying Mumbai locals made for the various committee meetings or functions that he graced at AIR, Mumbai.
His son shared a parting image of Mr. Gaikwad who was ailing from kidney problem in the last few days but was always in the best of spirits while reminiscing about radio or talking philosophy. He had an animated discussion with his family on Adi Shankaracharya just few hours before breathing his last, leaving a lasting impression of a man who traversed many stations in life.