Inspiration Behind the Memorial

My beloved Babuji, freedom fighter Shri Jawaharlal Darda, was not only the head of our family but an asset for the entire nation. Thus it was natural that the thought of building a Memorial in his honour took shape.

Though Babuji was born in Yavatmal district, his services transcended beyond the area and encompassed not only Vidarbha or Maharashtra but also the entire nation. Just paying a personal homage to him would not have been enough. Honouring the feelings of the common masses for whose betterment Babuji strived all his life, was of paramount importance.

Responding to the call of Mahatma Gandhi, Babuji had plunged into the freedom struggle at the tender age of 17. Thereafter, he devoted his entire life to the service of the nation. To bring about awareness among the masses, Babuji took up journalism and through his untiring efforts turned the infant ‘Lokmat’ into a strong media house. Keeping the motto of social service in view, he took to politics. And his dedicated service for the cause of the oppressed and downtrodden earned him the love and affection of the masses. While discharging the responsibilities of various ministries of the Government of Maharashtra, Babuji set new parameters for the development and progress of the state. He had a special love for sports, culture, music and environment and significantly contributed to these fields.

Babuji and my mother Baiji turned our ancestral home ‘Darda Udyan’, situated in front of Prerna Sthal, from an unattended area of shrubs into a beautiful garden. Various facets of Babuji’s life and times were deliberated upon in depth before Prerna Sthal was brought into shape. Due attention was paid to the very fact that the Memorial should serve as an inspiration for generations to come.

Prerna Sthal’s architecture reflects Babuji’s character and spirit. A unique blend of nature and modern architecture can be seen at this splendid Memorial. The architectural marvel of Prerna Sthal got international recognition when it was nominated for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2010 at Geneva. It was also listed for a special mention by the A+D Spectrum Foundation in its Architecture Awards for the year 2006 at Kuala Lumpur.

The monument has been erected in such a manner that people coming here could experience its grandeur and natural beauty. As the sun sets on the horizon, spreading an array of beautiful colours in the sky and the music of chirping birds falls on our ears as they return to their abodes, one is at once spellbound by the natural splendour of the Memorial. A feeling that Nature has spread its magic in a marvelous way creeps into one’s mind. This experience gives a sense of fulfillment in the minds of the visitors.

Vijay Darda
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Lokmat Media Group