Local Goa News

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

From village school teacher to state sangh leader

His speeches on dilution of Indian culture have served as the ideal grooming tool for every single swayamsevak in Goa in the last decade or more. Inducted into the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a child, Pracharya Subhash Velingkar has touched all topics; from why Vande Mataram would be a more befitting Indian national anthem to why 'akhand bharat' should be every patriotic Indian's dream. Needless to say, Velingkar has been the most fierce voice and the face of the sangh in Goa.

Son of Bhaskar Velingkar, a freedom fighter in Goa's liberation movement, Subhash Velingkar spent his childhood schooling and graduating in the state capital Panaji. It was in school that he was initiated into the sangh by RSS-man Durgadas Nadkarni, who Velingkar is known to call his inspiration.
After completing his MA BEd education, Velingkar briefly worked as a sub-editor in a local Marathi daily before finding employment as a teacher at a Bicholim school. He soon rose to the post of school head and served as one in rural schools in Shiroda and Mandrem where he received recognition for attaining cent per cent results in these backward schools.
From 1993, Velingkar, as principal of the RSS-affiliated Porvorim higher secondary school Vidya Prabodhini, found a centre around which he cultivated a dedicated brand of sanghis. Soon, Porvorim came to be known as an RSS stronghold in the state. In the late '90s, Velingkar suffered a serious bout of falciparum malaria which he survived after prolonged treatment.
Velingkar's firebrand speeches primarily echoed through the Porvorim region until his visibility grew across the state when the issue of grants to English-medium schools came up in 2011. An exception to this being during Parrikar's first term as Goa chief minister in 2000, when Velingkar briefly grabbed headlines for vandalizing signboards, demanding changes Panaji's street names that were a reminder of Goa's Portuguese colonial past.
Velingkar has been closely associated with the present BJP's top leaders including Union defence minister Manohar Parrikar. In fact, during Parrikar's first term as chief minister, Velingkar is known to have been involved in framing policies in education. It was in 2012, after Parrikar continued grants to church-run English-medium schools, that Velingkar crossed swords with the defence minister.
n recent times, both Velingkar's sons Rajendra and Shailesh have also been active in right-wing movements, with his daughters Geeta and Gauri being out of the spotlight.
In 1991-92, Velingkar received a state-level best teacher award and was presented the national best teacher award by then President A P J Abdul Kalam in 2004.
During the emergency period, Velingkar was jailed in 1975. He participated in the satya graha and was detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) for more than a year.
Post his retirement as principal of Vidya Prabodhini Higher Secondary School of Porvorim in October 2010, Velingkar continued to be active in the campus as secretary of the education society running the school.

TOI Goa News

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