Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the International Cricket Stadium in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi on Saturday afternoon.
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has lauded historian Balwant Moreshwar alias Babasaheb Purandare for his works on Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Purandare, known for his various works including books and a play “Janata Raja” on Shivaji, turned 95 on July 29.
Tendulkar felicitated Purandare, who is a recipient of the prestigious 'Maharashtra Bhushan' award, at a programme organised by Swargandhar and Jeevan Gani in suburban Vile Parle last night.
Addressing the gathering, Tendulkar said, “During childhood, when I was (staying) in Sahitya Sahawas, (my) father used to sit in the hall with his friends…while chatting and having tea, many names came on my ears. Since I was young, I did not take interest and was not a part of those conversations.”
“At that time, in many names and discussions, I first heard the name of Babasaheb, but I did not exactly know what Babasaheb did and why my father used to discuss him, why he spoke highly of him,” the right-handed batsman said.
“But when I grew up, I realised that to bring such awareness about the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji, of course we learn in school, some things we know, some we don't. The things which we don't (know), to bring them to the forefront, it does not happen so easily,” he said.
“It has come to my knowledge that Babasaheb visited 300 forts, and spent time with those who guarded the forts. To bring the information (to the people) about what their ancestors did after staying with Maharaj (Shivaji), this needs dedication and commitment,” he said praising the historian.
The cricketer's father, late Ramesh Tendulkar, was a noted Marathi novelist.
“What can I say about Babasaheb, I am young. But while doing this, he (Purandare) never thought he could spend his time elsewhere. He brought the thoughts of Maharaj (Shivaji) to us and he is still trying to do that,” said Tendulkar.
“I remember, in school history started with Shivaji Maharaj and after that my cricket started with Shivaji Park (the ground in Dadar). I have come here to greet him (Purandare) on his birthday and seek his blessings,” he said.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar were, among others, present on the occasion.