Among the well-kept homes of Sindh Society in Aundh stands bungalow no 335 as an eyesore. A sprawling, dilapidated structure standing amidst overgrown grounds, it exudes an air of desolation.
This is what the living family members of Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha, call home and where his great-grandson, Dattaprasanna Naik (40), passed away on Sunday morning.
|The bungalow in Sindh Society where Mavalankar’s granddaughter
Neela Naik lives
Naik is survived by his mother Neela, but neighbours say they have not seen anyone go in or out of the house for the past decade. “They are elderly people, but we haven’t seen them outside the house for years. They don’t even come out for a stroll in the garden, nor do they socialise with anyone from the society,” a neighbour said.
Chatuhshrungi police have registered a case of accidental death and said the viscera has been preserved for further analysis. When Mirror visited the bungalow, all the doors and windows were shut, though some of the panes were broken. There were two cars parked outside, both neglected and covered in dust. There were huge piles of garden waste everywhere.
This reporter knocked on the door for a while, but there was no answer. Finally, a nearby window creaked open and an elderly lady looked out. Neela Naik is over 70 years of age and while she agreed to talk to us, she didn’t open the door.
“I am G V Mavalankar’s granddaughter, he was my maternal grandfather,” she confirmed. Neela is a doctor and studied in B J Medical College. She has a daughter as well, but Neela didn’t say anything about her, except that she lives with her husband.
“I am not in good health, when I am better, I will talk to you at length,” she said, her breath rasping after every word. The Naiks have distant relatives staying in another bungalow in Sindh society and they look after Neela
When we asked how she manages the huge house, she shrugged slightly. “There is a maid, but she is busy looking after me — and Dattaprasanna — when he was here,” she said, her voice slightly lower as she mentions her late son.
We try to ask her about her grandfather and her family, but she withdraws. “I can only tell you that we barely come out of the house due to poor health,” she said and the window closed.
G V Mavalankar, popularly known as Dadasaheb, was a freedom fighter and the President of the Central Legislative Assembly in 1946-47.
A lawyer by profession, he also had a keen interest in social work which brought him in contact with eminent national leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Mahatma Gandhi.
He became the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha after Independence. Mavalankar passed away in February, 1956. Nobody from the family entered politics after Dadasaheb, who contested elections from Ahmedabad only.
Jawaharlal Nehru conferred the title ‘Father of the Lok Sabha’ on Mavalankar for his impact on Parliamentary institutions
► I can only tell you that we barely come out of the house due to poor health
- Neela Naik, GV Mavalankar’s Granddaughter