(Last Updated on : 25/01/2014)
The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is the presiding officer of the lower house of Parliament of India. Till date India has had 15 Lok Sabha speakers since its inception. If anyone asks whose Speakership made its greatest impact on our parliamentary institutions, unquestionably the answer would be, Shri Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, lovingly remembered as Dadasaheb Mavalankar on whom the title 'Father of the Lok Sabha' was bestowed by none other than Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Shri Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar was the first Lok Sabha speaker of the new born India. Mavalankar's role was not simply that of an arbiter and catalyst of its proceedings but of a Statesman and a pioneer enthroned with the responsibility to institute rules, procedures, conventions and customs that suited the culture of the land. With a remarkable sense of history, patience, intelligence and above all with determination, he consummate all this. Mavalankar observed the decorum of the House and also enforced it on others. He was, undoubtedly, a model Speaker, firm yet flexible, stern yet kind and sympathetic and always fair to all sections of the House.
Early life of G. V. Mavalankar
Dadasaheb Mavalankar was born on 27th November 1888 at Baroda in Gujrat to a family, formerly belonged to Mavalange in Ratnagiri District of the State of Bombay. Mavalankar moved to Ahmedabad in 1902 for higher studies, after his early education. He obtained his B.A. Degree in Science from the Gujarat College, Ahmedabad, in 1908. Previous to taking to his law studies, he was a 'Dakshina Fellow' of the College for one year in 1909. In the year 1912, he passed his Law examination with First Class. After passing the law examination he entered the legal profession in 1913. Within a short span of time Mavalankar established himself as a prominent lawyer. He was keenly interested in social work, along with his thriving legal practice.
Mavalankar was a colleague and close friend of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was associated with several major social organizations in Gujarat. He also held the position of the Honorary Secretary of the Gujarat Education Society in 1913 and also the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha in 1916.He joined the Swaraj Party in the 1920s but later returned to Mahatma Gandhi. Later in 1946, he was elected to preside over the Central Legislative Assembly and this was to be continual at the national level also.
G. V. Mavalankar during Indian Independence
Although Mavalankar was a recognized lawyer in the pre-independence era, he was enthusiastic about social work. From his early twenties, Mavalankar came forward to help the people, whenever there was a natural disaster, famine or other social or political crisis. He met the distinguished national leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Mahatma Gandhi while working for such generous cause. He got associated with the Non-corporation movement spearheaded by Gandhiji. He played a very active part in the 'Khaira No-Rent' campaign and later in the famine and flood relief works on several occasions.
Mavalankar was a firm believer in the decentralization of power and in the effectiveness of Panchayati Raj Institutions. For nearly two decades, Mavalankar dedicated himself to the associations of Ahmedabad Municipality and he served as a member of the Ahmedabad Municipality from 1919 to 1937. He served as its President during 1930-33 and 1935-36. Ahmedabad made remarkable progress under the custodian of G.V. Mavalankar. His concentration in the affairs of the local self-government bodies continued all the way through his life.
Speaker of Lok Sabha : G. V. Mavalankar
Mavalankar headed the planning of India's Parliament for a period of over ten years from1946 to1956. As Speaker of the First Lok Sabha of a new born nation, he observed the decorum of the House and also enforced it on others. When Mavalankar presided over the Lok Sabha, the country was to witness his unique qualities as an institution-builder. Because he could link the past precedents with the fresh needs and effect changes while maintaining continuity, his period of Speakership was the most fruitful one for the evolution of parliamentary procedures in India. Not only did he introduce several new rules and procedures, he also modified the existing ones to suit the new conditions.
Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar was a man who made indelible mark on the Indian Parliamentary institution. He has been an excellent speaker with right judgment. Mavalankar played and vital role in moulding parliamentary traditions and laying the foundations of establishing the framework of a working democracy. He not only guided the proceedings in the House with a rare finesse but also carved out a niche for himself as an outstanding leader and a highly accomplished parliamentary administrator. He has been an inspiration for all the subsequent Lok Sabha speaker of the present generation. G.V. Mavalankar passed away in 1956.