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Bhonsala Military School to take out a march to salute its founder Dr. BS Munje

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New Delhi. The Bhonsala Military school Nashik, Maharashtra has decided to commemorate birth anniversary of its founder, Dr. B. S. Munje. To mark the function, it will take out a route march in the city, up to the Dr. Munje statue near the New Delhi Railway Station, PaharGanj. 100 selected students, from its Nashik and Nagpur schools, will march in full colors, to the tune of a military band. The route march will begin from RK Ashram, and after garlanding Swami Vivekanand statue, it will proceed through Pahar Ganj, to finish at Dr Munje statue, at the junction of Basant Road and Market Road, opposite New Delhi Railway Station. There, the Chief Guest, Hon. Meenakshi Lekhi MP, will address the gathering, and the program will conclude with national anthem. Many of our alumni in and around NCR will also be arriving to express their love and affection for the institution which has played such important role in their lives.

Who was Dr. Munje?

Dr. Munje was, and today remains, a forgotten freedom fighter and a visionary about defence needs of the country. He was born in 1872 in Bilaspur (presently in Chhatisgarh). He finished his medical education, and did a brief stint at the comfortable job of Medical Officer in the Bombay Municipal Corporation. However, his passion, military, took him to Anglo-Bore war in South Africa. As an officer in Medical Corpse, he participated and closely watched the conduct of warfare. Upon returning to India after the war, he came in contact with Lokmanya Tilak, and started taking active interest in politics with Congress. He whole heartedly participated in the Swadeshi movement, and courted jail terms many times. However, after demise of Lokmanya Tilak, he found himself in disagreement with many policies of congress, particularly about Khilafat Movement. He joined the Swaraj Party, and represented the Central Provinces in the then Viceroy’s Parliament. He repeatedly made speeches about defense related subjects, and time and again hit out against the british policy of keeping the officer ranks in Indian Army exclusively for british. The british had a theory that some castes in India are ‘martial’, implying other are not fit to make soldiers. Dr. Munje vehemently opposed this theory, and argued that any Indian can become a good soldier and a good officer, if he is provided proper education and training. The British had taken heavy casualties in the first world war, and as the possibility of another started looming on horizon, they also started thinking on similar lines. Soon the admission to Sandhurst school was opened to Indians, and shortly thereafter, the Indian Military Academy was started at Dehradoon. When the commandant there expressed shortage ‘military preparatory schools’ to act as feeder organisations to IMA, Dr. Munje took up the challenge, and decided to start the school himself. He had found his mission.

As was his desire , he gave a deep thought and studied the subject in fine detail. He toured Europe, and visited military schools at the then great military powers, as well as powers militarising at a brisk pace. On returning, he toured all over India, collecting finances, and requesting people to send their sons to his Military school at early age. His passion, and his efforts came to fruition, when in 1937 the Bhonsala Military School was opened at Nashik, and got students from far off corners of the country like Abottabad (now in Pakistan NWFP) to Assam, to Madras. Maharaja Jivajirao Sindhia of Gwalior laid down the foundation stone, and took active interest in the development of school as well as needs of the cadets there. When he breathed his last, right inside his karmabhoomi, he knew he had left behind an institution and a tradition which will make positive contribution to nation building effort, particularly its need for military leadership.

After 80 years, the school has branched out in many directions. It boasts 2 boarding schools, one at Nashik and another at Nagpur, which prepares boys for taking up careers in armed forces as officers. A new school on similar lines, for girls, is fulfillment of one more dream of Dr Munje, was started 3 years ago, and will soon start sending out women with zeal and capability to lead the military in combat and in peace. The Bhonsala Military college offers courses in strategic management and similar disciplines, upto post-graduation and research level. But be it management college or primary school, the common thread of basic military training, marching, horse riding, shooting runs thru them all.

Today, we are made proud by our students invarious walks of life. From Leiutnant General Chibbar or Vasantrao Sathe (ex- cabinet minister), students in 1930-40 period, to Air Marshal Bhonsle, there is a long list of students in armed forces. In the sports Ajun Awardee Kavita Raut, and international atheletes like AnjanaThamke, Kisan Tadvi, Sanjeevani Jadhav, and budding juniors like Tai Bamne are making their presence felt in the mid and long distance running.

We are confident this program will go a long way to increase awareness about Bhonsala Military School and Dr Munje, at the National level. We appeal all of you to give appropriate publicity to the event as well as to the legacy of Dr. Munje.

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