The veteran Shiv Sena leader was penning his record-breaking weekly column when he felt a sudden severe pain
Veteran Shiv Sena leader and former cultural affairs minister Pramod Navalkar died of a heart attack on Tuesday evening at his residence in Girgaum.
He was 72. He is survived by his wife Vandana and two daughters Reshma and Shilpa.
Navalkar was writing his record-breaking weekly column Bhramanti for the Marathi daily Navshakti when he suffered a massive heart attack.
His column — which has been running for 52 years in succession — has even got him a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Several people from political and literary circles included Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray visited Navalkar’s home to pay tribute to him.
Known as ‘original Mumbaikar’, he had written 50 books on culture, politics and Mumbai’s lifestyle. His latest book — and the 50th — Zep (jump) was published on Saturday. He was known to be a master of disguise.
He used to roam the city during night and trace illegal activities going on in various places. His penchant for crusading against “the menace” of eunuchs, drugs and prostitution at night in south Mumbai, apart from the targeting fashion shows, earned him the epithet of a moral police.
Navalkar was a member of Maharashtra legislative council for 24 years. In 2004, he had created a sensation in the council when he produced before the house devices used for manufacturing bombs. It included gelatine sticks and a timer device.
His intention behind the move, he said, was to prove that Mumbai had become a haven for terrorists.
Navalkar was diabetic. He underwent a bypass surgery in 1995. He had stopped appearance at public functions two years ago.
He was instrumental in projects like Nana Nani (for the elderly) parks. He was elected as a corporator to BMC in 1968. In 1972, he won the assembly election from Opera House constituency.
He consistently won the legislative council election from graduates’ constituency from 1986 to 2006.
He was minister of cultural affairs during 1995 to 1999 when Sena came to the power
for the first time in the state.
Sena spokesperson Subhash Desai said, “I have been associated with Pramod Navalkar for 40 years.
We were together in the good and bad times of the party. He was a brilliant person, good orator and superb writer. He used all his skills for the growth of Sena. It will be difficult to fill this void.”