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Natvarlal Mohanlal Raval

Mehsana, Gujarat

March 17, 2023 to March 17, 2024

Natvarlal Mohanlal Raval was born in Unjha, Mehsana district on 2.10.1919. He received his primary education in Unjha and completed his secondary education in Patan. After matriculation, he pursued higher education at various universities such as Aligarh, Agra, Mumbai, and Gujarat, where he obtained degrees and diplomas including M.A., LLB, and Diploma in Library Science. He also studied Karyatirtha in Hindi and Sanskrit. Nationalism was instilled in him from his teenage years, and he regularly exercised at the gym, studied vedic and puranic texts in Sanskrit, participated in scout activities, and preached songs and the use of khadi during his morning walks. Following his matriculation, he secured a job in the Vadodara state's Agriculture department and began working there in 1940.

In 1942, Natavarlal participated in the freedom movement, which led to his dismissal from his job. He then joined the Mehsana Zilla Mitra Mandal, which was established to assist Mehsana district natives living in Vadodara with their issues. In the same year, during the Quit India Movement, the organisation was renamed Arya Sangathan Pragati Mandal to focus on revolutionary activities and achieving independence. The group's objectives included promoting Indian culture and the Gita, in addition to their revolutionary goals. Four members of the board, including Natavarlal, were sent to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mumbai for further study and training. However, while they were studying in Mumbai, some members of the congregation were arrested in Mehsana district, and arrest warrants were issued for all members of the organization. One of the four members studying in Mumbai went home, while the others appeared before the police. Natavarlal chose to stay at the Mumbai Vidya Bhavan, but the congregation's funds were frozen, and all members faced legal consequences. The accused were tried by a special judge, and many were punished, but he managed to evade arrest and was declared an absconding accused.

In 1946, the members were allowed to return to their original jobs. However, Natavarlal did not return to his original job. Instead, he pursued a diploma course in Granthalaya Shastra from Mumbai University and began working as a columnist in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. While working there, he had the opportunity to interact with scholars and researchers like Pandit Rahul Sanskrityayan, Munshi Jinvijayji, and Pandit Sukhlalji. Munshi Jinvijayji personally mentored Natavarlal and provided him with guidance. Unfortunately, Natavarlal fell ill while living in Mumbai and had to move to Agra to seek medical treatment. He enrolled in college there but eventually decided to leave Agra due to his continuing illness. Around this time, the cases against him were withdrawn, and he returned home to Unjha. Once he had recovered, he secured a job as the Junagadh State Librarian.

Source: Surekhaben Amrutlal Patel, Contributor for CCRT