Kidar Nath Sahani

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(24 October 1926 – 3 October 2012

Shri Kidar Nath Sahani (24 October 1926 – 3 October 2012) was a founder member of Jana Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party. Born in pre-independent India in Rawalpindi, he and his family moved to Delhi after the partition. He was a pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Later, he became governor of Sikkim (2001–02) and Goa (2002–04). We’re sharing three inspirational anecdotes from his life:

Elections were scheduled in Jammu around 1948 but Sheikh Abdullah expelled Sahani Ji from Jammu and Kashmir. Sahani Ji was banned from visiting Jammu and Kashmir. He was so immensely popular that wherever he went, large crowds gathered to listen to him. An election meeting was organized near Jammu and his participation in the meeting was announced. The Jammu administration had made all preparations to prevent Sahani Ji from attending this meeting. Police were deployed at every nook and cranny of the meeting venue. There was a law that if a person reached the dais anyhow, the police could take no action until the meeting was over. Sahani Ji knew this, so he swam across the Ravi River from Punjab in the dark of the night, reached the meeting venue on foot, and somehow managed to reach the dais without being identified. He not only addressed the gathering at the venue but also slipped away later safely.

• In Delhi, Municipal Council elections around the mid 1990s Sahani Ji injured his right wrist. The injury affected his thumb that got dislocated. He was unable to do anything with that hand and went to the hospital for treatment. Dr. Magazine examined his thumb and decided it needed surgery. He told Sahani Ji it would take time as general anesthesia would have to be administered. Operation was impossible without it, and the patient also needs to be on an empty stomach. Sahani Ji told the doctor not to administer anesthesia and go ahead with the operation. It being a

Sahani Ji was
banned from
visiting Jammu
and Kashmir. He
was so immensely
popular that wherever
he went, large crowds
gathered to listen
to him…

period of elections, he did not want to lose time, as he had to address four meetings on the day. Upon his insistence, he was taken to operation theatre. There was no sign fear on his face while the doctor was sweating. This was a unique case in Dr. Magazine’s life when, even while fixing the bone, Sahani Ji did not show any feeling of pain on his face while his wife, Mrs. Vimla Devi, who was also present, fainted.

• Shanji Ji visited Kenya as Mayor of Delhi in 1973. During his visit Sahani Ji went to see a ship at Mobasa dockyard along with an Indian diplomat Mr. B. R. Sharma. The waters in that area were very dangerous. Firstly, the sea here was very deep and sure to be killed by sharks. Sahani Ji was returning with Sharma ji and others from the dockyard on a small boat when suddenly Sharma Ji slipped and fell into the sea. He even did not know how to swim. Several people were present, but no one dared to try to save Sharma Ji. Sahani Ji quickly jumped into the sea risking his own life and rescued Sharma Ji from drowning. This was widely reported in newspapers in Kenya and India. Still, when Sahani Ji was asked about it, he reacted as if he didn’t do anything, whereas Sharma Ji vouched that Sahani Ji had given him a new lease of life.